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Turmeric improves the quality of sleep and makes it more restful

March 17, 2023
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Turmeric improves the quality of sleep and makes it more restful

Insomnia, difficulty falling asleep and not very regenerating sleep that makes us wake up already tired in the morning, turmeric helps to counteract these sleep disorders. A recent scientific research, in fact, has demonstrated the benefits of turmeric on sleep quality and has also been able to explain the underlying mechanism. The study was published in the journal Food and Function by a Korean team (Um et al, Food Funct, 2022).

Turmeric, a spice with multiple properties

Turmeric is considered one of the superfoods par excellence. Thanks to its active ingredient, curcumin, turmeric has in fact demonstrated anti-inflammatory, anticancer and antioxidant properties, it helps keep blood sugar and cholesterol under control, protects muscles and joints. Turmeric is also believed to counteract anxiety, and recently there has been speculation that turmeric may also improve sleep. However, regarding this last aspect, it had not been possible, until now, to demonstrate it with certainty and, above all, to understand the underlying mechanisms. Korean research aims to clarify.

Turmeric improves the quality of sleep, the study

Scientists have elaborated a research performed in the laboratory on a population of mice and using simulations and theoretical studies. The aim of the study was to evaluate the effects of curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, on sleep quality. What emerged is that curcumin was able to reduce the time to fall asleep and increased the duration of sleep. Not only that, turmeric also promoted the deep sleep phase, which is the sleep phase in which the brain regenerates. Sleep disturbances at this stage can cause a feeling of tiredness and exhaustion in the morning. Scientists have also been able to understand the mechanism of action of curcumin. In particular, it has been observed that curcumin is able to bind to the histamine H1 receptor. Well, histamine, which is a neurotransmitter, plays a fundamental role in regulating the sleep-wake rhythm. In fact, when a substance, such as curcumin in this case, binds to the histamine H1 receptor and inhibits it, then the phase of relaxation and falling asleep is favored.

Conclusions

Turmeric is a spice that finds its place in a varied, balanced and healthy diet. Not only does turmeric help fight inflammation, free radical damage and cellular degeneration, but turmeric, as we learned today, is also a further ally in promoting good restful sleep and improving the quality of sleep. We can't talk about a miraculous remedy capable of immediately giving nights of uninterrupted rest, but surely its moderate and regular intake can help you sleep better, together with other tricks. For a good sleep, in fact, it is recommended to avoid evening meals that are too abundant or eaten too close to bedtime, or also to avoid taking substances containing caffeine in the evening hours as well as the practice of intense physical activity before to go to sleep. Turmeric should be consumed mixed with extra virgin olive oil and black pepper, in order to increase the availability of curcumin, which otherwise would hardly be able to overcome the stomach barrier. In a small bowl mix a teaspoon of turmeric, a grind of pepper and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, mix and use as a salad dressing.

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