Brain, Memory and Sleep

The right nutrients plus some simple lifestyle tips can help increase memory, brain health, learning and concentration. Nature's Way's range of brain, memory and sleep products are highest quality.
Brain, Memory and Sleep
View All Products
Explore Our Products

View All Products

View the full range of brain, memory and sleep supplements.
Restless Leg Syndrome
Articles

Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is very common and is a major cause of sleeping problems. Despite this, many people aren’t even aware the condition exists, or that it can be treated fairly easily.

Symptoms

As the name suggests, restless leg syndrome is typified by:
  • Inability to keep your legs still
  • Your legs kick and itch uncontrollably.
  • Strange, restless sensations couplled with the urge to move. Urges are worse at night and when resting.
  • Just thinking about having to sit still for a long time (e.g. watching a movie) makes you feel anxious.

Diagnosis

The majority of RLS sufferers are often incorrectly diagnosed as suffering from:
  • sleep disorders (although people with RLS do sleep worse than people with other sleep disorders);
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • poor circulation
  • arthritis
  • attention deficit disorder (if the patient is young and can’t keep his legs still)

Medical researchers have now discovered that RLS is a metabolic brain disease and that effective treatment is available. People with RLS – one in 10 people – have a shortage of iron in specific areas of the brain which deal with movement. Even if a standard blood test shows normal blood-iron levels, it doesn’t mean iron levels in the brain are normal.

Low iron levels in the brain lead to a shortage of dopamine, which in turn causes those weird sensations in the legs and the uncontrollable urge to move them. Research has also shown the following: more women than men have RLS (particularly during pregnancy); there is a strong genetic factor; it is worse during periods of inactivity; and chances are slim that the condition will improve without treatment.

Treatment

  • If RLS only affects your sleep patterns occasionally, simple lifestyle changes – such as drinking fewer caffeine-rich beverages like coffee or energy drinks, or cutting down on alcohol – can help.
  • The right iron, folic acid or magnesium supplements can improve your general health if you have a shortage of these minerals. Key nutrients to consider are iron, (preferably powdered) magnesium,  B Vitamins and Vitamin C.
  • Sometimes massage, putting your legs in cold or warm water, or less/more exercise helps reduce the sensations.
  • If you experience RLS once or twice a week and it regularly deprives you of sleep, your doctor may recommend medication that helps restore dopamine levels in the brain.
  • The ideal treatment would be to restore the brain’s iron levels, but in people who already have healthy blood-iron levels but low brain iron, increasingly the levels of iron in the blood may not likely increase brain iron levels.
  • Your doctor may also prescribe correction of the dopamine function by means of a drug that mimics the effect of dopamine. Talk to your GP for treatment options.
 

Do you have RLS?

Answering yes to all of these questions is an indication that you likely have RLS:

  1. Do you have an uncontrollable urge to move your legs – usually because you’re experiencing uncomfortable and unpleasant sensations in those limbs?
  2. Do these unpleasant sensations get worse when you rest, sit, lie or are inactive?
  3. Does walking, stretching or movement help to relieve these unpleasant sensations – even if the relief lasts only while you’re moving your legs?
  4. Are the symptoms usually worse at night?
------ This article was provided by Health365. For more information on maintaining your health, visit www.health365.com.au.
Sleep and Weight Loss
Articles

Sleep and Weight Loss

A growing body of research shows there is a distinct relationship between sleep and weight loss. In fact, sleep is showing to be a critical factor in not only weight loss, but also in helping reduce obesity related diseases such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease and more. Let's take a look at the research into the relationship between sleep and weight loss to help you better understand how sleep might effect your weight loss efforts.

 The Relationship Between Sleep And Weight Loss

 

1. Obese people sleep less

It is still unclear as to whether obesity causes poor sleep, or poor sleep causes obesity, but more than 30 studies have shown that there is a distinct link between obesity and poor quality of sleep.  

2. Fatigue Makes you hungry.

Some of us get to the end of a long work week and binge by eating a whole pizza by ourselves or drain a bottle of wine.  Our body craved that tub of ice cream and, due to our fatigue, we succumbed. What's interesting is that this phenomenon is actually reflected in research - it's not just you (and me). Fatigue makes our body less effective at metabolising fat. This is already bad for weight loss, but the resulting effect of slowing fat metabolism is that we develop a craving for easily digestable macronutrients (i.e. more fats and simple carbs such as sweets, chips, fast foods etc ).  

