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Biochemistry input on sleep question?--Orexin

Discussion in 'Sleep' started by Sushi, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. Sushi

    Sushi Moderator and Senior Member Albuquerque

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    I just read an article about orexin and sleep. It seems that orexin (a neurotransmitter, I believe) supports wakefulness and that orexin inhibitors or antagonists, allow the brain to let go and sleep. Pharmaceutical companies are developing sleep meds using this pathway: http://www.news-medical.net/news/20120726/Insomnia-an-interview-with-Dr-Darryle-Schoepp.aspx

    So, I'm wondering about natural ways to inhibit orexin or block its receptors. Here is one article I found: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orexin

    To quote from it:


    Does anyone with knowledge of biochemistry have ideas about how we might use this pathway (hopefully through food or supplements) to help us with sleep?

    Best sleep wishes!
    Sushi
  2. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Sleep chemistry has advanced a lot in the last decade. I used to know a lot about this stuff - a whole decade ago. There is no substitute for being up to date on this. Some good review papers on sleep chemistry might help put this research in perspective. Its worth noting tht eating often makes people sleepy. Its entirely possible that using this research a late night snack that enhances sleep initiation might be developed. It would be entirely experimental however.

    My best guess is that other nutritional factors should be included. One on my list would be magnesium to counter any NMDA overactivation.

    Bye, Alex
  3. Crux

    Crux Senior Member

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    Hi Y'all;

    This is out of my league, but here I am, poking a nose in.

    Apparently, zinc has some orexigenic properties. It helps stimulate appetite in that way.

    But in other ways, such as with melatonin production, etc., it may help with sleep.

    I find that if I take too much of it, I can become very sleepy, and fatigued. So, I'm trying to nail down the amount that is just right...

    http://jn.nutrition.org/content/early/2009/01/21/jn.108.096370.full.pdf
  4. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    Cough medicine with dextromethorphan is said to be an NMDA antagonist. I can say it doesnt help me sleep but does help for nerve type pain and studies have been done with this med on fibro with good results. One thing i read about it is that it can reduce tolerance to benzos??

    Orexin and food cravings sounds interesting as i have had night where i have used meds and couldnt sleep but then get the munchies have some carbs and then i fall asleep. So i have noticed an increase in apetitte when sleep deprived.

    I cant wait until they start to bring out some more different sleep meds other then just benzo type meds.

    cheers!!!
    Sushi likes this.
  5. Sushi

    Sushi Moderator and Senior Member Albuquerque

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    Yes, I occasionally wake up in the night "starving" and if I eat a snack, can sleep again. Course there could be some other mechanisms involved too. Still, this might lead to some better sleep meds. The article says that one is likely to be released in a year or two. Course, they will charge the max!

    Sushi

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