Vitamin Retailer May 2013 : Page 30

By Shari Barbanel F 30 VITAMIN RETAILER or many Americans, “bedtime” doesn’t necessarily mean they will actually get a good night of sleep. Some lie in bed worrying about the mountain of tasks they need to accomplish the next day, while others watch the minutes tick by on the clock until it is time to get up, leaving them tired and unrefreshed, not ready for what the day may bring. Stress often interferes with our ability to get a full night of rest. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) reported the seven out of 10 adults in the U.S. say they experience stress or anxiety daily, while one-third have experienced persistent stress or excessive anxiety, or that they have had a panic attack. Further, seven out of 10 of those adults said that they have trou-ble sleeping. According to the ADAA, the majority of adults with a stress-induced sleep problem experience it at least once a week, and more than half experience it at least several times a week. Seventy-five percent of adults whose sleep is affected by stress or anxiety say that their sleep problems have also increased their stress and anxiety—54 percent say that stress increased their anxiety about falling asleep at night, while 52 percent of men and 42 percent of women reported it has affected their ability to remain focused the next day. “Sleep is [an] important part of our lives,” said Ulrich Irgens, Illinois-based Swisse Wellness Inc.’s executive vice president, Americas. “Optimal sleep is the foundation for most bodily systems to run efficiently. Most adults require between seven to nine hours a night for optimal sleep. A poor sleep environ-ment can lead to deprivation of sleep, which can contribute to some health conditions.” “Stress is the No. 1 cause of death in the United States because of all of the negative effects on the body that come from stress,” added Charles Barker, CEO of Wisconsin-based MitoSynergy LLC. “All of the negative effects are bad enough, but when the stress affects sleep, it becomes a force multiplier. A good night’s rest is one of the most important factors on the quality of life.” A Vicious Circle Instead of simply accepting the fact that stressful lives hinder their ability to sleep through the night, Americans are actively doing something about it. According to John Cuomo, PhD, executive director of product development and technologies for USANA Health Sciences, Inc. in Utah, the market for sleep and stress support is small, but growing steadily. A report from Euromonitor International noted that calming and sleeping products had a consistent growth of 1.2 percent dur-ing 2010-11, and accounted for 1.8 per-cent of category sales in 2011. Western Europe saw the greatest proportion of sales, followed by North America, Asia Pacific and Eastern Europe, he said. “In the United States, stress-related sleeplessness has been a growing prob-lem and Euromonitor International pre-dicts the most growth in this market— somewhere around CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 2.6 percent over the next five years,” Cuomo continued. “Japan’s sleep support market, on the other hand, is expected to decline due to a general unwillingness of its con-sumers to rely on aid for sleep. Therefore, the market potential WWW.VITAMINRETAILER.COM s MAY 2013

Just Relax

Shari Barbanel

Stress and a lack of sleep can create a “vicious circle” that, if not rectified, can lead to more serious health issues.<br /> <br /> For many Americans, “bedtime” doesn’t necessarily mean they will actually get a good night of sleep. Some lie in bed worrying about the mountain of tasks they need to accomplish the next day, while others watch the minutes tick by on the clock until it is time to get up, leaving them tired and unrefreshed, not ready for what the day may bring.<br /> <br /> Stress often interferes with our ability to get a full night of rest. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) reported the seven out of 10 adults in the U.S. say they experience stress or anxiety daily, while one-third have experienced persistent stress or excessive anxiety, or that they have had a panic attack. Further, seven out of 10 of those adults said that they have trouble sleeping.<br /> <br /> According to the ADAA, the majority of adults with a stress-induced sleep problem experience it at least once a week, and more than half experience it at least several times a week. Seventy five percent of adults whose sleep is affected by stress or anxiety say that their sleep problems have also increased their stress and anxiety—54 percent say that stress increased their anxiety about falling asleep at night, while 52 percent of men and 42 percent of women reported it has affected their ability to remain focused the next day.