Magnesium vs Melatonin as a Natural Sleep Aid

Magnesium has many benefits for good health, one of them being its action as an effective natural sleep aid.

Melatonin supplements are also used as a sleep remedy.  These two ingredients have different qualities, different health effects, and different possible side effects.  James F. Balch, M.D., author of Prescription for Nutritional Healing, writes: “A lack of the nutrients magnesium and calcium will cause you to wake up after a few hours and not be able to return to sleep.”

One of the main symptoms of magnesium deficiency is chronic insomnia, accompanied with with frequent nighttime awakenings.  On the other hand, a high magnesium diet has been found to be associated with deeper, less interrupted sleep, per a study done by James Penland at the Human Nutrition Research Center in North Dakota.

In contrast with mineral supplements, melatonin is a hormone which is produced by the pineal gland, located in the center of the brain. At night or in the dark, the pineal gland naturally releases melatonin to regulate the sleep cycle. The body produces less melatonin with advancing age and while melatonin doesn’t require a prescription, it’s a potent hormone. It can help with sleeplessness. If too much is taken, it can result in grogginess or make it more difficult to wake up in the morning.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center web site, inadequate magnesium appears to reduce serotonin levels in the brain.  One study found that magnesium was just as effective as an antidepressant drug in treating depression.  In addition, researchers at Stockholm’s Karolinska Institute reported that for every 100 milligram increase in magnesium intake, the risk of developing type-2 diabetes decreased by 15 per cent.  Other studies have shown that people with migraine headaches have low concentrations of magnesium in their body.

Mildred Seelig, M.D., the leading medical researcher on magnesium says: “Many people needlessly suffer pain – including fibromyalgia, migraines and muscle cramps – because they don’t get enough magnesium.”

One possible side effect from taking too much magnesium is that the bowels may become too loose.  Another important nutritional tip that can help to avoid any deficiencies is to balance magnesium with calcium and vitamin D, rather than taking it alone.  The recommended ratio is 2 to 1 or twice as much calcium as magnesium.

According to the Mayo Clinic, possible side effects of melatonin include abdominal discomfort, anxiety, irritability, confusion and short-term depression.  Melatonin supplements can interact with various medications such as blood-thinning medications, medications that suppress the immune system, diabetes medications and birth control pills.

This health news is brought to you by Nutrition Breakthroughs and their natural sleep aid Sleep Minerals II.  Sleep Minerals II is the original magnesium and calcium based sleep aid and is known for soothing even the worst, long-term insomnia.  It also contains vitamin D and zinc and helps everyone from teenagers, to women with menopause symptoms, to older seniors, to get a good night’s sleep.

Richard P. of Parkville, Maryland says: “The Sleep Minerals are making quite a difference.  I was regularly waking up at around 3:00 a.m. and after a few days use my sleep improved quite a lot. I wake up once a night to go to the bathroom, but the great thing is, I then fall back asleep and sleep several more hours.  This has been a great improvement.”

Tammy M. of Meridian, Idaho says: “I was plagued with insomnia for five years and desperate for a breakthrough. Nothing has helped me more than Sleep Minerals. I’m so sold on them I could go door to door promoting them.  I’m 60 years old and have never slept so soundly.”

For more information on Sleep Minerals II visit this page.

How Vitamin D Rich Foods May Help Remedy Insomnia

vitamin d foods for sleepHere’s a short vitamin D primer that also includes how it can affect insomnia.  Shared by Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of Sleep Minerals II
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Do you struggle with falling asleep or staying asleep at night? If so, you are not alone. Every night, millions of people lie in bed hoping for a restful night’s sleep that does not come.

It is estimated that one in three people will develop acute insomnia every year, and about 10% of these individuals will struggle with insomnia for several months at a time.

Insomnia can wreak havoc on one’s ability to live a normal, productive life. In fact, lack of sleep can lead to mood changes, memory loss, and impaired judgement. In addition, unresolved or unmanaged sleep disorders can increase the risk of chronic pain, depression, and a compromised immune system.

There are a variety of sleep medications on the market to help manage insomnia. However, the side effects often lead to a new set of health complications. As a result, many people have begun searching for a safer, natural alternative to promote a healthier sleep cycle. Of the options on the market, vitamin D is proving to be a serious contender.

Vitamin D at a glance

Vitamin D has been making media headlines for over two decades. Originally believed to be important solely for bone health, research continues to uncover a wide range of additional health benefits of maintaining optimal levels.

Unfortunately, despite the thousands of studies that have showcased the body’s need for vitamin D, deficiency remains highly prevalent. This is due to a variety of factors, including but not limited to:

  • Indoor lifestyle
  • Sunblock use
  • Avoidance of mid-day sun exposure
  • Lack of supplement use
  • Imbalanced diet
  • Obesity

Often, people who are vitamin D deficient experience symptoms like fatigue, joint and muscle pain, frequent infections and insomnia.

How vitamin D status may impact sleep quality

Vitamin D is not just a vitamin, it’s a hormone. That means, after undergoing a couple of activation processes in the body, it binds to cells throughout the body to regulate a wide range of bodily functions.

Hormones are fat-soluble substances derived from cholesterol. They are produced by glands such as the thyroid, adrenals and pancreas, and then released into the bloodstream to reach target cells. These include cortisol made by the adrenals, testosterone, estrogen and yes, vitamin D.

