Minerals have a critical role to play in the healthy function of our nerve cells. This means that they are also important for sleep. Every enzyme and process in body utilizes minerals. Enzymes also contain minerals. A healthy mineral balance is essential for sleep as minerals create balance in the nerve cell and in the whole neurostransmitter region.
The human body utilizes more than 80 known minerals. The latest nutritional research has shown that every mineral plays an important metabolic role. Should the human body be lacking in any of these elements, imbalances in the body’s metabolism begin to occur.
Some of the more critical minerals for healthy sleep include calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium and phosphorus. In fact these are called macrominerals because they exist in larger quantities in the body and are vital for healthy metabolism.
Researchers and nutritionists give (remarkably) different mineral recommendations. This is because there are so many minerals and it is difficult to nail down deficiencies. Most researchers do however agree that calcium and magnesium are super-critical minerals for healthy brain and nervous system balance and function. And for sleep.
Several research studies have shown certain minerals can be effective at inducing sleep and helping people fall asleep and stay asleep through the night.
Research indicates that taking the supplements magnesium and calcium can do more than just support strong bones. According to James F. Balch, M.D., author of “Prescription for Nutritional Healing,” “A lack of the nutrients calcium and magnesium will cause you to wake up after a few hours and not be able to return to sleep.” Lack of these nutrients also may prevent fast onset of sleep. Calcium and magnesium have both been referred to as natural sedatives. Calcium works best when it’s balanced in a 2-to-1 ratio with magnesium. That means for every 200 mg of calcium taken, 100 mg of magnesium should be taken as well.
But not all forms of magnesium work best. It has been found that magnesium chloride has the highest absorption rate of many different kinds. Calcium lactate gluconate is also popular for its quick dissolution in water.
In a study called, “The Role of Magnesium in Sleep,” magnesium was determined to be a possible method of combating insomnia. Researchers found that sleep was induced rapidly and was uninterrupted. Test subjects did not report any residual tiredness the next day, as is common with other sleeping pills. Also, the calming effects of the calcium caused anxiety and tension to be diminished during the day.
While it’s best to get nutritional content from foods, supplementation can be helpful if you are deficient in certain vitamins and minerals. Before adding any supplements to your diet, it is best to discuss your intentions with your doctor. He or she can determine if this course of treatment is safe or risky.
Calcium for better sleep
Calcium is a super important mineral for healthy brain and nerves. If the bloodstream and nervous system is under-supplied with calcium, the body takes the necessary calcium from the bone tissue to keep a minimum balance in the blood. Calcium is also an important nutrient to accommodate light. Furthermore, calcium is important for bones, artery and blood vessel wall cells, muscle tissues and many organs’ tissues.
Calcium is a calming and relaxing mineral. This means that when the body has a sufficient level of calcium, there will be better production of vital neurosmitters such as serotin and dopamine. “Calcium helps the brain use the amino acid tryptophan to manufacture the sleep-inducing substance melatonin,” says William Sears, M.D. “This explains why dairy products, which contain both tryptophan and calcium, are one of the top sleep-inducing foods.”
Many health experts have advised that daily consumption of about 1000-2000mg of calcium (and 500-600mg of magnesium) creates a blood content that seems to prevent bone calcium loss and a healthy balance.
Magnesium for better sleep
When we sleep poorly and wake up in the middle of the night, the problem could be magnesium deficiency. Among its many good qualities, magnesium has a calming effect on the nervous system. In fact, magnesium has recently received considerable attention as an inexpensive dietary supplement that can resolve many sleep disturbances.
According to experts over 200 published clinical studies document the importance of magnesium in America to date. Many of these studies were completed within the last decade. This strengthens the theory that changes in our diet have further depleted our bodies’ natural reserves of magnesium.
Magnesium is considered the “anti-stress” mineral as it is a natural tranquilizer. Stress depletes magnesium. When our magnesium levels are low, our nervous system gets out of balance and we feel on edge. When we are anxious our muscles start to (unconsciously) tighten. As a result our mind and body become tense impacting our mood in the day time and sleep in the night time.
Interestingly, when magnesium levels are low we might wake up not feeling refreshed. When we sleep, muscle groups move and stretch, in preparation for the next day’s activity. However, magnesium works with the calcium in our bodies to help our muscles first contract and then relax again. Muscles contract with the help of stored calcium. Magnesium is the mineral that helps them relax. Without enough magnesium, muscles are unable to relax fully after contraction and night time muscle cramps develop, causing another sleep disruption.
Studies suggest that magnesium deficiency may also be one of the causes of poor sleep and even insomnia. Magnesium eases anxiety, relaxes muscles and nerves resulting in better quality sleep.