The Power of a Good Night’s Sleep

Sleeping Puppy

Are you sleeping well?

One of the most important processes our body must go through daily is sleep, but it doesn’t get the attention our waking-hours activities do. We tend to skew our health focus toward the aspects of our health we actively control — diet, exercise, supplementation, etc. — and assume we’ll just go to bed when we’re tired and wake up when we have to. Why not take the same approach with sleep?

In short, sleep is not only critical to our mental and physical well-being, but a major indicator of both, too. It’s somewhat circular: How you sleep determines your health, and your health determines how you sleep.

THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SLEEP AND BODY FAT

Getting too little or too much sleep at night increases the risk of obesity. A study from Laval University in Quebec found that nightly sleep duration predicted future weigh gain. It examined nearly 300 adults, organized according to their typical sleep duration: short, 5-6 hours; average, 7-8 hours; and long, 9-10 hours.

Short sleep duration increased the risk of obesity by 27 percent, while long sleep duration increased by 21 percent compared to the average sleep duration. The results were not influenced by energy intake or daily exercise. During the six-year study, short and long duration sleepers were more likely to gain 11 pounds or more than the people who slept 7-8 hours per night. Good sleep patterns are critical for weight control. Get a good night’s sleep every night. Avoid caffeine in the late afternoon and evening. Sleep in a dark, quiet room, avoid vigorous exercise before bedtime and get up at the same time every morning. Establishing consistent sleep patterns will make your feel better and helps control body fat.

On top of controlling your sleep patterns with your own self-discipline, you can add a couple supplement choices in to help (DO NOT be one of those people who chug NyQuil or have a few p.m. beers to send you to sleep. Seriously. Yes, people do this).

The nighttime metabolic agent SOMNILEAN is known for a powerhouse combination of four ingredients: Melatonin, L-Theanine, 5-HTP and GABA. While all great in their own rights, our purposes within the framework of this article is to concentrate on GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid). Why? Because it’s the one most directly responsible to helping you catch those all-important Zs at night.

GABA is often referred to as the brain’s natural calming agent. Technically an amino acid, GABA helps in controlling the firing of neurons from the brain that create anxiety, restlessness and the mile-a-minute thought patterns that come from stress and other factors. Of course, when they happen while you’re trying to sleep, it becomes a problem.

By helping to alleviate over-firing neurons that cause these symptoms, GABA essentially serves as a sleep aid, with a huge added bonus: Studies have shown it to increase the amount of growth hormone production, which plays a large role in muscle tone and growth, indirectly leading to fat loss via improved metabolism. One 2008 collegiate study out of Virginia found that “GABA elevates resting and postexercise (growth hormone) concentrations.” (Source)

THERMOVEX PM is another product to consider if you’re trying to control your body fat through proper sleep habits.

There is a correlation between quality sleep and two hormones which regulate appetite: leptin and ghrelin.  Studies have been increasingly showing that these two substances play crucial roles in weight loss and your body’s sleep.

THERMOVEX PM is a great-tasting, stimulant-free nighttime metabolic support formula that is specifically designed to optimize your resting metabolic rate, which increases stored body fat utilization. In addition, it is designed to improve sleep patterns and preserve lean muscle. THERMOVEX PM also contains fiber to manage weight control, and comes in a powdered formula that’s quicker to take effect than pill products.

SLEEPING FOR MUSCLE GAIN

The data available over time immemorial has concluded: Sleep is crucial. Most of the recovery, rebuilding and refreshing comes during this overlooked stage, which many Americans disregard as a necessary evil. In reality, that 8-hours-a-night mantra is hard to achieve, and most people are content to get 6. The problem with this is that the less overall sleep you get, the less deep sleep you get, and that is the stage we are most concerned with.

The benefits of deep sleep are numerous, not just for the mind, but for the body. And, if you’re trying to add muscle, sleep is incredibly important. One article by Dr. John Cline, titled “Sleepless in America,” notes deep sleep’s role in muscle building:

Human growth hormone is released in a pulsed manner during deep sleep and interruption of this stage abruptly stops release of this hormone. … With this increase in deep sleep there is also a release of growth hormone. In adults growth hormone promotes cell repair that is necessary after the stress of weight training.

