Ingredients in Focus: Hops
A Natural Remedy for Better Sleep and Relaxation
Hops, a plant commonly used in brewing beer, has been found to have potential health benefits beyond its use in making alcoholic beverages. One of the most promising benefits of hops extract is its ability to improve sleep quality and promote relaxation. In this article, we'll explore the science behind hops extract and how it can help you achieve a better night's sleep and feel more relaxed.
What is Hops Extract?
Hops extract is a natural herbal supplement made from the dried cones of the hop plant, also known as Humulus lupulus. The extract contains a variety of compounds, including alpha and beta acids, essential oils, and flavonoids, that are believed to have health benefits.
Historically, hops have been used for their sedative properties and have been found to have a calming effect on the body. Today, hops extract is commonly used as a natural remedy for anxiety, insomnia, and other sleep disorders.
How Do Hops Help with Sleep and Relaxation?Hops extract has several properties that make it a potential sleep aid and relaxant. The key active components in hops extract include:
- Alpha Acids: Alpha acids found in hops extract are known to have sedative effects, reducing anxiety and promoting relaxation.
- Flavonoids: Flavonoids are antioxidants found in hops extract that can help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, which can interfere with sleep.
- Essential Oils: Hops extract contains several essential oils that have been found to have a calming effect on the nervous system.
Research studies have suggested that hops extract can help improve sleep quality and reduce the time it takes to fall asleep. One study found that participants who took hops extract before bed experienced significantly better sleep quality compared to those who took a placebo . Another study found that hops extract helped improve sleep in postmenopausal women who experienced sleep disturbances due to hot flashes . Hops extract was also found to be effective in reducing anxiety and promoting relaxation in healthy adults .
Hops extract has potential health benefits beyond its use in brewing beer. Its sedative properties, flavonoids, and essential oils make it a promising natural remedy for improving sleep quality and promoting relaxation. While further research is needed to fully understand the effects of hops extract on sleep and relaxation, the available evidence suggests that it can be an effective and safe option for those looking to improve their sleep and overall wellbeing.
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 Taavoni S, Ekbatani N, Kashaniyan M, Haghani H. Effect of Humulus lupulus L. on sleep disorders in menopausal women. Complement Ther Med. 2011 Aug;19(4):194-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2011.05.003. Epub 2011 Jun 16.
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