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Turns out that mineral is magnesium!
Magnesium is one of the most important minerals for a healthy body.
It plays a lot of roles: regulating the function of your nerves and muscles, controlling your blood sugar levels, managing blood pressure, even playing a part in the synthesis of bone, protein, and DNA.
However, one of its most important roles in your body is its ability to help you sleep better.
In fact, studies have found that magnesium is the single most important mineral for better sleep.
It’s not the only mineral you need—there are lots more that are vital for a healthy body—but if you’re trying to focus on a single nutrient, magnesium is a good place to start!
How Does Magnesium Help Me Sleep?
There are a lot of ways that magnesium affects your body and mind to help you sleep:
It triggers relaxation. Magnesium, it turns out, is needed for the activation of your parasympathetic nervous system. This system is responsible for helping you to relax and feel calm, both in body and mind.
Magnesium regulates the neurotransmitters that send relaxation signals through your brain, down your spine, and into the rest of your body. It also plays a role in the production and regulation of melatonin, the hormone that regulates your sleep-wake cycle. It’s also known to bind with GABA receptors, which in turn helps to reduce nerve activity.
By quieting down your nervous system, magnesium helps you to relax in both mind and body, putting you into a much calmer state that is suitable for going to sleep.
It improves sleep quality. Magnesium is linked to better quality of sleep, as multiple scientific studies have proven. Participants who took magnesium supplements not only exhibited higher levels of sleep-related hormones (melatonin and renin), but they reported better sleep quality with fewer disturbances.
One animal study specifically looked at the effects of magnesium deficiency on sleep quality, and found that inducing a deficiency in mice led to lighter, more restless sleep patterns.
It’s believed that magnesium helps to improve sleep quality by decreasing nervous system activity overnight. Magnesium blocks the more excitable molecules from binding to the neurons in your brain, thereby helping to decrease nervous system activity and calm your brain down while you sleep.
It can prevent insomnia. Studies have linked low magnesium levels with sleep difficulties. Animal studies indicate that having “optimal” levels of magnesium will help to encourage normal sleep, but having both too much and too little of this mineral can lead to insomnia and sleep problems.
Certain things are known to cause magnesium deficiencies, including:
Heavy alcohol intake, as the alcohol actually purges the magnesium from the body.
Digestive diseases, which make it harder for your body to absorb enough magnesium.
Diabetes, which has been linked to excessive loss of magnesium
Age, as it becomes harder for the body to absorb all nutrients—including minerals like magnesium—as our digestive systems function less and less efficiently.
People with magnesium deficiency are more likely to experience sleep loss and insomnia, so getting more magnesium in your diet is vital for combatting these sleep problems.
It helps reduce anxiety and depression. Mental health is directly tied to physical health, and particularly your sleep. People who suffer from anxiety will often find themselves struggling to sleep thanks to their racing minds and anxious thoughts, and one of the most common symptoms of depression is insomnia.
Magnesium’s ability to calm the nervous system may help to reduce anxiety, as well as the effects of anxiety on the brain. And, as science has proven, GABA can decrease depression while improving sleep, and magnesium works on the GABA receptors in your brain.
There’s a lot more research needed to determine exactly how the mineral helps to combat depression and anxiety, but studies have proven that it is known to enhance the effectiveness of antidepressants and possibly anti-anxiety medications.
As you can see, there are a lot of benefits of magnesium for your sleep! It’s definitely a good idea to add more magnesium to your diet.
How to Get More Magnesium Every Day
The beauty of magnesium is that it’s one of the most commonly available nutrients, one found in a lot of different foods! Heck, it’s even available in certain types of drinking water—that’s how widespread it is.
There are a lot of natural sources of magnesium, including:
Vegetables, particularly dark and leafy green veggies
Nuts and seeds
Cereals and whole grains
Meat, fish, and poultry
Fruits like bananas
These foods all naturally contain magnesium, and they’ll definitely help you get close to enough of the amount you need to be healthy.
However, these magnesium-rich foods might not be enough to boost your levels of this vital mineral, so it may be wise to consider taking a magnesium supplement. That way, you get a concentrated dose of magnesium guaranteed every day, one that you know will improve your health and sleep quality.
If you’re taking magnesium supplements, you need to know that the “safe” daily limit is 350 milligrams per day. Any more of that, and you risk health problems from overdosing on magnesium. There is also a risk that the magnesium supplement interferes with certain medications, such as blood pressure meds, antibiotics, and muscle relaxants. Taking too much magnesium can lead to cramps, diarrhea, and nausea.
That’s why it’s recommended that you take supplements that contain smaller doses of magnesium, just enough to “supplement” what you’re consuming in your diet. Take our Sleep Slim Tea, for example. It contains enough magnesium to help you sleep better at night, but not so much that it will trigger negative side effects. You’ll find that with the help of supplements like this, you’ll have an easier time not only drifting off to sleep, but staying asleep all night long and getting to those deep, restful stages of sleep that will improve both your brain and body health.
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