A good night’s sleep is just as crucial as regular exercise and a healthy balanced diet.
Research has shown that poor sleep negatively impacts hormones, exercise performance
and brain function. (1)
And yet, sleep quality and quantity is at an all-time low, thanks to the impact of our modern-
day lifestyles, stress, technology and social media. So what can we do to counteract this and
help support a healthy night’s kip?
Try out our MEDA Sleep beverage, an infusion of 100% natural ingredients, blended
together to help you catch your Z’s. Read on below for our in-house nutritionist, Clarissa
Lenherr’s breakdown of why each super-powered ingredient could help support your sleep.
L-THEANINE- L-Theanine is an amino acid that has been shown to effectively reduce
anxiety. Studies have suggested that L-Theanine may increase serotonin, dopamine, and
GABA, an inhibitory neurotransmitter.
L-Theanine can help the brain and body enter the first stage of NREM sleep where there is a
high level of alpha brain waves. L-Theanine can help individuals fall asleep faster and easier
due to its relaxing abilities, helping to lower anxiety levels and promoting relaxation. (2)
VALERIAN ROOT: Valerian Root is a herb that has been used in traditional medicine for
over 2000 years. Often touted as “nature’s valium”, this root and its extract has been used to
help promote tranquillity and improve sleep.
Valerian root contains valerenic acid, isovaleric acid and a variety of antioxidants, all of
which help to promote sleep and reduce anxiety. It has been suggested that Valerenic acid
may inhibit the breakdown of GABA in the brain. High levels of circulating GABA can
contribute to feeling calm and relaxed.
Valerian root also contains antioxidants such as hesperidin and linarin, which may have
sedative and sleep-enhancing properties. (4)
MORELLO CHERRIES: Morello cherries are known for their sour flavour and potential sleep
benefits. The iconic fruit of the English summer, cherries, are a good source of
proanthocyanidins and are a natural source of melatonin – our sleep hormone. Melatonin is
the hormone that helps with the regulation and induction of sleep.
Many clinical studies have concluded that cherries may help improve sleep, and that
consumption of cherries may help to increase melatonin in as little as two weeks. (5)
Tart cherries also contain tryptophan and anthocyanins, two key compounds that may help
the body to produce melatonin and lengthen its effects. Research has shown that taking tart
cherry juice can increase levels of melatonin and help improve overall sleep quality and
5-HTP: 5HTP is involved in the production of serotonin, our feel-good happy hormone, which
is then able to be converted into the hormone melatonin. Melatonin plays a crucial role in
regulating sleep, with its levels rising in the evening to promise sleep and reducing in the
morning to help you wake up. Taking 5HTP may promote your sleep by increasing melatonin
production in the body.
A study demonstrated that combining 5-HTP paired with GABA significantly reduced the time
it took to fall asleep, increasing overall sleep duration and quality. (7)
Do note that if you are taking any SSRIs or antidepressants, it is worth checking in with your
doctor before consuming 5-HTP.
SCHISANDRA BERRY: Also known as Magnolia Berry, Schisandra Berry is native to
Northern China and it has been suggested that it may help to reduce stress, help boost
mood and immune system health. (8)
Schisandra Berry may help to reduce cortisol levels. Cortisol is a key hormone that helps
maintain the balance of energy and inflammation in the body, but is also one of our major
stress hormones. High levels of cortisol can be at the root cause of a number of health
concerns including increased stress, insomnia, wired and tiredness, anxiety and abdominal
weight gain. (9)