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How To Avoid Insomnia From Fish Oil

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How Is Fish Oil Made


Fish oil is the oil extracted from fish tissue, usually from oily fish. These fish do not produce omega 3 acids themselves but get it through the fish they consume as prey.

Making fish oil is a lengthy process and varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, but the basic process of extracting fish oil is the same. Heres a look at how its done.

  • When making fish oil, raw fish is steamed in a processing plant.
  • This cooked mass is then centrifuged so that the oil and water are separated from the dry mass.
  • This is further processed to separate the oil and water. The solid elements in the oil are added to the fish meat.
  • Next, all the impurities from the oil are removed and antioxidants are added before the fish oil is processed.

Consider Taking Your Medications And Supplements At Night

Several studies have now shown that aspirin and cholesterol-lowering drugs, as well as blood pressure and anti-reflux medications, may work better in the evening .

Scientists suggest that as we sleep, our bodys circadian rhythm influences our hormonal balance, as well as the bodys ability to absorb chemicals in medications and supplements.

Because many symptoms worsen over the course of the night, taking certain medications and supplements before bedtime may actually help to improve health conditions the following day.

How Omega 3s Help Sleep

Im especially interested in the ways that omega 3s may be able to improve sleep. In recent years, theres been increasing attention to the potential benefits of omega 3s for sleep. Scientists still have plenty to learn about the ways omega 3s can affect sleep. Lets take a look at what science is already telling us about the omega 3-sleep connection:

Omega 3s may improve sleep quality and sleep quantity in adults. Research suggests omega 3 fatty acids from regularly consuming fish may boost your sleep quality, help you fall asleep more quickly and improve your daytime performance. One study showed these improvements among a group of adult men who ate fatty fish three times a week for several months. Another boost to sleep that may come from including omega 3-rich fish in your diet? These types of fatty fish are also good sources of Vitamin D, which is important for sleep. Ive written before about the link between Vitamin D and sleep and how Vitamin D deficiency is associated with disrupted sleep patterns. Fatty fish is one source of Vitamin D to consider, but dont overlook the very best sourcethe sun!

The benefits of omega 3s during pregnancy dont only include mom, but baby as well: studies show greater consumption of DHA during pregnancy is linked to stronger sleep patterns in newborns.

The brain and other health benefits on their own are enough to make omega 3 foods a priority in your diet. Add the prospect of better sleep to the mix, and its an even better idea.

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The Danger Of Reductionist Thinking In Nutritional Research

The current fish oil craze highlights the danger of isolated nutrient studies, which unfortunately is the focus of nutritional research today. Kuipers et al. eloquently described the risks of this approach in a recent paper:

The fish oil fatty acids EPA and DHA , vitamin D and vitamin A are examples of nutrients that act in concert, while each of these has multiple actions.

Consequently, the criteria for establishing optimum nutrient intakes via randomised controlled trials with single nutrients at a given dose and with a single end point have serious limitations. They are usually based upon poorly researched doseresponse relationships, and typically ignore many possible nutrient interactions and metabolic interrelationships.

For instance, the adequate intake of linoleic acid to prevent LA deficiency depends on the concurrent intakes of -linolenic acid , -LA and arachidonic acid . Consequently, the nutritional balance on which our genome evolved is virtually impossible to determine using the reigning paradigm of evidence-based medicine with RCT.

Its also important to note that there are many other traditional peoples, such as the Masai, the Tokelau, and the Kitavans, that are virtually free of heart disease but do not consume high amounts of marine oils. What these diets all share in common is not a large intake of omega-3 fats, but instead a complete absence of modern, refined foods.

May Improve Heart Health

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Taking a fish oil supplement may help keep your ticker in tip-top shape, according to a body of research.

An August 2016 study in âCirculationâ analyzed the effect that a daily dose of fish oil had on heart attack survivors over a six-month period. Researchers found that this treatment improved the function of the heart, reduced scarring in the undamaged tissue within the heart muscle and decreased biomarkers for inflammation.

