What is the one nutrient you may need to improve your sleep? Magnesium deficiency may be the key.
I use to suffer frequently with irritability, PMS, inability to fall asleep and frequent migraines. I knew that stress played a big role but it took some research and confirmation from a naturopathic doctor that magnesium deficiency was also playing a big role in my symptoms.
Are you finding sleep difficult? Not feeling your best self so you can enjoy your life and be fully present with your friends and family can make life very challenging.
The Problem with Our Food
One of the main minerals required for plant growth is magnesium. There are a total of 17 required. However, there are only three that are used in the modern fertilizers which are potassium, nitrogen and phosphorus.
Why do we suffer from a lack of this one nutrient, magnesium. For one thing it plays a huge role in our overall health. Most of us do not eat near enough foods containing magnesium and due to industrialization, the soil is not as enriched with this mineral as it once was
There is a lack of crop rotation, erosion and continuous use of chemical fertiliizers, pesticides and herbicides which have prevented the ability of the soil to restore the nutrients needed for healthy crops.
Also if you use a water softener then you would want to use other water for drinking such as spring water since the sodium content in the water softener will hinder magnesium levels in your blood when consumed.
The Role of Magnesium
The role of magnesium in our body is numerous and 800 different roles have been identified. No wonder so many health conditions are linked to its deficiency. Our cellular energy depends on enzymes but these enzymes depend on magnesium to do their job.
Here is a list of just a few conditions that magnesium plays a role in:
- muscle tension,
- high blood pressure,
- anxiety and stress,
- blood sugar sensitivities,
- vitamin D deficiencies,
- adrenal fatigue,
- migraines and headaches,
The list is much larger but for you, I am sure you can relate to at least one of them.
However, I did want to zero in on sleep. Sleep is so important for energy restoration, cellular repair and detoxification. The more stressed you are, the more magnesium you use up and the harder it is to fall asleep and stay asleep.
The reason is that magnesium plays a role in the production of melatonin which is the hormone that regulates your sleep and wake cycle. Also if you are experiencing tension in your muscles, it will be difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep. So you may want to look at the root cause which could be stress or a diet deficiency.
Here are some foods that are a good source of magnesium:
- Swiss Chard
- Collard Greens
- Whole grains
Eating your foods from an organic source will help with improved nutrient density due to better soil quality and lack of herbicidal sprays. However, if you cannot get organic, you can always take a magnesium supplement.
Also you will need to be able to break down and absorb your food properly with sufficient enzymes and stomach acid in order to absorb the magnesium through your small intestines.
So if you are using an ant acid, you need to be aware that they will hinder your ability to absorb magnesium into your body because you will not be able to efficiently dissolve it in your stomach. Stress will also hinder your body's ability to produce sufficient hydrochloric acid and enzymes for proper absorption. Any gastrointestinal inflammation will impede your ability to have sufficent magnesium for your overall health.
Supplementing with Magnesium
This is why I believe that supplementation is so important and why I always recommend this supplement as a main foundational supplement in your cupboard.
The one that has helped me with tension and improved sleep is magnesium bis-glycinate. This is magnesium bound to an amino acid called glycine to help with absorption. A study in 2016 showed that magnesium bis-glycinate absorbed better than the other forms of magnesium you may have taken called magnesium citrate or magnesium oxide.
So if you are having symptoms such as sleep disturbances, I would suggest keeping a food journal to see how many magnesium containing foods you are getting into your diet and consider supplementation.
5 Steps to Increase Your Energy
I provide all my clients with easy access to magnesium bis-glycinate through my online dispensary and it get delivered right to your door.
You can create your own account here.
Let me know if you have any questions in the comments!
Goh Norman, Magnesium, A Complete Primer, Toronto, CanPrev; 2018
Pawlick, Thomas F., The End of Food. Vancouver; Greystone Books; 2006
Yingting Cao, Shiqi Zhen, Anne W. Taylor, Sarah Appleton,... Zumin Shi (2018.09.21), Magnesium Intake and Sleep Disorder Symptoms,Findings from the Jiangsu Nutrition Study of Chinese Adults at Five-Year Follow-Up LINK: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6212970/