Statistics have noted, a majority of us in the military, law enforcement, and first responder line of work lay in bed at night for what seems like an eternity before we coerce our brains to ‘shut down’ and compel our bodies to drift off to sleep. More often than not, we wake up feeling unrested, but nevertheless duty calls! Whether in training or in deployed environments we grind on with our day. It is a common ailment that presents unique challenges amongst the military, law enforcement, and first responder professionals. Sleepless nights plague us, which ultimately leads to more severe issues later on; compromising personal safety, mission success, and completion of basic tasks at-hand. Bravo Actual recognizes the severity and impacts this issue has on ourselves and fellow teammates, and that’s what led us to the development of “Rack Out”.
Quality sleep is the origin, foundation, and groundwork of our everyday lives and long-term health. Without sleep, our progress physically and physiologically becomes compromised, we lack the energy to function properly throughout the day, our thought processes become altered and slower by nature, and our fitness begins to suffer. Certainly, we all feel the after-effects of lack of sleep when awakening from a restless night, and more often than not we supplement synthetic energy with coffee or sugar-loaded drinks to compensate. While caffeine has its own set of benefits, no imitated artificial compound should be used to fill the void of sleep-acquired energy. This further compounds the issues, leading to added health risks, and potentially causing chronic damage to the body due to the prolonged disruption in the body’s circadian rhythm. For reasons like this, we need to address the source of the problem and not treat each subsequent symptom individually. So we at Bravo Actual teamed up with our favorite non-profit brothers & sisters in the field, The HunterSeven Foundation to develop Rack Out and finally bring an evidence-based, holistic approach to achieving optimal rest and performance.
THE UNFORTUNANTE REALITY - PTSD AND INSOMNIA
Amongst those that suffer from an array of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSS) symptoms, insomnia is the most common complaint. In fact, HunterSeven found that 59.1% (cite) of veterans suffer from insomnia post-deployment when compared to pre-deployment and while PTSS is most commonly associated with military personnel, it can also be found in all forms of professions from law enforcement, the medical field, and other careers where bearing witness to tragedy tends to occur frequently. Regardless of how one acquires PTSS, the symptoms are no less difficult to manage. That is why quality sleep is the first step in the healing process. Statistically speaking, evidence shows that an increase in PTSS symptoms correlated with increased pain severity and insomnia, and PTSS-specific symptoms (e.g. irritability) in addition to insomnia and lack of sleep have falsely depicted TBI-affect. Sleep allows the mind to relax and self-repair. Unless action is taken to heal, PTSD acts like any other wound and will fester until it becomes unmanageable.
On a larger scale, 85% of active-duty military suffer from a sleep disorder of some sort (cite). While it may not be directly related to PTSS, other impactful factors including early shifts, irregular work hours, and personal and occupational stress can all contribute to this. In turn, this can lead to poor performance and inaccurate risk analysis.
Unfortunately, alcohol and both prescription and over-the-counter medications used before bed have been used as a wind-down method, more so a “temporary bandaid” that bypasses the actual problem; this method may seem effective in the short-term but is actually a counter-productive means to health in the long-term. At best, because alcohol inhibits the body from reaching the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) phase of sleep. According to 43.2% of active duty service members and approximately 20-30% of law enforcement officers engage in drinking to an excessive amount. Granted, these statistics also include social events, however, it does create a dangerous scenario and platform for those who also suffer from PTSS and shines a light on the largely-disproportionate military and law enforcement suicide rate when compared to the general public.
From a personal standpoint, while I do not suffer from PTSD (other guys on our team do) I have a demanding job working irregular hours and a family at home that also needs attention. I don’t find any rest until my eyes close in bed and I wake up to the buzzing of the alarm feeling no rest at all. I start my day because I have to, the cycle repeats. For those of you with small children at home, you know that even the weekends do not offer the luxury of sleeping in or , or for those of you working on-call rotations for days at a time, that one call into the hospital for a four-car accident can very well mean you won’t sleep for the next ten hours.
All of these adverse elements make for a disaster cocktail, and while quality sleep is not the absolute solution to the growing list of concerns faced by our men and women in uniform, it is the initial step in preventing further issues from developing.
