By Maylin Rodriguez-Paez, RN
Losing sleep? You could also be losing your brain cells, according to a new study .
Don’t Take Sleep for Granted
Also, making up for lost sleep during the weekend is probably not going to help much especially if the sleep deprivation is chronic. The idea is to sleep well daily.
Now in certain cases, sleep doesn’t come easy. Insomnia is a pretty common condition that can have dangerous consequences. Lifestyle changes as well as supplements may come in handy.
Melatonin Reduces Oxidative Stress and Helps Sleep
Before taking sleeping pills, why not try something natural first? You may be better off in the long run since there is research linking benzodiazepines (a class of sleeping pills) to brain disorders like dementia .
Melatonin is an option. It shortens the amount of time it takes to fall asleep and enhances sleep quality [3-4]. Also, there is research showing melatonin benefits the brain. In fact, it acts as a brain antioxidant, and it protects against neurodegenerative diseases.
Melatonin guards against beta amyloid, an abnormal protein implicated in Alzheimer’s disease  It’s also been shown to enhance cognitive function when taken for extended periods of time (15–60 months) .
Considering the sleep and cognitive benefits of melatonin, it makes sense to try it.
The Bottom Line
Chronic sleep deprivation may eventually catch up with you. It’s in your best interest to get at least 7–8 hours of sleep daily.
If you’re looking for other suggestions to enhance your sleep, check out our insomnia protocol, which goes into much further detail!
- Available at: http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/news/News_Releases/2014/03/veasey/. Accessed March 19, 2014.
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- Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2005 Nov;1056:430-49.
- Am J Neurodegener Dis. 2012;1(3):280-91.