Monthly Archives: August 2017

Sleep More – Weigh Less

SleepWeightJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

Interestingly, one of the easiest weight maintenance rules to follow may be getting to bed at a reasonable hour. Mounting evidence shows that those struggling with weight gain may need to optimize their sleep schedules to see a more favorable number on the scale. It’s well known that controlled healthy eating and regular exercise are the top strategies for weight loss and maintenance. To avoid weight gain, prioritizing sleep may be considered an equally important approach, as inadequate sleep is associated with increased body weight and the risk for obesity. Matthew Walker, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of California, Berkeley who studies the effects of sleep on weight, has found that “getting a full night’s sleep is one of the most under-appreciated factors contributing to healthy weight maintenance.”

It appears that our sleep habits directly affect diet and appetite. Researchers at the University of Chicago compared those who slept only four and one-half hours to those who slept eight hours. They found that the those who skimped on sleep did not skimp on calories the next day. In fact, quite the opposite. The short sleepers consumed an additional 400 calories and ate twice the amount of fat and protein, as compared to those who slept an optimal eight hours. Sleep deprivation results in blood alterations of certain lipids, as well as appetite regulating hormones leptin and ghrelin. Controlled studies have shown that deficient sleep leads to decreases in leptin, the satiety hormone, while ghrelin, the hunger and appetite hormone, increases. Recently, it has come to light that less than optimal sleep also results in changes to a lipid known as 2-Arachidonoylglycerol (2AG), an endocannabinoid.

The endocannabinoid system is a unique and ubiquitous cell-signaling system that is just beginning to be understood. Per the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the discovery of endocannabinoids has led to studies on their potential involvement in the physiological control of appetite and energy metabolism. The findings of three large multicenter clinical trials strongly support a pathogenic role of increased endocannabinoid activity in obesity and associated metabolic abnormalities. Studies support that endocannabinoids play a key role in memory, mood, and the brain reward systems, as well as glucose metabolism and energy balance.

Epidemiologic studies established the link between sleep deprivation and its influence on energy balance and body weight regulation processes. While a longer wake cycle results in a slight increase in energy expenditure, it can lead to disproportionate calorie consumption, decreased physical activity and weight gain. The possible involvement of reward system mechanisms may trigger increased unhealthy food intake following sleep restriction. A randomized study showed sleep restriction resulted in increased circulating concentrations of 2AG, widely expressed in the brain’s reward centers and in metabolic organs that stimulate food intake and fat lipogenesis, the metabolic formation of fat.

  • Habitual sleep loss is a major risk factor for weight gain and obesity. Generally, weight gain may occur when one gets fewer than seven hours of sleep nightly. When trying to lose or maintain weight, optimal amounts of healthy sleep may be just as crucial as diet and exercise.
  • Poor sleep causes a disruption of appetite, reward and stress hormones, resulting in increased appetite and negatively affecting the ability to make healthy food choices and control portion sizes.
  • Lack of sleep can result in daytime fatigue and deceased motivation to exercise. Sufficient healthy sleep helps to improve mental and physical performance.
  • Adequate sleep can refresh brain circuits that allow for more optimal food choices, leading to weight control rather than weight gain.
  • Just as inadequate sleep negatively affects energy levels, sufficient sleep can help provide the energy necessary for physical activity.
  • The right amount of sleep encourages proper stress and appetite hormone regulation, as well as a healthy metabolism, the amount of energy the body burns to maintain all cellular processes.
  • Adequate sleep, along with healthy diet and exercise, supports optimal health and decreased risk of developing obesity, diabetes type 2, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome.

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other high quality products to support healthy sleep and weight maintenance:

Kavinace Ultra PMKavinace Ultra PM by NeuroScience™: This top-selling sleep product specifically targets neurotransmitter imbalances with a unique combination of neurotransmitter precursors, herbal ingredients and enzymatic cofactors that provide effective support for restful sleep. Gluten, soy, yeast and artificial ingredient free, vegetarian formulation.


Adipo-Leptin...Adipo-Leptin Benefits™ by DaVinci Laboratories of Vermont: This product offers evidence-based ingredients that support hormone balance relative to appetite and weight management. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.


5HTP Supreme5-HTP Supreme™ by Designs for Health: This higher dosage product supplies vitamin B6 and 5-HTP in support of appetite control, reduced cravings, insomnia, improved mood and overall neurotransmitter metabolism. Wheat, soy, dairy and preservative free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation. This product is not recommended for those taking SSRI’s or MAO inhibitors.


Melatonin PR 3 mg...Melatonin PR 3 mg Prolonged Release by Douglas Laboratories: This natural hormone nutrient helps to regulate the sleep/wake cycle, supports normal immune function, and provides free radical protection. One serving provides 3 mg of pure pharmaceutical grade melatonin in a prolonged release tablet. Gluten, wheat, soy, dairy, sugar and artificial ingredient free vegan formulation.

Molecular ties between lack of sleep and weight gain.
The Endocannabinoid System as an Emerging Target of Pharmacotherapy.
Hungry for Sleep: A Role for Endocannabinoids?
Metabolic effects of sleep disruption, links to obesity and diabetes.
Impact of insufficient sleep on total daily energy expenditure, food intake and weight gain.
Does Your Sleeping Schedule Affect Your Metabolism?
Sleep restriction leads to increased activation of brain regions sensitive to food stimuli.