So, how may vitamin D impact sleep? Vitamin D receiving points are located throughout regions of the brain that regulate our mood and sleep patterns. This has led researchers to theorize that vitamin D helps regulate the circadian rhythm, which is our body’s internal clock that instructs us when to sleep, eat, and rest.

  • Several studies have supported this theory by reporting a relationship between healthy vitamin D levels and improved sleep quality. In addition, a recent study found that vitamin D deficiency is associated with an 11-fold increased odds of resistance to sleep medication. This means that the people who didn’t respond to sleeping drugs had a lower level of vitamin D in their body.

Best sources of vitamin D

Thankfully, there are a variety of ways one can ensure they are receiving enough vitamin D to promote healthy sleep cycles.  This includes safe sun exposure (avoiding getting burned), supplementation, and eating a balanced diet.

Now more than ever, foods are being fortified with vitamin D in an effort to better support the body’s needs. However, people frequently ask, which form is better, vitamin D2 or D3?

Vitamin D2 is obtained through the diet and is produced by plants; whereas D3 is naturally produced when the skin is exposed to the sun and it can be consumed via animal sources in the diet.

Vitamin D3 is more bioavailable than D2, meaning this form is more efficiently utilized by our bodies. For this reason, experts recommend people ensure they are receiving ample amounts of vitamin D3 per day.

Top dietary sources of vitamin D

  1. Cod liver Oil is the most potent dietary source for vitamin D3. In just one tablespoon, you can receive 1,360 international units (IU) vitamin D3. In addition to vitamin D, cod liver oil is rich in vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids.
  2. Fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines and mackerel are the best dietary sources of vitamin D, with about 500 IU vitamin D3 content in just three ounces of cooked fish. Also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, these sources offer a heart-healthy option for those looking for a balanced dietary approach to maintaining healthy vitamin D levels.
  3. Plain greek yogurt is another healthy option to provide some of your daily vitamin D needs. Known for its probiotics, greek yogurt helps support a healthy intestinal tract. In addition, it is a great snack for people who struggle with hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) due to its high protein, low carbohydrate ratio. It also contains calcium, magnesium and about 80 IU vitamin D per 6 oz serving.
  4. Eggs offer another beneficial source of vitamin D3. They generally contain about 40 IU per yoke.
  5. Perhaps one of the most popular dietary sources of vitamin D is milk. It offers about 120 IU vitamin D3 per serving. Milk also provides a great source of calcium. For this reason, milk is an important dietary component to protecting bone health.

Final thoughts

If you struggle with insomnia and hope vitamin D may help improve your sleep quality, there are a couple important factors to keep in mind. First, consistency is key. Although time of day isn’t important when eating foods rich in vitamin D or taking an oral supplement, it is important that this is done on a regular basis.

Research suggests that taking a couple thousand international units (IU’s) of vitamin D per day between foods and supplements is ideal when addressing sleeplessness and insomnia.

One supplement that contains a good amount of vitamin D is Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs. It also contains highly absorbable forms of calcium, magnesium, and zinc, which are all blended together with healthy oils to form an absorbable soft gel. Together, these vitamins and minerals work to help facilitate quality sleep.  Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can cause one to wake up in the middle of the night and be unable to fall back asleep.

One Sleep Minerals II user in Massachusetts says: “I had become dependent on sleeping drugs and couldn’t sleep without them. Now I take the Sleep Minerals before bed and can sleep through the whole night without drugs. I’m also able to easily fall back to sleep if I do have to get up.  Another benefit is this helps alleviate my chronic fatigue and aches and pains.”

Vitamin D is one of the master players in the game we all hope to win: Vibrant health, well-being and good sleep. Use it well in foods and supplements, as well as together with those minerals that are best-known for being relaxing insomnia remedies.

For more information, visit the Sleep Minerals II page.

A Cooler Body Temperature Helps Sleep Per Studies

Sleep better with Sleep Minerals II natural sleep aidA study from the Journal “Sleep” has found that having a cooler body temperature before bedtime is beneficial in helping one fall asleep.

Making a special effort to cool down the body before bedtime may particularly help those with insomnia and sleeplessness to fall asleep easier and sleep more deeply.

Doctors at the Cornell Medical Center in White Plains, New York found 44 people to participate in their study.  There were 21 men and 23 women between the ages of 19 and 82.

Using body temperature testing methods, the scientists discovered that the participant’s body temperatures naturally dropped most significantly in the two hours before sleep started.  Because of this, they concluded that taking a hot bath 90 minutes before bed is the best time to create a more ideal temperature.

In other words, a person’s body temperature can be changed by taking a warm bath and then when they get out of it, a steep drop in temperature will occur that more closely approximates the ideal, cooler temperature for a more sound sleep.

More recently, the study mentioned above from the Journal “Sleep” was included in an analysis of 13 different research studies published in a report in “Sleep Medicine Reviews”.  In this new report, the authors found that taking warm showers and baths 90 minutes before bed can cause an increase in blood circulation that moves body heat from the internal areas of the body to the extremities, such as the palms and soles of the feet, thereby cooling the body down.

The bathing supports the natural rhythms and temperatures of the body.  Bodies naturally have a cooler body temperature in the late afternoon and evening, and then as the night’s sleep ends, the body gradually becomes warmer.

