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Significant link between low omega-3 levels and sleep

The study also found that more than two-thirds of American adults (68.3%) currently do not get enough omega-3s in their daily diet to meet their nutritional needs, but there was no significant link between total omega-3 fatty acids circulating levels and difficulty falling asleep or sleep disturbances.

Pharmavite, makers of Nature Made vitamins and supplements, conducted the study by analyzing data from a previous survey of 1,314 adults aged 19 and older.

Sleep improvement

Dr. Susan Mitmesser, vice president of science and technology at Pharmavite, said: “Insufficient sleep is a key issue that exacerbates the sleep crisis that currently affects approximately 70 million Americans. Although further research is needed to clarify causation and the underlying mechanisms that link daily intake of omega-3 fatty acids to improved sleep, the results of this study add to a growing body of research that suggests that omega-3 fatty acids play an even more important role in supporting human health than we didn’t think so before.

For years, a number of studiesreported that consumption of omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, but recent research identifies other areas of human health where omega-3s may play a beneficial role.

In 2021, a to study​ conducted by Pharmavite and published in the Journal of Affective Disorders Reports, was the first to assess the relationship between depression and levels of omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) in the circulatory system. Data analysis revealed that adults with higher blood levels of omega-3s were correlated with a lower risk of depression and for those with higher EPA levels there was an association with a better quality of life, including performing tasks of daily living and getting along with people .

These latest findings published in sleep healthadd to the growing body of evidence that points to the broader impact omega-3 fatty acids can have on human health, including heart health, mental health and now sleep.

This isn’t the first time the link between sleep and omega-3 deficiency has been studied. In 2014, a randomized placebo-controlled trial to study​ by the University of Oxford suggested that higher levels of omega-3 DHA, the group of long-chain fatty acids found in seaweed and seafood, are associated with better sleep.

The impact on children

This study looked at the impact of a lack of omega-3s and sleep in children, to see if it could affect their learning.

It specifically looked at the sleep patterns of 362 healthy British schoolchildren aged between seven and nine in relation to levels of omega-3 and omega-6 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs) found in samples of blood taken from the finger. Previous research has suggested links between poor sleep and low blood levels of omega-3 LC-PUFAs in infants and in children and adults with behavioral or learning difficulties, but these were the first study to examine links between sleep and fatty acid status in healthy children.

This study also found that higher blood levels of long-chain omega-3 DHA (the main omega-3 fatty acid found in the brain) are significantly associated with better sleep, including less resistance to bedtime. , parasomnias and complete sleep disturbance. He adds that higher ratios of DHA to long-chain omega-6 fatty acid AA (arachidonic acid) are also associated with fewer sleep problems.

Source: sleep health

First post: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sleh.2021.12.003​

‘Association of omega-3 levels and sleep in American adults, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2011-2012’

Authors: Rachel A. Murphy et al