Studies Show Olive Oil for Sleep and Strong Bones

olive oil for sleepStudies are showing that olive oil is beneficial for many aspects of our health.

Olive oil can help strengthen the heart, support normal blood pressure and blood sugar levels, and can calm inflammation. 

The oil assists with good sleep, supports the brain, and may prevent strokes.  Stiff joints and arthritis can also be relieved with olive oil, especially when combined with fish oil (per Healthline.com).

Regarding olive oil for sleep, a recent study appeared in a journal that writes about the health of older people.  This study included 1,639 people and found that eating a Mediterranean type diet improves the quality of sleep in older adults.  The Mediterranean diet includes foods such as fruit, vegetables, olive oil, fish, nuts, seeds and whole grains. 

Olive oil is a key component of this way of eating – a tradition that has developed in the European countries that surround the Mediterranean Sea.

Those in the study that didn’t adhere to the Mediterranean diet as well, had poorer sleep quality. The adults in the study that followed the diet more closely reaped the following benefits: More sound sleep through the night, falling asleep more quickly, feeling well rested when they woke up and during the day, and they were happy about the amount of sleep they got overall.

Olive oil has also been proven to help bone strength.  According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation: “Osteoporosis and low bone mass are currently estimated to be a major public health threat for almost 44 million women and men aged 50 and older in the USA.”

A recent study from the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health has discovered that olives, olive oil and their potent plant nutrients called “polyphenols”, have a high potential for strengthening bones and preventing osteoporosis. Human research shows that daily consumption of olive oil can prevent a decline in bone mineral density. 

Some good ways to eat olive oil is to use it in salad dressings and on vegetables, rub it on meat and fish before cooking to keep it moist, use it instead of butter in sauces and gravies, spread it on fresh bread, and saute or cook food with it.

This natural health news is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a publisher of nutrition articles and supplier of natural remedies since 2002. Nutrition Breakthroughs makes Sleep Minerals II, the effective natural sleep aid with calcium, magnesium, zinc and vitamin D. 

The company also makes Joints and More, the natural solution for joint relief, aches and pains, stronger hair and nails and more energy.

Olive oil for sleep?

Regarding olive oil for sleep, a recent study of 1,639 people found that eating a Mediterranean type diet high in olive oil improves the quality of sleep. This diet includes foods such as fruit, vegetables, olive oil, fish, nuts, seeds and whole grains. The people in the study who ate this way were able to fall asleep faster, sleep longer and wake up refreshed.

Is olive oil good for osteoporosis?

A recent study from the International Journal of Environmental Research has discovered that olives, olive oil and their potent plant nutrients have a high potential for strengthening bones and preventing osteoporosis. Human research reveals that daily consumption of olive oil can prevent a decline in bone mineral density. 

What are health benefits of olive oil?

Olive oil can help strengthen the heart, support normal blood pressure and blood sugar levels and can calm inflammation.  It assists with good sleep, supports the brain and may prevent strokes.  Stiff joints and arthritis can also be relieved with olive oil, especially when combined with fish oil

How to Increase Melatonin for Sleep Naturally with Foods

Getting a good night’s sleep is a satisfying, energizing, and vital part of a healthy life.  However, per the National Sleep Foundation, almost six out of ten Americans report having insomnia at least a few nights a week..

Melatonin is a natural hormone made by a gland in the brain that helps regulate the sleep and wake cycles.  Researchers in recent studies have found that eating tropical fruits such as pineapples and bananas, and also certain vegetables, can naturally increase melatonin in the body and help to improve sleep and remedy insomnia.

Melatonin levels start rising in the evening and go up to a peak level in the early hours of the morning, perhaps around 2:00 or 3:00 a.m, and then it reduces.  Melatonin production also declines with increasing age. This may partially explain why some people can sleep fine for a few hours and then suddenly find themselves wide awake in the night and unable to go back to sleep.

The research study showing how tropical fruits increase melatonin was published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry.  Thirty healthy volunteers ate one fruit at a time with a one-week wash-out period between fruits.  Significant increases in melatonin were observed after eating pineapple (a 266% increase), banana (180%) and orange (47%).  The researchers made important discoveries about fruit consumption for those people with age-related melatonin deficiency symptoms such as sleeplessness and insomnia.

Eating more vegetables can increase melatonin levels in the body as well.  Ninety-four Japanese women participated in a recent study.  Half of the women ate high amounts of selected vegetables for 65 days, while the other half were told to avoid the same vegetables.

