According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), almost six out of ten Americans report having insomnia and sleep problems at least a few nights a week.
Insomnia is defined as “An inability to fall asleep or remain asleep long enough to feel rested, especially when the problem continues over time.” In an effort to combat this, as many as 25 percent of the people in the United States try medications to help them sleep.
Most sleeping pills, especially when taken over long periods of time, can have multiple side effects. The drugs stay in the bloodstream, give a hangover effect the next day and beyond and can increase the risk of car and work accidents. They also impair memory and performance on the job and at home, may become addictive, and lose their effectiveness over time.
From a nutritional perspective, several research studies have shown certain minerals to be natural sleeping remedies that not only work well, but also have additional vital health benefits. These minerals can help people fall asleep better, get back to sleep easier in the night, and stay asleep longer. James F. Balch, M.D., author of Prescription for Nutritional Healing, writes: “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.”
Studies have proven calcium to increase bone health, reduce high blood pressure, relax the nerves and muscles, and prevent colon cancer and kidney stones. Magnesium is an effective nutrient for strengthening heart health, reducing diabetes, and treating migraines, insomnia and depression.
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.
William Sears, M.D. writes that: “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.”
In magnesium deficiency, chronic insomnia is one of the main, central symptoms. Sleep is usually agitated with frequent nighttime awakenings. On the other hand, a high magnesium diet has been found to be associated with deeper, less interrupted sleep. This was proven in a study done by James Penland at the Human Nutrition Research Center in North Dakota.
It’s important to note that a balanced ratio of calcium and magnesium is important to overall health, and that these two minerals should be taken together in a two to one ratio for best results (twice as much calcium as magnesium).
Jobee Knight, a nutritional researcher and founder of Nutrition Breakthroughs in Los Angeles California, is someone who fought her own battle against sleeplessness and insomnia. She decided to put her background to use by searching out effective natural remedies for relaxation and deeper sleep.
The result was Sleep Minerals II, a natural sleep aid that contains highly absorbable forms of calcium and magnesium, combined with vitamin D and zinc. The ingredients are formulated in a softgel with healthy oils, making them more quickly absorbable 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 couldn’t go back to sleep. Now I wake up once to go to the bathroom, but the great thing is, I then fall back asleep and sleep several more hours.”
Valerie H. of Santa Clarita, California says: “I had such bad menopause insomnia, it took me hours to fall asleep even though I was extremely tired. After a week of taking the Sleep Minerals, it started to work really well. I fall asleep now within 20 minutes.”
For more information, visit the Sleep Minerals II page.
Calcium and magnesium have been proven effective. William Sears, M.D. writes: “Calcium helps the brain use the amino acid tryptophan to manufacture the sleep-inducing substance melatonin.” In magnesium deficiency, chronic insomnia is one of the main, central symptoms. Sleep is usually agitated with frequent nighttime awakenings.
From a nutritional perspective, several research studies have shown certain minerals to be natural sleep remedies that not only work well, but also have additional health benefits for the bones, heart, stomach and nerves. These minerals are calcium and magnesium. They help people fall asleep better, get back to sleep easier in the night, and stay asleep longer.
Mineral-rich foods such as walnuts, almonds, yogurt, cheese, broccoli and leafy greens would be the first choice. Then natural mineral supplements like calcium and magnesium would be second. Herbs may cause drowsiness or side effects and are better avoided, and sleeping medications should not be used during pregnancy.