Apigenin for Sleep: A Natural Compound for Better Rest

Apigenin for Sleep: A Natural Compound for Better Rest

In the hustle and bustle of modern life, quality sleep can often feel like a luxury. The constant demands of work, family, and technology can leave many tossing and turning at night, struggling to find the restorative rest they need to function optimally.

While there are numerous sleep aids available, both prescription and over-the-counter, many people are turning to natural remedies in search of a gentler, more holistic approach to improving sleep quality. One such remedy gaining attention is apigenin, a flavonoid found in various plants, renowned for its potential to promote relaxation and enhance sleep.

This blog post delves into the world of apigenin for sleep, exploring its origins, scientific backing, and potential benefits for cognition and stress reduction.

What Is Apigenin?

Apigenin is a naturally occurring compound found in a variety of fruits, vegetables, plants, and herbs, including parsley, celery, chamomile, and passionflower. It belongs to a class of compounds known as flavonoids, known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The compound has been used in herbal medicine for centuries as a way to treat anxiety and inflammation.

It has been the subject of growing scientific interest due to its potential health benefits, including its ability to reduce anxiety and depression, alleviate stress, and promote sleep.

Apigenin and the Central Nervous System

Apigenin interacts with various components of the central nervous system (CNS), influencing neurological processes. Its ability to modulate neurotransmitter activity, particularly through its interaction with gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors, contributes to its anxiolytic and sedative effects. Apigenin's impact on serotonin receptors may regulate mood and sleep patterns, potentially aiding in the management of anxiety and sleep disorders.

Furthermore, its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties support neuronal health and may protect against neurodegenerative diseases. Research suggests that apigenin's multifaceted actions within the CNS hold promise for addressing various neurological conditions, although further investigation is needed to elucidate its full therapeutic potential and safety profile.

The Benefits of Apigenin

An abundance of studies have delved into the benefits of apigenin. Let's look at the scientific evidence for each benefit:

Reduced Cortisol Levels

Apigenin has been shown to reduce stress by modulating neurotransmitter activity and promoting relaxation in the brain. A 2002 study published in the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology demonstrated that exposure to apigenin resulted in a 47.5% reduction in cortisol production in human adrenal cells. This suggests that apigenin can help mitigate the effects of stress by lowering cortisol levels.

Moreover, apigenin's ability to reduce cortisol production can also contribute to improved sleep quality. High cortisol levels can interfere with the body's natural sleep-wake cycle, making it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep. By reducing cortisol levels, apigenin can help promote a more restful and restorative sleep. The association between apigenin and sleep is evident as a 2024 study published in Frontiers in Nutrition found that dietary apigenin intake positively correlates with sleep quality in a large cohort of adults.

Better Sleep Quality

One of the primary ways apigenin may improve sleep quality is through its interaction with the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors in the brain. GABA is a neurotransmitter that plays a key role in promoting relaxation and reducing neuronal excitability.

By binding to GABA receptors, apigenin may help to enhance the inhibitory effects of GABA, leading to a calming effect on the CNS. This can result in feelings of relaxation and drowsiness, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.

Research into the sleep-promoting effects of apigenin is still in its early stages, but several studies have provided promising results. In a 2008 study published in Pharmaceutical Biology, researchers found that apigenin exerted significant sedative effects in mice, potentially through its interaction with GABA receptors.

According to a 2020 study published in the National Library of Medicine, apigenin was found to be significantly correlated with sleep quality in humans. More specifically, a low level of dietary apigenin intake was associated with worse sleep quality.

Help With Sleep Disorders

Apigenin's potential to alleviate sleep disorders includes insomnia. Insomnia is characterized by difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up too early and being unable to return to sleep, often resulting in poor sleep quality and daytime dysfunction.

Apigenin's interaction with GABA receptors, its modulation of serotonin receptors, and its anxiolytic properties make it a candidate for addressing the underlying factors contributing to insomnia. By promoting muscle relaxation, regulating sleep-wake cycles, and reducing anxiety, apigenin may offer benefits for individuals struggling with sleep disturbances, including insomnia.

Although research by Zick et al. (2011) found no significant effects of chamomile treatment on sleep diary measures (total sleep time, sleep efficiency, sleep latency, wake after sleep onset, sleep quality, and number of awakenings), it should be highlighted that chamomile did cause a modest improvement in daytime functioning.

Improved Cognition

Research has shed light on the neuroprotective and cognition-enhancing properties of apigenin, suggesting its potential role in improving memory and learning deficits. It's believed to work by scavenging free radicals, which are harmful compounds that can damage brain cells and impair cognitive function.

In studies involving mice with Alzheimer's disease, exposure to apigenin led to noticeable improvements in memory and learning deficits. A 2013 study further found that apigenin treatment improved spatial learning and memory in mice with amnesia. These studies suggest that the compound could potentially be used to enhance cognitive function in humans and help mediate Alzheimer's disease progression in humans.

Reduced Anxiety and Depression

Apigenin may help alleviate anxiety and depression through several potential mechanisms. It interacts with GABA receptors, increasing GABAergic transmission in the brain, and modulates serotonin receptors, potentially elevating serotonin levels. Additionally, its anti-inflammatory properties, neuroprotective effects, and ability to promote neurogenesis contribute to its potential to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression.

