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  • Writer's pictureAshley T

5 Insomnia Myths That Doctors Want You To Stop Believing

Misconceptions preventing you from getting the restful sleep you deserve.


Permanent dark eye circles? Surviving on 3 hours of sleep? Inability to fall asleep is so widespread in today’s society that 15% of adults in Singapore have chronic sleep issues.


However, despite insomnia being so common, there are still plenty of false beliefs about sleep that have become “mainstream” – which experts warn may be detrimental to people like you and me trying to get sufficient shut-eye.


 

Myth #1: Drinking a little alcohol helps you sleep & can’t hurt.

Fact: Alcohol may disrupt sleep quality.


Just one glass can’t hurt right? Well, turns out that may be wrong. Alcohol’s sedative properties may help put you to sleep faster – but beware, the sleep quality you get is, well, unpleasant. That’s because alcohol can cause broken sleep, which means you wake up frequently during the night. So getting deep, restorative sleep becomes a faraway dream, and you feel groggy during the day.


“If you’re struggling with sleep and you’re feeling tired during the day, try limiting your alcohol consumption,” suggested Dr Craig Canapari, the director of the Yale Pediatric Sleep Center.




 

Myth 2: A bad night’s sleep makes insomnia worse.

Fact: Anxiety around bad sleep usually leads to more sleeplessness.


While forgoing one or two nights’ sleep may momentarily dim your focus the next day, fear not – they won’t last. Sleep research shows you can easily restore your energy and sharpness by reclaiming the lost sleep. Also known as “repaying your sleep debt”.


Alas, many people develop anxiety from missing a day’s sleep – a worry that tends to snowball into more sleepless nights. “It’s like an indoor track at a gym where there are lots of entry points,” describes Dr Chris Winter, MD and owner of Charlottesville Neurology and Sleep Medicine clinic. “No matter how you get on, you start running in circles.”



 

Myth 3: All natural sleep supplements are safe.

Fact: Beware of natural ingredients that can affect natural sleep patterns.


The herbal or natural label may hide the fact that some have ingredients that aren’t safe for you. Sedative herbs such as kava and valerian may aid sleep initially, but prolonged or improper use can lead to tolerance buildup – reducing efficacy over time. Moreover, suddenly stopping can lead to “rebound insomnia”, making it harder to sleep without them.


Some natural sleep supplements may negatively affect sleep quality.


 

Myth 4: Only melatonin works for insomnia.

Fact: Melatonin is not safe or effective for long term use for insomnia.


Insomniacs frequently swear by melatonin, which is often sold over-the-counter as a natural sleep aid. Sure, it might provide temporary respite – but it may have side effects like nausea, dizziness and headaches. That’s why the American Academy of Sleep Medicine warns that melatonin should not be used for long term.


Plus, your body may also become tolerant to melatonin, which means you may need higher and higher doses – for the same effect. Sleep doctors agree melatonin should only be taken with caution. “Because melatonin is a hormone, it should be treated like a medication,” said Dr Pieter Cohen, a Harvard Medical School associate professor.


There’s no evidence melatonin is safe or effective for long-term use.


 

Myth 5: Insomnia can only be cured through prescription medication.

Fact: People with insomnia have found relief with adaptogenic herbs.


Adaptogenic herbs help regulate stress hormones, so that you can achieve deeper sleep. Stress hormones are actually intimately tied to your “sleep architecture” – how much light sleep, deep sleep and REM sleep you get. By balancing your stress hormones, adaptogenic herbs not only help you with deeper rest, they also allow you to attain the mental calmness required for falling asleep.


Emerging research shows Ashwagandha root extract is a promising new ingredient for combating insomnia:


An adaptogenic herb with sleep-inducing properties – it’s been demonstrated to aid insomnia patients with falling asleep quicker and improved quality of sleep.



 

Key Takeaways


1. Anxiety around bad sleep may perpetuate insomnia.


2. Not all natural sleep supplements are effective or safe long-term – do your research on the ingredients.


3. Ashwagandha root extract has the potential to aid insomnia – Scientific studies show it can reduce anxiety and improve sleep in insomnia patients.