3. Too Much Sleep Is Also Bad

A study from Quebec showed that people who were sleeping 5-6 hours a night gained more weight than people getting 7-8 hours sleep. This is no surprise given what we have already established - poor sleep is linked to weight gain. What was more interesting ab out the Quebec study was that people who slept 9-10 hours a night also gained more weight than the people who slept 7-8 hours a night. Too much sleep seems to also be somehow related to weight gain and obesity. The conclusion of the study was that 7-8 hours sleep a night is generally best for people trying to lose weight.  

4. Obese Kids and Sleep

The above relationship between sleep and weight loss are also observed in research involving children. Given this, it is important to make sure you kids are getting enough shut eye of a night time. There are a number of ways to help your child get settled at night, including increasing their intake of Omega-3 DHA. Talk to your health professional if your child is having trouble sleeping throughout the night. ------ This article was provided by our online partner Health365. For more information on getting better sleep or managing your weight, visit www.health365.com.au.
How To Stop Snoring
Articles

How To Stop Snoring

Snoring might be embarrassing for you, but it can be torturous for ..
Super Krill + Calamari Oil
Products

Super Krill + Calamari Oil

Support your body and healthy brain function with Super Krill Oil + Calamari. Now you can keep your body moving and your mind ticking. Super Krill + Calamari Oil features all the benefits for your joints, heart and healthy cholesterol#, PLUS the added benefits of the high DHA levels in Calamari Oil for supporting your brain, eyes and memory.
Try Golden Calamari Oil
Featured Product

Try Golden Calamari Oil

It contains more Omega-3 DHA than other supplements. DHA supports brain and sleep.
The Effects of Alcohol On Sleep
Articles

The Effects of Alcohol On Sleep

Alcohol is a depressant. That is, a substance that reduces stimulation and mental / physical activity. In theory, a depressant like alcohol would usually help a person get to sleep and/or sleep more soundly. However, excessive alcohol actually thwarts your ability to get a good night's sleep. We take a closer look at the effects of alcohol on sleep, and the reasons why alcohol can ruin a good night's sleep.

How Alcohol Effects Sleep

1. Alcohol is a diuretic.

Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it increases the excretion of fluids from your body via sweat and - more typically - urination. This effect makes it more likely you will have to have to get up multiple times during the night to go to the toilet. Of course, this hurts your chances of deep, truly restful sleep. The diuretic effects of alcohol also leads to a second sleep disruptor... thirst. Your body needs water to replace the lost fluids, and this need for water can cause interrupted sleep as your body tries to tell you it is running low on it's most important nutrient.  

2.  Alcohol Increases Snoring

Drinking excessive alcohol may not just be bad for your sleep. It may also be a bad thing for the person you share the bed with. Snoring is typically caused by the partial blocking of airways, which leads to vibration as we breath in and out. This vibration is what causes the snoring sound. Alcohol can act to relax the muscles around the airways, which can stop air flowing in and out of our lungs as freely as it needs. This will increase the chances you will snore, and snore loudly.  

3. Alcohol = Sugar. Sugar = Bad.

Most alcohols (and common mixers) contain sugar. This has the obvious problems of causing a spike in blood sugar levels if you drink just before bedtime. This spike disrupts sleep, among other things. Excessive sugar also depletes the body of magnesium, a mineral that is critical for muscle function and relaxation. If your magnesium levels are low, you may notice you feel restless, anxious and have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep.  

4. Alcohol Needs to be Processed By Your Body

Your kidneys and liver process alcohol. Depending on how many drinks you have had and when you stopped drinking, your  kidneys and liver continue working away at metabolising and processing that alcohol for many hours after you nod off to sleep. This means your organs are working away at a time when they should be reducing activity so they can rest and recover for the next day. This, in turn, causes a number of problems for sleep. When we metabolise a food/drink (including alcohol), an 'exothermic' reaction occurs. That is, metabolism gives off heat and raises our body temperature. This can make temperature regulation more difficult and - combined  with the sweating and dehydration effect caused by alcohol - results in an overheated, uncomfortable night's sleep. Furthermore, when we metabolise a food/drink, energy is produced. Does energy production sound like something that is a good idea of a night time when you are trying to sleep?  

