Sleep Science

- Lynda Bateman

How Aging Affects Our Sleep. Hitting the snooze-button on our inner clock.

If you blame the neighbor’s dog, the early alarm, the bacon burger or the grandkids for a bad night, the truth about aging and sleep loss might surprise you.

How’s your sleep been lately? If a good night’s sleep is a thing of the past instead of something that happens routinely then chances are, you’re not as young as you used to be.  

Age and sleep are not always in sync. Even in our youth, environmental factors intrude on rest, disturbing natural circadian rhythms. Anxiety, caffeine drinks, alcohol, work schedules and jet lag all play havoc with this ancient inner clock.

As we age, we begin to look for answers, grabbing this and that to get back to sound sleeping, but what if I told you age itself could be the culprit and that changes at a cellular level might be to blame?

Our circadian rhythm, or ‘The Great Clock’ that eternally ticks in time with the cycle of all life, is a powerful force. When we fall out of rhythm with it, we pay a big price. Researchers in the study of gene expression reported that circadian rhythms govern a large array of metabolic and physiological functions and are generated by an intrinsic cellular mechanism that controls a large range of physiological and metabolic processes.

The problem is, as we age, that critical coenzyme we need identified as NAD (Nicotinamide Dinucleotide) decreases, most times by half its original stores by the time we reach our fiftieth year.

NAD AND SLEEP

Aging is inevitable for all of us but recent advances in gene study have identified a missing piece to the aging puzzle that is set to begin a new chapter in Gerontology. Harvard University scientists has discovered that as we age, NAD drains from our cells. Most of us approaching our fiftieth year are working on about half our original stores.

Why is that important? NAD and its chemical precursor, NMN (Nicotinamide Mononucleotide), exist in every cell and is the powerful force that drives a cells capacity to repair DNA.  Although we understand most of our typical sleep problems are environmental, there are deeper forces at work with the loss of NAD. NAD is critical in the cell’s response to a myriad of crucial functions including helping the body cope with environmental change. NAD makes nutrient absorption possible and governs, you guessed it, circadian rhythms which is a vital factor to maintaining a healthy, habitual sleep cycle. 

The bad news is poor sleep patterns is not just environmental. Now there is strong evidence to suggest dropping natural NAD levels from our cells as we age can have an effect. Although NAD is contained in some foods like oily fish, mushrooms and avocados, they are trace amounts at best so refilling our depleted stores through food can be a challenge. The good news is the same Harvard Study that discovered the loss of NAD in our cells reported success with replacing NAD through supplementation of NMN products in their purest form. Higher purity NMN supplements rising to the top of the NMN product market currently are from MIRAI LAB clocking in at 98 percent and the Reinvigorator product by Herbalmax, which clocks in at an astounding 99%+ purity and was also the first to offer an enhanced NMN product with cooperating compounds.

WHY IS SLEEP SO IMPORTANT?

At any age, our bodies perform miracles in self-repair with every cat nap, through every night, muscle, organs, and tissue cells regenerate. Inflammation is reduced, hormone levels balance and T-Cells (white blood cells) work to strengthen the immune system. Studies at the American Physiological Society (APS) show sleep T cell numbers remained high in subjects who were not allowed to sleep.

Further, deep sleep is the state in which our bodies do much of their work. We will spend about a fifth of our night in deep sleep when we are young. But that ratio starts to fade, along with our NAD levels, and by the time you’re over 65, both could be close to zero.

There are multiple reasons for this, established sleep patterns, anxiety, disease, illness and chemical imbalances including changes at a cellular level have an enormous impact and not the least of which is the dramatic loss of NAD levels.

Replacing lost NAD at a cellular level with NMN, the direct precursor of the critical coenzyme NAD+, plays a key role in the essential biological processes of DNA repair, metabolic maintenance, energy production and cellular aging which is essential for a healthy sleep. In addition, NAD is key for metabolic, neurological, cardiovascular, and muscle health. And it is essential to choose pure, science-based, quality NMN products like Reinvigorator.   

HOW DO I FIX BROKEN SLEEP?

We must understand the distinction between the life choices we make that rob our sleep, like working the night shift or spending too much time on our iPhones, and the physiological, inevitable loss of NAD from our cells as we age. It’s also important to note both of these phenomena are happening at the same time so we are faced with a double-whammy of obstacles in our way of a good night’s sleep.

Resolving our sleep issues requires us to make a few changes and sometimes difficult choices. Altering our hard and fast patterns is essential to begin the slow turn around to healthy aging and ultimately better sleep. But now we know we must also feed our cells the NAD they need to do their jobs, which is actually pretty easy with NMN supplementation.

Until now, I think we all understood that combining regular exercise, eating well and reducing stress from our lives will help us rest better – a healthy body is a key first stage. What’s been missing in healthy aging is the critical step of introducing NMN to restore the critical coenzyme NAD+ to our cells. Reinvigorating our vital stores of NAD+ with NMN has become the new essential for the home-health cabinet.