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Plant extracts to fight sleep dysfunction and improve cognitive balance

Sleep is a complex restorative process interconnected with many biological processes and crucial for our cognitive balance and physical wellbeing.

Today, science and research unlock the deep cellular effects of disrupted sleep on metabolism, hormone regulation, inflammation, immune functioning and gene expression. Sleep unwellness may alter cognition and performance, including attention, learning, reactivity, memory consolidation or decision-making. Lack of sleep and daytime fatigue can also take a toll on mental wellbeing, significantly affecting our emotions and exacerbating our stress levels.

Seeking a better night’s sleep? We know that sleep is much more restorative when it is not fragmented and when it occurs at a time programmed by our circadian clock. Experts point to some fundamental steps: eating a healthy diet, avoiding alcohol, excess of caffeine and nicotine, following a sleep routine, having an active lifestyle, and adopting relaxation habits.

In addition, a plant-based diet can be powerful in supporting healthy brain connections and supporting sleep mechanisms. This is where innovative nutraceuticals are coming into the spotlight. There is a growing and exciting interest in plant extracts with unique bioactive compounds that share protective and support abilities with cognitive performance and sleep dynamics. They are called “nootropics” and refer to compounds that affect brain performance through a number of mechanisms, empowering mental functions including memory, motivation, concentration, and attention.

Among these nootropics, L-theanine is a unique phytochemical from green tea leaves (Camellia Sinensis) known to support stress reactivity, mood balance and cognitive performance. L-theanine shows neuroprotective properties and also helps to regulate the release of cortisol, the stress hormone. Novel Ashwagandha extract is a well-known plant that helps reduce stress and enhance wellbeing thanks to its unique adaptogenic actives named withanolides. Ashwagandha extracts also have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and immunoregulatory properties. Another recognized adaptogen is Taiga Root extract, mostly described as an adaptive, stress reducing, stimulating, immune modulating and antioxidant plant. This extract contains bioactive substances called eleutherosides with the ability to adapt to environmental factors, including physical and emotional stress. Studies show that Lemon Balm Melissa officinalis (L.) extract exhibits beneficial effects on cognitive performance too. Moreover, Melissa extracts are known to boost mental clarity, balance mood and improve stress reactivity. And if your target is memory and alertness improvement, a nootropic known to help support these cognitive functions is Sage plant extract.

The Holistic Health supplements contain potent combinations of these health boosting ingredients. In Balance Rest & Reset, L-Theanin, Lemon Balm Melissa officinalis and Ashwagandha support the formula for a more restful sleep state. In Energy, Ashwagandha, Sage and Taiga root enhance the formula to increase brain function.

Back to sleep, if you have serious symptoms, such as falling asleep during the day, insomnia or effects on your muscle control, you may need to see a sleep specialist to help find out about mechanical, functional or psychological reasons and to treat them. Clinique La Prairie’s 6-day Better Sleep program offers a multi-disciplinary approach to identify and treat sleep issues such as insomnia or sleep apnea, and rediscover the delights of therapeutic sleep, every single night.