What are the ingredients in Advanced Sleep Formula?
Sleep problems are one of the most common reasons for going to the doctor. When they’re not related to disorders such as anxiety or depression, they can be solved by taking a few simple steps, particularly ones using phytotherapy. Plant substances undoubtedly achieve the best results in this area.
This is precisely what Advanced Sleep Formula offers: a combination of the safest and most widely-studied and tested plant-source ingredients.
Hawthorn berry extract (Crataegus oxyacantha)
Very much in vogue, hawthorn is included in many products aimed at improving sleep problems. Its berries contain valuable flavonoids and procyanidins as well as a number of substances that act synergistically.
Passion Flower extract (Passiflora incarnata) 100 mg
Passion flower’s calming effects are widely-documented, though its mechanisms of action have yet to be established. Its efficacy is probably the result of synergy between the plant’s alkaloids, flavonoids, glucosides and a recently-discovered molecule, a benzoflavone moiety (BZF). A 2001 study showed that it may be as effective as a benzodiazepine-type drug widely-prescribed for anxiety (7). It also has the advantage of not causing drowsiness in the morning.
Valerian root extract (Valeriana officinalis) 70 mg
Valerian has been used to treat insomnia for thousands of years and in many parts of the world (8-9). During the First World War, it was popular with European soldiers for calming nervous tension triggered by bombing raids and combat. It’s thought to reduce stress by acting on several of the brain’s chemical messengers. Some studies have also shown that taking valerian supplements improves sleep and reduces fatigue.
Pyridoxal phosphate, a derivative of vitamin B6
This is a bio-active form of vitamin B6 which plays a key role in the transmission of nerve impulses and the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, melatonin, dopamine and gamma-aminobutyric acid. It’s an essential vitamin which the body must obtain from the diet (particularly meat and fish).
Melatonin is a hormone produced naturally by the pineal gland. Stimulated by the absence of light, secretion of melatonin makes us feel drowsy and gradually slows down our body functions. Unfortunately, excessive screen-time means our production of this ‘sleep hormone’ has become increasingly disrupted …
It’s recognised as helping to improve sleep problems related to a lack of melatonin, as occurs with an unhealthy lifestyle, night shift work, over-exposure to screens or jet lag.
There are two different forms:
The first helps you get to sleep more quickly, while the second is more suitable for those who experience wakefulness during the night. The scientific literature suggests that it is well-tolerated by both adults and children, and can be helpful for improving sleep (10-11). However, supplementing with low-dose melatonin (as contained in these products) should not be continued indefinitely.
Melatonin is found in poppy seeds, which are included in this formulation, and in flax, coriander and sunflower seeds (12). California poppy (Escholtzia californica) is considered to be an excellent natural aid to sleep, as is hop, a tonic and nervous system relaxant, which also features in this product.
Who is Advanced Sleep Formula for?
This sleep-aid formulation is for anyone who experiences the following symptoms:
- occasional or regular difficulty falling asleep;
- intermittent night wakefulness;
- waking up too early in the morning;
- feeling tired on waking;
- fatigue-related irritability and mood problems;
- anxiety at the prospect of going to bed;
- a reduction in cognitive or physical performance due to the cumulative effects of lack of sleep.
It is aimed more specifically at women, who tend to suffer from insomnia more than men, and at those over 50.
What other measures can be used alongside Advanced Sleep Formula?
To maximise this product’s efficacy, it is advisable to avoid the following aggravating factors:
- too much light exposure in the evening;
- too little physical activity during the day;
- frequent changes to your sleep routine;
- excessive smoking and consumption of alcohol and coffee ;
- stressful or anxiety-inducing situations.
Conversely, the following calming and sleep-inducing practices are recommended:
- listening to relaxing music in the evening;
- light therapy;
- stretching and controlled breathing techniques;
- the Relaxation Response.
Last but not least, it’s a good idea during the evening to eat foods high in tryptophan, an amino acid involved in the synthesis of serotonin and which promotes sleepiness. The best dietary sources of tryptophan are seeds, brown rice, dairy products, eggs, pulses, chocolate and brewer’s yeast. You may want to combine Advanced Sleep Formula with a tryptophan supplement such as L-Tryptophan.
If you think stress is at the root of your sleep problems, it may be better to combine it with PharmaGABA®. If it’s pain that’s keeping you awake, then choose the excellent formulation Natural Pain Relief.
Why should you take Advanced Sleep Formula for your sleep problems?
There are at least five good reasons why you should choose Advanced Sleep Formula to help you tackle your sleep issues:
- the formulation is based on the most widely-studied traditional plant extracts and on low doses of melatonin, a hormone produced by the pineal gland;
- it does not disrupt the various stages of sleep;
- it facilitates drowsiness by promoting a state of relaxation;
- it has no lingering effects in the morning and will not affect daytime alertness;
- it does not lead to dependency;
- the only excipients it contains are completely natural: rice flour and acacia fibre.
How should Advanced Sleep Formula be taken?
It’s best to take one capsule with a little water, half an hour before bed.
This product should not be used as a substitute for a varied, balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. It’s important to follow the directions for use, the recommended daily dose and the ‘use-by’ date. It is not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, or for children under 15. Keep out of reach of young children. Store in a cool, dry place.
After nearly 15 years' absence in Europe, L-tryptophan, one of the essential amino acids in the diet, is back - available once more in an authorised nutritional supplement. A precursor of serotonin, melatonin and niacin, tryptophan is a vitally important substance. Discovered in 1901, it has been used for decades to relieve depression, promote sleep or aid weight loss. In 1990, it's use in supplements was banned, after a single contaminated batch of tryptophan supplied by one Japanese manufacturer apparently led to the development of a deadly condition. It should be noted that this ban coincided with the launch of Prozac. Its use in drugs, infant formulas and parenteral food products, however, continued unhindered.
What do studies say about L-Tryptophan?
A number of studies have demonstrated the benefits and efficacy of tryptophan:
- Serotonin plays a key role in many of the body's functions, and particularly in depression, anxiety, mood and appetite control. Furthermore, serotonin cannot cross the blood-brain barrier, so when levels are inadequate, only supplementation with either of its two precursors - tryptophan or 5-HTP - can raise them effectively;
- Many people eat excessive amounts of carbohydrates when they feel stressed, depressed or anxious. This results in a rise in cerebral serotonin and a temporary feeling of well being and security, but at the same time, an increase in fat stores. Tryptophan supplementation improves psychological state without inducing increases in the amount of stored fat;
- The first studies using tryptophan to influence mood were conducted in the Fifties. Tryptophan supplementation was shown to be effective and free of side-effects in subjects suffering from mild to moderate depression;
- Both on its own and combined with phototherapy, tryptophan is also an effective treatment for SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder);
- In cases of mild insomnia, tryptophan promotes drowsiness and good quality sleep.
L-Tryptophan and 5-HTP are converted into serotonin following the same metabolic pathway. However, certain people react better to supplementation with L-tryptophan than with 5-HTP. This may be for a number of reasons:
- With L-tryptophan supplementation, the body maintains control over the amount of serotonin produced by means of the enzyme L-tryptophan hydroxylase;
- When 5-HTP is taken, some of it may find its way to the intestine where it can cause nausea. In addition, since serotonin cannot cross the blood-brain barrier, any serotonin produced outside of the brain is unable to penetrate it;
- In some individuals, certain conditions, including severe depression, can prevent the passage of 5-HTP across the blood-brain barrier - this does not happen with L-tryptophan;
- Finally, L-tryptophan is an essential amino acid that is crucial for healthy body function and particularly, for the production of niacin.