R.E.M. Maintenance offers 6 Natural Sleep Aids in 1

Much like food, water, and air, sleep is a basic necessity for human survival. However, getting enough sleep, quality sleep, and sleeping at the right time for your body can help to maximize your health and vitality. If you are researching natural supplements to help you sleep, many of your questions may be answered by R.E.M. Maintenance™. This natural sleep supplement contains 6 different nutrients that each provide sleep-supportive benefits.

Why is sleep important?

Not only does the amount and quality of your sleep affect how cranky, weary, or alert you feel during your waking hours, it also affects the way your body functions. This includes your metabolism, hormonal balance, brain function, and immune system strength. 

Sleep can be an important part of recovering from a chronic disease, too. Notably, epidemiological evidence has shown a link between sleep loss and obesity. Cravings for, and selection of high-calorie, low-nutrition foods are statistically predictable based on the severity of sleep deprivation [1]. 

Sleeping well not only feels great, but it can also make a huge difference in your overall health and well-being!

Is sleep trouble common?

Unfortunately for many of us… sleeping well just isn’t that easy. According to the National Sleep Foundation, almost 60 percent of adults in the US report experiencing insomnia and sleep problems at least a few nights a week. These statistics are higher in individuals diagnosed with mental health challenges. At least 75% of patients with depression also struggle with insomnia [2]. 

There is a flip side of rough sleep at night too. About 40 percent of adults report accidentally falling asleep during the day at least once a month [3]. An estimated 50 to 70 million Americans are currently diagnosed with ongoing sleep disorders [3]. 

How can I get better sleep?

Of course, the first steps to getting better sleep are to make sure you have made sleep a priority, rather than just trying to squeeze it into your busy schedule. A comfortable bedtime routine can help to relax and soothe you.

Most of us have heard the importance of resisting screens (smartphones, tablets, tv, and computers) for at least an hour or two before bed to let our minds settle. There are also certain nutrients that can be helpful in readying the brain and body for sleep. Natural supplements for sleep can help you get rest without chemical dependence or morning grogginess.

This is the reason Metabolic Maintenance has developed R.E.M. Maintenance™: a unique health supplement containing many nutrients known to support restful, healing sleep.

Does R.E.M. Maintenance™ contain natural supplements for sleep?

1. Melatonin

Each serving of R.E.M. Maintenance™ contains 1 mg of melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that is produced naturally by the pineal gland during hours of darkness to help regulate the “body clock” that controls when you’re awake and when your body is ready for sleep. This clock typically follows a 24-hour cycle called the circadian rhythm. The rhythm affects how every cell, tissue, and organ works [3]. 

Although melatonin is known as a neurohormone, which we typically associate with the brain, it has been found in all kingdoms of life, including both vertebrate and invertebrate animals, bacteria, fungi, algae, and plants. And, in all kingdoms melatonin production requires an intake of the aromatic amino acid L-tryptophan, and is synthesized from serotonin [4]. 

Supplementing with melatonin alone will not change circulating levels of serotonin, or affect mood, but low levels of serotonin could be a cause for poor melatonin production and consequential difficulty sleeping [5]. This is one probable link between sleep disorders and depression, drug addiction, and other serotonin-related pathologies [4].

Naturally, sufficient levels of circulating melatonin should spike at night to help us fall and stay asleep, but as we age, we tend to produce less and less melatonin [6]. This may be the reason new sleep difficulties often arise as we advance into our later years of life. 

Take melatonin supplements in the evenings so that the highest level of circulating melatonin occurs when you are ready to bring on sleep, mimicking the young, healthy body’s natural cycles. 

2. 5-HTP

There is a complicated and complex relationship between mood and sleep, and 5-hydroxytryptophan, better known as 5-HTP, plays a role in both. Also naturally produced by the body, this time as a precursor for the production of serotonin, 5-HTP is therefore indirectly converted into melatonin. 

However, 5-HTP bypasses the light-triggering system that regulates the release of melatonin, and provides the substrate for an increase in both serotonin and melatonin release, regardless of light or time of day. 

Because 5-HTP increases serotonin, it has a calming, relaxing effect on brain chemistry. 5-HTP may help to ease anxiety that occasionally arises at bedtime. Studies have shown that 5-HTP supplementation can help patients fall asleep faster and sleep more deeply than a placebo [7]. 

Serotonin also plays an important role in many other bodily functions, including digestion, appetite, and pain perception. Again, healthy serotonin levels are essential for maintaining healthy melatonin levels, and both serotonin and melatonin are critical to sleep and a functional biological clock. 5-HTP supports the production and release of both of these natural neurochemicals.

3. Inositol

R.E.M. Maintenance™ also contains the nutrient inositol. Inositol was once called vitamin B-8 and considered a member of the B vitamin family. It shares the qualities of many B vitamins as a stress reducer and mood lifter. Tt has more recently been classified as a pseudovitamin; a sugar alcohol closely related to glucose. 

