5 Supplements for Better Sleep after Bariatric Surgery
Sleep is such an important piece for establishing and maintaining health, especially after bariatric surgery. Yet, so little focus during your visits.
So my hopes are to share five evidence based supplements that are quite effective at providing the rest you need.
Although no one “formula” will work for everyone, the key is to test each individually and or together to find the magic combination for you.
I do want to preface this with it’s always best to work with a practitioner on dosing before just adding random supplements. More supplements are not the solution.
Those who’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea, before and after bariatric surgery. Get back with your provider to be reevaluate. For some, sleep apnea has nothing to do with weight. So it’s always important to make sure you’re at the right settings for your current health.
So, the big picture is you need sleep! But just because you want to sleep doesn’t mean you can just magically get what your body needs. My hopes are to share natural alternatives that are safe for most people.
Now, I think we can all agree that bariatric surgery can be life-changing and provide numerous health benefits. The most significant benefit is weight loss, which can help alleviate many health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, and metabolic dysfunction.
However, for some it can also cause disruptions in sleep patterns, which negatively affects the health outcome of people as a whole.
In fact, several health conditions can be impacted by inadequate sleep after bariatric surgery including …
- Blood sugar
- Metabolic health
- Heart disease
So, we will discuss 5 supplements that can help you improve your sleep after bariatric surgery. But first, let’s understand how poor sleep affects your health.
The Impact of Poor Sleep on Health
We all need sleep for good health. In fact, inadequate sleep can lead to various health problems, physically and mentally. Poor sleep can lead to a wide range of diseases and health conditions, including diabetes, depression, anxiety, blood sugar, metabolic disease, heart disease, and many others.
A lack of sleep, difficulty falling asleep, and inability to get restful, deep sleep can all contribute to various health issues. In fact, poor sleep can cause the following health problems:
There is a link between a lack of sleep and cravings for unhealthy foods. This occurs primarily because sleep deprivation alters the hormone levels that regulate your appetite, causing you to crave sugary and high-carb foods as a result.
As a matter of fact, you can learn more about cravings and sleep on a previous post 7 causes of cravings- #7 sleep.
Additionally, we know that for some individuals having one or two bad nights of sleep will increase cravings the next day. Creating a difficult cycle. Not to mention, poor sleep can influence appetite and hunger regulation.
Poor Hunger and Appetite Regulation:
As a consequence of poor sleep, hormones that regulate appetite can also be disrupted, causing individuals to eat more than they need to maintain a healthy weight. In fact, some find their hunger and fullness cues are altered when suffering from poor sleep.
Weight Loss Resistance/Weight Gain:
Another problem that can arise from inadequate sleep is weight loss resistance. A lack of adequate restful sleep inhibits the production of the hormone leptin, which regulates appetite and metabolism in the body. Moreover, it also increases the production of the hormone ghrelin, which increases your appetite. As a result of these hormonal imbalances, it can become difficult for individuals to lose weight, resulting in weight gain.
This is why looking at the whole body is so important. If you’re struggling with your weight, it may not have anything to do with what or how much you’re eating or exercising. You just need consistent restful sleep.
Blood Sugar Dysregulation:
Poor sleep can also result in dysregulation of blood sugar levels. And dysregulated blood sugar causes poor sleep. It truly creates a vicious cycle. Addressing one without the other will likely provide unimpressive change.
In some cases, this can cause insulin resistance, where the body becomes less sensitive to insulin, resulting in high levels of blood sugar in the body. As a result of high blood sugar levels, various health problems can occur, such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease.
In fact, I talked about insulin in this post “Why insulin levels matter for appetite & weight”. Additionally, “Why bariatric patients should care about blood sugar”.
So as you can see, blood sugar regulation is critical for so many areas of balancing your health. Too much sugar consistently in your blood compromises your health, yet too little creates havoc at a different level.
So if your blood sugar is consistently dysregulates, sleep needs to be evaluated.
Lack of energy:
Sleep deprivation is also associated with low energy levels. In addition, it can negatively affect productivity, motivation and performance, making concentrating, focusing, and performing daily activities difficult.
Sleep plays an essential role in mental health as well. The lack of sleep can contribute to various mental health problems, specifically depression, anxiety, and mood swings. Poor sleep can also worsen existing mental health conditions, resulting in a further decline in mental health.
Sleep deprivation can have a negative effect on epigenetic expression, which is the process of activating or deactivating genes. Sleep deprivation can alter gene expression, leading to various health problems like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
Therefore, it is essential to get enough sleep to stay healthy. Individuals should aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night and prioritize sleep hygiene. This includes establishing a regular sleep schedule, avoiding caffeine and electronics before bed, creating a sleep-conducive environment, and engaging in relaxation techniques like meditation or deep breathing. Supplements can also be helpful for individuals who struggle with sleep after bariatric surgery.
Hormones can powerfully influence your ability to sleep. Especially the transition to menopause. Fluctuating hormones can cause sleep disruptions classified in three groups: trouble falling asleep, waking up several times and waking up earlier.
In fact, a longitudinal analysis of eight years of data from more than 3000 women in the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation showed that waking during the night was the most common type of sleep problem.