Another tip would be to keep the bedroom comfortably cool, by using fans or an air conditioner as needed, to assist with falling asleep better and sleeping more deeply.

This health news is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of the effective natural insomnia remedy Sleep Minerals II. Sleep Minerals II contains highly absorbable forms of the best minerals for sleep and relaxation, such as calcium and magnesium, along with vitamin D and zinc. The ingredients are delivered in a softgel form with healthy carrier oils, making them more easily assimilated than capsules or tablets and providing a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.

Valerie H. of Santa Clarita, California says: “I had such severe menopause insomnia it took me hours to fall asleep even though I was extremely tired.  My legs also had crawling and tingling feelings at night. I got the Sleep Minerals and after a few days, it started to work really well. I fall asleep now within 20 minutes and no more restless legs.”

Wendy R. of Honolulu, Hawaii says: “My friends know that I’ve had chronic insomnia for a very long time. Surprisingly, I received the Sleep Minerals II and took it and I actually slept! This thing really works. In the past, if I ever got a good nights sleep I’d say “I slept like a baby”, but that’s the wrong analogy. Those little guys get up every two hours. I am actually beginning to sleep like an adult — a much-rested adult.”

For more information, visit the Sleep Minerals II page.

Antidepressant Drugs Can Lead to Hot Flashes, Night Sweats

hot flashesA hot flash, also called hot flush, is a sudden feeling of warmth and often a breakout of sweating in the upper half of the body. When these occur at night, they’re known as night sweats.

Hot flashes are normally brought on by a reduced function of the brain’s temperature regulation, are caused by changing hormone levels, and are one of the most common menopause symptoms.  Having night sweats while sleeping can cause overheating and frequent awakenings.

Another source of hot flashes can be medications. According to WebMD, “Taking certain medications can lead to night sweats. Antidepressant medications are a common type of drug that can lead to night sweats. From 8% to 22% of people taking antidepressant drugs have night sweats. Other psychiatric drugs have also been associated with night sweats.”

The “Sleep in America” poll results from the National Sleep Foundation found that more than half of all Americans (60%) experience a sleep problem every night or almost every night.  Interestingly, a ten-year study to discover which drugs are used to treat insomnia was published in the journal “Sleep”.

The study found that prescriptions for sleeping medications have decreased by 53.7%, but that antidepressant drugs prescribed for insomnia have increased by a surprising 146%. Examples of antidepressants prescribed for insomnia are trazodone, doxepin, trimipramine, and amitriptyline.

Medications may not always have the desired effects.  For example, Drugs.com says the following about an antidepressant drug called Welbutrin — “Nervous system side effects have frequently included headache (27%), insomnia (16% to 33%)….and sleep abnormalities.”  Health.com lists other possible side effects of antidepressants as sexual dysfunction, weight gain, dry mouth and throat, racing pulse, confusion, disturbed dreams, and an increased risk of suicide.

Nature has provided us with some natural sleep remedies and relaxants that have stood the test of time.  Regarding mineral deficiency as we age and at the time of menopause, the pioneering nutritionist Adelle Davis says, “The amount of calcium in a woman’s blood parallels the activity of the ovaries. During the menopause, the lack of ovarian hormones (estrogen and progesterone) can cause severe calcium deficiency symptoms to occur, including irritability, hot flashes, night sweats, leg cramps, and insomnia. These problems can be easily overcome if the intakes of calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D are all generously increased and are well absorbed.”

One sleep remedy increasing in popularity is Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs. This natural sleep aid contains highly absorbable forms of calcium and magnesium, the best minerals for sleeplessness and insomnia, as well as for restless legs syndrome, bone strength, aches and pains, and menopause insomnia.

The formula also includes vitamin D and zinc and is delivered in a softgel form with healthy carrier oils, making the minerals more quickly assimilated than tablets or capsules.  The softgel formulation provides a deeper, longer-lasting sleep and is an effective alternative to medications.

Anita L. of New Caney, Texas says: “I was having hot flashes every 30 minutes to an hour through the night and was so miserable. After about two weeks of taking the Sleep Minerals, I noticed an incredible difference with my sleep. I have much less interruption from flashes, I’m sleeping much better and am a lot more comfortable.”

Alex R. of Ramseur, North Carolina says: “Sleep Minerals II has been a blessing for me.  It has given me the opportunity to withdraw from a highly addictive sleep medication over time, and has allowed me to sleep while going through this most difficult ordeal.  What’s great about it is it doesn’t lose its effectiveness, which is something that happens with sleep medications.  I am most thankful for this product.”

For more information on Sleep Minerals II visit this page.

The 5 Best Natural Sleep Remedies

via http://www.Lifed.com/the-5-best-natural-sleep-remedies
sleeping woman
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Shared by Nutrition Breakthroughs,
maker of the effective calcium and magnesium based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II
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Story at a Glance:

There are few things that feel worse than being exhausted, yet unable to sleep. In addition to insomnia (the inability to fall or stay asleep), many people also suffer from poor sleep quality, which can cause you to feel sleepy during the day despite getting eight or more hours of rest.

If you frequently have trouble getting a decent night’s sleep, it’s a good idea to see your doctor to rule out/treat any underlying conditions, such as sleep apnea or depression. For many people, sleep problems can be remedied naturally with lifestyle changes and proper nutrition. The following are five natural, safe and effective remedies that might help you get some good shut-eye.

