Seven to nine hours hours is the recommended range of sleep for the average adult person. A Gallup poll however, has found that 40% of Americans get less than seven hours of sleep a night and an estimated 70 million of them have a sleep disorder. Insomnia costs the US economy approximately $63 billion a year in lost productivity. It is also considered a major contributing factor to deaths caused by motor vehicle collisions.
Globally the numbers are no better. A sleep survey involving forty-eight countries showed that none of the participants manages to get an average of eight hours of sleep a night. While cultures may vary in their perception of what the right amount of sleep is, sleep deprivation has undeniably serious consequences.
Why You Need Sleep
One grave error we make when it comes to sleep is thinking that it’s just about getting rest. That’s just one piece of the pie. Sleep serves many other important functions that contribute to the overall quality of one’s life.
- Makes you smarter – Sleep helps us process what we’ve learned during the day by facilitating the transfer of information from the hippocampus, a small area deep in your brain where memories are made to the prefrontal cortex, which serves as long-term storage.
- Removes toxins from the brain – The flow of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain increases dramatically when we are sleeping. This enables the removal of harmful waste proteins and toxins that have been accumulated during waking hours.
- Improves your physical health – People who don’t get enough sleep increase their risk of depression, seizures, high blood pressure, migraines, obesity, diabetes, and heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) diseases among others..
- Boosts your immune system – Immunity is compromised, increasing the likelihood of illness and infection. increases your
- Boosts diet and fitness efforts – Sleep deprivation alters the glucose metabolism and decreases levels of the satiety hormone leptin and increases the levels of hunger hormone ghrelin causing you to ingest more calories.
Symptoms Of Sleep Deprivation
The main symptom of chronic sleep deprivation is excessive daytime fatigue, but also includes the following.
- Irritability and a generally more negative mood
- Unhappiness and depression
- Low sex drive and a lack of energy
- Problems with memory and retaining information
- Increased appetite and carbohydrate cravings
- Excessive sleepiness
- Inability to concentrate or a “fuzzy” head
- Lack of motivation
Using Synthetic and Prescription Sleep Aids To Fight Insomnia
Synthetic and prescription sleep aids are an option when it comes to treating insomnia. They are however, associated with troubling side effects. The risk of abuse is also quite high as they tend to be extremely addictive. Side effects may include the following.
- Burning or tingling in the hands, arms, feet, or legs
- Changes in appetite
- Difficulty keeping balance
- Daytime drowsiness
- Dry mouth or throat
- Impairment the next day
- Mental slowing or problems with attention or memory
- Stomach pain or tenderness
- Uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body
- Unusual dreams
What is Kratom
Kratom is a tropical plant that belongs to the same plant family that brought us coffee. Despite this fact, research has found it to be a beneficial natural supplement to combat insomnia and help you get better sleep by addressing factors such as pain, stress, anxiety and muscle tightness that could be causing these issues.
The leaves contain a variety of active compounds known as alkaloids. Of the many alkaloids present, Mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine are the main ones. When ingested, Kratom produces analgesic, stimulant and sedative effects. This plant has also been cited in the treatment of digestive ailments, anxiety, depression and to aid in the for withdrawal from opiate (mainly opium) dependence.
The plant’s dark green leaves can be ingested as is but are more often usually dried and either crushed or powdered and made into a paste, tincture, capsule or tablet form. It can also be brewed as a tea.
For the most part, the amount taken by users determines what effects they experience. Low doses cause stimulating effects and high doses are said to cause sedative ones. To a lesser degree, the particular strain of Kratom you consume also influences the type of effects you experience.
How Kratom Works
The effects experienced after consuming Kratom are said to be opiate-like. However, this plant should not be labeled as an opiate for it is not one. The unfortunate labeling when it does occur, stems from the fact that it interacts with the same opioid receptors found in the brain that opiates do.
There are four major subtypes of opioid receptors: mu-opioid (MOR), kappa-opioid (KOR), delta-opioid (DOR). Receptors are responsible for receiving and processing coming from various parts of the body. Unlike traditional opiates however, Kratom is a partial opioid agonist at these three opioid receptor sites.
