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sleep problems

  • FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Researchers say Suntheanine may improve sleep quality, and works even if your child is taking stimulant medication.

    When children with ADHD can't sleep night after night, the results can be frustrating for the entire family: the poor school performance … the missed classes … the hyperactive behavior … the problems with moodiness. If only he could sleep better at night, he might be able to function better during the day! Researchers have heard your pleas, and promising new options are emerging.

    A newly published University of British Columbia study has found that giving good-tasting, chewable supplements containing Suntheanine L-theanine may help improve your child's sleep quality without significant side effects. The researchers reassuringly noted that the benefits were consistent among children regardless of whether they were also taking stimulant medication.

    Study details
    It's estimated that 25-50 percent of children and teens with ADHD experience some type of sleep problem, which could affect their performance in school as well as contribute to problems with hyperactivity and emotional issues. It's also estimated that boys are three times more likely than girls to have ADHD.

    This randomized, 10-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial , published in Alternative Medicine Review, involved 98 boys diagnosed with ADHD, ranging in age from 8-12 years. Participants consumed two chewable tablets twice daily (at breakfast and after school), with each tablet containing 100 mg. of Suntheanine, a patented form of pure L-theanine or a placebo. Their parents completed the Pediatric Sleep Questionnaire at baseline and at the end of the treatment period. In addition, the boys were monitored with an actigraph—a wristwatch-like device that records sleep activity levels and related data.

    The Actigraph watch findings indicated that boys who consumed the Suntheanine obtained significantly higher sleep percentage and sleep efficiency scores, along with a non-significant trend for less activity during sleep (defined as less time awake after sleep onset) compared to those in the placebo group.

    "These improvements were compelling and significant," commented lead researcher Michael R. Lyon, M.D., who points out that additional research is needed. "While L-theanine has been studied for its effects on stress, mood and cognition in non-ADHD subjects, this is the first report of its effects in children with ADHD. Given the importance of sleep in assisting children with attention, memory, emotion and behavior in the daytime, it warrants investigation to determine whether L-theanine's effects on sleep are long-term and whether they translate into measurable positive changes in ADHD symptoms."

    He cautions: "Some lower cost products may not contain enough of the proper form of L-theanine to be effective. We analyzed six commercially available products labeled as L-theanine, and discovered that five contained significant amounts of another compound. The safety and effectiveness of these mixtures have not been determined. Only Suntheanine contained pure L-theanine, which is why we chose to use it for this study."

    This study was conducted at the Canadian Centre for Functional Medicine in conjunction with the Food, Nutrition & Health Program at the University of British Columbia. For additional studies about Suntheanine, visit www.nostress.com.

    Media Note: For additional information, or to arrange an interview with Dr. Lyon, contact Media Relations, Inc. at 612-798-7220.

    About Michael R. Lyon, BSc, MD
    Dr. Michael Lyon is a practicing physician and the Medical and Research Director for the Canadian Center for Functional Medicine located in Vancouver, B.C. A fun and interesting guy with a real zest for living, he's known by members of his local broadcast media as the 'extreme commuter' because he flies his helicopter to work.

    Dr. Lyon heads up a team of clinicians and researchers dedicated to biotechnology, nutritional and natural health product research. He is an Adjunct Professor in the Food, Nutrition and Health Program at University of British Columbia and is involved in collaborative clinical research with the University of Toronto, the McMaster University, Rutgers University and Vancouver Island University. He currently conducts and oversees research teams in the fields of obesity, diabetes and appetite regulation; childhood behavioral disorders; anxiety and insomnia.

    CONTACT:
    Tel: (612) 798-7220
    Toll Free: (800) 999-4859
    Website:mediarelations.com

  • Do your legs kick around a lot at night? Are your sheets and blankets scattered around a lot when you wake up? Does your spouse note they get kicked around a lot at night or that your legs jump? If so, you probably have restless legs syndrome (RLS), more accurately called periodic leg movement disorder of sleep (PLMD), and it is contributing to your fatigue and pain. Although you may be asleep through the night, your legs are running a marathon and you wake up exhausted!

    Restless leg syndrome is very common, being present in ˜20 percent of the population.

    One of the most common and easily treated causes of RLS is simply iron deficiency. Studies show that bringing the ferritin level (the best iron test) up over 60 is helpful. That your iron levels are in the "normal range" (i.e.— over 12) does not mean that you do not have iron deficiency. Rather, ask your doctor to check a blood ferritin level and get the actual result from them. If it were under 60, I would take iron until your blood ferritin level is over 60.

    Other nutrients, especially B vitamins and magnesium, can also be helpful for keeping your legs and muscles calm while you sleep. These (though not the iron) are present at optimal levels in the Energy Revitalization System multivitamin powder.

    Are you ready to make your restless leg syndrome go away? Read more...

    The Causes of Restless Leg Syndrome

    A number of factors contribute to RLS. These include:

    1. Inadequate levels of the brain neurotransmitter called dopamine. This is very common, and also contributes to increased pain. Iron is critical for the production of dopamine, although once the ferritin level is over 60, you have received the maximum benefit.
    2. Medications. These include antidepressants and allergy medications.
    3. Suboptimal levels of thyroid. Optimizing thyroid often can be very helpful.
    4. Drops in blood sugar while sleeping. This can often be helped by simply eating one to two ounces of protein at bedtime (e.g.-a hard-boiled egg). Try this for a week to see if it helps.

    Diagnosing Restless Leg Syndrome

    If you tend to scatter your sheets and blankets, and especially if you tend to kick your bed partner or if you note that your legs tend to feel jumpy and uncomfortable at rest at night, you probably have restless leg syndrome. You can also have a sleep study done to look for leg muscle contractions. I recommend that you save yourself $2000 though, and simply start by videotaping yourself sleeping one evening, (you can use your cell phone). Leave off your sheets and blankets when you first go to sleep and aim the video camera so you can see both your legs and your face. This way the next day you can watch and look for evidence of either jumping legs (RLS) or snoring associated with stopping breathing (sleep apnea).

    Addressing Restless Leg Syndrome

    There are both natural and prescription approaches to calming down your legs at night, so both you and your legs can get a good night sleep.

    Natural Options For Restless Leg Syndrome

    1. Avoid caffeine in the evening.
    2. Because restless leg syndrome may be associated with low blood sugar, eat a 1-2 ounce protein snack at bedtime.
    3. As noted above, if your serum ferritin score is under 60, take an iron supplement at bedtime. Do not take it within 2-6 hours of thyroid supplements, or you won't absorb the thyroid. Take 25-50 mg of iron and 50-100 mg of vitamin C with it so that you absorb the iron.

    Prescription Treatments
    Neurontin can be very helpful for both restless leg syndrome, and treating insomnia and muscle pain in general. I advise people to adjust the dose to not only get adequate sleep, but to also keep the bedcovers in place and to avoid kicking their partners. You can get your 8-9 hours of restorative sleep a night!