 

Top 3 Ashwagandha Supplements To Improve Sleep


At Superfood Reviews, we conducted a thorough investigation on Ashwagandha supplements in Singapore. Our comprehensive research included 31 supplement brands, each subjected to a rigorous evaluation process where we assessed and graded them on our stringent evaluation criteria – across Ingredient Safety, Projected Effectiveness, Return Policy, Value, and Customer Satisfaction. Only the top 3 options are selected as recommendations.




PROS


  • Contains the top ashwagandha formulation - KSM-66

  • Includes effective complimentary ingredients like PharmaGaba ® and Camu Camu

  • No unnecessary ingredients or additives

  • Made in Taiwan and manufactured to HACCP and ISO22000 standards


CONS


  • Only available online

  • Regularly out of stock due to high demand, and takes a while to produce and restock


BOTTOMLINE


The Ashwa Lychee Drink is the number one choice for us due to its holistic formulation and with the brand’s focus on the customer experience.


The drink has the optimal amount of branded ashwagandha extract (KSM-66), which uses only root extract and is generally considered to be the most well-researched extract in the market. Additionally, The Purest Co has added good complimentary ingredients such as PharmaGaba ® and Camu Camu extract in their offering.

While many options of ashwagandha can be inherently bitter, the Ashwa Lychee Drink has a great taste due to the lychee concentrate juice, while not being overly sweet.


Additionally, the main difference is that the Ashwa Lychee Drink is one of the few if not the only concentrated ashwagandha drink in the market. While costly to produce as a liquid, the absorption rate of liquids beats any other form factor (gummies/pills/powders) by a large margin, according to research.


While not the cheapest option in the market, in terms of effectiveness, the Ashwa Lychee Drink is the top choice, and it helps customers reap the most benefits out of the ashwagandha supplement.







PROS


  • Contains the top ashwagandha formulation - KSM-66

  • Includes effective complimentary ingredients like Vitamin D

  • Gluten free


CONS


  • Low concentration of ashwagandha per gummy

  • Tastes too sweet and artificial

  • Gummies aren’t great with absorption rates

  • Gummies are too sticky and inconvenient


BOTTOMLINE


The Ashwagandha gummies by Goli are one of the few options for ashwagandha supplements in gummy form. While the interesting form factor can make it convenient for customers to eat, studies have shown that absorption rates through gummies compared to liquids is around half as effective.

Customers who have tried Goli gummies do raise certain concerns about its taste being too sweet however, and there is also a consensus that the gummies get too sticky in warmer climates, and taking individual gummies out of the bottle is a difficult ordeal.


As one of the pioneers in the gummy supplements industry, Goli is a brand that is well-known for producing high quality Apple Cider Vinegar gummies, hence you can rest assured that processing standards and safety are high.


Lastly, Goli has a good return policy, and you can send them back to the company within 30 days. Having said that, you are responsible for return shipping costs which could be high.


While Goli is a well-respected brand and their gummies are quick and convenient to consume, we believe that the gummies format (less effective), coupled with its sweetness, puts Goli at a slight disadvantage.






PROS


  • Made in the USA

  • USDA organic

  • Non-GMO and plant-based


CONS


  • Low ashwagandha concentration

  • No complimentary ingredients

  • Powders aren’t great with absorption rates


BOTTOMLINE


An up and coming brand from the United States, KOS has a broad range of functional powders and supplements. Their ashwagandha powder has good reviews across different marketplaces, with some customers praising its no frills and effective product.

KOS’s powder is produced in the USA to USDA standards, hence it is safe to say that processing standards are high. However, a large disadvantage for us would be that KOS does not use KSM-66, which is broadly regarded as the number one ashwagandha extract in the market today.


Additionally, due to the fact that the concentration of ashwagandha is not as high as the other options in the market, this has counted against KOS.


Lastly, powdered supplements may clump and result in inferior effectiveness rates for customers, as well as the additional work it takes to mix it into drinks.




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