1. Magnesium

Magnesium is an essential mineral that our bodies need for a multitude of biological roles, ranging from bone health to mental health. Human and animal studies also indicate that magnesium plays an important role in sleep, and that magnesium therapy can help insomnia sufferers. Although magnesium is available in a multitude of foods, the USDA says that 57 percent of Americans do not meet the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for magnesium. So how can you get more of this essential sleep nutrient? One method is to eat more foods with magnesium – fibrous foods, such as whole grains, nuts and vegetables are generally high in this mineral. Magnesium supplements in daily doses of less than 350 mg are also considered safe for most adults. Magnesium supplements can also help relieve constipation – another common consequence of a typical fiber-deficient American diet.

2. Sunlight

Although it may seem counterintuitive that bright light can actually help you sleep, getting enough natural light during the day is important for maintaining circadian rhythms that control our sleep-wake cycles. While many of us don’t get sufficient sunlight because we work indoors all day and/or live in a place that doesn’t get a lot of sunlight for much of the year, people who work night-shifts can be especially light-deprived. There is also a growing body of evidence suggesting that vitamin D, a nutrient we get from certain foods and from exposure to ultraviolet light, has wide-ranging health implications, and that a lack of it may cause insomnia and other serious health problems. To get enough sunlight and vitamin D for good health and good sleep, experts recommend getting 10 to 20 minutes of direct sunlight exposure each day – ideally, in the morning hours. Light therapy boxes and vitamin D supplements (in typical therapeutic doses) are also considered safe and effective.

3. Yoga

Another major culprit for poor sleep is a lack of physical activity. America’s population is largely sedentary, spending most of the day sitting in a chair at work, sitting in the car while commuting, and sitting in front of the TV when we get home. Unless we find a way to incorporate some exercise into our daily routine, your body may not be tired enough to sleep well at night – even though your mind is exhausted. Exercise is also important for relieving stress and tension that accompany our modern, hectic lifestyles. Although you should aim to get at least 20 to 30 minutes of exercise every day for good sleep and for good health in general, exercising vigorously within several hours of bedtime can actually interfere with your sleep. For this reason, gentle yoga, with its series of tension-relieving stretches and meditative elements, is an excellent type of exercise that you can practice in the evening to help you sleep – you can even do certain poses in bed! A 2010 University of Rochester study found that cancer survivors with insomnia who practiced gentle yoga for four weeks reported improved sleep quality and decreased use of sleep aids during the program’s duration.

4. Good sleep hygiene

Although it sounds like it might have to do with the cleanliness of your sheets, the term “sleep hygiene” is actually used to refer to your overall sleep environment and habits that can affect your sleep quality. Many of the factors that impact our sleep quality are environmental or have to do with our nighttime behaviors. The following elements are considered by sleep experts to be important components of good sleep hygiene:

* Going to sleep at the same time every night, and waking up at the same time each morning.
* Limiting or avoiding consumption of caffeine, nicotine and alcohol – all of which can impair sleep quality or make it hard to fall asleep.
* Avoiding late-night exposure to bright electronic screens, e.g., iPads, smartphones, TVs, computers, etc., which can disrupt circadian rhythms.
* Relaxing before bed with a warm bath or another restful activity. Lavender aromatherapy may also help relax you before bed to combat insomnia.
* Using the bedroom only for sleep and sex – not for watching TV or working from your laptop, for example.
* Making sure your sleeping environment is sufficiently cool, dark and quiet.

5. B-vitamins

Like magnesium and vitamin D, B-vitamins are also important nutrients for sleep. In particular, B-6 is important for the production of serotonin, a “feel good” hormone which aids sleep and combats anxiety and restlessness that can keep you awake; and folic acid (B-9) deficiency has been found in those with insomnia and in those with depression, a condition which is often implicated in insomnia. Vitamin B-12 is also needed for good sleep and mental health, and certain populations, including seniors and vegans, are more likely to be deficient in this vitamin. Additionally, niacin, or B-3, has been shown to increase REM sleep and help with depression. Good food sources of B vitamins include animal products such as fish and dairy, and whole, unprocessed foods such as whole grains, beans, and green, leafy vegetables. Taken at recommended doses, B vitamin supplements are also generally considered to be quite safe, as they are water-soluble, meaning that any excess vitamins will be excreted through the urine.
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This information was written by Lifed.com and is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of the effective natural insomnia remedy Sleep Minerals II.  Sleep Minerals II contains highly absorbable forms of calcium and magnesium, the best minerals for sleep, relaxation, heart health, restless legs syndrome, bone strength and menopause insomnia.

The formula also includes vitamin D and zinc, and is delivered in a softgel form with healthy carrier oils, making it more quickly absorbable than tablets or capsules and providing a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.

Doctor P. P. of Houston, Texas says: “I had developed sleeping problems and took two different sleep medications over the course of several weeks.  When I discontinued them, the insomnia came back even worse. I literally got about 20 hours of sleep in 6 weeks time. Sleep Minerals II was an answer to my prayers. I’ve been taking it for a couple weeks and getting many hours of sleep a night. As a doctor I would definitely avoid prescribing sleeping drugs — I would recommend Sleep Minerals II.”

For more information on Sleep Minerals II click this link.

Top Foods That Can Remedy Insomnia and Give Better Sleep

tart cherry juice for sleepInsomnia and sleeplessness are a widespread problem.  Sleep inducing foods and relaxing minerals are a first-line remedy to help people with insomnia to fall asleep faster and sleep more deeply.

