Ortho-Sleep is an award winning premium sleep and relaxation formula. The most important neurotransmitters known to regulate the sleep-wake cycle have been combined with the most powerful herbs traditionally used to promote sleep, yielding a natural sleep remedy like no other. Ortho•Sleep contains a carefully formulated blend of nutrients and compounds that have been shown to be effective in combating insomnia, restoring a proper circadian rhythm and promoting healthy, restful sleep. These include relaxing neurotransmitters like GABA and melatonin, as well as 5-HTP, a serotonin precursor to reduce feelings of worry especially when trying to fall asleep. The formula further includes the amino acid L-theanine as well as valerian root, passionflower extract, and lemon balm, all of which possess relaxing properties and work to increase the activity of GABA in the brain.
Sleep - Essential but Neglected
Rest is just as important as work. No one can achieve their full potential at work or school if the resources upon which that potential relies cannot replenish themselves. Even the benefits of a healthy diet and exercise are severely compromised (and the latter can even become detrimental) without the re-charging of the biological batteries that only quality sleep can provide. However, insomnia - as a symptom of modern stress - plagues about one in seven people at any given time, and most people will endure at least a temporary bout of some type of sleep disorder at least once in their lifetime. In addition to impaired cognitive and physical performance, insomnia can also lead to depression, increased accident risk and even heart disease.
What does Ortho Sleep do?
Sleep is regulated by the body's internal clock, which keeps track of light levels, the time of day and other important cues for sleep and awakening. There are two primary types of sleep; REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, which is dreaming sleep, and Non-REM sleep, which consists of four stages of progressively deeper sleep, all of which precede REM sleep. While all sleep stages are important, stages III and IV of deep sleep and REM sleep are especially vital.
Many people have trouble sleeping or have disrupted sleep patterns. People suffering from insomnia spend less time in deeper levels of sleep, wake up more often, and experience a reduction in REM sleep. In addition to stress, insomnia can be caused by a variety of other factors, including anxiety, poor diet, or a disruption of the body's internal clock - such as jet lag, all-night study sessions, or changing work hours.
Neurotransmitters are the key to sleep regulation. These chemicals are like tiny messengers in the brain, transmitting signals from one neuron to another and modulating a huge number of functions in the human body, including sleep. Gamma-aminobutyric acid (or GABA) is the most important inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. GABA acts like a "brake" during times of stress or anxiety, regulating brain excitability and inducing relaxation. GABA receptors are highly concentrated in the hypothalamus; the region of the brain associated with sleep. GABA is effective against insomnia, and has been shown to affect the brain directly, increasing α-brain waves (those associated with relaxation) and reducing β-brain waves (those associated with anxiety and stress). In a small, unpublished study, GABA supplementation reduced sleep latency (transition time from wakefulness to stage I of Non-REM sleep) by 20%, and increased the time spent in late-stage deep sleep by another 20%.
Serotonin and melatonin are also key neurotransmitters. Melatonin is produced by the pineal gland in the brain, and it controls the body's internal clock. Melatonin has been shown to increase sleep time and reduce the time it takes to fall asleep. It can also help to reset the body's sleep-wake cycle, a benefit to those suffering from jet lag or a similar disruption. Supplemental melatonin's effects on sleep are extensive and well documented. One study with delayed sleep-phase insomniacs reduced sleep latency times by an average of 115 minutes. Supplemental melatonin is particularly well-researched with respect to dealing with disruptions in the body's internal clock, such as jet lag and shift work, with no fewer than 10 clinical studies demonstrating it's ability to resynchronize the body's altered circadian rhythms governing sleep.
Serotonin is essential for sleep modulation in its own right, and can also be converted by the body into melatonin. 5-HTP is (L)5-hyrdoxytryptophan, a metabolite of the amino acid tryptophan and a precursor to serotonin and melatonin. 5-HTP boosts serotonin levels, and can also increase REM and deep sleep phases, making sleep more restful. Supplemental 5-HTP has been successfully studied for the treatment of a number of conditions, including mood balance, chronic fatigue, and migraines. Studies examining its positive effects on sleep go back to the early 1970's, and a recent study revealed that 5-HTP supplementation was able to reduce the number of sleep-terror episodes in children by nearly 84%.
