Why do we sleep less and feel it more as we age?
We all get tired. After a hard day of work, a stressful period in our lives, or a lot of physical activity, our body needs rest. In our younger years, we probably didn’t think about sleep, night came, we fell asleep and our bodies did the necessary work of repair — end of story. But as we age, things get a bit more complicated, poor sleep patterns that have gone unchecked for years can and often do remap our natural sleep cycle.
There are deeper forces at work too, which keep us from a good night’s sleep. As we age, cells lose much of the primary co-enzyme Nad+ (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide) which is vital to many normal functions of the body, sleep being one of them.
Senior biotech research scientists at Harvard University explain that by the time we reach our fiftieth birthday, most of us are working on approximately half our original stores of Nad+, which is often when sleep problems really hit their stride.
Imagine an hourglass, and the sand slowly pouring from the upper chamber everyday of our lives, that’s essentially what is happening with our cell’s Nad+ supply. Nad+ loss as we age is one of the main reasons we become symptomatic and can struggle with sleep loss. One theory among top longevity scientists is, if we keep our Nad+ supplies balanced by supplementing Nmn (Nicotinamide Mononucleotide), a precursor enzyme to Nad+, we could see a marked improvement in our overall health, including sleep.
What happens when sleep disrupts our daytime routine?
How long has it been since you slept through the night? When sleep is interrupted, and as the months and years wear on, many will introduce sleep aids. When sleep aids no longer work, frustration with a lack of sleep begins to impact our cognitive, emotional and physical ability to get through the day. Throw intermittent periods of stress into the mix, like the trauma of a death, illness of a loved-one or self, divorce, or a job loss, and a once occasional sleep problem doubles-down and we find ourselves in a chronic sleep loss cycle.
People who have physically demanding jobs are hardest hit, usually working long hours while standing all day, swing, or graveyard shifts, these people can suffer sleep deprivation the longest as their natural circadian rhythms are consistently upset. Some nurses can work their entire careers at night. In the short-term, it can take its toll on decision-making skills, but as we age permanent cellular damage of habitual interrupted sleep patterns can follow us into our older years.
How do I fix my broken sleep clock?
It’s important to understand the distinction between the life choices we make that rob our sleep, like working the night shift or spending too much time on our iPhones, and the physiological, inevitable loss of Nad+ from our cells as we age. It’s also central to note that by the time sleep becomes a problem, it’s usually around mid-life, coincidentally or not, around the same time the loss of our Nad+ supply becomes significant.
Resolving our sleep issues requires us to make a few changes, and sometimes very difficult choices. Altering our hard and fast patterns is essential to begin the slow turn around to healthy aging and ultimately better sleep. Luckily, filling up our Nad+ stores to give our cells what they need to do their jobs, is actually pretty easy with regular Nmn supplementation.
Nad+, Nmn and sleep
Let’s expand on the importance of Nad+ and sleep. Nad+ exists in all cells, and not just human cells, but plants and all living things. Nad+’s main task is assisting the cell’s survival in handling the daily onslaught of environmental changes, and stressors — things like managing DNA repair, inflammatory responses and circadian rhythms, that ancient internal clock.
Depleting Nad+ stores as we age leaves us vulnerable to those essential functions breaking down, so replenishing Nad+ is fast becoming fundamental to living well, longer.
How do we restock Nad+ in our cells?
Thanks to innovations in bio tech, and the new wave of longevity science, the answer is not as difficult as it seems.
The process of replenishing Nad+ stores with Nmn has been identified as the key to it all by Harvard University scientists and has catapulted Nmn into the mainstream nutraceutical industry, confirming its everyday use as a safe and highly effective way to replenish Nad+ supplies.
Biotech engineers develop different concentrations of Nad+ in supplements and not surprisingly the higher purity levels and Nmn content are most effective. When Nad+ supplies are addressed, natural sleep has a better chance at resolving.
In short, remapping a whole life of sleep disruptors is not be an easy task, but beginning a healthy approach to addressing your sleep issues earlier rather than later will certainly help. As anyone will tell you, an ounce of prevention — well, you know the rest.