There is a helpful chart below that shows twelve ways to use foods as natural sleep aids.  Many of these foods are high in melatonin and magnesium and are supported by research studies.  This article describes many of these sleep-inducing foods in detail and names the studies that support their use in improving sleep.

Melatonin is a hormone that’s produced in the brain.  At night or in the dark, melatonin is naturally released to regulate the sleep cycle.  A recent study on the use of melatonin-rich foods for sleep appeared in the journal “Nutrients”.  The study was called “Dietary Sources of Melatonin.”

The researchers noted that nuts contain some of the highest quantities of melatonin.  Topping the list are almonds and walnuts.  Almonds deliver a two-part punch as they are also high in magnesium, a mineral known to induce sleep.

Bananas are high in both magnesium and potassium, and each of these minerals are proven to help good sleep in research studies.  The Journal “Sleep” recently reported that the use of potassium for sleep results in significant improvements in quality of sleep and less waking up during the night.

In addition to improving the quality of sleep, potassium has many other valuable health benefits.  Dr. Joseph Mercola writes about potassium in his article: “Potassium Plays a Key Role in Your Everyday Functions.”  He says:

“Sometimes referred to as the “good salt,” potassium is a mineral that helps support a variety of essential body functions, including the contraction of muscles, regulation of body fluids, transmission of nerve impulses, and maintenance of normal blood pressure and blood sugar levels.”

”Since your body does not have the ability to produce potassium naturally, one of the ways for you to maintain optimum levels of it is to eat potassium-rich foods….When it comes to increasing your potassium levels through diet, one of the first foods that may come to mind are bananas — one medium banana contains 422 mg of potassium.”

”However, bananas are far from being your only source of potassium, since you can also obtain this nutrient from the following foods:

  • Beet greens Provides 654 mg of potassium per half-cup.
  • Swiss chard Contains 962 mg of potassium per cup.
  • Acorn squash Provides 996 mg of potassium per cup.
  • Avocado Contains 364 mg of potassium per half-cup.
  • Spinach Contains 740 to 838 mg of potassium per cup.
  • Baked potato flesh and skin – Contains 941 mg in one medium potato.
  • Wild-caught Alaskan salmonProvides 534 mg of potassium per 3-ounce serving.
  • Plain yogurt Contains 579 mg of potassium per cup.”

Continuing on, those experiencing sleeplessness or insomnia should definitely include more of these healthy sources of potassium in their diet.  And even more vital than potassium, the two most famous minerals for calming insomnia are calcium and magnesium.  This is what makes warm milk one of the most popular natural sleep aids.

James F. Balch, M.D, author of Prescription for Nutritional Healing, writes that: “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.”  The European Neurology Journal supports this with their study showing that the normal course of sleep can be restored by increasing calcium levels in the body.

Regarding the use of minerals for insomnia, a study called “The Nutritional Relationships of Magnesium” discusses the differences between calcium and magnesium and their effects on sleep.  The author notes that the type of insomnia associated with a calcium deficiency causes difficulty with falling asleep.

On the other hand, the classical sign of magnesium deficiency is insomnia characterized by falling asleep easily, but awakening frequently throughout the night, with individuals finding themselves tired even after several hours of sleep.

Chronic insomnia is known to be one of the main symptoms of magnesium deficiency. Sleep in magnesium deficiency is usually agitated with frequent nighttime awakenings. A high magnesium, low aluminum diet has been found to be associated with deeper, less interrupted sleep. This was proven in a study titled “Effects of trace element nutrition on sleep patterns in adult women.”

A balanced ratio of calcium to magnesium is important to overall health and the two minerals should be taken together for best results.  The best calcium and magnesium ratio is twice as much calcium as magnesium.

One natural insomnia remedy showing good results is Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs.  This natural sleep aid contains potent forms of calcium and magnesium, the best known minerals for relaxation and sleep, as well as for restless leg syndrome, stomach health, teenage insomnia and menopause insomnia.  The ingredients are formulated in a softgel with healthy oils, making them more quickly absorbed than tablets or capsules and providing a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.

Richard P. of Parkville, Maryland says: “The Sleep Minerals are making quite a difference.  I was regularly waking at around 3:00 a.m. and after a few days use my sleep improved quite a lot.  I wake once a night to go to the bathroom, but the great thing is, I then fall back asleep and sleep several more hours.  This has been a great improvement.”

Sleep inducing foods and minerals are a healthy alternative to taking sleeping drugs. Make good use of them as an insomnia remedy.  Enjoy the chart below and be sure to visit the Sleep Minerals II page.

12 foods that help sleep

Antidepressants Can Lead to Hot Flashes, Night Sweats and Insomnia

hot flashes night sweatsHot flashes and night sweats create a sudden feeling of warmth and often a breakout of sweating in the upper half of the body.

These flashes are experienced by up to 80% of women around the time of menopause, and also by men due to a lessening of testosterone in middle age.

Hot flashes are normally brought on by a reduced function in the brain’s temperature regulation, caused by changing hormone levels.  Night sweats that occur while sleeping can cause overheating and frequent awakenings.

Another source of hot flashes are medications. According to WebMD, “Taking certain medications can lead to night sweats. Antidepressant medications are a common type of drug that can lead to night sweats. From 8% to 22% of people taking antidepressant drugs have night sweats. Other psychiatric drugs have also been associated with night sweats.”

