Do you ever have sleeplessness or insomnia? Or do you have a friend or family member who does? In the video below you will discover how to obtain healthy sleep with the most effective natural sleep aids and foods.
Sometimes it can be a challenge for people who want to sleep better. There are many types of sleep remedies on the market including vitamins, minerals, melatonin, teas, herbs and liquids. How does a person select what’s best for them?
Take three minutes to watch this video and discover the natural remedies and foods that have stood the test of time and been the focus of many research studies on the subject of better sleep.
Here’s to your great sleep!
This video on healthy sleep was created for you by Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of the original calcium and magnesium based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II, and Joints and More, a natural supplement for joint relief, less aches and pains and more energy.
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.
This article shares some proven natural remedies for falling asleep faster, sleeping longer and enjoying a better night’s sleep.
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, as well as 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 at 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 period left 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 significantly higher than the non-vegetable group. Another Japanese study tracked consumption of vegetables such as tomato, pumpkin, spinach, radish, cabbage, carrot, etc., and discovered that 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 or irritability. Melatonin supplements are usually only recommended for short-term use as they can inhibit the body’s own ability to manufacture melatonin.
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, that uses twice as much calcium as magnesium, 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 is effective for sleeplessness and insomnia, as well as for heart health, restless leg syndrome, bone strength, menopause insomnia and teenage insomnia.
Sleep Minerals II also contains vitamin D and zinc which are beneficial to immunity, and it’s delivered in a softgel form mixed with natural rice bran oil. This creates a creamy paste inside that makes it better assimilated than tablets or capsules and it provides 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 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 is also a good choice. Teas that help with sleep and relaxation include chamomile, lemon balm and passionflower.
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%).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Insomnia 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.
“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 salmon – Provides 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.
Those of us who have experienced insomnia know what its like to toss and turn through the night trying to get some good sleep. And then the next day can be filled with brain fog, irritability, exhaustion and just not quite feeling like one’s usual self. Some will turn to sleeping drugs, only to find the effects wearing off over time and the side effects strong.
On the other hand, nutrition can be one of the most essential supports and defenses in winning the battle to achieve calmer, deeper, longer sleep. There are some vitamins and nutrients in particular that have been shown in research studies to soothe a person’s frequent awakenings and improve overall sleep.
B vitamins can come in very handy for those experiencing insomnia or restless leg syndrome (also known as RLS). Those who have restless leg syndrome undergo unpleasant sensations in the legs described as creeping, crawling, tingling, pulling or painful. They often suffer with chronic insomnia and sleeplessness due to the strong urge to walk or do other activities to relieve sensations in their legs at night.
One study from the journal “Sleep Medicine” published the results of 28 elderly patients who had severe RLS with night time leg cramps that disturbed their sleep. They were given B complex capsules containing B-1, B-2, B-6 and B-12. The study authors observed that after 3 months, 86% of the patients taking vitamin B supplements had prominent remission of leg cramps, whereas those taking the placebo had no significant difference.
In this study, treatment with vitamin B complex significantly reduced the frequency, intensity, and duration of night time leg cramps. Because vitamin B complex is a relatively safe and effective alternative to quinine, the main drug used for RLS, they feel that doctors should reconsider using drugs and change the usual treatment of choice for night time leg cramps.
One’s overall brain health is closely related to healthy sleep. From the same study in “Sleep Medicine”, the authors noted that thiamine or vitamin B-1 deficiency can cause fatigue, weakness, intestinal symptoms, memory loss and disturbed sleep. They also point out that Parkinson’s disease sufferers generally have low levels of niacin or vitamin B-3, a deficiency of which can also cause insomnia and sleeplessness.
Another point from the article is that vitamin B-6 is a necessary co-factor in the creation of amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. The importance of this is that brain chemicals such as serotonin and melatonin are made out of the amino acids tryptophan. Serotonin and melatonin have key roles in supporting good sleep and cannot be produced without enough B-6. Even a mild deficiency of B-6 results in inhibited activity of these brain nutrients and may create insomnia.
Magnesium and calcium are long-time proven sleep remedies. A study on magnesium from the University of Medical Sciences in Iran was done with 46 adults who were experiencing insomnia. Two magnesium tablets twice a day (250 mg. each) resulted in significant increases in sleep time and reduced cortisol levels in the body, which is a stress hormone that can keep people awake.
Calcium is known to soothe sleeplessness and provide a deeper sleep. In a report called “The Nutritional Relationships of Magnesium”, the author notes that the type of insomnia associated with a calcium deficiency often causes difficulty with falling asleep. This same study says that: “Muscle cramps associated with calcium deficiency often occur at night and without exertion. Such cramps usually involve the calves and thighs, but not the hands or feet.”
