A 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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
The word “metabolic” refers to the processes in plants and animals by which food is changed into energy or used to make cells and tissues. A “syndrome” is a group of signs or symptoms that together indicate a particular disease or condition.
So, “metabolic syndrome” is a group of risk areas that increase the likelihood of developing diabetes, heart disease or stroke. These include high blood sugar levels, increased blood pressure, excess stomach fat and high cholesterol.
Fish and omega-3 foods for metabolic syndrome
Omega 3 fatty acids are a type of fat that we must get from our diet as the body can’t produce them on its own. This classifies them as “essential” fatty acids. These include wild-caught fatty fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and oysters, as well as fish oils, walnuts, flaxseeds, grass-fed beef and leafy greens. Omega 3 fats assist in reducing blood pressure, supporting a healthy heart and strengthening the eyes and brain.
The Journal of Physiology published a study on omega 3 fatty acids. They reviewed the evidence on the effectiveness of eating omega 3 fish and fish oil supplements for the prevention and treatment of metabolic syndrome. They found that supplementing with Omega 3 sources improved obesity, insulin levels, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. They commented that the anti-inflammatory aspects of these fatty acids also offer good protection for the heart.
Flaxseeds for metabolic syndrome
Phytotherapy is a word that comes from the Greek word “phyton” meaning “plant”, and therapeuein” meaning “to take care of, to heal.” This is the term used to describe medical herbalism.
A study in the magazine “Phytotherapy Research” discovered that flaxseeds are a good remedy for metabolic syndrome by helping to reverse high blood sugar and obesity. In the study, the participant’s body weight, waist circumference, and body mass index all had significantly greater reductions in the flaxseed group. The researchers concluded that co-administration of flaxseed with lifestyle modifications is more effective than lifestyle modification alone in management of metabolic syndrome.
Vegetables and fruits for metabolic syndrome
In a study of Chinese adults, it was discovered that those with adequate vegetable and fruit intake had the lowest risk of metabolic syndrome. Eating a good amount of these foods was significantly associated with reduced risk among adult residents of China.
Healthy vegetables to eat include dark leafy greens such as lettuce, kale and spinach, as well as avocado, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, olives, sweet potatoes, cabbage and others that are enjoyable. Avocados in particular have been found to be related to improved overall diet quality, a healthy nutrient intake, and reduced risk of metabolic syndrome
Good fruits to eat include berries, applies, grapes, apples, pears and others. Due to the natural sugars in fruit, It’s good to keep fruit in moderation and eat at least two or three times as many vegetables as fruit.
Magnesium for metabolic syndrome
A study from the journal “Diabetic Medicine” reports on the role of magnesium deficiency in metabolic syndrome. They found that magnesium acts through many mechanisms in the body to help prevent this group of health disorders. Magnesium has a positive effect on glucose metabolism and insulin, as well as beneficial effects on fat metabolism.
The authors of the study explain that magnesium actively promotes muscle relaxation and offsets calcium-related muscle contractions. This mechanism may explain the hypertension (high blood pressure) in metabolic syndrome that’s found in populations with magnesium deficiency. (In supplements, calcium and magnesium should be taken together as they balance each other).
Dietary magnesium prevents chronic inflammation, a state that sets the stage for metabolic syndrome and its consequences. Magnesium does this by preventing the activation of inflammatory changes. The researchers concluded that the amount of magnesium a person consumes is directly related to the presence of metabolic syndrome or its absence. Good food sources of magnesium include almonds, beans, peas, seeds, banana, avocado, leafy greens and whole grains.
This natural health news is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a publisher of nutrition articles and a 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 ingredients in Sleep Minerals II can be helpful for a variety of health conditions. I.C. of Ontario, Canada says: “I have diabetes, a thyroid condition, arthritis and other issues. The Sleep Minerals helps me sleep and gives me the minerals I need. I also have arthritis throughout my whole body and the minerals help this a lot. In fact, Sleep Minerals lessens all of my symptoms greatly and has helped me to go into remission.”
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.
According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), almost six out of ten Americans report having sleep problems and insomnia 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 use medications to help them sleep. Most sleeping pills, especially when taken over long periods of time, stay in the bloodstream, give a hangover effect the next day and beyond, and impair memory and performance on the job and at home.
From a nutritional perspective, several research studies have shown certain minerals to be effective as natural sleep aids that help people fall asleep and stay asleep through the night. 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.”
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: “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.”
Regarding 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, low aluminum diet has been found to be associated with deeper, less interrupted sleep.
The benefits of magnesium was proven in a study done by James Penland at the Human Nutrition Research Center in North Dakota. The study was titled “Effects of trace element nutrition on sleep patterns in adult women.”
Note that a balanced ratio of calcium and magnesium is important to overall health, and these two minerals should be taken together in a two to one ratio for best results (twice as much calcium as magnesium).
Beyond being effective sleep remedies, the health benefits of calcium and magnesium are many. Studies have proven calcium to increase bone health, reduce high blood pressure, relax the nerves and muscles, prevent colon cancer and remedy kidney stones. Magnesium is an effective nutrient for strengthening heart health, reducing diabetes, and treating migraines, restlessness and depression.
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 absorbable forms of calcium, magnesium, vitamin D and zinc – all combined in a softgel with carrier oils. Oils such as rice bran oil have been shown to increase mineral absorption.