The “Sleep in America” poll results from the National Sleep Foundation found that more than half of all Americans (60%) experience a sleep problem every night or almost every night.  Interestingly, a ten-year study to discover which drugs are used to treat insomnia was published in the journal “Sleep”.  The study found that prescriptions for sleeping medications have decreased by 53.7%, but that antidepressant drugs prescribed for insomnia have increased by a surprising 146%. Examples of antidepressants prescribed for insomnia are trazodone, doxepin, trimipramine, and amitriptyline.

Medications may not always have the desired effects.  For example, Drugs.com says the following about an antidepressant drug called Welbutrin — “Nervous system side effects have frequently included headache (27%), insomnia (16% to 33%)….and sleep abnormalities.”  Health.com lists some other possible side effects of antidepressants as sexual dysfunction, weight gain, dry mouth and throat, racing pulse, confusion, disturbed dreams, and an increased risk of suicide.

On the other hand, Nature has provided us with some natural sleep remedies and relaxants that have stood the test of time.  Regarding mineral deficiency as we age and at the time of menopause, the pioneering nutritionist Adelle Davis says, “The amount of calcium in a woman’s blood parallels the activity of the ovaries. During the menopause, the lack of ovarian hormones (estrogen and progesterone) can cause severe calcium deficiency symptoms to occur, including irritability, hot flashes, night sweats, leg cramps, and insomnia. These problems can be easily overcome if the intakes of calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D are all generously increased and are well absorbed.”

One sleep remedy that’s increasing in popularity is Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs. This natural sleep aid contains highly absorbable forms of calcium and magnesium, the best minerals for sleeplessness and insomnia, as well as for restless legs syndrome, bone strength, aches and pains and menopause insomnia. The formula also includes vitamin D and zinc and is delivered in a softgel form with healthy carrier oils, making the minerals more quickly assimilated than tablets or capsules.  The softgel formulation provides a deeper, longer-lasting sleep and is an effective alternative to medications.

Anita L. of New Caney, Texas says: “I was having hot flashes every 30 minutes to an hour through the night and was so miserable.  After about two weeks of taking the Sleep Minerals, I noticed an incredible difference with my sleep.  I have much less interruption from flashes, I’m sleeping much better and I’m a lot more comfortable.”

Alex R. of Ramseur of North Carolina says: “Sleep Minerals II has been a blessing for me.  It has given me the opportunity to withdraw from a highly addictive sleep medication over time, and has allowed me to sleep while going through this most difficult ordeal.  What’s great about it is it doesn’t lose its effectiveness, which is something that happens with sleep medications.  I am most thankful for this product.”

In summary, while antidepressant medications and other drugs are being prescribed widely for insomnia, natural remedies for sleep and relaxation should be tried first.  Those with absorbable calcium and magnesium have been proven effective.  And they come without side effects such as hot flashes and night sweats and can even be a good remedy for these.  For more information, visit the Sleep Minerals II page.

Why Do Some People Get a Charley Horse? (Muscle Cramp)

young women calf pain on white backgroundBy Dr. Joseph Mercola, a physician trained in both traditional and natural medicine who provides up-to-date natural health information.
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This article is shared by Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of the effective calcium, magnesium and vitamin D based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II.
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A charley horse, or muscle cramp particularly in your calf muscles, is an incredibly common condition that results in your muscles becoming tight, stiff and extremely painful. If you’re an adult, there’s a good chance you’ve had one at some point (and likely multiple points) during your lifetime.

In case you’re a trivia buff and wondering why these muscle cramps are referred to as “charley horses” (a name that’s primarily used in North America), it’s said to be a tribute to Charley “Old Hoss” Radbourne, an 1880s-era baseball pitcher who often suffered from muscle cramps during games.

Another version states the term came from a lame work horse named Charley who limped around doing various jobs around the baseball park (also in the 1880s).

Whenever a baseball player would get injured or have a cramp in the lower legs, thus limping around like Charley the horse, teammates would call the player “Charley Horse.” Regardless of the name’s origin, the pain of a charley horse is unmistakable and can be excruciating.

What Causes a Charley Horse?

According to the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, about 1 in every 3 adults is affected by muscle cramps in their lower limbs. In many cases, the pain is temporary and goes away on its own, but for some the cramps interfere with sleep, quality of life and daily activities.

In one study of more than 500 people aged 60 years and older, 31 percent reported being woken up by muscle cramps and 15 percent had cramps more than three times a month. Anyone can get a charley horse, but they’re most common in the following populations and scenarios:

  • During exercise
  • At nighttime, especially in the elderly
  • In pregnant women
  • In people with neurological disease
  • During kidney dialysis

It’s not clear what triggers a charley horse to occur, but it is thought the cramp may be related to a rapidly firing nerve (up to 150 electrical dischargers per second), which causes the muscle to tense up, as opposed to an issue with the muscle tissue itself.

Many medications are also associated with muscle cramps, including statin cholesterol-lowering drugs, ACE inhibitors (blood pressure drugs), certain asthma drugs, diuretics and more. In addition, the following factors may also increase your risk of a charley horse:

  • Poor blood circulation in your legs
  • Muscle fatigue
  • Dehydration
  • Mineral deficiencies, including magnesium, potassium or calcium

magnesium and menopauseIs Magnesium Deficiency Causing Your Charley Horses?