At the end of the study, the average daily intake of melatonin from eating the vegetables was 1,288 nanograms, while the non-vegetable group had an increase of a mere 5.3 nanograms.  (For reference, a nanogram is a common measurement in research studies and equals one billionth of a gram, and there are 28 grams in an ounce).  Another Japanese study tracked consumption of vegetables such as tomato, pumpkin, spinach, Japanese radish, cabbage, carrot, etc., and discovered there was 16% more melatonin in the women with the highest vegetable intake.

Supplements of synthetic melatonin are made commercially in a lab.  Because they often offer several milligrams per supplement, which is far more than the body makes naturally, common side effects of these supplements can include daytime sleepiness, dizziness, headaches, nightmares, anxiety and irritability.  Melatonin supplements are only recommended for short-term use and are best used under the guidance of a doctor.

In addition to fruits and vegetables, the brain can be assisted in its melatonin production by taking calcium supplements. William Sears, M.D. writes: “Calcium helps the brain use the amino acid tryptophan to manufacture the sleep-inducing substance melatonin. This explains why dairy products, which contain both tryptophan and calcium, are one of the top sleep-inducing foods.”  It’s important to note that a balanced ratio of calcium and magnesium (in a 2 to 1 ratio) is important to overall health, and that these two minerals should be taken together for best results.

Digestibility and absorption are important factors in selecting the best forms of calcium and magnesium to use. For example, Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs is a natural insomnia remedy that contains highly absorbable forms of these minerals and it’s effective for sleeplessness and insomnia, as well as for heart health, restless leg syndrome, bone strength, menopause insomnia and teenage insomnia. Sleep Minerals also contains vitamin D and zinc and is delivered in a softgel form mixed with natural rice bran oil, making it better assimilated 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 up at around 3:00 a.m. and after a few days of 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.”

Fruits, vegetables and absorbable forms of calcium and magnesium are good remedies to increase melatonin in the body and help with better sleep.  For more information, visit the Sleep Minerals II page.

What foods are high in melatonin?

Walnuts, almonds, tart cherries, tart cherry juice, nut butters, whole grains, kiwis, pineapples, bananas and oranges. Yogurt and warm milk are also good choices. Teas that help with sleep and relaxation include chamomile, lemon balm and passionflower.chamomile tea benefits

Does pineapple have melatonin?

A study showing how fruits increase melatonin appeared in the Journal of Food Chemistry. 30 volunteers ate one fruit at a time. Significant increases in melatonin were observed with pineapple (a 266% increase), banana (180%) and orange (47%).

MSM for Hair Growth, Stronger Nails, Smoother Skin: Studies

msm for hair growthMillions of people worldwide would like to have stronger, longer, more brilliant looking hair and nails.  There are very few nutritional supplements supported by research studies showing they help hair growth and nail strength, but MSM for hair growth is one of them.

According to the book “The Miracle of MSM” by doctors Jacob and Lawrence, “MSM is one-third sulfur and sulfur has the reputation for being nature’s ‘beauty mineral’ for keeping the hair healthy and the complexion youthful.”

MSM sulfur (methyl-sulphonyl-methane) is a white, odorless, water-soluble element found in nature and in foods such as milk, fresh fruits, vegetables, seafood and meat. It is especially high in eggs, onions, garlic, asparagus and broccoli.  Sulfur has a long tradition of healing and throughout history, doctors have prescribed mineral hot springs rich in sulfur to their ill patients.  Food processing methods such as heating, washing and freezing, all deplete MSM in foods, making daily replenishment beneficial.

While MSM is best known for its arthritis and pain relieving benefits, it also helps to form keratin, which is the main protein found in hair, nails and skin.  The ‘beauty mineral’ study was published in Total Health Magazine and was named: “MSM – Increased Hair Growth, Nail Length and Nail Thickness”.  It was conducted by Ronald M. Lawrence, M.D.

Dr. Lawrence says: “We completed a placebo-controlled trial over the course of six weeks showing that 100 percent of the subjects on MSM had increased hair growth, compared to the group on placebo. 30 percent of the subjects on MSM showed improvement in hair brilliance, while none of the subjects on placebo showed such an improvement.”

The hair trial involved a total of 21 patients; 16 women and 5 men. Data was collected by certified cosmetologists under the doctor’s direction. The trial measurements included hair length, brilliance, and diameter of the individual hair shafts using industry standard measurement scales. All subjects that supplemented with MSM were impressed with the changes in the health and appearance of their hair. The cosmetologists could literally see which participants had taken MSM for hair growth by the appearance of their hair alone after six weeks of use.

