Performance: Optimize Sleep Quality

Lowering Cortisol Levels 

While on the surface many athletes appear to perform exceptionally well under pressure, the persistent demands they face can cause a great deal of stress for many. This heightened state of stress activates the release of cortisol (the stress hormone) increasing its levels in the body. In fact, research demonstrates a negative correlation between poor sleep/increased cortisol levels and athletic performance.  In other words, athletic performance significantly diminishes as a consequence of higher stress levels and poor sleep quality. However, antioxidants have shown promising results, with research revealing their capacity to reduce cortisol levels, and in turn, improve sleep quality.  As the most effective and powerful antioxidant in existence,  H2 has the potential to reduce the activation of cortisol, and thus works to improve both sleep quality and the body’s natural response to stress. 

Neutralizing Oxidative Stress 

Given the heightened aerobic metabolism that takes place during strenuous exercise, athletes are much more susceptible to greater free radical production within the body. Specifically, athletes exhibit excessive levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), placing their body in a state of oxidative stress. When found in excess, ROS and the resulting damage caused by oxidative stress can significantly impact sleep quality. However, therapy with H2 has been shown to neutralize oxidative stress and mitigate its harmful effects on the body.

 

  

Boosting Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF)


Brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a protein involved in neuronal survival, learning, memory, appetite, and sleep. Within the scientific community, the neurotrophic (growth of the nervous system, e.g. neuroplasticity) functions of BDNF have been shown to mitigate the impact of stress on the body and its implication in the pathology of various sleep disorders.   Furthermore, lower levels of BDNF are also linked to greater stress levels. Studies have repeatedly confirmed that higher concentrations of BDNF are connected to improved sleep quality and in cases of BDNF deficiency, more serious sleep disorders, such as insomnia, could arise. Given the strong evidence indicating athletes’ higher stress levels, they may be at risk for subthreshold levels of BDNF, further contributing to diminished sleep quality. Nonetheless, H2 has been shown to raise BDNF,   proposing a third possible mechanism by which H2 can attenuate the sleep difficulties faced by athletes. 
 

H2 helps optimize sleep quality by…

Along with physical conditioning and consuming a well-balanced, nutrient dense diet, sleep plays a critical role in athletic performance.  Exercise, especially long hours of high intensity training, causes both mental and physical exhaustion. Adequate sleep will ensure the necessary restoration and repair required to progress to new levels, no matter what your athletic endeavor may be. 

However, despite such clear-cut evidence, athletes continue to report lower quality sleep when compared to same age, non-athlete peers,  placing them at greater risk for errors that could cost them their future athletic careers. Numerous factors have been associated with poor sleep quality, including increased cortisol levels, greater oxidative stress, and reduced levels of the neurochemical BDNF. Whatever the underlying reasons contributing to athletes’ sleep disturbance, the scientific literature implicates the powerful mechanisms by which H2 works to counteract these variables.    
 

References

[1] Sleep in elite athletes and nutritional interventions to enhance sleep

 

“Sleep has numerous important physiological and cognitive functions that may be particularly important to elite athletes.”

 

Halson, S. L. (2014). Sleep in elite athletes and nutritional interventions to enhance sleep. Sports Medicine, 44(S1), 13-23. doi: 10.1007/s40279-014-0147-0

 

[2] Sleep duration and quality in elite athletes measured using wristwatch actigraphy

 

“Athletes showed poorer markers of sleep quality than an age and sex matched non-athletic control group.” 

 

Leeder, J., Glaister, M., Pizzoferro, K., Dawson, J., & Pedlar, C. (2012). Sleep duration and quality in elite athletes measured using wristwatch actigraphy. Journal of Sports Sciences, 30(6), 541-545. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2012.660188

 

[3] Stress and hormones

 

“Stress’ may be defined as any situation which tends to disturb the equilibrium between a living organism and its environment. In day-to-day life there are many stressful situations such as stress of work pressure, examinations, psychosocial stress and physical stresses   Activation of the pituitary-adrenal axis is a prominent neuroendocrine response to stress, promoting survival. Stimulation of this axis results in hypothalamic secretion of corticotrophin-releasing factor.”

 

Ranabir, S., & Reetu, K. (2011). Stress and hormones. Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, 15(1), 18–22. doi: 10.4103/2230-8210.77573

 

[4] Stress biomarkers, mood states, and sleep during a major competition: “Success” and “failure” athlete's profile of high-level swimmers

 

“The stress of the competition could trigger a negative mood profile and sleep disturbance which correspond to different responses of biomarkers related to the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis and the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activity, cortisol, sAA, and CgA.”