Jobee Knight, a nutritional researcher and founder of Nutrition Breakthroughs in Glendale, CA., is someone who fought her own battle against sleeplessness and insomnia. She decided to put her background to use by searching out effective natural ingredients for relaxation and deeper sleep.
The result was Sleep Minerals II, a natural sleep aid which contains highly absorbable forms of the best minerals for sleep and relaxation: Calcium and magnesium, along with Vitamin D and zinc. The ingredients are delivered in a softgel form along with healthy carrier oils, making them more easily assimilated than capsules or tablets and providing a deeper, longer-lasting sleep. These minerals are also proven to help with restless leg syndrome, bone and muscle strength, teenage insomnia and menopause insomnia.
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.”
In summary, make good use of natural vitamins and minerals as the first line of defense in the war against sleeplessness and insomnia.
Today’s treasure is the colorful and informative chart that’s included below. It has great tips on how to get a good night’s sleep and increase your well-being and productivity. These valuable tidbits are provided courtesy of the Quill blog and are based on evidence from scientific research studies.
For example, according to a study in the Journal “Sleep”, making a special effort to cool down before bedtime may be of particular benefit to insomnia sufferers. One way to do this is to take a hot bath about 90 minutes before bedtime. Afterward, there will be a rapid drop in body temperature which will help with falling asleep faster.
Another key thing is that when it gets dark in the evening, the brain produces the hormone known as melatonin. Melatonin signals our bodies that its time to get tired and go to sleep. However, a special type of light called “blue light” that’s generated from a computer or laptop, is very effective at inhibiting melatonin and preventing good sleep. So its best to reduce computer, laptop, and cell phone use in the evening or use amber colored “blue light blocking glasses”.
Calcium and magnesium are proven natural sleep aids. In one study published in the European Neurology Journal, researchers discovered that calcium levels in the body are higher during some of the deepest levels of sleep, such as the rapid eye movement (REM) phase.
In another report called “The Nutritional Relationships of Magnesium”, the author noted that 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.”
One natural insomnia remedy showing good results is Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs. This natural sleep aid contains powerful forms of calcium and magnesium, the best known minerals for relaxation and sleep, as well as for restless leg syndrome, teenage insomnia, menopause insomnia and stronger bones.
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 II – 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.”
Not only are cherries one of the most satisfying and delicious foods around, they are rated by the American Journal of Nutrition in the “Top 50 List” of foods with the most powerful nutritional content and health benefits.
It’s the deep red, blue and purple colors of the top berries that contain the plant chemicals delivering a potent punch against disease. Recent research studies have discovered the health benefits of cherries include muscle pain relief, reducing inflammation, remedying insomnia, protection of brain cells, and relief for knee arthritis.
Many of the scientific studies on cherries are done with tart cherries or Montmorency cherries — usually sold as juice, dried, frozen, and in powdered supplement capsules. For those seeking a food-based remedy for sleeplessness and insomnia, the tart Montmorency cherry is known to contain high levels of melatonin, the hormone made in the brain that regulates the sleep-wake cycle.
The European Journal of Nutrition presented a placebo-controlled study that proved drinking tart cherry juice increases melatonin and improves sleep quality. Drinking the juice resulted in longer sleep times, less daytime napping and greater overall sleep efficiency (the ratio of the time spent in bed to the time actually spent sleeping).
Cherries also give proven relief for people who would like to reduce muscle pain or soreness after exercise or a lot of physical activity. A study from a sports nutrition journal discovered that runners who drank tart cherry juice prior to and during a race, experienced much less pain afterwards. The high levels of anti-inflammatory properties in cherries provided a protective effect against muscle damage.
In the battle against belly fat, cherries can be a good weapon. In one animal study from the University of Michigan, scientists mixed whole tart cherry powder in with a high fat diet. The animals that ate the cherries had a lower body weight, lower cholesterol and significantly lower levels of the kind of inflammation that’s linked to heart disease and diabetes in humans.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It causes chronic joint pain, swelling, and reduced motion in joints. It can occur in any joint, but usually it affects hands, knees, hips or spine. In a recent study at the Baylor Research Institute, scientists gave tart cherry powder in capsules to people with knee osteoarthritis. At the end of the eight week study, over 50% of the people benefited with good increases in movement and significant reduction of pain.
Gout is a kind of arthritis that can cause an attack of sudden burning pain, stiffness, and swelling in a joint, usually in a big toe or in other bones of the foot. A study from the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism found that patients with gout who consumed cherries over a two-day period showed a 35% lower risk of gout attacks.
For better brain health as one ages, a study from the journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry has proven that tart cherries protect brain cells from cell-damaging stress in a dose-dependent manner. In other words, when more cherries are eaten, there are more neuro-protective benefits for the brain. This shows a potential defense against conditions such as Alzheimer’s.