A second placebo-controlled trial, conducted simultaneously, showed that 50 percent of the subjects on MSM showed increased their nail length, nail strength, and nail thickness compared to the group on placebo. Dr. Lawrence says: ”Based on the results of the two trials, we concluded that oral supplementation with MSM is a valuable addition to hair and nail growth. Hair and nail health was significantly improved in a short term of six weeks.”

One example of a natural remedy that contains all the benefits of MSM is Joints and More from Nutrition Breakthroughs.  Joints and More is made from “organic” sulfur (meaning coming from living things) and is a 99% pure, simple molecule, indistinguishable from a molecule of MSM found in nature.

Stanley Jacob, M.D. the co-discoverer and ‘Father of MSM’ says: “MSM is a surprising supplement.  When you start taking it, you may notice a number of good things happening in your life in addition to natural pain relief, natural joint relief, and allergy relief – such as more energy, cosmetic benefits such as softer skin, thicker hair and stronger nails; as well as decreased scar tissue and relief of constipation.”

For more information, visit the Joints and More web page.

Can MSM be used for hair growth?

Yes it can. The ‘beauty mineral’ study was published in Total Health Magazine and was named: “MSM – Increased Hair Growth, Nail Length and Nail Thickness”. It was conducted by Ronald M. Lawrence, M.D. At the end of six weeks of use, the cosmetologists could literally see which participants had taken MSM for hair growth by the appearance of their hair alone.

MSM for hair growth how much to take?

Stanley M. Jacob, M.D. says “It’s best to take MSM during or after meals. Over the years, thousands of patients have experienced healing benefits by taking 2,000 to 8,000 milligrams of MSM a day.” (This would be 2 to 8 capsules containing 1,000 mg. each). Start slowly by taking 1 capsule per day and increase as your tolerance allows. If you overdo it, you may develop stomach discomfort or more frequent, looser stools. Just cut back if this happens. Avoid taking MSM in the evening as it can increase one’s energy.

Chamomile Tea Benefits: Proven for Better Sleep, Good Health

chamomile tea benefitsChamomile flowers are a member of the daisy family, with their bright gold cones that shine in the center of white petals. There are many proven chamomile tea benefits for health.

With more than one million cups of chamomile tea consumed every day and supplements of chamomile capsules, liquid extracts, ointments, and essential oils in wide use, chamomile is one of the most highly used and research-proven medicinal plants.  It has been studied for use with insomnia, heart conditions, colds, inflammation, skin eczema, upset stomach, osteoporosis, anxiety, sore throat, wound healing and more.

Chamomile for Sleep and Insomnia

Chamomile has long been used as a natural sleep aid and insomnia remedy.  The powerful oils contained in its flowers provide a calming effect for sleeplessness, nervousness and anxiety.  In one study, heart patients were given chamomile tea and fell into a deep sleep.  From another study with animals that was done in Japan, calmness and relaxation were increased and the time needed to fall asleep was significantly reduced.  Another study showed that chamomile greatly reduces anxiety and increases well-being.

Stomach Conditions Helped by Chamomile

Chamomile is one of the main “go to” herbs for digestive disorders like upset stomach, ulcers, diarrhea and gas.  It helps to relax muscle contractions, particularly in the smooth muscles that make up the intestines.  In one journal study from Switzerland, the herbal combination of iberis (an herb in the cabbage family), peppermint and chamomile were shown to be effective in the treatment of stomach indigestion, irritation and inflammation.

Eczema and Skin Conditions

Inflammation of the skin is widely treated and remedied by topical chamomile preparations.  It has the ability to penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin and help with eczema and other skin inflammations.  In a European medical journal, a cream with chamomile extract was tested against a hydrocortisone cream.  After a 2-week treatment, the chamomile cream showed a mild superiority in effectiveness over hydrocortisone.

Osteoporosis, Bone Health and Chamomile

In the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, chamomile extract was studied for its ability to prevent the bone loss that can occur as people age.  Chamomile demonstrated the ability to help mineralize bone cells and showed an anti-estrogenic quality.  The researchers noted that this may be due to chamomile having a quality as a possible regulator of excess estrogen in the body.

Calcium and Chamomile – A Winning Duo

Calcium is also directly related to our good sleep. In one study, called “The Nutritional Relationships of Magnesium”, the author notes that the type of insomnia associated with a calcium deficiency causes difficulty with falling asleep.  This same study says that “Muscle cramps associated with a calcium deficiency often occur at night and without exertion.”