 

Chennaoui, M., Bougard, C., Drogou, C., Langrume, C., Miller, C., Gomez-Merino, D., & Vergnoux, F. (2016). Stress biomarkers, mood states, and sleep during a major competition: “Success” and “failure” athlete's profile of high-level swimmers. Frontiers in Physiology, 7(94), 1-10. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2016.00094

 

[5] Antioxidant defense responses to sleep loss and sleep recovery

 

“The present results link uncompensated oxidative stress to health effects induced by sleep deprivation and provide evidence that restoration of antioxidant balance is a property of recovery sleep.”

 

Everson, C. A. (2004). Antioxidant defense responses to sleep loss and sleep recovery. American Journal of Physiology: Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, 288(2), 374-383. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.00565.2004

 

[6] Hydrogen as a selective antioxidant: A review of clinical and experimental studies

“H2 is emerging as a novel and safe therapeutic antioxidant. It has selective antioxidant properties, giving it anti-inflammatory properties.”

 

Hong, Y., Chen, S., & Zhang, J. (2010). Hydrogen as a selective antioxidant: A review of clinical and experimental studies. Journal of International Medical Research, 38(6), 1893-1903. doi: 10.1177/147323001003800602

 

[7] Oxidative stress and antioxidants in athletes undertaking regular exercise training.

 

“Exercise has been shown to increase the production of reactive oxygen species to a point that can exceed antioxidant defenses to cause oxidative stress.”

 

Watson, T. A., Mac Donald-Wicks, L., & Garg, M. (2005). Oxidative stress and antioxidants in athletes undertaking regular exercise training. International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Metabolism, 15(2), 131-146. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16089272

 

[8] Overtraining Syndrome

 

“Resting markers of oxidative stress are higher in overtrained athletes compared with controls.”

 

Kreher, J. B., & Schwartz, J. B. (2012). Overtraining Syndrome: A Practical Guide. Sports Health, 4(2), 128–138. doi.: 10.1177/1941738111434406

 

[9] Role of oxidative stress in the neurocognitive dysfunction of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome

 

“Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) is characterized by chronic nocturnal intermittent hypoxia and sleep fragmentations. Neurocognitive dysfunction, a significant and extraordinary complication of OSAS, Understanding the role that OS played in the cognitive deficits is crucial for future research and therapeutic strategy development.”

 

Zhou, L., Chen, P., Peng, Y., & Ouyang, R. (2016). Role of oxidative stress in the neurocognitive dysfunction of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, 2016(9626831), 1-15. doi: 10.1155/2016/9626831

 

[10] Reactive oxygen metabolites (ROMs) as an index of oxidative stress in obstructive sleep apnea patients

 

“Twenty-one out of 26 subjects had an apnea/hypopnea index greater than 5 (obstructive sleep apnea group). The measurement of free radicals was high in OSA patients.  Reactive oxygen metabolites were elevated in patients with OSA. When OSA was severe, similarly the value of ROMs in blood samples was enhanced, and the probable underlying mechanism for these events is the hypoxia/reoxygenation phenomenon.”

 

Christou, K., Markoulis, N., Moulas, A. N., Pastaka, C., & Gourgoulianis, K. I. (2003). Reactive oxygen metabolites (ROMs) as an index of oxidative stress in obstructive sleep apnea patients. Sleep & Breathing, 7(3), 105-110. doi: 10.1055/s-2003-43071

 

[11] Inflammation, oxidative stress, and antioxidants contribute to selected sleep quality and cardiometabolic health relationships: A cross-sectional study

 

“Our results provide initial evidence of a potential role for inflammation, oxidative stress, and antioxidants in the pathway between poor sleep quality-cardiometabolic decline.”

 

Kanagasabai, T., & Ardern, C. I. (2015). Inflammation, Oxidative Stress, and Antioxidants Contribute to Selected Sleep Quality and Cardiometabolic Health Relationships: A Cross-Sectional Study. Mediators of Inflammation, 2015(824589), 1-11. doi: 10.1155/2015/824589

 

[12] Serum paraoxonase, arylesterase activities and oxidative status in patients with Insomnia

 

“Patients with insomnia have increased systemic oxidative stress and reduced levels of serum antioxidant enzymes. Oxidative stress appears to be an underlying condition associated with insomnia.”