Inositol is used by your brain as a “secondary messenger”, facilitating communication between brain cells. All of the major neurotransmitters rely on inositol to relay messages. Inositol also assists in the transport of amino acids, proteins, and the neurotransmitters themselves across cell membranes. 

Inositol accesses stores of calcium in the brain, in turn activating the release of many neurotransmitters, including serotonin. It also helps boost serotonin and dopamine receptor density, meaning more serotonin will be freely available and what is released will be received and read more efficiently within the brain [8]. 

Inositol not only improves the effectiveness of serotonin, but also GABA, glutamate, and dopamine. It promotes a stronger sense of well-being, more restful sleep at night, and a more even-tempered mood during the day [8]. 

4. Glycine

Glycine is a very versatile amino acid, in terms of the roles it plays throughout the body, and it easily crosses the blood-brain barrier, inducing a calming effect on the brain and helping you wind down to prepare for sleep. It does this by interacting with the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN; the 24-hour biological clock in the central nervous system that controls when we want to be asleep and awake). 

In response to glycine, the SCN triggers a reduction in core body temperature through vasodilation, which is an important biological step in the onset of sleep [9]. Glycine’s effect on sleep is considered to occur through thermoregulation, it will not contribute to any morning grogginess after a good sleep. It may actually do the opposite by regulating adrenal production of hormones for wakefulness during the day [10].

Glycine also works as a neurotransmitter and has both stimulatory and inhibitory effects on parts of the brain and central nervous system. It plays a positive role in cognition, mood, appetite and digestion, immune function, pain perception, as well as restful sleep. You may not be surprised by this point on our list, but glycine is also involved in the production of other biochemicals that influence these body functions, including –you probably guessed it– serotonin [11]. 

Although not a nutritional quality per se, glycine has a very sweet flavor and dissolves quickly and easily in water-based liquids. This characteristic makes glycine an excellent candidate for use as a sweetener in warm drinks, without adding empty calories or a burst of energy like sugar. Consider adding glycine-containing R.E.M. Maintenance to a calming cup of chamomile tea before bed for a sweet, warming, and relaxing treat that prepares your body for rest.

5. Magnesium

Deficiency in magnesium is an underpublicized epidemic, as it has been estimated that nearly half of adults in the US are magnesium deficient [12]. 

Magnesium promotes deep, restorative sleep. Deficiency in this essential nutrient can cause symptoms such as insomnia, leg cramping, and restless leg syndrome [13]. Insomnia is actually quite common in magnesium-deficient individuals, and they often report experiencing restless sleep and waking frequently during the night. 

The mechanism of magnesium’s effects on sleep is related to its role as a regulator of the parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system is the system responsible for promoting calm and relaxation [14]. It also helps to regulate melatonin [15] and GABA, the neurotransmitter responsible for quieting the nervous system [16]. 

Unfortunately, as we age, we tend to find less magnesium is being absorbed from our diets, and this problem can be exacerbated by conditions such as diabetes, digestive issues, or high alcohol consumption [17]. 

As mentioned earlier, adults often find themselves with more difficulty sleeping later in life. While this could be a symptom of myriad changes in the body, it is helpful to know that many of these issues can be mitigated with nutritional choices. Changes in absorption of essential nutrients affect our daily recommended intake levels, and we can support the slowing biosynthesis of chemicals within the body to improve our overall health and quality of life.

6. Potassium

Potassium channels and their functions are essential to cell signaling and brain synapses. It helps nerves and muscles communicate, and helps move nutrients into cells and to remove waste products from cells. 

Studies have shown that potassium supplementation helped participants sleep deeply, without interruption in sleep cycles [18]. The “slow waves” that cross the brain during sleep are what keep us in a deep sleep while the brain resets, recharges, and cleans out toxins and free radicals. When potassium channels are not functioning as needed, these slow waves are interrupted, which may prevent deep sleep and their healing qualities [19].

Will R.E.M. Maintenance™ help me sleep?

Even though R.E.M. Maintenance™ is chock-full of natural supplements for sleep, it must be taken in compliment to sleep-promoting actions. The blue light of electronic screens, stress, late night exercise, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and other drugs are just a few examples of common, modern practices and additives that can interfere with the quality and quantity of restful sleep, even for the most nutritionally balanced individual. 

Consider reading about scientifically supported sleep hygiene to make sure you are setting yourself up for success when it comes to achieving high quality, restorative sleep. The National Sleep Foundation is an excellent source of information (sleepfoundation.org) [20].

If you feel you are ready to get your sleep schedule on track, please take into account both the sleep-welcoming behavioral changes that may need to be made and this unique, multi-faceted supplement that can support the improvement of sleep. Sweet dreams and sleep well with R.E.M Maintenance™.

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