<br /> <br /> “Sleep is [an] important part of our lives,” said Ulrich Irgens, Illinois-based Swisse Wellness Inc.’s executive vice president, Americas. “Optimal sleep is the foundation for most bodily systems to run efficiently. Most adults require between seven to nine hours a night for optimal sleep. A poor sleep environment can lead to deprivation of sleep, which can contribute to some health conditions.” <br /> <br /> “Stress is the No. 1 cause of death in the United States because of all of the negative effects on the body that come from stress,” added Charles Barker, CEO of Wisconsin-based MitoSynergy LLC. “All of the negative effects are bad enough, but when the stress affects sleep, it becomes a force multiplier. A good night’s rest is one of the most important factors on the quality of life.”<br /> <br /> A Vicious Circle <br /> <br /> Instead of simply accepting the fact that stressful lives hinder their ability to sleep through the night, Americans are actively doing something about it. According to John Cuomo, PhD, executive director of product development and technologies for USANA Health Sciences, Inc. in Utah, the market for sleep and stress support is small, but growing steadily. A report from Euromonitor International noted that calming and sleeping products had a consistent growth of 1.2 percent during 2010-11, and accounted for 1.8 percent of category sales in 2011. Western Europe saw the greatest proportion of sales, followed by North America, Asia Pacific and Eastern Europe, he said.<br /> <br /> “In the United States, stress-related sleeplessness has been a growing problem and Euromonitor International predicts the most growth in this market— somewhere around CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 2.6 percent over the next five years,” Cuomo continued. “Japan’s sleep support market, on the other hand, is expected to decline due to a general unwillingness of its consumers to rely on aid for sleep. Therefore, the market potential depends on attitudes of consumers in a particular geographic area.” <br /> <br /> So where is all this stress coming from? According to the American Psychological Association’s 2011 Stress in America poll, significant sources of stress include money (75 percent), work (70 percent), the economy (67 percent), relationships (58 percent), family responsibilities (57 percent), family health problems (53 percent), personal health concerns (53 percent), job stability (49 percent), housing costs (49 percent) and personal safety (32 percent). The poll also noted that that 44 percent reported that stress causes them to lie awake at night.<br /> <br /> In addition to the many stresses of everyday life, simply watching the news can create anxiety as events such as the shootings in Aurora, CO and Newtown, CT, as well as natural disasters, can leave people awake at night worrying about their families. For instance, David Wygal, certified nutritionist with Healthfair Vitamins in Little Silver, NJ, noticed a rise in customers’ interest in stress and sleep support after Hurricane Sandy ravaged the Eastern seaboard last year. “Because Superstorm Sandy hit our customers hard (and many of them are still in temporary housing and do not know if they will be able to go back to their homes), stress and sleep support have taken the lead in customers’ inquiries.” <br /> <br /> Retailer Linda Burger, owner of The Well in Bedford, VA, added that stress can lead to poor sleep; poor sleep can lead to stress. “It’s the perfect example of ‘a vicious circle,’ she explained. “Stress can diminish the ability to naturally relax into deep sleep, and not getting enough hours of sleep on a regular basis can likewise reduce the ability to easily handle the ordinary irritations and glitches of everyday life. Once this unhealthy cycle becomes a pattern, it tends to perpetuate itself—the body can ‘lose the habit’ of sleeping normally.” <br /> <br /> And if this dangerous cycle continues for an extended period of time, it can wreak havoc on the entire body, increasing the risk for cardiovascular or immune problems, or insulin resistance, among others. “Sleep deprivation can lead to serious physical health consequences,” said Stuart H. Garber, DC, PhD, president of Dr. Garber’s Natural Solutions in California. “Regularly catching only a few hours of sleep can hinder metabolism and alter hormone production in a way that is similar to the effects of aging. Chronic sleep loss may speed the onset or increase the severity of age-related conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and memory loss.” <br /> <br /> Seeking Natural Sleep <br /> <br /> As consumers are choosing to be proactive about their health, many are shying away from traditional sleep aids and prescription medications for stress due to the unwanted side effects. “We are starting to see a broader audience entering the category. It is not just the natural shopper looking for our products,” said Katrina Eichenfeldt, senior brand manager for Nelsons in Massachusetts. “From working moms and busy professionals to teachers and nurses, many are all looking for a way to not only survive the day, but thrive by managing their stress.” <br /> <br /> “Especially chronic problems like stress and sleep issues are best dealt with naturally. Consumers see synthetics and