In another 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 when most dreaming occurs.  This study discovered that disturbances in sleep, especially the absence of REM deep sleep or disturbed REM sleep, are related to a calcium deficiency.

Best Minerals for Sleep: Calcium and Magnesium

One natural insomnia remedy showing good results is Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs.  This sleep aid contains powerful 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 include vitamin D and zinc and are formulated in a softgel with healthy oils, making them more quickly absorbable than tablets or capsules and providing a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.

Kimberly B. of Troy, Michigan says: “I have been taking Sleep Minerals II for about a month now. I have tried everything out there and this supplement is amazing. I have suffered with insomnia for 2 1/2 years. I have also had restless leg syndrome my entire life and this is the first relief I’ve ever had…gone for a month now.”

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.”

Summary for Chamomile and Calcium

Anyone who has a strong allergy to plants like daisies or ragweed (with its tiny green flowers) should start with a very small amount of chamomile, whether using it as a tea, supplement or skin ointment.  Most people can gain benefits from chamomile without any reactions.  It is one of nature’s most potent herbs and can help with calming insomnia, anxiety, muscle spasms, PMS, skin inflammations, stomach disorders, hemorrhoids, diarrhea, arthritis and more.

As a first line of defense against sleeplessness and insomnia, chamomile and calcium are good bets.  Coming from the worlds of herbal and mineral sleep aids, they are normally taken safely without addictive qualities or side effects.

This natural health news is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a publisher of nutrition articles and supplier of effective natural remedies since 2001. Nutrition Breakthroughs makes Sleep Minerals II, the effective natural sleep aid with calcium, magnesium, zinc and vitamin D, and also Joints and More, the natural solution for joint relief, aches and pains, stronger hair and nails and more energy.

Why does chamomile make you sleepy?

Chamomile has long been used as a natural sleep aid and insomnia remedy. The powerful oils contained in its flowers provide a calming effect for sleeplessness, nervousness and anxiety.  In one study, heart patients were given chamomile tea and fell into a deep sleep.

What are the health benefits of chamomile?

Chamomile is one of the most highly used and research-proven medicinal plants.  It has been studied for use with insomnia, heart conditions, colds, inflammation, skin eczema, upset stomach, osteoporosis, anxiety, sore throat, wound healing and more.

Why is chamomile tea good for you?

Chamomile is one of the main “go to” herbs for digestive disorders like upset stomach, ulcers, diarrhea and gas. It helps to relax muscle contractions, particularly in the smooth muscles that make up the intestines. Chamomile also has the ability to help mineralize bone cells and strengthen bones.

Proven Benefits of Flaxseed: Heart, Stomach, Hot Flashes, More

benefits of flaxseedFlaxseed, also known as linseed, is a high fiber food that has been cultivated for thousands of years around the world. One of the main benefits of flaxseed is that its a rich source of the healthiest type of fat, known as omega 3 fatty acid.

This group of healthy fats also includes salmon, walnuts, chia seeds and sardines. Flax is a also complete protein source, containing all nine of the essential amino acids.

Research is showing that the benefits of flaxseed include preventing menopause hot flashes, lowering cholesterol, improving heart health and benefiting blood sugar levels. It also improves breast and prostate health and is known to be an effective laxative which helps with constipation by adding fiber and bulk to the intestines.

Flaxseed has been proven to have a dual effectiveness for both constipation and diarrhea.  This study on flaxseed comes from the Natural Products Research Division of a Medical College in Pakistan.  Flaxseed oil and its gel-like fiber was given orally to people and it caused a dose-dependent increase in looser bowel movements – meaning that the higher the dose, the more effective it was. The study also showed flaxseed helpful for people with diarrhea.

Mayo Clinic breast health specialist Sandhya Pruthi, M.D., recently conducted a study on crushed flaxseed for hot flashes and menopause symptoms. The women were given six weeks of flaxseed therapy, consisting of 40 grams (one and a half ounces) of crushed flaxseed eaten daily. Study participants were asked questions that were translated into their individual hot flash scores.

The result was that their frequency of hot flashes decreased by fifty percent. Participants also reported good improvements in mood, joint and muscle pain, chills, and sweating. This was a significant benefit to their health and quality of life. Dr. Pruthi said: “We are quite pleased with the improvements noted by these women in their quality of life. Not only does flaxseed seem to alleviate hot flashes, but it appears to have overall health benefits as well.”

