• What is the purpose of sleep?

    Metabolism is a complex biological chain reaction that fluctuates all day. Anabolism is the set of metabolic pathways that construct new molecules from smaller units mostly derived from food. While anabolism takes care of the building-up and creational aspects of metabolism, catabolism is responsible for the breaking-down and ultimate degradation of cellular components. 

    At night, during the sleep-cycle, many of the body’s systems go into ‘anabolic state’, a renewal process that is essential for the restoration of the immune, skeletal, muscular, and nervous systems. These are also required to optimally maintain the function of neurons which ultimately regulate mood, memory, and cognitive function.  

    Of the most pronounced physiological changes that happens in the body during sleep occurs in the brain. This is because sleep allows the brain to use significantly less energy for ‘thinking’, thereby allowing it to replenish its energy supply in the form of the molecule ATP (adenosine triphosphate) required for nerve transmission, neurotransmitter production and nerve growth.

  • What are the consequences of poor sleep?

    Sleep deprivation, also known as sleep insufficiency or sleeplessness, is the condition of not having adequate sleep duration and/or quality of sleep to support your normal level of alertness and mental performance to get your hardworking brain through the next day. Sleep insufficiency can be either chronic or acute and may vary widely in severity.

    Research has demonstrated that individuals with sleep deprivation problems are more likely to display decreased levels of concentration, battle to keep their mood upbeat and have an increased risk of developing a mood disorder or chronic pain syndrome.

  • Sleep loss may increase the risk of chronic diseases.

    Accumulating evidence from both epidemiologic studies and well-controlled laboratory studies indicates that chronic partial sleep loss may increase the risk of obesity and weight gain. Recent studies in both adults and children have shown that sleep restriction results in metabolic and endocrine alterations, including decreased glucose tolerance, decreased insulin sensitivity, increased evening concentrations of cortisol, increased levels of ghrelin, decreased levels of leptin and increased hunger and appetite.  

    Poor sleep may contribute to worse outcomes in people with diabetes, if sleep deprivation is not identified and attended to, it may lead to other complications such as difficulty controlling one’s blood glucose levels, an increased risk of complications, reduced quality of life, and consequently a reduced life expectancy.

    Sleep deprivation can be managed!

  • What does SleepVance do?

    SleepVance contains a unique blend of plant-derived (phytochemical) ingredients that help to promote healthy sleep patterns, increase sleep quality, and alleviate the daytime consequences of sleep deprivation. There are various hormones, vitamins, nutrients i.e. micro and macro involved in the natural sleep cycle. SleepVance aims to target each of these individual components by adopting a holistic approach developed to combat the underlying nutrient and hormonal deficiencies associated with the majority of sleeping disorders.

  • What can SleepVance assist with?

    SleepVance can assist with:

    • Aids with the promotion of healthy sleep patterns
    • Increases sleep quality
    • Alleviates the daytime consequences of sleep deprivation
    • It can be combined with any insomnia medication to improve sleep patterns

  • Who may benefit from taking SleepVance?

    SleepVance can be used by adults suffering from any of the following conditions or symptoms:

    • Insomnia
    • Sleep apnea 
    • Shift workers
    • Children and adults suffering from ADD and ADHD.
    • Individuals with general sleep disorders
    • People battling with weight loss.

    In general, anyone suffering from any of the symptoms caused by sleep deprivation can benefit from using SleepVance.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    Adults:

    Take two tablets on a daily basis 1-2 hours before bedtime with supper or a later pre-bedtime snack/drink (preferably not on an empty stomach).

    Tablets may be crushed or chewed to facilitate swallowing.

    Children:

    SleepVance contains the amino acid 5-HTP pharmaceutically registered in some countries for adult use only. SleepVance kids, a specialised teenage formulation, is better suited for children between 8 and 18 years.

  • Who should not use SleepVance?

    • SleepVance elicits natural sedative properties and should therefore not be taken before driving or operating heavy machinery. 
    • Safety and efficacy in pregnancy and lactation has not been established and the administration of SleepVance during pregnancy and breastfeeding is therefore contraindicated. 
    • Mild gastric irritation may occur if taken on an empty stomach, but generally, the natural ingredients in SleepVance has a low side effect profile.