drugs correcting an acute problem such as the flu or a bacterial infection,” added Cecile Kehoe, COO of Arizonabased DreamBrands, Inc. “These substances used continuously for chronic conditions will throw the body out of balance and possibly cause other issues. Over-the-counter (OTC) sleep aids have side effects, possible dependency issues and withdrawal symptoms. Natural remedies do not have such issues.” <br /> <br /> To combat sleep- and stress-related issues, two of the most well-known natural options are melatonin and valerian. Melaton in is a hormone that is produced by the pineal gland in the brain that helps control the body’s sleep and wake cycles. According to WebMD.com, light can affect how much melatonin the body produces and natural melatonin levels slowly drop with age. Some older adults make very small amounts of melatonin or none at all.<br /> <br /> New York-based USANA’s best-selling stress and sleep support supplement is Pure Rest, an orange-flavored melatonin lozenge formula. The 2 mg scored dissolvable tablet is easy to use and may be broken in half, allowing consumers to adjust their dosage from 1-4 mg per day.<br /> <br /> Another melatonin-based product is Internal Harmony Sleep Aid from DreamBrands, Inc., which contains replenishing vitamins and minerals the body needs to recover balance when under stress, and was specially formulated for a woman’s needs. It includes melatonin and 12 additional key ingredients, like clinically proven Pharma- Gaba plus vitamins A, C, E, B1, B6 and B12, selenium and magnesium, to help balance the body. The product contains five herbal blends to aid in coping with stress, helping relaxation, improving the quality of sleep, as well as two ingredients to help with PMS or menopausal symptoms unique to a woman’s needs, according to the company.<br /> <br /> Valerian is an herb that has been used to aid sleep and anxiety since the times of ancient Greece and Rome. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, described its therapeutic properties, the Roman philosopher Galen prescribed it for insomnia, and in World War II, the English used valerian to relieve the stress of air raids.<br /> <br /> Swisse Ultiboost Sleep and Swisse Ultiboost Mood were developed to assist natural restful sleep and maintain a positive mood. Swisse’s Sleep product contains premium quality ingredients shown to help minimize sleep challenges, including magnesium and valerian to encourage natural, restful sleep, while the Mood product is a comprehensive formula containing premium quality ingredients, including St. John’s wort, to help relieve occasional nervous tension and irritability.<br /> <br /> Melatonin and valerian may be the most well-known sleep and stress-support ingredients, but other ingredients such as kava, passionflower, hops, lemon balm and lavender are also being utilized to put people at ease. Evlar’s Sleep Formula, from Colorado-based World Supplements, is a European-based formulation that offers motherwort and hops in conjunction with other synergistic ingredients to help users relax and support maintained sleep. Although it does not include melatonin or valerian, according to the company, the product remains quite effective.<br /> <br /> According to Barker, MitoSynergy was not designed as a stress reliever, but has become a great stress-relief product. It is best described as offering a “calm energy”—it is not a caffinated-type energy; rather it is an energy that increases focus and motivation, simultaneously relieving stress. “Interestingly enough, MitoSynergy is designed to help the mitochondria synthesize ATP because it is bringing nutrition to the mitochondria on a molecular level with no synthetic caffeine-type ingredients,” he said. “Most people say that it is a calming energy and thus has brought us into the stress- relief category.” <br /> <br /> Fastest Delivery <br /> <br /> Although capsules and tablets may be the delivery method of choice for some consumers, others are looking for alternative ways to help them relax and get some shuteye. Healthfair’s Wygal noted that his customers are not as concerned about the delivery system; they just want something that works. Burger explained that although capsules are by far The Well’s best sellers, some customers purchase homeopathic sleep and stress support products or herbal tinctures because they are fast-acting, or taste appealing for their children.<br /> <br /> Nelsons (Bach) offers an array of products in the RESCUE family including sprays, drops, melts, gums and pastilles. RESCUE Remedy Pastilles use Dr. Bach’s original RESCUE Remedy formula in a gummy lozenge format suitable for the whole family. In Black Currant and Orange Elderberry flavors, the alcohol-free pastilles come in a convenient tin, ideal to keep in pockets, bags, desks or cars for times of need. Meanwhile, RESCUE Gum is an Orange and Elderflower flavored gum with a liquid center that contains for drops of RESCUE Remedy. The action itself of chewing gum can be soothing and help users unwind, according to the company. Finally, RESCUE Sleep Liquid Melts does not put users to sleep, rather it helps calm repetitive thoughts so they can fall asleep naturally and wake refreshed.