I remember coming home from work, so exhausted that I could hardly walk up the front path to the door. In the living room my wife was stumbling around in circles, carrying our first baby. The baby and my wife were both crying, and my wife told me, through her tears, that she was afraid of losing her mind if she didn’t manage to get more sleep. It was a difficult time for all of us.
Most parents remember the early days, those first few years when it never seemed possible to get enough sleep. We all knew that this came with the territory – having kids was hard!What we didn’t know then was that lack of sleep could bring so many other problems along with it.
What we know now is that:
• and overweight
are all inter-related, and can make each other worse in a kind of vicious cycle – if you don’t do something to get out of it.
Quality sleep is important. It’s an important part of a happy life, with less worries and more energy. But even if we know a little more about sleep than we used to, it is getting harder to find.
More and more people are suffering from depression and lack of sleep. According to the World Health Organisation, it has become the number one cause of illness in the world. And the numbers are increasing; they are up by a fifth in the last decade alone. In any one year, major depression affects 7% of all Europeans and roughly 10% of all North Americans.
Depression is not only increasing in number, it is striking progressively younger groups of people. Over 10% of US children now report a major depressive episode every year, and the average age of onset has fallen from 30 (in 1988) to 14 today. For Generations X and Y, depression and low mood states are the new normal; and this is one reason why people all over the world are sleeping less. It relates to worse eating habits, anxiety and depression.
One reason for our increasing vulnerability to depression is, very probably, our pro-inflammatory lifestyle. Depression and low mood states have been linked to chronic inflammatory stress in the hypothalamus, and there is more inflammation because we are eating more processed and ultra-processed foods.
There is also increasing evidence that nutritional interventions designed to reduce inflammation have anti-depressant effects. Fish oil, turmeric and saffron, for example, have all been clinically shown to treat depression; there are plenty of references @ pubmed.
We do not use saffron the spice, but standardised and clinically tested extract of saffron. We do not use it to treat depression, because this is a medical condition and we do not make disease claims.
We do, however, recommend our saffron extract in the treatment of low mood states. These can be regarded as sub-clinical states, which if left untreated can often progress to depression. This has been proved in clinical trials.
The effectiveness of this saffron extract can be found here
The best saffran in the world comes from the highland mountains in Spain.
If you feel tired all the time, have low energy, cannot sleep well, feel gloomy, stuck and hopeless, you almost certainly have a low mood state. Viva starts to work within hours, and can change lives for the better.
My wife and I took turns sleeping every second day, and we found a better rhythm for our family. We survived, and nobody actually went crazy. The baby – and then the babies – were beautiful. What it taught us was that sleep is really important; getting enough sleep made it possible for us to re-discover our happiness, get our energy back, start exercising again and get back into shape. We changed back into the people we used to be. And our kids are a big part of that!