Not to mention, a 2015 study reports menopause hormone therapy administered in the form of low dose estrogen or progesterone could improve chronic insomnia in menopausal women with 14 of 23 studies showing positive results.
In my experience, hormone therapy can be life changing for myself and others. Please find a practitioner who can help guide and prescribe hormone therapy if you struggle with sleep.
So now that we’ve established the risks and consequences of poor sleep, let’s discuss what your real options are. Ways you can support yourself, all while you’re cleaning up your sleep habits for optimal rest.
5 Supplements for Better Sleep
The first step toward improving sleep quality is improving sleep hygiene. However, some people may still struggle with sleep even after making lifestyle changes. So here are five supplements that can help enhance the quality of sleep after bariatric surgery.
Magnesium is pivotal in triggering the relaxation pathways in the body. This is because magnesium aids in gamma-amniobutyric acid(GABA) production. This is a neurotransmitter that soothes the nervous system and promotes sleep.
According to a study, magnesium is important in many physiological processes. It has several important functions, including maintaining the health of bones, muscles, and nerves and producing energy.
Several studies have suggested that magnesium supplementation may be beneficial for sleep, anxiety, and depression, among other things. Furthermore, it may improve insulin sensitivity and reduce blood pressure.
A magnesium form known as magnesium bis-glycinate is highly absorbable and can help improve sleep quality. As a mineral, magnesium aids in muscle relaxation and promotes restful sleep.
Researchers found that older adults who took magnesium bis-glycinate for eight weeks had improved sleep quality and reduced insomnia. The study also suggested that magnesium supplementation can enhance sleep quality and shorten the time it takes to fall asleep.
Magnesium Threonate is another form of magnesium that is helpful for better sleep. It has been shown that this form of magnesium improves cognitive function in older adults and reduces anxiety, which may contribute to better sleep.
In addition, a study published in Nutrients in 2021 suggested magnesium supplementation may benefit people with heart disease. Researchers found that magnesium supplementation reduced blood pressure and improved lipid profiles in heart disease patients.
According to the results of this study, magnesium supplementation may be beneficial for individuals with type 2 diabetes and may mitigate the adverse effects of the disease. It was found that magnesium supplementation improves blood sugar control and insulin sensitivity.
In another study published in the Journal Biological Trace Element Research in 2013, it was found that magnesium supplementation had positive effects on metabolic health and is potentially beneficial. The study found that magnesium supplementation improved overweight individuals’ insulin sensitivity and lipid profiles.
Lastly, Magnesium Threonate has been shown to cross the blood brain barrier that coincided with cognitive improvements in animal studies, but one human study showed only marginal cognitive improvements.
Overall, magnesium supplementation is not associate with any significant safety concerns. And can be a viable addition to your sleep supplementation routine.
Phosphatidylserine is a naturally occurring phospholipid that improves cognitive function and cortisol/stress levels. Studies have shown that it can reduce stress and anxiety levels and improve sleep after bariatric surgery.
Phosphatidylserine has also been shown to have cognitive benefits and may help reduce cortisol levels. It may also reduce exercise-induced stress in older adults and improve memory and attention.
According to a Clinical Psychopharmacology study, phosphatidylserine supplementation improved sleep quality and lowered anxiety and stress levels in individuals with insomnia.
Further, a 2022 study in the Journal Nutrients suggested that phosphatidylserine supplementation may benefit individuals with depression. The study found that phosphatidylserine supplementation improved depressive symptoms in patients with major depression.
As far as safety is concerned, phosphatidylserine is not associate with any significant risks.
Apigenin is a flavonoid present in many fruits and vegetables that have been shown to have sedative effects. A recent study showed that apigenin supplementation could reduce sleep duration and improve sleep quality.
According to Molecular Medicine Reports, mice that received apigenin supplementation slept better and had less insomnia.
Another study has found that apigenin is an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and cancer-fighting compound found in many plants. Additionally, animal studies have suggested that it may be beneficial for anxiety and depression, but human research is insufficient to conclude.
Apigenin is not to pose any safety concerns.
Green tea contains the amino acid L-theanine. It performs several relaxation-related functions and reduces tension and anxiety levels. Furthermore, it was shown to improve sleep quality by enhancing deep, restful sleep.
In a recent study published in Nutrients, L-theanine supplementation can enhance sleep quality and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, even in individuals with sleep disturbances.
Furthermore, the study suggested that L-Theanine supplementation may enhance epigenetic expression. It was found that supplementing healthy adults with L-Theanine alter their DNA methylation patterns. These findings, however, require further study to understand their implications.
Consuming L-Theanine is generally consider safe, but it can cause stomach upset in high doses.
Sleep quality is crucial for improving health outcomes after bariatric surgery. Individuals seeking to improve their sleep quality after bariatric surgery may benefit from supplements such as magnesium bis-glycinate, magnesium threonate, phosphatidylserine, apigenin, and L-theanine. Nevertheless, if you have underlying health conditions or are taking medications, you must consult your doctor before taking new supplements.
A regular sleep schedule, reducing blue light exposure before sleep, and creating a relaxing sleep environment can also improve sleep quality and overall health.
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