<br /> <br /> Liquid supplements are beneficial for those who cannot swallow pills, or want to keep the products by the bed for convenient access. Dr. Garber’s Natural Solutions formulas offer a number of products that target sleep, anxiety and depression. The company’s best-selling remedy is the Sleep formula, which has helped thousands get to sleep, return to sleep and stay asleep. The product contains a proprietary blend of English hawthorn (Crataegus oxyacantha) young shoots, fig tree (Ficus carica) buds, lime tree (Tilia tomentosa) buds, rhodonite, bulbinum, as well as glycerin, purified water and 15 percent ethanol USP.<br /> <br /> Bob Litvak, owner of Santa Monica Homeopathic Pharmacy in California, often recommends Dr. Garber’s Natural Solutions for Sleep and even keeps it on his own nightstand. “It’s easy to take, tastes good and if your alarm wakes you up 20 minutes or a few hours later, you don’t feel drugged or drowsy,” he said.<br /> <br /> Relaxing Beverages <br /> <br /> Many people like to end their day with a hot cup of tea and, according to Zoe Kissim, herbalist and associate brand manager for Traditional Medicinals in California, the stress and sleep category is one of the largest segments of the wellness tea category. “Sometimes the act of simply slowing down and having a warm cup of tea can be a wonderful way to help you unwind,” said Kissim. “Making sure that this warm cup of tea also has herbs that are specific to combating tension, stress and occasional sleeplessness can be a wonderful addition to this ritual.” <br /> <br /> Traditional Medicinals offers a number of products for sleep and stress. One of its best-sellers, Organic Nighty Night, relieves occasional sleeplessness through the combination of delicate passionflower and other relaxing herbs like chamomile and hops to create a mellow blend that helps consumers rest easy.* Additionally, the company recently released two new herbal teas that support relaxation: Organic Lemon Balm and Organic Linden Flower with Hawthorn and Lemon Balm. Used throughout Europe for thousands of years to support digestion and calm a jangled nervous system, Organic Lemon Balm tea helps relieve tension*, and with a pleasantly mild and slightly citrus taste. Linden Flower combines nicely with hawthorn berries and lemon balm for a calming and relaxing effect*, according to the company.<br /> <br /> While the shot market exploded due to the creation of energy shot drinks, relaxation shots are now growing more popular as well. According to Steve Curtis, CEO of Canadian-based Zen’d Naturals Ltd, energy shots have made small beverages a widely accepted and increasingly preferred delivery method among consumers because they are quick and portable.<br /> <br /> Zen’d’s main ingredient is kava, a root that is found on South Pacific Islands and has been used for thousands of years for relaxation, anxiety, stress and insomnia. <br /> <br /> “zen’d produces and immediate effect by tingling on your tongue—this tells you the kava is working and the tingle lasts a few minutes,” said Curtis. “Within 20 minutes, many consumers report a gentle shift to a more relaxed state where they notice increased mental clarity and focus.” <br /> <br /> Education <br /> <br /> Many consumers want to make the transition to natural products to help them relax and sleep better, but they will need the knowledge of their natural health retailer to guide them. “Education is key,” said Maylynn Leighton, director of sales and marketing for World Supplements. “The more consumers know about the products, what makes them experiential and differentiates them, will help the consumer make a more relevant choice for their needs.” <br /> <br /> A challenge that retailers face is competing with the internet and its lowpriced options. But by educating customers, retailers can explain the importance of a quality product being much more beneficial than whatever is the cheapest. “The biggest challenge about stress and sleep support products is always the price,” said Ronald Clinton, pharmacist at Apothecary Pharmacy in Los Angeles, CA. “People have the internet to compare and they don’t let you forget it. However, we know what we are recommending is beneficial and one has to pay for quality, always.” <br /> <br /> While anxiety is a part of modern living, DreamBrands Kehoe suggested that retailers stress the importance of sleep to their customers. “The ability to get adequate levels of sleep is a critical factor to maintaining health. It is essential to our emotional and physical wellbeing,” she said. “Sleep is a time during which the body can rest and the mind can sort things out. It enables the body to rest and recharge and is also needed for important physiological processes such as hormone regulation, which affects immune function and overall health.”

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