By some estimates, up to 80 percent of Americans are not getting enough magnesium and may be deficient. Other research shows only about 25 percent of U.S. adults are getting the recommended daily amount of 310 to 320 milligrams (mg) for women and 400 to 420 for men.

Magnesium is often thought of primarily as a mineral for your heart and bones, but this is misleading. Researchers have now detected 3,751 magnesium-binding sites on human proteins, indicating that its role in human health and disease may have been vastly underestimated.

Further, if you suffer from charley horses, low levels of magnesium could be to blame. Magnesium is necessary for activating muscles and nerves, and a key sign of ongoing magnesium deficiency can be muscle contractions and cramps like charley horses.

Magnesium deficiency may be particularly problematic for your muscles in the presence of an overabundance of calcium. Americans in general tend to have a higher calcium-to-magnesium ratio in their diet, averaging about 3.5-to-1.

If you have too much calcium and not enough magnesium, your muscles will tend to go into spasm. According to Dr. Carolyn Dean, a medical and naturopathic doctor:

“What happens is the muscle and nerve function that magnesium is responsible for is diminished. If you don’t have enough magnesium, your muscles go into spasm.

Calcium causes muscle to contract. If you had a balance, the muscles would do their thing. They’d relax, contract and create their activity.”

This underscores the importance of eating a nutritious diet, which will naturally give you optimal amounts of the minerals and other nutrients your body needs.

Eating plenty of organic leafy green vegetables, nuts and seeds every day, and drinking fresh green vegetable juice will help keep your magnesium stores replenished. In addition, Epsom salt is a magnesium sulfate that can absorb into your body through your skin.

Soaking in a bath with Epsom salts is an excellent way to not only help prevent magnesium deficiency but also to soothe and relieve the pain of a charley horse.

potassiumLow Potassium Levels May Also Trigger a Charley Horse

Potassium is a mineral and electrolyte. (An electrolyte is a substance that produces an electrical conducting solution when dissolved in water. Electrolytes carry a charge and are essential for life. In our bodies, electrolytes include sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium).

Potassium is essential for your cells, tissues and organs to function properly. It plays a vital role in heart health, digestive and muscular function, bone health and more. One of the symptoms of low potassium levels is muscle cramps.

While potassium is found in many foods commonly consumed in the U.S. — including fruits, vegetables, dairy products, salmon, sardines and nuts — only 2 percent of U.S. adults get the recommended daily amount of 4,700 mg.

This is especially problematic because potassium is a nutrient that needs to be kept in proper balance with sodium in your blood. If you consume too much sodium, which is common if you eat a lot of processed foods, you’ll have an increased need for potassium.

Others who are at particular risk of low potassium, or hypokalemia, are those with chronic malabsorption syndromes, such as Crohn’s disease, or those taking heart medicine (particularly loop diuretics). However, anyone who eats a poor diet — an excess of processed foods and not enough fresh, whole foods — is potentially at risk of inadequate potassium levels and related muscle cramps.

Green vegetable juicing is an excellent way to ensure you’re getting enough nutrients for optimal health, including about 300 mg to 400 mg of potassium per cup. Some additional rich sources of potassium are:

  • Lima beans (955 mg/cup)
  • Winter squash (896 mg/cup)
  • Cooked spinach (839 mg/cup)
  • Avocado (500 mg per medium)

Foods rich in calciumToo Little Calcium May Trigger Muscle Cramps

While too much calcium in the absence of magnesium can be problematic for muscle cramps, so too can a calcium deficiency. Low blood levels of calcium (as well as magnesium) may increase the excitability of nerve endings and the muscles they stimulate.

This may be a trigger for muscle cramps, especially in the elderly and during pregnancy. If you’re deficient in vitamin D, meanwhile, your body may have inadequate calcium absorption, again predisposing you to muscle cramps.

It’s very important to maintain a proper balance of calcium, magnesium, vitamin D and also vitamin K2, as these four nutrients perform an intricate dance together, with one supporting the other. If you’re calcium deficient, your best bet is to increase consumption of foods high in calcium before opting for a supplement. This is because many high-calcium foods also contain naturally high amounts of vitamin K2; nature cleverly gives us these two nutrients in combination, so they work optimally.

Good sources of calcium include nuts, seeds and raw, organic, grass-fed dairy especially cheeses, and vegetables, although veggies aren’t high in vitamin K2. One exception is fermented vegetables where a starter culture specifically designed to produce ample amounts of vitamin K2 was used.

Homemade bone broth is another excellent source. Simply simmer leftover bones over low heat for an entire day to extract the calcium from the bones. You can use this broth for soups and stews or drink it straight.

What to Do If You Get a Charley Horse

A charley horse often occurs without notice, sometimes waking you up from sound sleep. If you’re lying down when the pain starts, stand up and put some weight on your foot. Walking around will help to increase blood circulation to your muscles and possibly help to soothe and relax the cramp.

charley horse stretch leg crampYou can also try a simple stretch. If the cramp is in your calf in the back of your lower leg, pull your toes and foot upward until you feel a stretch in the back of your leg. You can also do this sitting down with your legs outstretched. Put a towel around your feet and gently pull both ends toward you until you feel a stretch.

