Everyone sleeps differently, but the hope is the same: sleep deeply and sleep longer. Do you fall asleep easily but suddenly awaken after a few hours and find it nearly impossible to get back to sleep? If this sounds like you, you're not alone and you've probably wracked your brain for solutions to the problem. But wracking your brain may BE the problem.
On the October 24 episode of "The Dr. Oz Show," Dr. Mehmet Oz was joined by Dr. Michael Breus, a sleep expert who brought with him an exciting new sleep remedy -- magnolia bark. It's a supplement most people have never heard of, let alone recommended for sleep -- even Dr. Oz -- but the research is promising.
About Magnolia Bark
Dr. Breus said it's normal for someone to wake up a couple of times each night. However, these instances are usually brief and the body goes back into a sleep cycle. When it comes to interrupted sleep, magnolia solves the problem of extra anxiety we experience when we wake up in the middle of the night, notice what time it is and frantically try to fall back asleep. Thinking about all that awaits you the next day and how terrible you will feel if you don't sleep is actually what's keeping you from falling back asleep.
Magnolia bark is taken from the Magnolia officinalis tree, which is native to China and it's been a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for centuries. The two active compounds within magnolia are magnolol and honokiol. These two compounds are known to have a calming and relaxing effect that reduces stress, lifts the mood (in people with cases of mild depression) and helps you unwind. The best part is this supplement isn't habit-forming and doesn't pose serious side effects, like stronger sleep aids. Dr. Oz and Dr. Breus recently expressed their concerns about the growing number of women using melatonin -- a hormone -- improperly and they both agreed magnolia bark was a safe alternative.
Getting the Most Out of Magnolia Bark
Even though it's considered a dietary supplement, magnolia bark needs to be treated as a medication and taken properly. The dose recommended by Dr. Breus is 30 mg. You can find magnolia bark extract in capsule form as well as tinctures (extract with alcohol). He said you can take this supplement nightly for up to six weeks to help manage anxiety and reset your sleep cycle. However, don't combine it with any other sleep aid -- prescription, over-the-counter (OTC) or herbal product -- or with alcohol as it can make you very drowsy.
Other Tips for Great Sleep
Dr. Breus had some other great tips for sleeping through the night, which included:
Setting a regular bedtime.
Controlling light exposure by turning off electronics or putting them out of sight, closing blinds and using the sleep timer on your television if you like falling asleep to the noise.
Stopping the consumption of caffeine after 2 p.m. and alcohol three to four hours before bedtime.
Trying out nasal strips, neti pots or saline nasal spray if you or your partner is congested and snoring.
Stretching, even while in bed, to relieve pain.
Magnolia bark, combined with these sleep-inducing habits can help you get the ZZZZ's your body needs. Shop for magnolia bark supplements and more at eVitamins and enjoy more sleep!
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