Cherries are certainly a delicious way to reduce pain and inflammation, as well as to help with a stronger heart and brain and ease insomnia and sleeplessness. Calcium and magnesium are also proven remedies for insomnia. Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs is a popular supplement that contains highly absorbable forms of these minerals and is effective for an inability to sleep, as well as for heart health, restless leg syndrome, bone strength, menopause insomnia and teenage insomnia.
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 II — 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.”
This natural health news is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a publisher of nutrition articles and effective natural remedies since 2001. Nutrition Breakthroughs, makes the original calcium and magnesium based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II, as well as Joints and More, the natural solution for joint relief, aches and pains, stronger hair and nails and more energy.
By Helen Thomas, an independent writer who writes about the natural health benefits of food, alternative medicine and natural home remedies | Courtesy of NaturalNews.com
Shared by Nutrition Breakthroughs,
maker of the effective calcium and magnesium based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II *********************************************
Let me ask you a question, when was the last time you enjoyed a really good night’s rest? For many, they may need to really think about that answer. The reason is according to the National Sleep Foundation found that almost 40 million Americans suffer from some sort of sleep disorder. In addition, lack of sleep affects women more than men. However at this time it is unclear why females experience more sleepless nights than their male counterparts.
Nonetheless, lack of sleep is a very serious issue that can lead to depression, increased stress levels, irritability, mood swings, weight gain and slowness of response time. So let’s take a closer look at what can be done to prevent you from becoming one of the 40 million sleep-deprived individuals.
The first step is the make the decision that you will avoid taking medications to get more sleep. The reason is simple, you don’t want to rely on, either physically or mentally, a drug or OTC (over the counter) medicine. Instead let’s focus on making simple eating changes to help you restore your sleep.
Avoid Certain Foods
It’s true that certain types of food can keep you awake at night. These include:
Coffee, pop or soda
Fried foods (French fries, fried chicken, etc.)
These types of foods place stress on your body and when your body is stressed it can’t function properly. In addition, if your body begins to function improperly, it not only increases the stress level but the imbalance will also increase.
The foods on the above list should be consumed at least five hours before you go to bed. This gives your body enough time to absorb and then eliminate any remaining components. Also, the consumption of spicy foods should be done either at breakfast or lunch. This will allow enough time for complete digestion. In addition, fried foods also need time to be fully digested and eliminated, too.
Foods to Consume
Here are some of the top food choices to add to your diet to help improve your sleep patterns and avoid insomnia.
Plain ole drinking water
Protein-based foods (egg, meat, etc.)
Greens and vegetables
Tart Cherry Juice
In regards to the last one, tart cherry juice, this is one drink you should enjoy on a regular basis. Not only is it a good source of water, it is a natural source of melatonin. The best way to make tart cherry juice is to mix one ounce of tart cherry juice concentrate with seven ounces of water to make one eight ounce glass. One glass provides a good amount of water. However, in addition to the water the one ounce of the concentrate is packed with almost 150 nanograms (15% of a gram) of naturally occurring melatonin.
The presence of the melatonin will help you sleep better, but it is also a powerful antioxidant that will help to fight free radicals in the body. (Definition from Nutrition Breakthroughs: an antioxidant can protect tissues from the damage caused by oxygen in the body. The natural processes of digestion, as well as consuming unhealthy foods and drinks, can create excess oxygen. A free radical is an unstable molecule that attacks other molecules and plays a major role in the aging process and degenerative diseases).
So, with the diluted tart cherry juice you’ll be getting a triple dose of benefits. You’ll be getting more water into your diet. You’ll be enjoying a better night’s sleep and will fight insomnia — while also giving your body the added antioxidants to free the disease causing free-radicals.
Regarding protein, a recently published study indicated that individuals who experienced less sleep ate less protein, were overweight, and didn’t take a daily dose of vitamins and minerals. This information was compared to people with normal sleeping patterns.
Also, another study revealed that people who usually got five to six hours of sleep per night drink less water and ate more fatty foods than a normal sleeper.
Finally, a normal sleeper with the longer sleep time, consumed more protein, drank more water and was not overweight. This simply means that taking care of yourself, drinking water and watching what you eat will have a positive impact on your overall length and quality of sleep. Also, adding a glass of tart cherry juice concentrate probably can’t hurt either.
Comments from Nutrition Breakthroughs: Other minerals and foods proven to help with better sleep include magnesium, calcium, potassium, walnuts, almonds, bananas, fish oils and salmon.
Eating more vegetables can also increase melatonin levels in the body. One 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 intakes.
