Sleep. It's important.
Countless studies have shown that sleep quality and quantity effect every aspect of our lives. The rest we get (or don't) permeates into our lives physiologically, socially, emotionally, and even financially.
We know how critical sleep is to a thriving life, but so few of us get enough sleep. In fact, the CDC estimates that somewhere between 50 - 70 million American adults have sleep disorders or wakeful disorders (where your poor sleep seeps into your day to day life and negatively effects it). Our modern society both demands higher performance from us, but also robs us of the time and calm mindset needed for a refreshing night of sleep...which is absolutely necessary to performing at your highest level. It's an endless cycle.
Because of the difficulty people have falling and staying asleep, a lot of folks reach for over the counter and prescription sleep aids. Nearly 9 million Americans take a prescription sleep aid -- which comes with a host of side effects that don't seem worth it if you ask us. Other natural sleep remedies leave consumers with a sleep aid "hangover" the next day.
No one should have to drag themselves through their life because of poor sleep quality.
With that in mind, we here at Totem decided that we didn't want to be part of the exhausted, hungover, prescription-addled multitude. We developed Lucid, an all natural sleep optimizer, to counter the aspects of our day to day lives that negatively affect sleep, help you get to sleep more easily, and to wake up refreshed and ready the next day. Lucid also boasts a slew of of growth factors that actually aid your body in its natural sleep recovery processes each night.
Lucid's ingredients were deliberately chosen to bolster your body's naturally occurring, nighttime endocrine and recovery processes so that you are eased into a gentle sleep and come out stronger and more alert on the other side.
Let's take a closer look at the specifically selected ingredients in Lucid:
Let's start here because most people know of melatonin as a sleep aid. Melatonin is a hormone that is produced in our pineal glands that tells our body it's time to go to sleep. The melatonin that is released each night is cued by our circadian rhythms, which are affected by the temperature and light exposure of our environment. In today's modern world, blue light from computers, TV screens and cell phones pummel our body's ability to differentiate daylight (which lowers melatonin production) from screen light, which prevents adequate melatonin production. Our temperature controlled lives are also contributing to circadian rhythm disruption. We included melatonin in Lucid to help kickstart the process each night.
Most people are familiar with B group vitamins. They're the vitamins that helps us turn food into energy, improve our mood, and carry oxygen throughout our bodies. We specifically included B6 in Lucid's formulation because people who are deficient in B6 (which, btw, is at least 10.5% of all Americans) have higher psychological stress levels which then cause more sleep disturbances. Not to mention, vitamin B6 has shown to make dreams more memorable, vivid, colorful, and, dare we say, lucid. Sleeping can be fun, too! One of our staff members who was testing Lucid had vivid dreams that she reported, "Felt like therapeutic subconscious deep dives...I felt like I was in another time and place" She jokingly added that these dreams saved her, "...thousands of dollars in therapy." Your milage may vary.
Mucuna Pruriens (aka Velvet Bean)
Velvet bean has been used in Ayurvedic Medicine for centuries. Since 1500 BCE velvet bean has been documented to improve everything from snakebites, sexual response, intestinal disorders, and depression. Velvet bean also has a number of neuroprotective effects thanks to its high antioxidant count, which assists in stress reduction prior to and during sleep. Velvet bean is among the keys to ensuring that you don't wake up with a sleep aid hangover when taking Lucid because it's a natural source of the amino acid L-dopa and naturally boosts your testosterone levels. L-dopa is a precursor to dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine -- all of which are essential hormones that help us get out of bed in the morning. Also, any man or partner to a man can tell you that his testosterone peaks in the morning -- the signs are, well, obvious.
Velvet Antler Extract (VAE)
Velvet Antler Extract has been a staple of Traditional Chinese Medicine for millennia. We'll devote an entire blog post to it soon because there's so much to talk about with this wonder ingredient. Put simply, VAE is derived from the fast growing cartilage of a cervid animal that grows antlers. We use elk antlers. VAE is packed with over 13 different types of growth factors and dozens of amino acids. When we sleep, our bodies naturally produce growth factors and hormones dedicated to rebuilding and recovery, these factors naturally encourage slow, deep wave sleep. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, which is also necessary to creating new muscle and improving sleep's anabolic effects. VAE is specifically high in IGF-1, which has been shown to positively impact moods, the immune system, muscle mass, blood sugar utilization, hair and nail growth, nerve regeneration, and longevity. VAE takes your body's natural systems to the next level to optimize and enhance the sleep that you're already getting.
Colostrum is a the first milk a mammal mother produces when she has a baby. The colostrum we use is bovine, so it's from cow. Colostrum is an exceptional ingredient for maximizing your body's own natural rhythms because it's literally the first thing a baby drinks when it comes into the world. This first milk is filled with bioactive substances, growth factors, and immunoglobulins which help the baby establish its own immune system. So, not only is it filled with growth factors to help a new baby get a jumpstart on growing, it's also an immune booster to fend of environmental pathogens. Your immune system is most active while you're sleeping, so it makes sense to give your immune system more resources to keep you healthy when you're snoozing.
Studies have shown that animals who sleep for longer periods have six times the immune cells vs animals who only sleep in short spurts. Additionally, people who average only seven hours or less of sleep per night were three times more likely to catch the cold than someone who sleeps eight or more hours per night. Give your immune system support while you sleep and you'll stay healthy year round.
Check back on the blog for more information about the ingredients we choose, the products we're developing, and how to optimize your life using traditional wisdom. Sign up for the newsletter for 10% off your first Totem purchase and to stay in the loop on what we're working on.