Additionally, according to an in the same journal, adults with coronary heart disease who were prescribed a low-dose omega-3 fish oil supplement were 9 percent less likely to be hospitalized or die from the condition.

What’s more, a metaâanalysis of 13 randomized controlled trials found that supplementing with seafood-based omega-3s is linked to a lower risk of having a heart attack or developing heart disease, per a September 2019 study in the âJournal of the American Heart Associationâ .

Supplementing with marine-based omega-3s was linked to lower triglycerides and larger HDL particles, which are better at removing unhealthy cholesterol and potentially preventing plaque buildup and heart disease, in a February 2020 âJAHAâ study that included more than 26,000 people who identified as female.

Fish Oil and Arrhythmia

While studies have found fish oil omegaâ3 supplements to lower risk for heart attack and death from coronary heart disease, some research raises concerns over fish oil’s connection to atrial fibrillation ,

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The Highest Sources Of Omega

The dietary sources that contain some of the highest concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids include fish and fish oil supplements. According to the University of California Berkeley Wellness, some of the fish that have high levels of omega-3 are:

  • wild herring
  • farmed Atlantic salmon
  • plant oils such as flax oil, soybean oil, and canola oil
  • fortified foods such as yogurt, juices, milk, and soy beverages

Best Teas For Insomnia

Chamomile Tea For Insomnia

Image: Shutterstock

  • 2-3 tablespoons of chamomile flowers
  • 8 ounces of hot water
What You Have To Do

1. Take the flowers in a pot or large cup and add the water. 2. Let the herb soak in the water for about 10 minutes. 3. Strain and drink a cup of this beneficial herbal tea.

How Often You Should Do This

Have up to two cups of chamomile tea in a day.

Why This Works

This herbal tea is often nicknamed the sleep tea. Among the multiple flavonoids found in chamomile tea, apigenin binds to certain receptors in the brain and causes a relaxant effect .

Green Tea For Insomnia

Image: Shutterstock

What You Have To Do
  • Steep the tea in hot water for five to 10 minutes.
  • Strain and add milk and sugar or honey as per your taste. This is not compulsory as you can drink the decoction as it is.
  • Drink warm tea and enjoy its wonderful taste.
  • How Often You Should Do This

    Brew a cup of rooibos tea and have it whenever you have trouble falling asleep.

    Why This Works

    Rooibos tea is commonly used across the globe for insomnia. It has high antioxidant content and no caffeine. It reduces stress and exerts a relaxing and calming effect .

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    Fish Oil Sleep Side Effects

    Sleep-related side effects from fish oil, such as sleepiness or insomnia, dont occur commonly, and when they do they usually improve within a couple of weeks as your body adjusts to the influx of omega-3 fatty acids.If you experience insomnia, try taking the fish oil earlier during the day, and start out at lower dosages and increase it slowly. Speak with your doctor before starting fish oil supplements to make sure it doesnt interact with any of your current conditions or medications. For example, fish can have a thinning effect on blood and can interact with blood thinners, including warfarin, clopedigrel and aspirin. Fish oil can lower blood sugar and your doctor might need to make adjustments in diabetes medications, such as flipizide, glyburide, metformin and insulin. If you experience side effects such as arm, jaw or back pain, shortness of breath, nausea, sweating or chest pain, speak with your physician immediately.

    • Sleep-related side effects from fish oil, such as sleepiness or insomnia, dont occur commonly, and when they do they usually improve within a couple of weeks as your body adjusts to the influx of omega-3 fatty acids.

    Are There Side Effects Of Taking Too Much Fish Oil

    20 Essential Nutritional Supplements Every Woman Needs (vitamins, Nutrition & supplements for Women)

    Fish oil is an omega-3 supplement that contains health-boosting fatty acids. Omega-3s may benefit your heart health, ease inflammation, and help you lose weight. The most common complaint about fish oil supplements is fishy vitamin burps. Other side effects include gastrointestinal issues and allergic reactions.