This is why we’ve added 1-XPM to our pro-sleep lineup. Its role: “SLEEPING TO GROW.” 

For those looking to increase muscle mass, decrease body fat and improve REM sleep patterns, this nighttime anabolic agent just may be the advantage you need to maximize your training, dieting and supplementation.

A blend primarily fueled by long-proven stand-bys zinc, magnesium aspartate and B-6, 1-XPM that has an impact on testosterone production in males, as well as countering ill effects in muscle building often associated with deficiencies in important minerals. One study, conducted on college athletes, showed significant increases in testosterone production and strength in the test group that was given zinc and magnesium aspartate. Here’s a rundown on those ingredients:

  • Zinc: It’s one of the oldest, most well-known supplements around. Beneficial to just about every bodily function, it also aids protein synthesis and boosts the immune system. It’s essential for liver function and organ health. More to the point for males is that it has been shown in studies to influence testosterone levels, and how testosterone itself behaves in the body. However, it’s even more beneficial when combined with …
  • Magnesium (aspartate): Given its wonder properties, it’s a shame and somewhat unbelievable that the USDA estimates that almost three out of four people take in less than the recommended daily value of magnesium. It’s critical for heart function, sodium/potassium cellular balance, muscle function and mood regulation.

The big research behind these two in conjunction with each other (as aspartates, and with the addition of B-6, which improves uptake of the others)  stems from a study done on college football players. The bottom line numbers: The athletes achieved 43.7 percent higher testosterone levels over eight weeks and strength gains that were 2.5 times greater than the test group that did not take the blend.

So, if you want to SLEEP TO GROW, and get the sound, deep sleep you need to do it, 1-XPM is an option you definitely should consider.

 SLEEP AND HORMONE PRODUCTION

A regular sleep cycle and plenty of REM sleep are responsible for many of the body’s important processes, and hormone production is no exception. Particularly in men, the body depends on testosterone and growth hormone for the regulation of body fat and muscle growth.

The testosterone-boosting HGH-191, available at NUTRISHOP, helps facilitate a better sleep environment for testosterone production with a powerful blend of ingredients. HGH-191 doesn’t try to duplicate growth hormone and definitely IS not growth hormone — but it does inspire the production of it by pituitary-prompting ingredients. We’ll highlight the key compounds in HGH-191 to make it clear just how this supplement can help you:

Gamma Amino Butyric Acid (GABA): It’s an amino acid that tells your pituitary gland (that crucial part of the body that regulates hormone production and release) it’s time to release some growth hormone. Your body releases, it produces Somatotropin (think of it as “good” GH) and Somatostatin (“bad”) in order to balance them out. The “bad” one basically wants to immediately break down the good GH.
So what?: GABA limits how much Somatostatin (“bad”) is released. What it means to you: Elevated GH without the inhibition, meaning more lean muscle, less fat. MOST GH PRODUCTS DO NOT DO THIS.

Colostrum: A supplement sometimes called “the promise of life” can’t be anything but good. With over 5,000 studies backing it, some have shown it to stimulate cellular muscle expansion and regeneration, increase growth hormone levels that correlate to lean muscle gain, help with bone integrity and mass, improve anaerobic strength and help immune function. It might sound familiar; you probably know it better as “first milk.” That makes sense, because it is the first natural food every human takes in. It is crucial to the immune system and growth.
So what?: If you can’t do with more lean muscle, stronger bones and a better immune system, you might be beyond help. Think of colostrum as a way to bring your body back to the days when it NEEDED to grow.

L-Theanine: It’s an amino acid that comes from tea plants and helps regulate the levels of serotonin and dopamine (calmness and happiness chemicals, basically speaking) in the brain. This is done with the help of GABA, which we mentioned earlier, because it is an inhibitory neurotransmitter — in other words, the GABA sets your dopamine and serotonin at optimal levels.
So what?: The short answer, research suggests, is that L-Theanine creates a sense of relaxation and a strong environment for GH to be released without being compromised by inhibitory factors.

