A Somnotropic Formula
• Supports Onset, Duration and Quality of Sleep
• Induces Calming Brainwave Activity
Good quality, uninterrupted sleep is integral to achieving optimal health. Without it, we fall prey to a cascade of physiologic dysfunction that results in increased body mass index (BMI), a decline in cognitive performance1, increased risk of heart disease and diabetes, hormonal imbalances, immune system dysfunction, depression and anxiety, and even vitamin D deficiency.
Stages of Sleep
Sleep is a complex phenomenon constituted by two types of sleep patterns: non-REM (also called Slow Wave Sleep) and REM. In an ideal sleep pattern, a person experiences stages of sleep in non-REM and REM phases. Slow Wave Sleep (non-REM) presents as a high voltage slow wave electroencephalographic pattern (alpha and delta waves), while REM sleep exhibits a low voltage fast wave pattern (theta wave) accompanied by eye movement. If either phase is disrupted, or sleep disturbance results. Although stages of sleep accompanied by calming brainwave activity is the natural circadian rhythm, 70% of American adults report that they obtain insufficient sleep at least one night a month, and 11% report insufficient sleep every night. It is estimated that sleep-related problems affect 50 to 70 million Americans of all ages and socioeconomic classes.2 Because sleep deprivation is linked to increased health risk, sleeplessness has become a public health concern.
Root of Sleeplessness
At the root of impaired sleep quality may be a number of underlying issues. Neurochemical balance is key to achieving optimal sleep patterns. However, the following may be contributing to a neurochemical imbalance:
• Imbalance in neurotransmitter function (GABA, serotonin and dopamine)
• Lack of precursors to make neurotransmitters • Excess glutamate
• HPA-Axis Dysregulation
• Anxiety and stress
• Environmental factors • Electromagnetic fields
Anxiety can be an instigator for sleepless nights and seems to be the result of an imbalance in neurotransmitter (GABA, serotonin and dopamine) function. Excess glutamate, the main excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain, results in low gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), essential for limiting the excitation of neurotransmitters and fundamental for good-quality sleep.
Electromagnetic fields and blue light also play a role in decreased melatonin production,3 necessary for normal sleep cycles. Stress, common to 79%
of all Americans4, can yield excess cortisol or insufficient cortisol production, both of which tip the hormonal balance to wakefulness in the night.
Although each person’s neurochemistry is unique, Alpha-Theta Ultra PM is a somnotropic formula that incorporates key nutrients recognized to induce calming brainwave activity and promote the onset and duration of high-quality sleep for most people by supporting GABA receptor function, and healthy levels of serotonin and dopamine.
Well-researched anxiolytic botanicals and nutrients include L-theanine (Suntheanine®), Baikal Skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis), Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis), Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata), 5-HTP, and Melatonin.
L-Theanine (Increases GABA and Dopamine Levels) L-theanine (γ-glutamylethylamide) is an amino acid found in green tea. A derivative of glutamic acid, it is one of the most important neurotransmitters. Fat-soluble, it is easily absorbed and crosses the blood-brain barrier resulting in increased dopamine and GABA levels in the brain, and increased production of calming brain alpha- waves. L-theanine has been shown to support improved sleep quality not by sedation but through anxiolysis.
Protection Against Glutamate Toxicity
There is some evidence L-theanine offers neuroprotective benefits partly due to the antagonistic action of theanine on glutamate subtype aMPA and kainite receptors. By acting on the glutamine (Gln) transporter, it inhibits the incorporation of extracellular Gln into neurons, suppressing the conversion of glutamine to glutamate by glutaminase. This antagonistic activity plays a role in neuroprotection against glutamate toxicity.
Optimizes Stress Response
In one study where subjects were given L-theanine and a placebo and exposed to stressors to test cortisol levels, the salivary cortisol response was significantly reduced in the subjects taking L-theanine when compared to the placebo.
In another study, L-theanine intake resulted in a reduction in heart rate (HR) and salivary immunoglobulin A (s-IgA) responses to acute stress.