Friday, April 26, 2013

Dreaming of a Good Night's Sleep?

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Dreaming of a Good Night's Sleep?

By Karen Lee Richards*

Chronic insomnia is a serious problem for many people. According to the
National Sleep Foundation, 22% of Americans experience insomnia every or
almost every night. For people who have fibromyalgia or ME/CFS, that percentage
is significantly higher. More than 75% of people diagnosed with FM and
approximately 60% of those with ME/CFS have difficulty falling asleep, staying
asleep and/or awakening from sleep feeling rested and refreshed.

ProHealth founder, Rich Carson, is one of those people. Tired of fighting
the nightly battle for sleep, he set out to develop a product that would
help not only himself, but also the millions of others like him for whom
sleep remains just a dream. Rich tells his story...

"Sleep issues are huge when it comes to FM and ME/CFS. As an ME/CFS
patient myself, I suffer from chronic insomnia. While I found a number of
supplements that helped with sleep - like melatonin, 5-HTP, valerian, chamomile,
lemon balm, L-theanine and an absorbable form of magnesium - I was tired of
having to take several different products to get the results I needed. I
wanted to be able to take a single product that provided the most potent
sleep-supporting nutrients available - something that acted quickly, was safe
and natural and had few, if any, side effects.

"First, I put together a wish list of supplements that were all conducive
to sleep. After experimenting for months with different combinations of
sleep-supporting herbs and nutrients, I came up with an all-in-one balanced
formula I call FibroSleep. Next, I tested it on myself and friends with
remarkable success. I knew FibroSleep would work, but what surprised me most was
just how well it worked! Many people say it's the most potent and
effective sleep supplement they've tried."

Understanding the Problem

In order to understand why FM and ME/CFS patients have such a hard time
getting quality sleep, it is first necessary to understand what happens
during a normal sleep cycle. Although you may think of sleep as a time of rest,
your body is actually quite busy doing some of its most important work,
like repairing cells, secreting certain hormones into the blood, and
consolidating memories. It is also thought that the immune system turns on during
deep sleep to combat illness.

When we sleep, our body cycles through five stages:
Stage 1: Light sleep - the time between being fully awake and entering
Stage 2: Onset of sleep
Stages 3 and 4: Deepest, most restorative sleep
Stage 5: REM (rapid eye movement): Brain is active and dreams occur

A complete sleep cycle takes about 90 to 110 minutes and is repeated four
to six times per night, with the initial REM period occurring about 70 to
90 minutes after falling asleep. The first sleep cycles each night consist
of relatively short REM periods and long periods of deep sleep. As the night
progresses, REM sleep periods increase in length while deep sleep
decreases. By morning, most people spend nearly all of their sleep time in stages
1, 2, and REM.(1)

However, if you have FM and/or ME/CFS, your body is probably not making it
through the complete sleep cycle without interruption.

A 2008 sleep study compared 26 ME/CFS patients (12 with coexisting FM)
with 26 healthy controls. The researchers found that the ME/CFS patients had
significantly reduced total sleep time, reduced sleep efficiency, and
shorter bouts of sleep than healthy controls. They concluded that the sleep
differences seen between the ME/CFS patients and healthy controls were primarily
due to a decrease in the length of periods of uninterrupted sleep.(2)

In 1975 Dr. Harvey Moldofsky first discovered that FM patients had an
"internal arousal mechanism" that interrupted their stage 4 deep sleep(3), and
multiple studies since then have confirmed his findings. This interruption
of deep sleep by sudden bursts of awake-like brain activity is now called
the alpha-EEG anomaly.

A Danish review of research done on pain and sleep, with special reference
to fibromyalgia, reported that most studies found the alpha-EEG anomaly to
be very prevalent in FM patients.(4)

A 2013 study comparing ME/CFS patients to healthy controls found that the
ME/CFS patients had significant changes in heart rate variability measures
during sleep. The researchers also found evidence that the reduced sleep
efficiency and reduced total sleep time of ME/CFS patients might be caused by
increased sympathetic nervous system activity during non-REM sleep

Finding a Solution

Often FM and ME/CFS patients are prescribed antidepressants or sleeping
medications in an effort to help them sleep better. While these medications
may help you fall asleep faster and sleep for more hours, most of them do
little to improve the important deeper sleep stages - the time when your body
is restoring and replenishing itself. In fact, some medications actually
interfere with deep sleep. Plus, all medications carry the risk of side
effects. So finding a natural method of improving sleep quality offers a much
better option.

