14 May Omega-3 may help promote a good night’s sleep
Sleep is a very interesting part of everyday life in that it's easy to take for granted as something that's important for people's health, yet so few people seem to be getting enough of it. Sleep is essential because it re-energizes both the brain and body, regulates metabolism, allows time for tired muscles and joints to recuperate and strengthens the immune system.
Unfortunately, modern American life doesn't seem to be conducive to getting a full night of sleep. There are households to maintain, bills to pay, job reports to fill out, interpersonal relationships to ponder, water cooler television shows to binge on and websites to surf. All of that adds up to a population that's severely under-rested, and sooner or later, something's bound to give.
According to the National Institutes of Health, daytime sleepiness is the most common complication of a lack of sleep. This becomes a problem when it affects your ability to focus, solve problems or even drive a car. Additionally, there's evidence showing that not getting enough sleep can weaken your immune system.
The problem is so severe that scientists are conducting ongoing research to solve sleep problems. One study from the U.K., published in the Journal of Sleep Research, suggested that omega-3 fatty acids may be helpful.
Fatty acids in the blood can have an impact
Past studies suggested that omega-3 could play a role in sleep regulation. To investigate further, the authors of the new study conducted an experiment on 362 children, ages 7 to 9 years, who were considered healthy. Every night during the course of 16 weeks, these kids either took an omega-3 supplement or a placebo. Every night, the kids wore special sensors on their wrist to monitor when they were awake. Additionally, the scientists analyzed their blood samples to measure their levels of fatty acids.
Results showed that those who took the omega-3 supplement slept an average of 58 minutes more than those who didn't. When it comes to children this age who attend school, a better night of sleep may really make a difference in academic performance.
Anyone who's worried about whether they're getting enough sleep should talk to their doctors about their options, which may include medications or lifestyle changes such as relaxation exercises. Furthermore, adding a fish oil supplement to one's daily routine may boost healthy sleep regulation.