“A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book,” so says an Irish proverb, and if there’s truth in it, most of us could use more of the medicine of sleep.
It is estimated that almost 1 out of every 3 adults have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. There are of course hundreds of reasons that can disrupt sleep once it starts, or prevent you from falling asleep in the first place. Physiologically, one of the key contributors can be a lack of magnesium or melatonin – or both.
Among Canadians who have learned first-hand the benefits of magnesium, a great night’s sleep is cited as the most appreciated. In hundreds of Natural Calm testimonies, the restoration of a good night’s sleep is the most frequently cited benefit.
Insomnia can be the most noticeable symptom of magnesium deficiency. Lack of magnesium can result in over-excitement and nervousness, keeping the electrical signals in your brain firing, causing you to wake up prematurely, or preventing sleep in the first place.
The most prevalent sleep disorders can all be related to magnesium deficiency, including:
- difficulty falling asleep
- abrupt awakening from sleep
- jerking and other disruptive
- talking in your sleep
- Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
A nutrition research project at the United States Department of Agriculture found that “a diet inadequate in magnesium caused changes in brain waves–electrical activity in the brain” when subjects were at rest. These findings build on a growing body of evidence pointing to magnesium deficiency as a cause of sleep disturbances, including agitated sleep and frequent waking.
Magnesium helps relax muscles and nerves to support deep, restful sleep. Common leg cramps and RLS, characterized by jumpy, twitchy, overactive limbs can be treated by calming magnesium. The same goes for tension headaches, the result of a tightening of the muscles in the neck and scalp, and migraines, triggered by the exaggerated firing of nerves.
And that’s not all: magnesium activates melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone. Without enough magnesium, your body won’t get those natural cues to wind down and slip into restorative sleep.
The Calcium Connection
Typically, North American diets are heavily skewed in favour of calcium. Not only do many opt for dairy products over magnesium-rich plant sources, increasingly people consume calcium-fortified products. As a result, the average North American consumes five to ten times more calcium than magnesium.
There’s a certain logic behind the warm glass of milk theory, and it’s instructive as a starting point for understanding the mechanisms of nutrients and sleep. Milk contains tryptophan, a precursor to melatonin commonly associated with turkey dinners. Milk’s calcium aids in the uptake of tryptophan, speeding relaxation. However, without enough magnesium, high calcium creates an imbalance; that imbalance can set in the tension that prevents sound sleep.
According to Darcy Sutherland, a Registered Nutritional Consultant Practitioner (RNCP) practicing in Toronto, “magnesium has, in recent years, taken a back seat to calcium. There’s been an emphasis on the importance of calcium and vitamin D for bone health, but taking these supplements on their own can throw off the body’s balance.”
Without magnesium, the signals to relax are impeded. More calcium, for most, is not the answer. Better absorption of calcium through an adequate supply of magnesium is a better solution.
Magnesium supplementation has been a proven natural sleep aid both by helping you stay asleep and to fall asleep faster
When Magnesium Supplementation Isn’t Enough
If you have tried Natural Calm at bedtime for several nights in a row and have been one of the few who has not experienced an improved night’s sleep, it could be that your body is not producing enough melatonin.
Melatonin is sometimes referred to as the Dracula hormone because its release is brought on naturally by darkness. As such it regulates our internal clocks, increasing when we should feel sleepy and dropping with morning light. Artificial light – including television sets in the bedroom – is enough to inhibit the production of melatonin.
And as we age, our natural production of melatonin declines. After the age of 40, this decrease can be significant.
Should you continue to experience difficulties sleeping even in dark rooms, you may want to add a few drops of Heavenly Sleep liquid melatonin to your night-time Natural Calm magnesium drink. So remember Heavenly Sleep along with Natural Calm magnesium is the ultimate sleep solution.