At one point or another, everyone alive has suffered from a lack of sleep. There are a million reasons why sleep might be interrupted, but they all lead to the same place: a lack of sleep negatively affects our physical, mental and emotional heath.
Sleep is so important to our overall health and well-being that the public spends millions and millions of dollars making sure they get their eight hours a night. There are countless sleep aids in the form of powders, pills, night lights and dark lights and everything in between.
But what if there was a simpler, easier way to get a good nightâ€™s sleep that is deep and rejuvenating? Weâ€™re talking about Nitric Oxide.
Nitric Oxide is simply one molecule of nitrogen attached to one molecule of oxygen to form the compound NO. Nitric Oxide is produced by nearly every type of cell in the human body and is one of the most important molecules for blood vessel health.
Thatâ€™s where the connection to deep sleep comes in. NO is produced by the cells lining the arteries, and it penetrates the underlying smooth muscles. Here it dilates and relaxes the arteries, playing a critical role in blood pressure and overall circulation.
With better circulation, the heart works more efficiently, there is better blood flow throughout the body and therefore bodies can feel into a deeper, better sleep. It is well established that NO production makes a key contribution to daily homeostatic sleep, otherwise called slow-wave sleep / rapid eye movement sleep.
Once we have reached these critical sleep stages, we are sleeping deeply and soundly. We are dreaming and our bodies are properly healing, resting and rejuvenating. Reaching deep sleep is absolutely vital to health and well-being and has a lasting impact on the rest of our lives.
NO can be increased in several ways, through diet and with supplements. Supplements donâ€™t normally contain nitric oxide itself, but contain compounds your body can use to create NO. They make up one of the most popular supplement categories today because NO has been shown to provide so many benefits for health and performance.
Other benefits include:
â€˘ Healthy blood pressure
â€˘ Improved blood flow throughout the body
â€˘ Higher energy levels (thanks to better oxygen flow)
â€˘ Better athletic performance and recovery
â€˘ Healthy brain function (where it acts as a neurotransmitter)
Some of the foods that will increase Nitric Oxide include: dark chocolate, walnuts, pomegranate, citrus fruits, garlic, beets and watermelon.
While itâ€™s always great to get what we need through the food we eat, there are many reasons why this isnâ€™t always possible for everyone. There are also very high quality supplements on the market that make it easy to ensure your body is producing enough NO to get all the above health benefits.
If you have any questions be sure to consult your doctor to find out how NO can improve your sleep and your life.