HERBATINT® – Featured Brand

HERBATINTSusan Brown Health and Wellness Editor

Professional Supplement Center now carries HERBATINT®, a natural haircare line that has been restoring the health and beauty of hair for over 40 years. Founded in 1970, HERBATINT® is the main brand of Rome-based Antica Erboristeria, a company that specializes in ammonia-free hair color products. With a focus on producing innovative, high-quality balanced formulas, herbalist Michele Albergo utilized pure raw materials and select organic plant extracts to develop HERBATINT® hair color gels as a natural alternative to traditional chemical colorings.

As a Certified B Corporation®, HERBATINT® meets the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability. Packaging utilizes materials from responsibly managed forests and is fully recyclable to reduce environmental impact. As Antica Erboristeria strongly supports animal rights causes, all HERBATINT® products are vegan and cruelty free.

To see the full range of permanent hair colors from HERBATINT®, please visit

Normalizing ShampooNormalizing Shampoo: Rich in aloe vera extract, this shampoo is specifically formulated for color treated, dry or damaged hair. The unique normalizing formula gently cleanses, moisturizes and restores hair’s natural pH balance. Normalizing Shampoo protects the scalp and supports color duration and intensity, as well as shiny healthy hair. Paraben and silicone free, vegan friendly formulation.

Royal Cream...Royal Cream Regenerating Conditioner: This intensive regenerating hair treatment deeply nourishes, restructures, and revitalizes dry, damaged, or color treated hair. Ingredients such as aloe vera, jojoba oil, wheat germ extracts, and essential fatty acids leave hair manageable and silky soft, while maintaining color intensity. Paraben and silicone free, vegan friendly formulation.

Permanent Haircolor...Permanent Hair Color Gel: Available in a variety of bright, rich colors, these permanent, yet gentle ammonia-free hair color gels provide 100% grey coverage and a highlight-rich end result. The formulas are enriched with eight organic herbal extracts to nourish and protect hair and scalp, preserve color intensity and provide natural long-lasting color. The vegan-friendly odorless formula is easy to mix and apply for a perfect color result in only 40 minutes.  Each kit provides up to two applications and contains Hair Color Gel, Glycol Developer, directions for coloring, and one pair of gloves for use during application. Mix only what you need and reclose the bottles to store for later use. Vibrant, exciting colors range from Platinum Blonde to Dark Chestnut and from Henna Red to Plum. Ammonia, paraben, alcohol and fragrance free. Dermatologist tested for sensitive skin.


For Improved Wellbeing — Spend Time Outdoors

SpendTimeOutdoorsSusan Brown Health and Wellness Editor

There’s no question that spending time in the great outdoors can be an invigorating, rejuvenating, and restorative experience. Growing evidence confirms that improved mental health is associated with spending time in green spaces, such as backyards, parks, gardens, the seaside, countryside, mountains or woods. Time spent in natural environments is linked to lowered stress levels and reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression, and is correlated with improved cognition in children with attention deficit disorder. It’s well known that exercise improves physical and psychological wellbeing. It appears that the synergistic combination of physical activity and the great outdoors may provide additional wellness benefits.

Studies support an association between improved health outcomes and the amount of one’s surrounding green space. Hospitalized patients have faster recovery times when they can see trees outside their windows as opposed to the exterior wall of another building. With our hectic and frequently constrained lives, we often forget that we are a part of nature. As natural environments are reduced by development, and people migrate from suburbs to urban areas, we are more likely to seclude ourselves even more. Yet, the “biophilia hypothesis,” popularized by, Biophilia, a book authored by Edward O. Wilson in 1984, suggests that humans instinctively possess a tendency to seek connections with nature and other forms of life.

From the time of our hunter-gatherer ancestors to the present day, humans have possessed an innate connection and affection for the natural world. Spending more time in nature and less time in man-made environments positively effects our stress levels, mood and cognitive performance.  Nature’s restorative and restful properties stem from the fact that nature doesn’t require the “directed” or conscious attention that is necessary for prolonged cognitive activity. As nature distracts us from modern stressors, “undirected” attention, or the subconscious, takes over, allowing us to recharge our batteries and from recover mental fatigue.

It appears that one’s environment either increases or reduces one’s stress. At any given time, our environment affects our mood and the function of our nervous, endocrine and immune systems. The stress of an unpleasant atmosphere can make one feel anxious, depressed, moody or uncomfortable, which in turn can raise our blood pressure and heart rate, induce muscle tension and suppress immune function. Being in nature reduces stress hormones, lowers blood pressure, heart rate and tension, helps us cope with pain and discomfort, and gives rise to more pleasant feelings. Studies have shown that time in nature or even viewing scenes of nature is associated with a positive mood, psychological wellbeing, meaningfulness and vitality.

Known as green exercise, outdoor activities appear more beneficial to mental health than indoor exercise, and may have a greater impact on psychological health. A review of studies that compared indoor to outdoor activity showed that exercising in a green environment results in greater feelings of positive engagement and revitalization. Outdoor activity might be considered nature’s therapy, as it provides some of the best all-around health benefits. These include: improved mood, heightened self-esteem, positive behavioral changes and a greater feeling of wellbeing. If you are looking to reduce stress and mental fatigue, a nice long walk in the woods, or a nap in a backyard hammock, may signal the beginning of an essential and life-long beneficial relationship with the great outdoors.

The great outdoors: how a green exercise environment can benefit all.
The great outdoors? Exploring the mental health benefits of natural environments.
The Positive Effects of Nature on Well Being: Evolutionary Biophilia.
How Does Nature Impact Our Wellbeing?
What Impact Does the Environment Have on Us?