18 Mar Mental Wellness – Balancing Stress, Sleep and Cognitive Healthby
We often hear about mental illness, but not mental wellness. Is the concept of mental wellness new to you? Consider this; mental wellness is about how all aspects of your life, i.e., social, emotional, physical, spiritual, intellectual, and how they collectively impact your overall state of well-being. Poor mental wellness (mental illness) affects all aspects of our lives, including cardiovascular and immune health, weight control, blood sugar, issues with stress, sleep, memory, and ability to focus are just the tip of the iceberg. We all have periods when we struggle with our mental wellness. Within mental wellness, three areas are most prevalent; stress, sleep, and cognitive health (ability to think, concentrate and focus). If we can’t keep these three areas in balance, we open ourselves to more health problems and struggles.
Our emotional well-being can be negatively affected by many things, such as work, school, relationships, financial problems, and worry. Even physical challenges such as an illness also contribute to poor mental wellness. Situations such as infections, pain, mobility issues, breathing difficulties, and cardiovascular weakness are the most common examples of physical challenges, leading to mental wellness problems. The three primary areas of concern regarding poor mental wellness are stress, sleep, and cognitive health. They are all interconnected too. Think of it this way, those who have stress issues also have problems sleeping or concentrating and focusing. When people have trouble sleeping, it opens them up to having difficulties adapting to stressful situations and concentrating and focusing. Lastly, people who often have problems concentrating or focusing have underlying issues with stress and sleep. There are direct connections similar to a triangle between stress, sleep, and cognitive health (Image 1). This process is often out of control due to each area contributing to the other. The last place we want to get stuck is in this mental wellness cycle.
Natural Health to the Rescue
When we look at the historical uses of botanicals (herbs), we see that indigenous people have been using botanicals for many aspects of mental wellness. Granted, those people knew that the botanicals worked, but now modern science is proving they work. Researchers look at botanicals seeking to learn; What makes them work? Is there a specific type, part of the plant, or region it’s grown, making it more effective? How much needs to be taken to realize the benefits? For this article, I will focus on the three primary mental wellness areas mentioned above and give examples of ancient botanicals which now have modern science to prove they work for our mental wellness concerns.
Let’s start off by saying I am in Love with three patented and clinically proven ingredients to help with stress: Zembrin®+, affron®++ and Sensoril®+++. Beginning with stress, one of my favorite ingredients is Zembrin®. Zembrin® works quickly in the “stress” center of your brain to help keep you calm without being drowsy or having foggy thinking. I like to say, Zembrin® stops stress where it starts”.
Affron® is a patented and clinically proven (7-published studies) saffron extract unlike any other saffron product on the market. The studies with affron® show it helps you:
• Improve how you feel during periods of stress and tension
• Maintain a positive mood.
• Improve your sleep quality
• Positively impact your overall mental wellness
Like Zembrin®, affron® works fast. Studies show it is rapidly absorbed in just 1 hour. It has also been proven safe and effective in children 12 and up.
Sensoril® is the patented and clinically proven (14-clinical studies) botanical ashwagandha. Studies with Sensoril® show it is great for your mental wellness by helping reduce stress, improve mood, improve sleep quality, decrease fatigue and improve cognitive function. Sensoril® has also been proven safe in children over 16yrs of age. It is non-drowsy and like Zembrin® and affron® requires a very small dose to be effective.
One of my favorite botanicals for sleep is SibeliusTM: Chamomile. SibeliusTM: Chamomile is Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile L.) and should not be confused with German chamomile (Matricaria recutita L.). These two herbs may have the same “generic” name of chamomile, but their use and makeups are pretty different. Roman chamomile has a rich history dating back thousands of years as it was used by the ancient Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks.
I mentioned earlier that botanicals often provide different benefits based on where they are grown, how they are grown and even the specific variety. SibeliusTM: Chamomile is an excellent example of this. SibeliusTM: Chamomile comes from one particular farm and region of the United Kingdom. Studies have proven SibeliusTM: Chamomile is superior to other sources of Roman Chamomile found in Egypt and Eastern Europe. Studies done with SibeliusTM: Chamomile show it significantly improved sleep quality, duration, and the number of times waking up throughout the night.
Great additions to SibeliusTM: Chamomile to enhance sleep support: Lactium®, affron® Sensoril® Melatonin, Magnesium, and Valerian
My top nutritional ingredient for cognitive health is SibeliusTM: Sage. Like our other two ingredients mentioned previously, sage has a long history of use. Dating back to over 4000 years, Ancient Egyptians believed it helped with infertility. Sage has a longstanding reputation as traditional herbal remedies used by ancient Greek and Roman, Ayurvedic, Native American, and Chinese folk medicines. For centuries, it has been used for cognitive performance and memory.
I first learned about this fantastic ingredient while I was attending and speaking at an educational event. I was so impressed by the scientific information that I decided to dig into the cognitive health benefits of SibeliusTM: Sage. Yes, two of the three categories for mental wellness have an ingredient from Sibelius Natural Products. Let me explain why? My background is in pharmacy, where we study the body’s biochemistry and physiology and how medications produce their effects. As pharmacists, clinical studies and science are critical to be able to advise doctors and patients on the best possible protocols using medications. The same holds true as I research what ingredients I feel are best for us to use in specific situations; with Regards to Sibelius Natural Products, their science, integrity, and desire to validate botanicals’ health benefits resonated with my passion and pharmacy background.
As I investigated more into SibeliusTM: Sage, here is what I learned. First and foremost, it works fast. Many people I have suggested it to (including myself) feel it working in as little as 20 minutes. It isn’t often that we can feel the effects of a natural product. Studies have proven that SibeliusTM: Sage works in a wide range of ages too. One study showed improvements in people 65-90 years of age within 1 hour of taking it. There were improvements in secondary memory, recognition, recall, accuracy, and speed of retention. Who doesn’t what these improvements? Another study proved it worked in people 18-25 years of age. Improvements in word recall, focus, and short-term memory were seen after just one dose.
Great additions to SibeliusTM: Sage for cognitive health: Bacopa, Sensoril®, Zynamite®, American ginseng, and Omega-3s.
As we can see, there is an abundance of clinically proven, safe, and effective ingredients to support your mental wellness needs. These nutritional ingredients should be combined with other lifestyle modifications. Making these changes will help you achieve the best mental wellness possible. These include:
• Exercise: at least 30 minutes per day (outside when possible)
• Avoid nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol.
• Improve your diet: Avoid processed and refined foods and eliminate sugar.
• Meditation or prayer
• Develop an attitude of gratitude
• Set aside time to do things you enjoy
• Ask for help when you feel overwhelmed.
• Spend time with your friends or family
+Zembrin® is a registered trademark HG&H Pharmaceuticals (Pty)
++ affron® is a registered trademark of Pharmactive Biotech Products, SL.
+++ Sensoril® is a registered trademark of Natreon Inc.