As mentioned, soaking in an Epsom salt bath may also help to relieve pain (and possibly help with prevention). Massaging the area and applying a heat pack, which will increase blood flow to the area, promoting healing and soothing pain, may also help.

Staying well-hydrated is also important for muscle cramp prevention. You’ll want to drink enough pure filtered water so that your urine is pale yellow in color. In addition, performing regular stretching exercises on your legs may help reduce your risk of a charley horse.
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Comment from Nutrition Breakthroughs: Interestingly, the same mineral deficiencies that can cause charley horses are the same ones that can cause sleeplessness and insomnia.  Studies show that calcium and magnesium are effective natural sleep aids.  Highly absorbable forms of these minerals are featured in the Sleep Minerals II softgels. For more information visit the Sleep Minerals II page.

The Healthiest Fats for Good Skin, Hair, Nutrition and Sleep

Greetings to you,

There’s a helpful chart below that shows the healthiest fats for glowing skin and hair, as well as for good nutrition of the organs and hormones.  All hormones are formed with healthy fats, so eating more of these foods can nourish you in many ways.

Eating healthy fats with our meals can play a vital role in helping us sleep better and achieve overall greater health as these provide the basic building blocks for cholesterol production — a surprisingly healthy substance in our bodies.  The best fats to eat are nutrient rich foods like eggs, natural butter, salmon, sardines, cod liver oil, avocados, nuts, seeds and coconut oil.

For example, a healthy heart and long life are associated with eating walnuts.  They have been shown to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease and also extend life spans in general. Walnuts contain the amino acid l-arginine, which offers protective benefits for the heart.

Walnuts can be a good sleep inducing food.  Eating a handful of walnuts before bedtime may be a good way to soothe sleeplessness and insomnia. Russel Reiter, Ph.D., a professor of cellular biology at the University of Texas says, “Relatively few foods have been examined for their melatonin content. Our studies demonstrate that walnuts contain melatonin and that it is absorbed when it is eaten.”

Avocados are a healthy, creamy, tasty food, whether they sit on top of a sandwich, an omelet or a salad — or become transformed into guacamole. The healthy fats in avocados balance hormones and this food features over twenty vitamins and minerals.

In summary, eating good healthy fats can enhance one’s health in many ways. This information is brought to you by Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of the effective natural insomnia remedy Sleep Minerals II.

Nutrition Breakthroughs

University Researchers Find Link Between Insomnia and Hot Flashes

A team of researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine in California recently embarked upon a study to help determine the causes of insomnia among premenopausal and postmenopausal women.

The team conducted phone interviews with 982 women and gathered information about their sleep history, frequency of hot flashes, and overall health. They found that 51% of postmenopausal women suffer with hot flashes and that 79% of premenopausal women have them. Among the women with the most intense hot flashes (based on their severity and frequency), 81% of them experienced sleeplessness and insomnia.

The lead researcher said: “In this paper, we have observed without any doubt and in a significant way that hot flashes are associated with insomnia. This is the first observational study showing the link between insomnia and hot flashes while controlling for other factors that could account for insomnia in women.”

Night sweats and hot flashes can become a form of insomnia in which a woman can wake up sweating and be unable to sleep. Regarding mineral deficiency at the time of menopause, the pioneering nutritionist Adelle Davis says in her book ‘Let’s Get Well’ that: “The amount of calcium in a woman’s blood parallels the activity of the ovaries. During the menopause, the lack of ovarian hormones (estrogen and progesterone) can cause severe calcium deficiency symptoms to occur, including irritability, hot flashes, night sweats, leg cramps, and insomnia. These problems can be easily overcome if the intakes of calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D are all generously increased and are well absorbed.”

Calcium is directly related to our cycles of sleep. In one study published in the European Neurology Journal, researchers found that calcium levels in the body are higher during some of the deepest levels of sleep, such as the rapid eye movement (REM) phase. The study concluded that disturbances in sleep, especially the absence of REM deep sleep or disturbed REM sleep, are related to a calcium deficiency. Restoration to the normal course of sleep was achieved following the normalization of the blood calcium level.

Regarding the use of vitamin D as an insomnia remedy, Researchers at the East Texas Medical Center recently discovered that vitamin D helps to regulate the sleep-wake cycle.  They found a definite link between vitamin D deficiency and the current epidemic of sleep disorders.  During the research, the authors discovered the presence of high concentrations of vitamin D “receiving sites” or “receptors” in those areas of the brain that are related to the onset and maintenance of sleep.

One natural insomnia remedy gaining in popularity with women is Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs. Sleep Minerals II contains highly absorbable forms of calcium and magnesium, the best minerals for sleeplessness and insomnia, heart health, restless legs syndrome and bone strength. The formula also includes vitamin D and zinc and is delivered in a softgel form with healthy carrier oils. The mixture of oils and minerals makes it more quickly assimilated than tablets or capsules and provides a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.

Anita L. of New Caney, Texas says: “I was having hot flashes every 30 minutes to an hour through the night and was so miserable. After about two weeks of taking the Sleep Minerals, I noticed an incredible difference with my sleep. I have much less interruption from hot flashes, I’m sleeping much better, and I’m a lot more comfortable.”

The Stanford research study shows a definite link between hot flashes and insomnia and suggests that if a woman can address and remedy her hot flashes, she will also likely improve her insomnia.

For more information on Sleep Minerals II visit this page.