Flaxseed may provide a way for men with high cholesterol to lower it without using drugs. The Iowa State University Nutrition and Wellness Research Center recently studied ground flaxseed for this purpose and found that it decreased cholesterol in men by around ten percent over the three month study. The men ate three tablespoons of flaxseed daily.

Flaxseed was recently studied for the improvement of blood sugar levels in a study from the “Nutrition Research” journal. In this study, overweight men and postmenopausal women who had pre-diabetes consumed ground flaxseed daily for 12 weeks. This resulted in decreased glucose and insulin levels and also an improved insulin sensitivity in the participants. Having a better insulin sensitivity is healthier as this allows the body to utilize sugar in the blood more effectively.

Flaxseeds are available as whole seeds, ground seeds and flax seed oil. The ground seeds may be the healthiest option as they contain the most protein and fiber. Flaxseeds blend well into many foods, such as smoothies, hot and cold cereals, can be sprinkled on salads or hot vegetables, and even used in home-baked goods like muffins. The seeds are best stored in the refrigerator to preserve their benefits. Most of the studies on flaxseed used one tablespoon per day. 

This health news is shared by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a provider of nutrition articles and effective natural remedies since 2001. Nutrition Breakthroughs makes the original calcium and magnesium based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II.  Besides being an effective insomnia remedy, Sleep Minerals II is also beneficial for women with menopause symptoms such as hot flashes or night sweats.

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.”

For more information, visit the Sleep Minerals II page.

Why flaxseed is good for you?

Research is showing that the benefits of flaxseed include preventing menopause hot flashes, lowering cholesterol, improving heart health and benefiting blood sugar levels. It also improves breast and prostate health.

How flaxseed works?

Flaxseed has a very high amount of omega-3 fatty acids – a high quality type of fat that our body is unable to make on its own. Omega-3 fats can improve the health of the heart, brain, eyes, liver, joints and skin. Flaxseed is also a rich source of fiber, making it an excellent aid to digestion.

Will flaxseed help with constipation?

Flaxseed has been proven to have a dual effectiveness for both constipation and diarrhea. In one study, flaxseed oil and its gel-like fiber was given orally to people and it caused a dose-dependent increase in looser bowel movements – meaning that the higher the dose, the more effective it was.

Sleep Foods That Help You: Best Sleep Inducing Foods

Sleep better with Sleep Minerals II
Which foods help you sleep better? The Nutrition Breakthroughs Blog has provided several articles on the best sleep inducing foods, and those that follow below are the top five most popular articles of all time.

1. Sleep Foods Chart: The Top Proven Foods for Insomnia

This article features a chart that summarizes research studies on foods that are high in the natural sleep hormone known as melatonin. What foods are high in melatonin?  Find out more about walnuts, cherries, almonds and more.  Also included in this article are good sources of potassium, calcium and magnesium – all proven to help remedy insomnia.

2. Melatonin Rich Fruits for Sleep: Studies from Nutrition Breakthroughs    fruit melatonin

Melatonin levels start rising in the evening and go up to a peak level in the early hours of the morning, perhaps around 2:00 or 3:00 a.m, and then they reduce.

This may partially explain why some people can sleep fine for a few hours and then suddenly find themselves wide awake and unable to go back to sleep.

Do bananas help you sleep?  Learn more about the research study that shows how tropical fruits such as bananas and pineapples increase melatonin in the body. It was published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry.

3. Insomnia Remedies: The Best and Worst Foods for Promoting Sleep

What foods are sleep inducing? This article includes an informative, short chart that contains the five best foods and five worst foods for promoting sleep.

Some foods can act as natural sleep aids, while others can make your time in bed a struggle with tossing and turning all night.

heathiest foods4. Food for Sleep: Study Says Salmon Remedies Insomnia

Researchers in Norway have proven that eating fish has a positive impact on good sleep and overall daily functioning.

5. Insomnia Remedies: The Science Behind Sleep Inducing Foods

This article focuses on articles from research journals that have studied which foods are best for inducing sleep, and it also has some doctor recommendations on good bedtime snacks.

This collection of natural health articles on sleep helping foods is brought to you by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a publisher of nutrition articles and supplier of effective natural remedies since 2001.

Nutrition breakthroughs makes Sleep Minerals II, the effective natural sleep aid with calcium, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin D, and also Joints and More, the natural solution for joint relief, aches and pains, stronger hair and nails and more energy.

Which foods help you sleep better?