 

What Are Your Vitamins Doing For You?

“Loaded with vitamins and minerals” is a popular catch phrase in seemingly every healthy food or supplement choice these days, it seems, but what exactly are you putting in your body, and why? Understanding why it’s important to fill in certain dietary gaps with a supplement is one of many aspects to achieving better overall health.

Of course, sometimes it seems easier with some vitamins than others. For example, we all know vitamin C is good for the immune system, and therefore we try to boost our consumption of it with plenty of fruits and veggies or, in case of emergency, we might load up on a vitamin C supplement to try to chase off a common cold or flu. What if we had that kind of basic, no-brainer response to more of the vitamins, minerals and nutrients that are just as important?

That’s the aim of our blog this week: To highlight some of the more important vitamins that can be obtained through regular supplementation. Today, we’ll start off with the underrated, under-consumed powerhouse mineral magnesium.

The USDA claims that only 32 percent of the American population meets the daily requirements for magnesium, and this could be one of many telltale signs behind American obesity rates — magnesium is required for ALL cellular energy (ATP) production, and a lack of it is directly related to a lack of energy, and we all know how tough it is to work out when you can’t bring yourself to get off the couch. Moreover, proper magnesium consumption is shown to reduce risk of stroke and heart attack, while shortening the length and severity of migraine and PMS symptoms. To these ends, magnesium is readily available in NATURE’S FUEL, which is almost completely bioavailable and is one of the most potent daily multivitamins available.

Another important role magnesium plays is in the sleep cycle — simply put, enough of it helps aid sleep while a deficiency hinders it. Stress is often a noted cause of sleep deficiency, and this is partially due to the hormonal response caused by lack of magnesium; when stress hormone levels are elevated, the body’s magnesium and calcium stores are depleted, causing a lack of physical energy but also mental restlessness.  This is why many sleep-aid supplements, like 1-XPM, rely on magnesium as part of their blends to aid recovery and growth hormone production as well.

Magnesium can mostly be found in leafy greens, as it’s abundant in chlorophyll, but is also available in spices, nuts, coffee, cocoa and tea, and taken as food, is almost impossible to over-consume. A good magnesium supplement can go a long way!

 

DHA

naturesEFAWe’ll spare you the long scientific name, but DHA is commonly found in essential fatty acids, particularly fish oils and some fruits and nuts. Perhaps known best for its anti-inflammatory properties, DHA-rich EFA products (like NATURE’S EFAs) are directed at preventing bloating and excess body fat retention. But it has other valuable benefits, too.

Some research suggests that DHA deficiency is linked to ADHD, cystic fibrosis, phenylketonuria and myriad mental imbalances; most of these can be explained by the brain’s dependency on DHA for not only childhood development, but adult maintenance. Found abundantly in fatty fish like salmon and mackerel, DHA’s role in the body seems to be largely beneficial — a decrease in it is linked with the proliferation of Alzheimer’s, and some studies back EFA-rich foods as prevention against hypertension, arthritis and even some cancers. (Source)

VITAMIN K2

One underrated facet of maintaining good health is caring for your bones — honestly, when was the last time you mindfully took a supplement or ate any kind of food with your skeleton as the motivation? Yet bone density is an important part of longevity and health, and can also help prevent injuries and promote the support of more more skeletal muscle.

K2′s largest claim to fame to date is its strong correlation to fighting off osteoporosis. Originally, a calcium deficiency was thought to be the main culprit, and indeed it does play a role in brittle bones, but in cases where there was actually calcium build-up (calcification) around the heart but not the arteries, osteoporosis was still present despite a heavy calcium content in the body. Newer research has shown that this is because of Vitamin K2 deficiency. In one Japanese research example, a particular region of the country that did not eat large amounts of the K2-rich soybean food natto was found to have significantly more broken hip cases.

The relatively rare occurrence of K2 in foods makes it somewhat difficult to get into one’s diet regularly, though. It is found most in natto, which is actually fermented soybeans, but also shows up in other curdled or fermented food protein-rich foods, like cottage cheese. More easily, of course, it can be found in NATURE’S GREENS.