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    Too Much Fish Oil Can Wreak Havoc In Your Body

    highly vulnerable to oxidative damage

    A study by Mata et al demonstrated that oxidative damage increases as intake of omega-3 fat increases. The results of this study were summarized in the Perfect Health Diet, by Paul and Shou-Ching Jaminet:

    Notice the clear increase in TBARS with omega-3 fat. Its important to note that this was only a 5-week trial. If it had gone on for longer than that, its likely the oxidative damage caused by omega-3 fats would have been even worse. This isnt surprising if you understand the chemical composition of fats. Polyunsaturated fats are highly vulnerable to oxidative damage because theyre the only fatty acids that have two or more double bonds, and its the carbon that lies between the double bonds that is vulnerable to oxidation :

    Another thing worth noting, if you havent already, is that intake of saturated and monounsaturated fats does not increase oxidative damage by a significant amount. This is illustrated in both the table and the diagram above: saturated fats have no double bonds, which means they are well protected against oxidation. MUFA is slightly more vulnerable, since it does have one double bond, but not nearly as much as PUFA which has several double-bonds.

    Risks And Side Effects

    The risks, side effects, and overdose symptoms include the following:

    • Nausea
    • Insomnia
    • Vitamin A toxicity

    Fish oils are also known to increase blood sugar levels, so individuals with diabetes should contact their healthcare provider to discuss proper options.

    Fish oils are known to potentially interact with some medications. Contact your healthcare provider to discuss the potential interaction of medications and fish oil supplements.

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    May Cause Bleeding And Blood Pressure Problems

    Taking an omega-3 fatty acid supplement could result in bleeding problems if mixed with blood-thinning medication, according to the NIH.

    Anti-platelet drugs like Plavix or anticoagulants like Coumadin with high dose omega-3 supplements can increase the risk of bleeding or easy bruising. While these correlations are not terribly common, if you’re on this type of medicine, it’s wise to talk to your doctor before taking and omega-3 supplement like fish oil, per March 2013 research in the âCanadian Pharmacist Journalâ.

    Since fish oil is a natural blood thinner, it reduces your blood’s ability to clot, and therefore, bleeding caused from capillary damage may take longer than normal to stop. As a result, when veins and capillaries break, it’s possible for blood to leak out of the vessels, pool under the skin and create a bruise.

    These supplements have also been shown to decrease vitamin E levels in the body, and, if taken with prescription blood pressure medicine, fish oil could cause blood pressure to rise, according to the Mayo Clinic.

    How Does It Work

    Vitamins &  Supplements That Cause Insomnia

    Brain levels of DHA impact important processes such as glucose utilization and neurotransmission.

    In other words, without the right amount of DHA, your brain is low on fuel and doesnt send messages as well as it should.

    This can cause issues with memory, learning, and anxiety. But regularly eating fish or taking a fish oil supplement may reverse these effects.

    A 2015 study using mouse lemurs found that adding omega-3 PUFAs to their diet increased their performance in maze tests and reduced their signs of anxiety.

    Another 2015 study suggests that DHA and EPA supplementation might ease anxiety by restoring gut microbiota. This is thanks to the gut-brain axis, which is two-way communication between your brain and spinal cord and the neural circuits in your gastrointestinal tract .

    The fatty acids from fish oil end up in your blood and cells, where they perform several important functions. Theyre a source of energy and contribute to both structure and function of various tissue types.

    DHA plays a key role in brain and eye development. It also affects mental health.

    • indicates that DHA and EPA may protect against age-related bone loss by reducing the inflammation that causes some bone cells to be absorbed by the circulatory system.
    • Rheumatoid arthritis : Omega-3 supplements may reduce symptoms of RA.

    Sometimes eating fish produces more health benefits than taking a fish oil supplement. Possible reasons for this include:

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    What Are Fish Oil Supplements

    Fish oil is extracted from cold-water fish, including salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring and cod, per the Mayo Clinic.

    The substance contains a blend of omega-3 fatty acids made up of eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid , both of which are essential for such basic bodily functions as muscle activity and cell growth.