Other Natural Sleep Aids:
L-Theanine is a non-essential amino acid found in green tea, and is responsible for the attribute known as ‘relaxed alertness' that is associated with this famous eastern beverage. It can act directly on the brain, influencing brain wave patterns in a similar fashion to GABA, and also indirectly by stimulating GABA production. Supplemental L-theanine is also known to reduce anxiety by increasing α-brain waves, which the brain produces in significant quantities only in states of effortless and relaxed alertness. This is precisely the kind of state that precedes stage I sleep.
Valerian root (from the genus Valeriana with sub-species located worldwide) has been used for millennia in the traditional folk remedies of a wide range of cultures (from ancient China to ancient Greece) to promote calmness, relaxation and sleep. Valerian root contains essential oils which provide most of its sedative effect, while fractions known as valepotriates add a regulatory inhibiting effect on the central nervous system. There are about 150 other constituents of GABA, a great many of which act synergistically to account for Valerian's overall efficacy, which includes the stimulation of GABA. There are several placebo-controlled human studies attesting to Valerian's effectiveness against insomnia, particularly via the reduction of sleep latency and the improvement in sleep quality. These studies were also fairly large and spanned a wide range of age groups from both genders, with one study conducted among 128 test subjects where the greatest benefit was for self-described "poor sleepers".
Passionflower, or Passiflora incarnate L., is officially listed as a sleep aid in the monographs of the European Medicines Agency (an EU organization) as well as the National Heath Products Directorate (a division within Health Canada). Curiously, this is in spite of the fact that clinical studies with this product pertain mainly to anxiety and only in combination with other substances. Its ability to achieve such prominent recognition in spite of this is testament to the strength of passionflower's reputation in traditional medicine and preventative health circles. In one non-randomized clinical trial, 20 patients with psychosomatic disorders were administered with either a passionflower/valerian root combination or the neuroleptic drug Propaphenin®. While the latter required six weeks to reduce cranial hyperactivity (using EEG brain mapping), the passionflower/valerian root extract combination did so in two. This led the scientists to conclude that "the combination product containing P. incarnata was more efficient than Propaphenin®" and "has a remarkable position as an ‘herbal sedative' in the OTC market." These observations can easily be carried over to have a clear effect on reducing sleep latency and to a lesser extent on improving sleep quality.
Melissa officinalis L, commonly known as lemon balm, is classified as a sleep aid in the monographs of the British, European (EU) and German Commission E Pharmacopeias as well as in the compendium of the Natural Health Products Directorate of Health Canada. With roots originating in the folk medicine traditions of southern Europe, lemon balm - like passionflower - has demonstrated its greatest efficacy when used with other herbal extracts. At least half a dozen human studies, mainly in combination with valerian root, have examined lemon balm's effects on various sleep disorders - with consistently positive results. In one multicentre, double-blind, placebo-controlled study among 98 healthy volunteers with minor sleep disorders, 33.3% of the study group reported an improvement in sleep quality vs. 9.4% of the placebo group. In another multicentre trial (this one being open), 225 patients with difficulties falling asleep, staying asleep, and experiencing states of nervous agitation participated. After taking the lemon balm-containing combination for 2 weeks, 89% saw improvements in falling asleep, 80% saw improvements in staying asleep, and 82% experienced ameliorations in nervous agitation.
Ortho-SleepTM was specifically formulated to be the most comprehensively powerful natural sleep aid available. It's potency is designed to effectively address short-term sleep disorders due to anxiety, stress, and/or a disruption of the body's internal clock due to such factors as shift work and/or jetlag. Due to it's unprecedented potency, Ortho-SleepTM must only be used as directed.
100 mgGABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid)
100 mgL-5-Hydroxytryptophan (griffonia seed)
150 mgValerian root (0.8% valerenic acid)
32 mgPassionflower extract (aerial parts)
300 mgLemon balm extract (aerial parts)*
*Cyracos is a registered trademark of Naturex, Inc.
Non-medicinal ingredients: maltodextrin, gum arabic, silicon dioxide. Capsule: hypromellose.