Do Omega-3s Combat Memory Impairment from Lack of Sleep?

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Omega 3 fatty acids are a vitally important part of our diets.

Especially in our modern system which produces commercial meat whose omega 6 to omega 3 ratios so often favor omega 6s.

We could be leaving a lot of thriving on the table by not addressing this imbalance, given what we know about the ability of omega 3s to positively impact our health one the ratio is properly balanced.

For instance, it has long been known that proper intake of omega 3s can be brain-protective.

This we know.

But what if someone is sleep deprived? Is there anything we can do about the negative effects that can have on memory?

Well, researchers from Jordan may have discovered a pretty astounding answer to that question.

Published in the journal Life Sciences in June 2019, the researchers discovered a potentially major protective effect of omega 3s against memory impairment that has been induced by sleep deprivation.

In addition to less than ideal food sources whose omega fatty acid balances have become out of whack, sleep deprivation has also become an issue, so this might be very important for you.

The Sleep Deprivation-Memory Impairment Study

The researchers conducted a study on three groups of rats to see what effect omega 3 consumption might have on the memory impairment that accompanies sleep deprivation.

(Unless you are new here, you know that I am firmly against animal testing and present these findings for your information only.)

The results of the study should encourage you.

Of the animals subjected to sleep deprivation, those who received no omega 3s committed more errors in the short- and long-term memory tests administered by the researchers.

The animals that were given an intervention of omega 3 supplements, however, committed a similar number of errors as the control group.

In other words, almost as though they had not been sleep deprived at all!

What can we learn from this?

So, now we can go on depriving ourselves of sleep, spending all night on Twitter until our eyes glaze over and pump us up with coffee in the morning, just so long as we get that good fish oil in, right?

Certainly not!

In fact, this just makes me wonder how much better off those animals might have been had they gotten proper sleep and supplemented with omega 3.

Or better yet, how much better off we might be with proper sleep and proper omega 3 intake.

Although these results may not necessarily translate to humans in the same way (another great reason to not conduct this study on animals as many human participants would have been willing), it is a very encouraging result nonetheless.

Given what we have already learned about the importance of omega 3s, this is just one more reason to consider it, with your licensed health professional, for optimization in your diet.

Your memory, and your health, are important enough to warrant this.

I hope you found this information helpful today. Please keep coming back to Pursuit of Great for more of this and other great content.

Thanks and have a wonderful day!


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  1. Great informative post. I always try to get my 7-8 hours of zzz’s and supplement my omega’s with a tablespoon of flaxseed meal every day for breakfast.

  2. Pursuit of Great

    Thanks! Supplementing is such a great idea when you need it. Flaxseed oil actually cured my wife’s dry eyes, and pretty quickly too. Thanks for being here!

  3. I’m newly motivated to make sure I eat enough omega-3 rich foods again. I am always excited when I see it mentioned on the package, but I never go out of my way to make sure I’m getting enough.

  4. Pursuit of Great

    That’s great! I’ve made a point to eat more salmon and sardines lately as well for the same reason. Really enjoying it.

    Thanks for reading and I’m glad you enjoyed it!

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