With the high demands of everyday life and the juggling act of balancing work commitments, a social life, family, health, and relationships, it’s no wonder most of us are too stressed to sleep.
In fact, according to the Australian Psychological Society, almost 50% of Australians have stress-related insomnia.
But new research from the University of Tsukuba in Japan suggests the cure could lie in a component rich in sugar cane: octacosonal. Also found in other natural ingredients such as beeswax, rice bran, and wheat germ oil.
Octacosanol has been linked to various health benefits such as being used as a herpes antiviral treatment and improving exercise performance. As well as assisting in lowering high cholesterol. The ingredient also has similar components to Vitamin E.
New research from the International Institute for Integrative Sleep Medicine at the University found octacosonal not only reduces stress but restores stress-affected sleep back to normal. Good news, am I right?!
The researchers monitored the sleep regulation in mildly stressed mice by oral administration of the ingredient. The results showed the stress hormones in mice had reduced and restored normal sleeping patterns.
Mahesh Kaushik, one of the key researchers in the study believe the results could potentially be useful for the therapy of stress-induced insomnia. Although further studies are needed.
“Future studies would include the identification of where in the brain octacosanol targets and how exactly it is able to lower stress levels,” he explains.
As previously stated, octacosanol is found in wheat germ oil, which can be used to replace flour in baking recipes. It can also be stirred into porridge or muesli, added to smoothies or just in general cooking. Likewise, rice bran oil is a healthy alternative for cooking as it is recommended for improving cholesterol levels in comparison to something like sunflower oil.
Everything is okay in moderation. Although, sugarcane has traditionally been used as a syrup sweetener in soft drinks. Hence, it is extremely high in its sugar levels and it still has the damaging effects of refined sugars.
So maybe don’t go reaching for soft drinks to help you sleep at night. Try to opt for mixing in wheat germ and rice bran oils into your meals instead.
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