Chamomile and probiotics improved sleep quality
Chamomile helps older adults
Older adults are more likely than younger ones to have problems falling and staying asleep, and prescription sleep medications can have harsh side effects. In this study, 60 older adults complaining of low-quality sleep and insomnia took 200 mg of chamomile extract capsules, twice per day, or a placebo.
After 28 days, compared to placebo, those taking chamomile reported better sleep quality including less time spent falling asleep, a greater percentage of total time in bed spent sleeping, fewer sleep disturbances, less need for taking sleep medication, and better daytime functioning.
While the total time sleeping did not increase, doctors said this may be because the study, at just one month, was too short. Doctors think chamomile may work because compounds in the plant bind to nerve-signaling sites in the central nervous system, creating a natural sleep-inducing effect.
Probiotics improve sleep and waking
Students get nervous before taking an exam, and sleep quality suffers. This study took place over two consecutive years, with different participants each time. A total of 94 students took 100 mg of lactobacillus casei Shirota fermented milk or a placebo milk beginning eight weeks prior to, and continuing for three weeks after, a national standardized exam.
Everyone had increasing anxiety and decreasing sleep quality during the two weeks leading up to the exam, peaking on exam day. Students taking the probiotic slept significantly longer than those in the placebo group, and reported feeling less sleepy when they woke up. Probiotics also helped students fall asleep more easily and have deeper sleep compared to placebo.
Reference: Complementary Therapies in Medicine; December, 2017, Vol. 35, 109-14
Natural Insights for Well Being April 2018
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