    The supplements will differ in ingredients â some will focus on sardine oil, for example, while another may be more concentrated in salmon or anchovy oil.

    Because our bodies don’t make these omega-3 fats, we have to source them through food or supplements. Good dietary sources include the fish mentioned above, as well as shellfish â such as crabs, mussels and oysters â and some nuts and seeds, like chia and flax seeds, according to the USDA. The supplements are available in liquid, capsule and pill form, per the Mayo Clinic.

    While there’s no exact recommended dosage for omega-3s, per the NIH, we do know that an absence of this essential nutrient is associated with a number of chronic conditions, including cardiovascular disease, mood disorders and certain cancers, according to Harvard Health Publishing.

    For this reason, many people turn to fish oil supplements to make sure they’re getting enough.

    While these are deemed “generally safe,” per the Mayo Clinic, it’s a good idea to get to know the fish oil benefits, pros and cons if you’re planning to add these nutrients to your dietary plan.

    May Worsen Insomnia Symptoms

    Yes, better sleep is listed as one of the pros of fish oil, but some research suggests too much of the stuff could interfere with sleep.

    A March 2015 study in âOxford Medical Case Reportsâ reveals that, for one patient with a history of depression, taking a high dose of fish oil worsened symptoms of insomnia and anxiety. Still, more research is needed to determine fish oil’s general effect on sleep.

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    Can Omega 3 Fatty Acids From Fish Oil Help Sleep

    Omega 3 fatty acids may give a boost to sleep

    Like you, my family and I do our best to eat healthfullyand that includes eating plenty of fish. In our house, we love wild-caught salmon, tuna steaks on the grill, and even the occasional just-caught lake trout tossed over a fire on family trips to the mountains. Besides being delicious, what do all these fish have in common? Theyre great sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

    These healthy fats deliver a wealth of health benefits, from lowering inflammation to boosting brain function and elevating mood.

    Another really good reason to make omega-3s a priority in your diet? Better sleep.

    A growing body of research shows diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids are linked to better-quality sleep, in both adults and children. Theres some pretty interesting science piling up that shows the benefits of omega 3s for sleep quality throughout our lifetimes.

    Sometimes Associated With Gastrointestinal Issues

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    Taking fish oil supplements could cause problems within the digestive system, including indigestion, nausea and loose stools, especially in people who already have gastrointestinal issues, per the Mayo Clinic.

    A February 2014 study in the âCochrane Database of Systematic Reviewsâ discovered that fish oil pills may lead to upper gastrointestinal tract symptoms, such as an upset stomach, in patients who are managing Crohn’s disease.

    Fish oil capsules can leave behind a fishy aftertaste in some people, and others are bothered by fishy-tasting burps.

    Enteric coatings are sometimes used on fish oil supplements to hamper that fishy aftertaste, They do this by keeping the capsule from dissolving until it reaches the small intestine.

    Enteric-coated fish oil is considered safe and, per April 2011 research in the âJournal of Functional Foodsâ, is not believed to have an effect on the efficacy of the capsule’s ingredients.

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    What Is Fish Oil Made Of

    Fish oil is obtained from fatty fish and contains two groups of fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid .

    These two fats originate in algae, which is the base of the food chain for fish. Fish consume and process this alga which results in the production of EPA and DHA in fish.

    Fish oil helps support your bodys natural anti-inflammatory response.

    What Is Fish Oil

    When we talk about fish oil, were referring to omega-3 fatty acids that you get from supplements or eating fish. Youll find omega-3s in fatty fish like mackerel, salmon, sardines, herring, tuna, and cod liver, as well as fish oil capsules found at your local drug store.

    There are different types of omega-3 fatty acids, but two of the most important ones are called eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid . They might be a mouthful, but these polyunsaturated fatty acids can help with all types of health issues like preventing and even reversing heart disease .

    If you follow a vegan or vegetarian diet, you can get whats called alpha-linolenic acid , a type of omega-3 derived from algae or flaxseed oil.

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