NAD+, Sleep and Circadian Rhythm
Quick overview of what you’ll learn from this blog post:
What is circadian rhythm?
What is NAD+?
How NAD+ affects circadian rhythm
Have you ever stayed awake for over 24 hours? If you have, you’ll know it feels pretty terrible, and that’s because it’s something our bodies just aren’t designed for.
But we’re not alone – in fact, almost all living things, including cyanobacteria, insects, fish, and other mammals have developed their own internal clock systems to help them rest, recover and reproduce.
These sleep-wake cycles are referred to as ‘circadian clocks’, and the term ‘circadian’ comes from the Latin circa, meaning ‘around’ (or ‘approximately’), and diēm, meaning ‘day’. Our circadian rhythms are why we tend to get tired at the same time every night, and why jetlag can take a couple of days to get over, because it sends our circadian rhythms out of, well, rhythm.
What is NAD+?
As someone interested in living healthier for longer, you’ve probably heard of NAD+, the crucial coenzyme that’s essential for creating energy in the body and regulating multiple cellular processes like DNA repair and gene expression. NAD+ is so vital to the proper functioning of our bodies that Dr. David Sinclair of Harvard Medical School has said many times that, without it, we’d be dead in 30 seconds.
As we age, levels of NAD+ in our cells decline, largely due to chronic age-related inflammation also known as ‘inflammaging’, but also because we become less efficient at making it and demand increases. Over the last two decades or so, several studies on both animals and humans have shown that boosting NAD+ to youthful levels can be very beneficial – like in this recent study where NMN enhanced aerobic capacity in amateur runners quite significantly.
Promising studies like this are why so many people are starting to take NAD+ precursor supplements like nicotinamide riboside (NR) and nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN), or even skipping the middleman and using NAD+ patches or injections.
What’s the relationship between NAD+ and circadian rhythm?
A study last year found that NR in the drinking water of old mice “countered the decline in night-time locomotor activity rhythms” (so the mice moved around less at night, suggesting they rested more) and restored youthful patterns of gene expression in mouse livers.
If that sounds very technical, it’s because it is. This is an ongoing area of research, and scientists are still learning about this very complex (and fascinating) topic. While human clinical trials are lacking, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence of people saying they sleep better thanks to boosting their NAD+.
In his latest podcast with Joe Rogan, Dr. David Sinclair explained that he takes his NAD+ booster in the morning as that's when our bodies make the most NAD+. That seems to make sense to him from a circadian rhythm point of view.
If you’re interested in supplementing with NAD+, AgelessRx offers a range of options containing actual NAD+ (skipping middleman precursors), ranging from a nasal spray to transdermal patches to subcutaneous injections. Click here to learn more.