Final Tip

We have covered the main negative effects of alcohol on sleep, but excessive alcohol consumption in general can have a number of negative effects on your  health and mental wellbeing. If you like a drink, we recommend sticking to the Australian Federal guidelines for alcohol consumption to ensure it doesn't adversely affect your health. These guidelines can be found at http://www.alcohol.gov.au/. ------ This article was provided by our online partner Health365. For more information on getting a good night's sleep, visit www.health365.com.au.
6 Reasons You Can't Concentrate
Articles

6 Reasons You Can't Concentrate

There are a variety of reasons why you might be struggling to concentrate during the day  at work. You may be dehydrated. You may not be getting enough sleep, enough key nutrients or may be hypoglycaemic. Heck, maybe your job is just boring. We take a look at 6 common reasons you might be struggling to concentrate.

1. Alcohol

Even if you don't actually feel hung over, those few drinks you had last night may be part of the reason you cannot concentrate. Alcohol can impair your ability to get a good night's sleep, and fatigue can make it difficult to concentrate. Additionally, even minor hangovers can impair proper brain function. Long term alcohol abuse can have a serious detrimental effect on your overall brain function. TIP: Limit your daily alcohol intake to comply with Australian alcohol intake guidelines.  

2. Vitamin B Deficiency

B Vitamins help your body convert food into energy. They also help you metabolise fats and proteins. All of this means adequate intake of B Vitamins means greater ability to get the most out of your food, and more fuel for mental focus.  TIP: Seafoods, red meats and eggs are all good sources of B-Vitamins, but for those who really want to make sure they have enough B vitamins, a good Vitamin B Complex supplement may be beneficial.  

3. Stress

Stress, up to a point, can help concentration - it provides additional motivation and urgency to finish a task. However, excessive stress can have the opposite effect. Having too many competing priorities disrupts your concentration and can also lead to forgetfulness. TIP: Use relaxation methods and a healthy, active lifestyle to reduce the mental effects of stressful situations at home or work.  

4. Multi-Tasking

Checking your emails every 5 minutes? Taking phone calls every half hour? Checking Instagram every other opportunity? Multitasking is a fine art, but it can actually hurt your ability to concentrate on larger, more complicated tasks. If you are continually skipping from one small, mindless activity to the next, your brain starts to work in ways to accommodate that behaviour. This leads to an inability to focus on larger, more complicated tasks. TIP: check email once in the morning, once at lunch and once of an afternoon. Same goes with your phone. Leave social media for after office hours. When you have to focus on complicated tasks, remove the risk of interruptions / ask your co-workers not to disturb you.  

5. Boredom / Lack of Challenge

Novel tasks stimulate the brain. Boring, mundane tasks can actually do the opposite in the short term. There are numerous studies that show that having a variety of tasks to perform throughout the day leads to higher productivity, greater worker satisfaction and higher productivity when compared with doing the same, repetitive tasks each day. TIP: try to find a way to make boring tasks less mundane by adding a time limit or performance measure. Alternatively, you may need to explore other career options.  

6. Low Omega-3 levels

Low omega-3 levels have been linked to a variety of mental, learning and cognitive difficulties in a range of people. One particular type of omega-3 called 'DHA' (docosahexaenoic acid) has been shown to be of benefit in helping people affected by autism and ADHD to improve mental performance. Some research also shows low omega-3 levels have also been linked to difficulties in reading, numeracy, concentration and memory. Increasing DHA levels in these studies lead to a small increase in cognitive performance. TIP: try to eat slamon, tuna or mackerel 3 times a week to get enough omega-3 DHA. Alternatively, you may benefit from trying a supplement rich in DHA to help boost overall brain function.  

Final Note

We have listed some common reasons that you may be having trouble concentrating. There are numerous other reasons why you might not be able to concentrate at work. Whilst we all inevitably find ourselves feeling a bit disengaged from our jobs at times, if your work is being adversely effected, you should see your healthcare professional for a more in-depth diagnosis. ------ This article was provided by our online partner, Health365. For more information on learning, memory and cognitive function, visit www.health365.com.au.
5 Surprising Benefits of Omega-3
Articles

5 Surprising Benefits of Omega-3

We all know omega-3s are good for your health. We also know the ..
Odourless Fish Oil 1500mg
Products

Odourless Fish Oil 1500mg

Nature’s Way Odourless Fish Oil helps support healthy heart, brain, eyes and joint function. Nature’s Way Fish Oil is also great for general health and wellbeing. Available in 200 and 400 bulk value packs.