sleep due to stress? Here is the cure
September 5, 2017
University of Tsukuba
Everyone empirically knows that stressful
events certainly affect sound sleep. Scientists have found that the active
component rich in sugarcane and other natural products may ameliorate stress
and help having sound sleep.
knows that stressful events certainly affect sound sleep. Scientists in the
Japanese sleep institute found that the active component rich in sugarcane and
other natural products may ameliorate stress and help having sound sleep.
In today’s world
ever-changing environment, demanding job works and socio-economic factors
enforces sleep deprivation in human population. Sleep deprivation induces
tremendous amount of stress, and stress itself is one of the major factors
responsible for sleep loss or difficulty in falling into sleep. Currently
available sleeping pills does not address stress component and often have
severe side effects. Sleep loss is also associated with certain other diseases
including obesity, cardiovascular diseases, depression, anxiety, mania deficits
The research group led by
Mahesh K. Kaushik and Yoshihiro Urade of the International Institute for
Integrative Sleep Medicine (WPI-IIIS), University of Tsukuba, found that
octacosanol reduces stress and restores stress-affected sleep back to normal.
Octacosanol is abundantly
present in various everyday foods such as sugarcane (thin whitish layer on
surface), rice bran, wheat germ oil, bee wax etc. The crude extract is
policosanol, where octacosanol is the major constituent. Policosanol and
octacosanol have already been used in humans for various other medical
In the current study,
authors made an advancement and investigated the effect of octacosanol on sleep
regulation in mildly stressed mice by oral administration. Octacosanol reduced
corticosterone level in blood plasma, which is a stress marker. The
octacosanol-administered mice also showed normal sleep, which was previously
disturbed due to stress. They therefore claim that the octacosanol mitigates
stress in mice and restores stress-affected sleep to normal in mice. The sleep
induced by octacosanol was similar to natural sleep and physiological in
nature. However, authors also claimed that octacosanol does not affect sleep in
normal animals. These results clearly demonstrated that octacosanol is an
active compound that has potential to reduce stress and to increase sleep, and
it could potentially be useful for the therapy of insomnia caused by stress.
Octacosanol can be considered safe for human use as a therapy, because it is a
food-based compound and believed to show no side effects.
supplements are used by humans for functions such as lipid metabolism,
cholesterol lowering or to provide strength. However, well-planned clinical
studies need to be carried out to confirm its effect on humans for its
stress-mitigation and sleep-inducing potentials. “Future studies include
the identification of target brain area of octacosanol, its BBB permeability,
and the mechanism via which octacosanol lowers stress,” Kaushik says.