A powerful extract of the ancient spice saffron may help counter poor sleep which affects at least 30 percent of the global population and impacts negatively on mental and physical health, according to new research.
The Australian study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine showed that the saffron extract, Affron -- which is contained in the SA health supplement Felix -- helped improve sleep quality within the first week of treatment, without any side effects.
Lead researcher, Dr Adrian Lopresti said: “Our early research is indeed positive and there is evidence that taking a standardized saffron extract is associated with improvements in sleep quality.”
A US survey on sleep found almost 70% of respondents believe their sleep was healthier before the Covid pandemic while a study by Wits University shows at least 30 percent of South Africans have symptoms of sleep apnoea -- breaks or pauses in breathing during sleep and a “highly undiagnosed” condition. The South African Society of Sleep Medicine (SASSM) says insomnia affects up to 40 percent of adults.
Health and wellness expert, Vanessa Ascencao, says poor sleep has a significant impact on immunity and general health. She said studies show that poor stress management and poor nutrition are associated with poor sleep which is also linked to health conditions such as obesity, diabetes and cardiac disease.
“Consider following a holistic approach to improved sleep by eating a balanced diet with nutritious whole food and lots of fruit and vegetables. Avoid highly processed foods and stimulants such as caffeine, cigarettes and alcohol.
“Exercise daily, manage stress, practice mindfulness and work towards a healthy routine of at least eight hours of restorative sleep a night. Avoid cellphones or devices at least two hours before bed,” she added.
Ascencao suggests taking high quality supplements such as Felix, which contains Affron, proven to help enhance mood, improve sleep health and counter unhealthy food cravings, BetterYou Boost B12 vitamin B oral spray, proven to work better than pills and which contributes to improved psychological function and Biomax Magnesium with proven absorption to help aid sleep.