FibroSleep Provides 4-Way Sleep Support

FibroSleep™ is a powerful blend of pure, natural ingredients that have
been used for thousands of years to support deep, restorative sleep. It works
in four important and synergistic ways:

1. Herbal Sleep Support - FibroSleep contains Sedapine™, a proprietary
blend of herbs that have been used for thousands of years to provide effective
support for sleep, relaxation, and general health. This Sedapine blend
Ziziphus Spinosa - the most prescribed medicinal herb for sleep and
relaxation support in China and throughout Asia.

Corydalus - historically employed in traditional Chinese and Native
American medicine to support relaxation and stress reduction.

Valerian - the most researched sleep-supporting herb in the world. No herb
has proven to be more effective in clinical trials for providing effective
support for improved sleep. One review identified 12 studies showing that
valerian by itself or in combination with hops was associated with
improvements in sleep latency (the time it takes to transition from full
wakefulness to sleep) and quality of sleep.(6)

Passion Flower - provides support for stress, anxiety, and sleep. It is
also has calming and restorative properties.

2. Digestive Support - Calming and supporting the digestive tract is an
important first step in attaining restful, restorative sleep. FibroSleep
promotes deep sleep and digestive healing by addressing antioxidant and natural
anti-inflammatory needs.

Lemon Balm - used to promote comfort, relaxation, and calm the digestive
and nervous systems. It provides synergistic sleep support when combined
with Valerian.

Ginger - a calming anti-inflammatory and digestive aid used to settle the
stomach and promote peristalsis. It offers over 150 times the protein
digesting power of papaya and contains at least 22 known anti-inflammatories and
12 antioxidants.

Peppermint - traditionally used as a relaxant, it calms the muscles of the
stomach, helps reduce excessive gas production, improves the flow of bile
used in fat digestion, and promotes proper elimination.

Hops - acts directly on the central nervous system to support the
relaxation of smooth muscle tissue, improve central nervous system activity, and
calm and soothe digestion.

3. Muscle and Nerve Support - Supporting muscle and nerve health is
important for proper sleep. FibroSleep contains two highly bioavailable forms of
magnesium to help balance nerve transmission and muscle fiber contraction,
along with the calming amino acid, taurine.
ZMA™ - a great source of extremely bioavailable magnesium and zinc that
supports sleep and healing by aiding in the transport of oxygen to nerve and
muscle cells. Magnesium is the number one mineral deficiency in the United
States, and zinc is the most important mineral for immune system function.

Magnesium Taurinate - a bioavailable yet gentle source of magnesium
combined with the nervous-system-calming amino acid L-taurine.

4. Amino Acid Support - Amino acids are the building blocks of life and
are critically important for nerve cell health as well as neurotransmitter and
hormone production and balance.
GABA - the main calming amino acid in the central nervous system, this
naturally produced substance helps to induce relaxation and sleep. It is also
known for supporting healthy pituitary function as well as for its calming
effect on over-stimulated neurons.

Melatonin - a natural hormone produced by the body that helps regulate
other hormones and maintains the body's circadian rhythm. It supports the
body's own production of the tranquilizing neurotransmitter serotonin, which
plays a key role in healthy sleep patterns and mood. Recommended by more and
more doctors as a safe and natural sleep enhancer, melatonin has become the
most popular sleep-support compound in the natural food industry.

5-HTP - used by the body to make serotonin. Several small clinical trials
have found it may provide significant support for fibromyalgia, sleep,
mood, and migraines.

L-Theanine - a calming amino acid found in green tea that can increase
levels of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). Studies suggest it may reduce
feelings of mental and physical stress and may produce feelings of relaxation. It
is also thought to enhance immune function and boost levels of
glutathione. L-Theanine increases the brain's alpha wave activity, which is associated
with deep relaxation.