This means when it binds to and activates a given opioid receptor, it creates effects that are less intense than those that would have been created by a full opioid agonists like heroin, oxycodone, methadone, hydrocodone, morphine, opium.
Kratom has been shown to activate the mu receptor and cause sedating and analgesia effects. Activation of delta and kappa receptors also produces analgesic effects although to a lesser degree.
Though the plant has been used for centuries, it is growing in popularity in the light of of the growing opioid crisis. This is due to the fact that it tends to have less abuse and addiction potential when compared to opiates like Heroin, Oxycontin, Hydrocodone and Morphine.
Best Kratom Strains for Better Sleep and Insomnia
1. Bali Kratom
Bali is a potent strain sourced from quick growing, large sized Kratom leaves. It is said to be a hybrid blend of Borneo and Sumatra strains. It’s easy to grow and this makes it quite affordable in comparison to other varieties on the market. It is available in red, green and white vein strains and Red vein Bali is the most effective of all three when it comes to insomnia and better sleep.
Red vein Bali contains high levels of 7-Hydroxymitragynine and Mitragynine. It also contains 9-Hydroxycorynantheidine, Mitraphylline and Speciogynine. This combination of alkaloids make this strain effective as an analgesic, muscle relaxant, sedative and anxiolytic.
Its potency makes users more susceptible to wobbles (may also be referred to as Kratom eye wobbles or Kratom eye wiggles). Users should therefore keep their doses on the lower side to avoid them. Though it is a potent strain, it is milder than Sumatra and Maeng Da varieties.
2. Sumatra Kratom
Sumatra Kratom comes from the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Its effects are said to be milder, smoother and longer-lasting (up to ten hours). It is available in red, green and white vein strains and Red vein Sumatra is the most effective of all three when it comes to insomnia and better sleep.
The main alkaloids found in Red vein Sumatra are Mitragynine, 7-Hydroxymitragynine, Mitraphylline, Corynantheidine (Rauhimebine),Isomitraphylline and Raubasine. This combination of active compounds provides stress relief, enhances one’s mood, eases insomnia and helps to regulate sleep patterns, lowers high blood pressure and calms nerves. The effects come on slow and but can last up to 10 hours.
3. Borneo Kratom
Borneo Kratom is said to be the most sedating of all the strains as it contain high levels of 7-hydroxymitragynine. It is know for its pain killing, euphoric, and addiction treating properties.
It is available in red, green and white vein strains and Red vein Borneo is the most effective of all three when it comes to insomnia and better sleep. Red Vein Borneo is rich in the alkaloids 7-Hydroxymitragynine and Mitragynine, both of which are strong natural painkillers. In addition, the strain contains the dopamine mediators, Corynoxine A and Corynoxine B that are responsible for reducing anxiety and improving mood.
4. Indo Kratom
Indo Kratom contains high levels of voth 7-Hydroxymitragynine and Mitragynine. It’s therefoee able to produce a combination of effects including pain relief, assistance with opiate withdrawal, relaxation, sedation, and mood lifting. Indo strains cause fewer side effects like the wobbles, than other strains such as Bali.
It is available in red, green and white vein strains and Red vein Indo is the most effective of all three when it comes to insomnia and better sleep as it contains a higher level of Mitragynine. It helps reduce insomnia by relieve anxiety and stress.
Kratom doses for insomnia and better sleep should be in the moderate to high range i.e. 5 grams to 15 grams. Anything less is more likely to produce stimulating effects.
Doses greater than 15 grams are extremely sedating and should be avoided. They have the potential to result in loss of consciousness, delusions, hallucinations and addiction. Consuming high doses can also cause harmful side effects like vomiting, itching, nausea, constipation, and loss of appetite.
How to Improve Your Kratom Experience
- Getting quality sleep is about how easily you fall asleep and also how long you stay asleep. If falling asleep is the issue, take Kratom 3-6 hours before your bed time. If staying asleep is the issue, Kratom should be taken 1.5-2 hours before your bed time.
- To reduce the possibility of developing tolerance, Kratom should be taken no more than thrice a week and should also not be taken back to back.
- As these strains are highly sedating, take some time to find your right dose so that you don’t wake up feeling groggy.