An early study by Nakazawa et al. (2003) found an antidepressant-like activity of apigenin on norepinephrine (NE) and dopamine (DA) turnover in the amygdala and hypothalamus in mice, demonstrating the antidepressant properties of apigenin. This was later confirmed by a 2016 study by Weng et al. The antidepressive effect of apigenin has also been linked with its interaction with the serotonergic pathway, increasing serotonin levels and BDNF expression.

A 2016 human clinical trial on 179 participants found that those taking chamomile extract had significantly lower anxiety than participants in the placebo group, suggesting the potential efficacy of apigenin-rich chamomile in addressing anxiety.

Sources of Apigenin

Apigenin is found in a variety of plants, but it is most commonly associated with chamomile and parsley. These plants are rich in flavonoids, a group of plant metabolites thought to provide health benefits through cell signaling pathways and antioxidant effects.

Chamomile, in particular, has been used for centuries as a herbal medicine, and its sleep-enhancing properties are largely attributed to its high apigenin content. This plant is often consumed in the form of tea, which is a simple and effective way to incorporate apigenin into your daily routine.

Parsley, another common source of apigenin, can be easily added to a variety of dishes, making it another convenient way to increase your intake of this beneficial compound.

In addition to chamomile and parsley, apigenin can also be found in other plants, such as celery, onions, oranges, and wheat sprouts. These sources provide a variety of ways to incorporate apigenin into your diet, allowing you to reap the benefits of this natural compound in a way that suits your lifestyle and dietary preferences.

While these plants are all excellent sources of apigenin, it's important to note that the concentration of this compound can vary depending on the specific plant and its growing conditions.

Apigenin Dietary Supplements

NMN Bio includes 50 mg of apigenin per serving of its NAD+ Brain supplement, aiding in enhancing mental clarity both day and night. This natural compound exerts a calming influence on brain cells while safeguarding NAD+ levels in the brain. NAD+ is the master regulator of human health, and a molecule that sits at the Krebs cycle. Without it, your mitochondria cannot produce any energy (or ATP). Unfortunately, NAD+ declines with age, and with that, so does your cognitive function. But maintaining optimal NAD+ levels in the brain is achievable with supplementation. Apigenin stops NAD+ drainage from the brain, by blocking CD38, an enzyme that consumes NAD+ with age, since it is a part of the cells' inflammatory response. And inflammation is unfortunately increasing with age too. Bottomline, Apigenin prevents the leakage of NAD+ from your brain, while having a calming effect on your nervous system. 

The effects of apigenin are typically noticeable within two to four days of consistent use. However, individual responses can vary, and some people may require a longer period to experience the benefits. It's important to remember that apigenin is not a quick fix, but a natural supplement that supports your body's own processes.

Unlike some sleep aids, apigenin should not leave you feeling groggy the next day. This makes it a suitable choice even on nights when you have early morning commitments or a busy day ahead.

Remember, consistency is key when it comes to reaping the benefits of this natural compound. Make it a habit to take your apigenin capsule every day, and you'll be well on your way to better rest and improved cognitive function. It is noteworthy that NAD+ Brain is a supplement that you take in the morning, due to it's caffeine content (25mg per capsule), then rip the adaptogenic benefits of the synergistic effect of this 12-ingredient blend at night, while your brain is being nourished into deeper sleep. 

Embrace Better Sleep and Cognitive Function with Apigenin

The pursuit of quality sleep in our fast-paced lives has led many to explore natural alternatives for better rest. Among these alternatives, apigenin stands out as a promising compound derived from various plants, renowned for its potential to trigger relaxation and help combat sleep deprivation.

Through its interactions with the CNS, particularly its modulation of neurotransmitter activity and receptors, apigenin exhibits anxiolytic and sedative effects, which can have significant improvements on sleep quality, stress, and cognitive function. Clinical trials have demonstrated its ability to lower cortisol levels, enhance GABAergic transmission, improve energy and focus, and mitigate symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Apigenin's presence in commonly consumed plants like chamomile and parsley offers accessible avenues for incorporating it into daily routines, whether through herbal teas or culinary use. Additionally, dietary supplements provide a convenient option for those seeking a more concentrated dose.

While future research is warranted to fully understand apigenin's therapeutic effects and safety profile in human clinical trials, the evidence thus far suggests that it holds promise as a natural aid for sleep and cognitive function enhancement.

By embracing apigenin supplements as part of a holistic approach to well-being, individuals can aspire to achieve healthy sleep habits and improved mental clarity, thus enhancing their overall quality of life in the process.

NMN Bio puts 50 mg of apigenin per serving in NAD+ Brain to help you gain clarity during the day as well as the night. The natural compound has a calming effect on your brain cells and preserves the NAD+ in the brain. 

Researched and reviewed by Dr Elena Seranova, Ph.D.

Dr Seranova holds a master's degree in Translational Neuroscience from the University of Sheffield, UK, and a Ph.D in Stem Cell Biology and Autophagy from the University of Birmingham, UK. She is a published author in multiple peer-reviewed journals, including Cell Reports and Developmental Cell.


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