Studies have shown that certain foods are high in melatonin and magnesium and can help with a better night’s sleep. These include bananas, almonds, walnuts and tart cherries or their juice. Magnesium rich foods include yogurt, avocado, figs, nut butter, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.

What foods are high in melatonin?

Learn more about walnuts, tart cherries, almonds, bananas and more.  Also included in this article are good food sources of potassium, calcium and magnesium – all proven to help remedy insomnia.

Do bananas help you sleep?

Bananas are very high in potassium and a deficiency of potassium can interfere with restful sleep. Eating a banana before bedtime may help reduce nighttime awakenings and provide a better, deeper night’s sleep. Potassium is found abundantly in fresh vegetables and fruits, so these are a good focus as opposed to eating a lot of processed or packaged foods containing high salt.

What foods are sleep inducing?

Studies have shown that the following foods and beverages are sleep inducing: Bananas, tart cherries, tart cherry juice, almonds, walnuts, yogurt, salmon, pumpkin seeds, pineapple, nut butter, turkey, kiwi fruit and warm milk. Soothing teas shown to help sleep include chamomile, lavender, lemon balm and passionflower.

Comparing Magnesium and Melatonin as Natural Sleep Aids

Is magnesium better than melatonin for sleep? 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.”

In contrast with mineral supplements, melatonin is a hormone which is producedmagnesium and melatonin as a natural sleep aid 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, dizziness, stomach  cramps and make it more difficult to wake up in the morning.

Is it better to take magnesium at night?  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.  Another study from the Human Nutrition Research Center found that a magnesium citrate supplement increased sleep quality in adults aged 51 to 85.

Magnesium has hundreds of health effects in the body. 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 … migraines and muscle cramps – because they don’t get enough magnesium.”

Which form of magnesium is best for sleep?  A recent study on magnesium for sleep came from the University of Medical Sciences in Iran. Its subjects were 46 older adults, aged 60 to 75, who were experiencing insomnia. However, it’s interesting to note that the researchers recommend their results be extended to all ages of the general population as helpful advice.

In the University study, the subjects were divided into two groups. One group received placebos, while the other received magnesium oxide tablets twice a day (250 milligrams each) for eight weeks. In the group that was given magnesium, the subjects experienced significant increases in sleep time and sleep efficiency (which is the time spent in bed vs the time spent sleeping).  They also had less night time interruptions and fewer early morning awakenings. Magnesium citrate is another form that has been proven helpful for better sleep.

One possible side effect from taking too much magnesium is that the bowels may become too loose or stomach discomfort can occur — at which point less can be taken. If this side effect happens, magnesium should be taken with a full meal or a healthy snack. 

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 stomach cramps, 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.  Prolonged use may also inhibit the body’s own natural ability to produce melatonin.

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 remedy 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.

Is magnesium better than melatonin for sleep?

James F. Balch, M.D. 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.” Magnesium is also beneficial for bone health and heart health. Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain. According to WebMD, melatonin side effects may include headache, depression, daytime sleepiness, dizziness, stomach cramps and irritability.

Is it better to take magnesium at night? 

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.

Which form of magnesium is best for sleep?

A recent study on magnesium comes from the University of Medical Sciences in Iran. Its subjects were 46 older adults who were experiencing insomnia. One group received placebos while the other received magnesium oxide tablets twice a day for eight weeks. Those taking the magnesium experienced significant increases in sleep time with less night time interruptions. Another good form of magnesium for sleep is magnesium citrate.

Guide to Healthier, Greener, Home Cleaning Options

healthy green cleaning guideGreetings,

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has put together a handy, very helpful guide on “Healthier, Greener Home Cleaning Options.”  The link to the guide can be found below.

This is especially valuable coming from the EWG, as they do regular research and studies on chemicals and contaminants in our cleaning products, foods, and the environment.

Here is the EWG mission statement that can be found on their website:

“The Environmental Working Group’s mission is to empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. With breakthrough research and education, we drive consumer choice and civic action.” 

“We work for you.  Do you know what’s in your tap water? What about your shampoo? What’s lurking in the cleaners underneath your sink? What pesticides are on your food?”

So, enjoy this short EWG guide to healthy home cleaning options by clicking the link below.  Here’s to your good health and the health of your family.

Environmental Working Group Guide to Healthier, Greener, Home Cleaning Options

This natural health news is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a publisher of nutrition articles and supplier of natural remedies since 2002. Nutrition Breakthroughs makes Sleep Minerals II, the effective natural sleep aid with calcium, magnesium, zinc and vitamin D.

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.