    Anyone with a known hypersensitivity or allergy to Valerian root, American skullcap, Passionflower, 5-HTP, Inositol or any other active or inactive ingredient in SleepVance  should avoid taking SleepVance.

  • Can I take SleepVance together with other prescription remedies such as sleeping tablets and tranquillisers?

    Yes, SleepVance can be used in combination with other prescription medication such as Zolpidem, Zopiclone, loprazolam and other prescription sleeping remedies. Our experience has shown an improved outcome of individuals who use such a combination.  Please do not discontinue the use of your chronic prescription medication without the consent of your doctor. We advise against replacing any prescription medication with SleepVance. For individuals who are not on any sleeping aids, SleepVance can be taken on its own to combat sleep deprivation.

  • Can I buy SleepVance even if I am not in South Africa?

    • Shop Online
    • South Africa: At any pharmacy. No prescription is required.
    • Namibia: At any pharmacy. No prescription is required.

  • Pharmacological mode of action

    Pharmacological mode of action

    Valerian root extract

    Valerian (Valerian officinalis) is a flowering plant native to Europe and Asia. Its use as a medicinal herb for sedative purposes and relaxation dates to ancient Greece and Rome where its therapeutic properties were described by Hippocrates in the early Western medical literature. Extracts of the root have since been used for their calming effects and as a regular supplement to promote sleep. 

    The bioactive compounds believed to contribute to its mode of action belong to several classes of naturally occurring organic molecules. These include valerenic-  and isovaleric acid, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), alkaloids such as chatinine, valerianine, and valerene, and several iridoids; valtrate and isovaltrate

    Valerian’s primary usage is to help calm the restless mind and help alleviate anxious thoughts, thereby making it easier to fall and stay asleep without obsessing about stressful matters. Valerian extract’s mode of action involves enhanced signalling of the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) pathway, the same neurotransmitter system in the brain that the benzodiazepines, a class of sedative and hypnotic pharmaceutical drugs, therapeutically target. 

    American Skullcap 

    American skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) is a flowering shrub that grows in meadows and swampy woods in North America. Traditionally, it has been used by early Native Americans and later European settlers as a nerve tonic, sedative, and anticonvulsant remedy. In modern times it is still therapeutically used in tonic form to alleviate insomnia, anxiety, and neuralgia (nerve pain) in North America, Alaska, and Canada.

    The main bioactive compounds are several flavones and phenols of which baicalin, baicalein, wogonin, and oroxylin-A have been the most researched. Several flavones naturally found in skullcap selectively bind with high affinity to central benzodiazepine receptor sites, thereby exerting a similar but non-addictive and milder anxiolytic and hypnotic effect than the class of benzodiazepine drugs. 

    Passionflower

    Passionflower (Passiflora) is a large genus of flowering plants native to Brazil, Paraguay, and northern Argentina. They are commercially cultivated in many other regions for their aromatic and flavoursome fruit. Extracts of the roots and leaves, however,  have a long history of use as a medicinal herb for relaxation and sedation purposes. 

    The therapeutically active phytochemicals are the flavonoids (vitexin, isovitexin, apigenin, chrysin, and orientin), indole alkaloids (harman, harmin, harmaline, and harmol) and phenolic acids (formic acid, butyric acid, and GABA). Several of these selectively bind with high affinity to central the benzodiazepine receptor sites and therefore exert a similar but more gentle anxiolytic effect than the class of benzodiazepine drugs.

    5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP)

    Tryptophan is an amino acid found in high concentration in certain foods such as chocolate, oats, dried dates, dairy products, and meat. After ingestion, some tryptophan is metabolised into 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), which is then directly converted into serotonin and melatonin, two neurotransmitters with a  multifaceted biological role involved in sleep regulation, mood control, and cognition function. 

    Numerous lines of evidence support the use of L-tryptophan and its direct metabolite, hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), in the treatment of sleep disorders. 