This health news is shared by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a publisher of nutrition articles and supplier of effective natural remedies since 2002. Nutrition Breakthroughs makes the original calcium and magnesium based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II.
It’s Jobee Knight from Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of Sleep Minerals II. Over the years of helping people with their sleep, I have discovered several useful tips that can help make a big difference and increase the quality and quantity of one’s sleep.
#1 – We live in an electronics-oriented world, from computers, to cell phones, to texting, to reading books on tablets, etc. These tools help increase our efficiency and ability to work and learn and communicate, but when it comes to getting good sleep, they can interfere.
One study from a university in New York found that exposure to light from electronic displays can suppress melatonin by about 22 percent. Melatonin is a hormone made in the brain that helps to regulate the sleep/wake cycle. It is present in higher amounts at night time. It’s best to shut off all electronic devices at least one hour before bedtime and do some relaxing things before bed.
#2 – Go outside and take a walk each day. The purpose of this is to vary your attention and focus from the usual indoor tasks. The daily tasks one does are usually a certain distance from the eyes. It’s a great help to go out and look at things that are farther away and are larger than what you look at inside. Look at trees, buildings, cars, houses, clouds, etc. and notice things you have never seen before, each time you walk.
This expands one’s attention and helps the body to rest better at night. It’s not necessarily the exercise factor. It helps to give one new points of view. Supporting this are studies from the University of Arizona which found that walking more than six blocks a day at a normal pace significantly improves sleep at night.
#3 – When taking natural sleep aids, its good to remember that each person is a unique individual and doing some experimenting with the dosage can be instrumental in achieving success. At first, err on the side of taking too little rather than too much. Another thing to keep in mind is that natural aids are not drugs and they may not work immediately and fully with the first dose or even the first few doses. It can take up to a couple weeks to see the best results.
For example with Sleep Minerals II made by Nutrition Breakthroughs, the calcium and magnesium are formulated in a softgel with natural oils. This makes the minerals very powerful as a sleep remedy. It can help with frequent awakenings, teenage insomnia, menopause insomnia, restless leg syndrome and chronic sleeplessness.
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.”
Most people do fine with one Sleep Minerals softgel taken about a half hour before bed. But for others, one is too much and the softgel needs to be opened at one end so that less than one can be taken out and used. If a person takes too much calcium for their body, it can have an energizing effect rather than a relaxing one. Even when less than one is used, give it a trial of at least a couple weeks.
#4 – Sometimes hunger can strike at 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning and keep one awake. If this occurs, eat something with high protein such as turkey. Keep it in a baggie next to your bed or in a small cooler. Turkey contains tryptophan, which is an amino acid (a component of protein) that has a calming effect. Some types of turkey to try are lunchmeat, turkey burgers, turkey meat from legs or thighs, etc. The brain is able to convert tryptophan into melatonin. Often just a few bites are enough to help get one back to sleep, but eat until the hunger is handled.
As a note, concentrated tryptophan capsules are not recommended as they can create extreme grogginess in the morning and take quite a while to wear off.
A few small changes in one’s life can go a long way towards remedying insomnia and giving oneself the gift of a great night’s sleep.
To your good health,
Nutrition Breakthroughs, Maker of Sleep Minerals II
Toll-free (888) 861-0326
According to the National Sleep Foundation, 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, tend to be addictive, and can increase the risk of car and work accidents. They can also impair memory and performance on the job and at home. This results in greater numbers of people reaching out to find effective natural sleep aids.
In a study published in the European Journal of Nutrition, researchers found that drinking tart Montmorency cherry juice results in significant improvements in sleep. The juice contains several plant nutrients known as “phytonutrients” and is also high in the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. The benefits of the cherry juice included longer sleep times, less daytime napping, and increased overall sleep efficiency (the ratio of the time spent in bed to the time spent sleeping).
In the placebo-controlled study, 20 volunteers consumed either tart cherry juice concentrate or a non-cherry juice drink for 7 days. The researchers credited the benefits of cherry juice to its high natural melatonin content, which a hormone produced by the brain that regulates the sleep/wake cycles, with more melatonin being produced at night time.
The researchers concluded: “These data suggest that consumption of a tart cherry juice concentrate provides an increase in melatonin that is beneficial in improving sleep duration and quality in … men and women and might be of benefit in managing disturbed sleep.”
Regarding mineral-based natural sleep aids, calcium is also directly related to the cycles of sleep. In one study, published in the European Neurology Journal, researchers found that calcium levels 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.
When magnesium is deficient, 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 shown in a study done by James Penland at the Human Nutrition Research Center in North Dakota.
A balanced calcium magnesium ratio is important to overall health and these two minerals should be taken together for best results (in a two to one ratio with twice as much calcium as magnesium).
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