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Can omega-3 DHA improve sleep and cure insomnia?

Researchers at the University of Oxford have found that higher levels of omega-3 DHA may be associated with better sleep.

The study involved 362 children between the ages of 7 and 9.

It suggested that those who took a daily supplement of omega-3 DHA (the long chain fatty acid found naturally in algae and seafood) for 16 weeks got nearly an hour more sleep and woke seven times less often each night compared to those who took a placebo.

Higher levels of omega-6 were also associated with better sleep health.

Although previous research has suggested links between poor sleep and low levels of omega-3 in children and adults with behavior or learning difficulties, this is the first study to investigate a potential link in healthy children.

These findings certainly make sense, since we know that our bodies require omega-3 and omega-6 to help regulate sleep. For example, lower levels of these fatty acids are associated with a reduction in the production of melatonin.

This was just a small pilot study. Here's hoping that further research into the association between sleep and omega 3 and omega 6 levels will be undertaken in the not-too-distant future.

Source: Journal of Sleep Research

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Last updated: June 11, 2015

This Article Was Written By

Martin Reed

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