A research group from International Institute for Integrative Sleep, University of Tsukuba found a chemical called Octacosanol can reduce stress and induce a good night’s sleep. In this fast paced modern society, a lot of people are suffering from sleep deprivation because of their shift works, demanding jobs and other socioeconomic factors which are further leading to lots of stress in their lives. Stress in return is one of the major factors responsible for sleep deprivation. The available sleeping pills in the market do not exactly pinpoint the stress component and known to adverse side effects.
In the current study, the research team led by M.K.Kaushik and Yoshihiro Urade investigated the effect of octacosanol (administered orally) in mildly-stressed mice. Octacosanol reduced the corticosterone (glucocorticoid; stress marker) levels in the blood plasma. After octacosanol administration, the mice showed normal and natural sleep patterns which confirm octacosanol ameliorates stress. Octacosanol is amply found in foods such as sugarcane, bee wax, rice bran and white germ oil. Octacosanol supplements are generally used by humans to reduce cholesterol in their bodies.
Nevertheless, well planned clinical studies have to be carried out to the confirm the effect of octacosanol on humans as a stress reliever and sleep inducer. Researchers further indicated that future studies may include, target brain area identification for octacosanol, its blood-brain-barrier permeability and the mechanism how octacosanol lowers stress.