The Problem with Common Sleep-Inducing Supplements
Have you ever downed some melatonin in the hopes that it would knock you out in a more “natural way” than popping a prescription pill? Chances are that the results were negligible if any results were seen at all.
In order to fall asleep and reach the REM stage, a sequence of chemical reactions have to occur. While supplementing with one particular hormone such as melatonin may improve one chemical process, it negates the rest of the cycle the need to occur in the brain and renal system. For example, by supplementing sleep with the naturally-occurring amino acid 5HTP you are helping your body to produce more of the precursor needed to synthesize the “happy hormone” serotonin. Serotonin, in turn, will aid in the production of melatonin, but if you add in taurine which has a calming effect, your sleep can be significantly improved.In order to properly address and treat the needs of those with sleep-related issues, a sleep-inducing supplement needs to focus on every phase of the sleep-wake cycle to successfully promote a more consistent, structured circadian rhythm.
As a supplement brand, we feel that one’s quality of life can be greatly impacted by the correct diet, exercise, and supplementation in the proper dosages. Seeing as many sleep aid supplements on the market lack the full disclosure in the wide-spectrum of ingredients or do not possess the correct amounts to deliver the desired results safely, we set out to proactively approach the problem so many of us face and naturally solve the dilemma. We felt that we could offer a safe solution to better sleep while continuing to improve the quality of life for those who require a little extra help to attain optimal rest and function. For this reason, we teamed up with the medical team from HunterSeven Foundation to develop a medically-proven, evidence-based product that produced undeniable results.
Even though we at Bravo Actual take pride in our own independent research and formulation, for this project we chose to work with HunterSeven because of their shared passion and commitment to treating the top complaints of the military, law enforcement, and first-responder professionals alike. Within their network, there are numerous medical experts who are knowledgeable about physiological and psychological concerns including those seen in post-traumatic stress, chronic pain, and insomnia.
We began by assessing the 4 phases of the sleep-wake cycle and where interruptions occur that lead to sleep-related issues experienced by the military, law enforcement, and first responders. Based on the research, we worked together in a joint effort to develop a unique, evidence-based formula that we felt would be effective given the research.
Once we received the first round of samples, we not only tested it ourselves but sent some to active duty service members forward-deployed overseas, members of elite special forces military units, and first-responders working wholeheartedly in the emergency rooms as well. After the first round of testing, the results were in, we took the information gathered and made a few small adjustments to better adhere to taste and we repeated the testing for a second time. We were met with overwhelmingly positive reviews, including comments about how “Rack Out” provided them with the quality of sleep they had been lacking and hoping for. That is when we knew that we had a product that would effectively complete its intended mission.By working with the medical team at HunterSeven we were able to maximize our capabilities with their direct access to medical research, experiences, and understanding to achieve our common goal of providing a more natural, holistic approach to achieving productive, optimal sleep.
Allow Us to Present… RACK-OUT!
The joint venture of Bravo Actual and HunterSeven allowed us to produce what we believe to be the most-effective, safest, holistic, and natural sleep aid on the market, and we appropriately named it Rack Out.
For those of you in the military, you know how sweet that word resonates when you’ve worked yourself ragged and permission to sleep has been granted. If you aren’t aware of the lingo, rack-out means to hit the sheets, sleeping bag, backseat, or lay your ass on the ground and get some sleep while you safely can. It can be the most rewarding thing you can hear your team leader said in an operation. That is why we chose to use it as the name for this natural sleep aid.
Previously, we had tried “natural sleep formulas” in the past and were met with disappointing and sometimes adverse results. This won’t be the case with Rack-Out, and we know because we formulated it to function as intended, no fillers, no overwhelming doses of melatonin.
Even the flavors were chosen with the utmost scrutiny. Not only did it have to taste good, we also wanted it to be enjoyed heated and warm as well as cold. This is something that other sleep formulas have not caught on to yet, but it can be a game-changer in the way you experience Rack Out, especially in the colder months or coming home from the bitter outside, those in the field know what we are talking about.The only true way to give it a fair judgment though is for you to try it and experience it for yourself. We are confident that it will give you remarkable sleep results and help you prepare for whatever mission that lays ahead.