A natural compound in sugarcane may relieve stress-induced insomnia

stress-induced insomnia


Insomnia, a sleep disorder where people have trouble sleeping. They may have difficulty falling asleep, or staying asleep if desired. Insomnia typically followed by daytime sleepiness, low energy, irritability, and a depressed mood.

Now, a new research examines that a sugarcane compound, “Octacosanol”, may relieve insomnia. The compound also found in, wheat germ oil, rice bran oil, and beeswax. Octacosanol also helps to prevent Parkinson’s disease in animal models.

Insomnia can lead to chronic sleep loss, which associated with other conditions such as cardiovascular illnesses, depression, and obesity.

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However, a team of scientists at the University of Tsukuba, tested the effects of Octacosanol in two groups of mice. One group had its cage changed to induce a mild sense of stress, which disturbed the mice’s sleep. The other group kept in normal conditions. Half of the mice in each group received 200 milligrams per kilogram of Octacosanol orally, while the other half did not.

They also measured the blood plasma levels of corticosterone, an indicator of stress. And, monitored the brain activity of the mice using an electroencephalogram (EEG). With the help of the EEG, the scientists able to tell how much time that the mice spent in light, rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and in deep, non-REM sleep.

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The findings reveal that Octacosanol had no bearing on normal mice, it improves the sleep quantity and quality of the stressed mice. Octacosanol helped the stressed mice to sleep better, as revealed by the time that they spent awake and the time that they spent asleep.

Finally, Octacosanol-induced changes in sleep-wake parameters in stressed mice were comparable to the values in normal mice. According to research, Octacosanol does not alter normal sleep, it clearly alleviates stress and restores stress-affected sleep.

Researchers said, being a natural compound and part of food materials are advantages over synthetic drug and hence it can be assumed that Octacosanol may be devoid of side-effects or adverse reactions to the human body. Hence, we strongly suggest that Octacosanol could be used as therapy for stress-induced insomnia.

More information: [Scientific Reports]