Research Behind FibroSleep Ingredients

There are a number of interesting studies available on both the individual
ingredients in FibroSleep as well as on various combinations of those
ingredients as they relate to sleep quality. Here are just a few:

Valerian and Hops: A 1998 German study comparing the use of a
hops-valerian combination with a benzodiazepine drug found them to be comparable in
effectiveness for improving sleep. The one big difference was that those
taking the benzodiazepine experienced withdrawal symptoms when the stopped but
those taking the hops-valerian did not. The investigators concluded that a
hops-valerian combination was a "sensible alternative to benzodiazepine" for
treating sleep problems.(7)

Passion Flower: A 2011 Australian study of 41 participants who were given
passion flower tea and a placebo, separated by a one-week 'washout' period,
found that their sleep quality significantly improved when they used the
passion flower as opposed to the placebo.(8)

Melatonin, Magnesium and Zinc: Forty-three people with primary insomnia
were given either a supplement consisting of melatonin, magnesium and zinc or
a placebo one hour before bedtime for eight weeks in a 2011 Italian study.
The group taking the supplement had significantly better scores on three
different sleep-evaluation instruments, indicating that the treatment had a
beneficial effect on the restorative value of sleep. The authors concluded
that the nightly administration of melatonin, magnesium and zinc appeared
to improve both the quality of sleep and the quality of life of the

GABA and 5-HTP: In a 2010 study, 18 patients with sleep disorders were
given either a preparation containing GABA and 5-HTP (hydroxytryptophan) or a
placebo. The researchers reported that the differences between the two
groups were significant, concluding that the GABA/5-HTP combination reduced the
time to fall asleep, decreased sleep latency, increased the duration of
sleep, and improved the quality of sleep.(10)

What People Who Take FibroSleep Say

FibroSleep is ProHealth's best-selling product, with a remarkably high
reorder rate. Our customers have also made it one of our highest rated
products. Here are a few of the comments we have received:

"This product is LIFESAVING for me. I recently tried to stop taking this
product to try something else and within a week I was overtly fatigued,
sleep walking, suffering from extreme insomnia and exhaustion to the point that
I was falling asleep standing up! No lie...I restarted the product and
within 72 hours all of my issues are gone and I am starting to feel like
myself again!..." - Roberta

"This is by far the single most effective sleeping aid I have taken to
deal with my sleep issues that fibro has created. I am now sleeping deeply all
night. The changes were almost immediate and I am so thankful for the
natural sleep support. The fibrofog has lifted some what and after three months
of use still continue to sleep well. Thank you so much." - Carrie

"The three people who have tried it in our CFIDS/Fibromyalgia Support
Group (including myself) are very pleased with "FibroSleep." It quiets your
mind in a gentle way to turn off the noise and let you get a good, full-night
of restful sleep without any leftover feelings of grogginess. Just what we
need most, and no side-effects!" - Thomas

"I have used Fibro sleep for several years now and it helps immensely. I
have tried other products and come back to this one every time..." - Mary

Need-to-Know Information

ProHealth uses only the highest quality herbal extracts in their
FibroSleep formula.

Recommended Dosage: 1-2 capsules an hour before bedtime. There is,
however, some dosage flexibility. For example, Rich Carson, who developed the
product, usually takes 3 to 4 capsules each night. He recommends starting with
one capsule and gradually increasing the dosage as needed up to a maximum
of six capsules.

As with all sleep products, FibroSleep may become less effective over
time. If this happens, stop taking it for three or four weeks. When you resume
taking it, the effectiveness should return.

Contraindications and Precautions:

Because FibroSleep supports deep sleep, do not drive or do anything that
requires being alert after taking it.

Pregnacy and Lactation - Consult your obstetrician if you are pregnant or
breast-feeding. Hops should not be used if you are pregnant.

Antidepressants - Consult your physician if you are taking prescription

Blood Thinners - Ginger stimulates circulation and should not be taken
with blood thinning medications.

Salicylates - Some herbal components including peppermint and lemon balm
contribute small amounts of salicylates, so may be of concern to sensitive
individuals or those on the Guaifenesin Protocol.

In Summary

The FibroSleep formula, personally developed by ProHealth founder and
ME/CFS patient Rich Carson, is a powerful blend of pure, natural herbal
ingredients that supports the deep, restorative sleep so needed by those with FM
and ME/CFS.

For more information about FibroSleep, visit or call us at
(800) 366-6056.

* Supplement research reporter Karen Lee Richards is Lead Expert
specializing in Fibromyalgia and ME/CFS for HealthCentral's chronic pain site

For references, please see original article at

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