    Inositol

    Inositol is an organic food compound found in certain fruits, beans, and grains. Structurally, inositol is related to the vitamin B family and performs a similar biochemical function in the body. In the brain, inositol’s neurobiological mode of action relates to the neuro-modulatory role it plays in the phosphoinositide (PI) cycle, linked to the production of the neurotransmitter’s serotonin and noradrenaline, involved in mood regulation and cognitive function. 

    Anatomically, dietary inositol is incorporated in the brain into the cell membranes of neurons as inositol phospholipids, where they serve as a structural and metabolic precursor to subtypes of adrenergic, cholinergic, and serotonergic neuro-receptors in several neurological tissues. Behavioural and biochemical studies have indicated that inositol has the potential to enhance neuro-receptor sensitivity and modulate neuro-signalling proteins, thereby helping to direct nerve membrane trafficking. As documented in three separate publications in the American Journal of Psychiatry, evidence suggests that inositol supplementation demonstrates superior therapeutic efficacy against placebo regarding emotional well-being, stress reduction, and sleeping patterns relating to conditions which included Panic Disorder, Depression and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.

    Glycine

    Glycine is an amino acid involved in neuro-protein production and neurocentral nerve transmission. Additional glycine supplementation is currently used for several disorders in medical practice, including the normalisation of sleep, the treatment of alcoholism, certain cerebral circulatory disorders, depression, and anxiety. Glycine has been linked to sleep promotion through its action on NMDA receptors and through enhancing glutamate sensitivity, thereby helping to reset the circadian clock. 

    Magnesium

    Magnesium is a biologically essential trace element which plays an essential role in the regulatory activity of over 300 enzymes involved in nerve conduction and the production of neurotransmitters. Magnesium helps to calm the nervous system due to its ability to block certain brain N- MDA receptors (methyl D-aspartate), thereby inhibiting excitatory neurotransmission and thus guarding against mental overload. Inadequate magnesium levels have been linked to insomnia,  anxiety, and increased pain perception (hyperalgesia). Conversely, studies on magnesium supplementation have shown improvement overall emotional well-being, sleep patterns, anxiety levels and mood. 

    Zinc

    Zinc is a trace mineral that supports several physiological, biochemical, and neurological functions. The bioavailability of zinc in the brain can influence the central nervous system (CNS) function through various mechanisms, and diets deficient in zinc have been known to result in behavioural disorders and diminished cognitive function. While the exact role of zinc in the pathophysiology of depression and sleep disorders remains unclear, the inverse relationship between zinc levels, mood, and sleep quality has been established in several studies that evaluated zinc bioavailability in emotionally dysregulated patients. 

    Vitamin D3

    Vitamin D modulates several enzyme systems in the brain involved in the biosynthesis of several neurotransmitters and the development of receptors on neurons. Optimal levels of vitamin D in the bloodstream are necessary to preserve neurological function and studies have shown that Vitamin D exerts a neuroprotective effect which helps reduce neuroinflammation, thus preserving cognitive function.

     Folate (presented as L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate)

    Folate, also known as vitamin B9, is a co-factor for several neurotransmitters that play a critical role in sleep regulation and the modulation of REM sleep quality. Because folate in food is highly susceptible to destruction by high heat due to cooking, supplementation is generally recommended.

    In the nutrition sciences, the term ‘folate’ is used for the family essential nutrients that are part of the vitamin B family but are obtained from natural food sources mainly of plant origin. However, ‘folic acid’ is biochemically very similar to ‘folic acid’, but the term is reserved for the manufactured form. Studies have shown that 5-methyl tetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF) is better absorbed into the human body and therefore offers better bioavailability and was for this reason chosen for inclusion in SleepVance.

    Vitamin C

    Adequate vitamin C is critical for the biosynthesis of the neurotransmitter’s dopamine, adrenaline, and noradrenaline. Individuals with recorded vitamin C deficiency often report feeling depressed and display poor sleeping patterns. Conversely, studies of hospitalised patients who frequently have lower than normal vitamin C levels have found a significant improvement in mood and sleeping patterns after receiving vitamin C supplementation.