 

Liang, B., Li, Y. H., & Kong, H. (2013). Serum paraoxonase, arylesterase activities and oxidative status in patients with Insomnia. European review for medical and pharmacological sciences, 17(18), 2517-2522. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24089233.

 

[13] Oxidative stress in patients with primary insomnia

 

“Our results show that the patients with primary insomnia had significantly lower GSH-Px activity and higher MDA levels compared with the controls. These results may indicate the important role of sleep in attenuating oxidative stress.”

 

Gulec, M., Ozkol, H., Selvi, Y., Tuluce, Y., Aydin, A., Besiroglu, L., & Ozdemir, P. G. (2012). Oxidative stress in patients with primary insomnia. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, 37(2), 247-251. doi: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2012.02.011

 

[14] Hydrogen as a selective antioxidant: A review of clinical and experimental studies

“H2 is emerging as a novel and safe therapeutic antioxidant. It has selective antioxidant properties, giving it anti-inflammatory properties.”

 

Hong, Y., Chen, S., & Zhang, J. (2010). Hydrogen as a selective antioxidant: A review of clinical and experimental studies. Journal of International Medical Research, 38(6), 1893-1903. doi: 10.1177/147323001003800602

 

 

[15] Hydrogen acts as a therapeutic antioxidant by selectively reducing cytotoxic oxygen radicals

 “Hydrogen selectively reduces the hydroxyl radical, the most toxic free radical, and effectively protects cells. It does not react with free radicals that have physiological benefits, making it an incredibly effective therapy to neutralize acute oxidative stress.”

 

Ohsawa, I., Ishikawa, M., Takahashi, K., Watanabe, M., Nishimaki, K., Yamagata, K., . . . Ohta, S. (2007). Hydrogen acts as a therapeutic antioxidant by selectively reducing cytotoxic oxygen radicals. Nature Medicine, 13(6), 688-694. doi: 10.1038/nm1577

 

[16] BDNF in sleep, insomnia, and sleep deprivation

 

“Recently, we reported, for the first time, a relationship between BDNF and insomnia and sleep deprivation (SD). Using a biphasic stress model as explanation approach, we discuss here the hypothesis that chronic stress might induce a deregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal system. In the long-term it leads to sleep disturbance and depression as well as decreased BDNF levels, whereas acute stress like SD can be used as therapeutic intervention in some insomniac or depressed patients as compensatory process to normalize BDNF levels.”

 

Schmitt, K., Holsboer-Trachsler, E., & Eckert, A. (2016). BDNF in sleep, insomnia, and sleep deprivation. Annals of Medicine, 48(1-2), 42-51. doi: 10.3109/07853890.2015.1131327

 

[17] Hydrogen-rich saline protects against spinal cord injury in rats

 

“We observed that administration of hydrogen-rich saline decreased the number of apoptotic cells, suppressed oxidative stress, and improved locomotor functions. In conclusion, hydrogen-rich saline reduced acute spinal cord contusion injury, possibly by reduction of oxidative stress and elevation of BDNF.”

 

Chen, C., Chen, Q., Mao, Y., Xu, S., Xia, C., Shi, X., . . . Sun, X. (2010). Hydrogen-rich saline protects against spinal cord injury in rats. Neurochemical Research, 35(7), 1111-1118. doi: 10.1007/s11064-010-0162-y

 

[18] Molecular hydrogen reduces LPS-induced neuroinflammation and promotes recovery from sickness behaviour in mice

 

“Twenty-four hours after systemic administration of LPS, most behavioural parameters (total resting time during the light phase, and the circadian distribution of spontaneous locomotor activity and resting) were already restored in molecular hydrogen-enriched H-ERW mice, but not in controls. Consistently, the behavioural parameters were associated with a lower upregulation of IL-1β and IL-6 (still significantly above the expression levels in shams), and with an upregulation of BDNF only in H-ERW-treated mice.”

Spulber, S., Edoff, K., Hong, L., Morisawa, S., Shirahata, S., & Ceccatelli, S. (2012). Molecular hydrogen reduces LPS-induced neuroinflammation and promotes recovery from sickness behaviour in mice. PLOS ONE, 7(7), 1-12. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0042078

The statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
The products on this website are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

© 2018 trusii. All Rights Reserved