Chris M. of the United Kingdom says: “I take one softgel of Sleep Minerals II before bed every night and within 20 minutes I am asleep. The difference in the quality of my sleep and the ease with which I get to sleep using this product is monumental. I have stopped obsessing about sleep or dreading bedtime — I just take a softgel and drift off. If I stop taking them, within a week my sleep starts to lighten in quality, the amount of my sleep diminishes, and my old insomniac patterns reappear.”
Darleen T. of La Mesa, California says: “I purchased Sleep Minerals for my teenage daughter. When she started on the minerals she hadn’t been sleeping well for the past couple of years. She was run down and feeling beyond her years… exhausted. She is only 18. Once she started on Sleep Minerals she actually became tired at night, which is new. She can fall into a restful sleep by 10:30 p.m. and sleep all night. This product is a heaven-send and has given her a life back.”
Natural minerals for sleep that are combined in an effective formula are a much better option then enduring heavy side effects from sleeping drugs. For more information, visit the Sleep Minerals II page.
This article reveals several proven natural remedies for insomnia in menopause, as well as those that work for hot flashes and night sweats.
The North American Menopause Society reports that an estimated 6,000 U.S. women reach menopause each day, which translates to over 2 million women every year.
The Women’s Health Initiative study, which followed 16,608 women being given hormone replacement therapy in menopause, discovered a high risk of heart disease and stroke from the use of these drugs. As a result, more and more women today are seeking the use of natural remedies for menopause symptoms such as insomnia and sleeplessness, hot flashes, night sweats, migraine headaches, anxiety and fatigue.
Vitamin E is famous for it’s health benefits to glands and organs, however it may not be generally known that vitamin E is a proven remedy for hot flashes. Adelle Davis, the first nutritionist to base her recommendations on science-based studies, says:
“During the menopause the need for vitamin E soars ten to fifty times over that previously required. Hot flashes and night sweats often disappear when 50 to 500 units of vitamin E are taken daily, but they quickly recur should the vitamin be stopped.”
One study supporting vitamin E comes from the University of Iran, published in Gynecologic and Obstetric Investigation. 400 IU of vitamin E in a softgel cap was given to the participants daily for four weeks. A diary was used to measure hot flashes before the study and at the end. The researchers concluded that vitamin E is effective and is a recommended treatment for hot flashes.
Another natural remedy has been making headlines lately. Mayo Clinic breast health specialist Sandhya Pruthi, M.D., conducted a study on flaxseed for hot flashes. The 29 participants in this clinical trial were women with hot flashes who did not want to take estrogen because of an increased risk of breast cancer. The study gave them six weeks of flaxseed therapy, consisting of 40 grams of crushed flaxseed eaten daily.
The result was that the frequency of hot flashes decreased fifty percent. Participants also reported improvements in mood, joint or muscle pain, chills, and sweating. This was a significant improvement in their health and quality of life. Dr. Pruthi said: “We hope to find more effective non-hormonal options to assist women, and flaxseed looks promising.”
Night sweats and hot flashes can become a form of insomnia in which a woman wakes up drenched in sweat and unable to sleep. Regarding mineral deficiency at the time of menopause, 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.”
Magnesium can also balance hormones and remedy insomnia and hot flashes. One example is a study from the Virginia Commonwealth University Health System. Women with at least 14 hot flashes a week received 400 milligrams of magnesium oxide daily for 4 weeks, increasing to 800 mg. per day if needed. At the end of the study, the magnesium supplements had reduced their frequency of hot flashes from 52 to 28 per week, which is a 41% reduction. Fatigue, sweating, and distress were also significantly reduced.
There is also an emerging link between estrogen decline, menopause symptoms and magnesium deficiency. Mildred Seeling, M.D. describes this in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. She says “Estrogen enhances magnesium utilization and its uptake by the soft tissues and bone, and may explain the resistance of young women to heart disease and osteoporosis — as well as the increased prevalence of these diseases when estrogen production ceases.”
Magnesium works best when it’s balanced with calcium in a two to one ratio. Dr. Seeling says: “The Cal/Mag ratio of two to one (twice as much calcium as magnesium) has long been considered physiologic (for healthy cells) and best for normal functioning. This was confirmed on the basis of long-term metabolic studies in young men and women done by the Research Division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.”
Vitamin D is more than just a vitamin, it’s also 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.
Fom the journal “Medical Hypothesis” comes a research study that followed 1500 patients over a 2 year period. A consistent level of vitamin D3 was maintained in their blood over many months. This produced normal sleep in most of the participants, regardless of their type of sleep disorder, which suggests that many types of insomnia may share the same cause.
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 insomnia remedy becoming popular among menopausal women is Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs. This natural sleep aid contains highly absorbable forms of calcium and magnesium and is 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.
Sadie D. from The Netherlands says: “I am ever so grateful that I discovered Sleep Minerals II after suffering with premenopause and now the real menopausal insomnia. I felt like I was slowly losing my mind due to the continual lack of sleep. I can’t express the relief of getting a good night’s sleep and being able to function properly.”
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.”
Menopause has been found to be a fulfilling time of life for many women. In a recent survey sponsored by the North American Menopause Society, 51% of U.S. postmenopausal women reported being happiest and most fulfilled between the ages of 50 and 65. Menopause is an excellent time for a woman to keep her health at its peak and minimize symptoms such as night sweats and insomnia by using effective natural remedies.
Foods rich in calcium, magnesium and vitamin E are particularly helpful for hot flashes. This includes most nuts, seeds, high-quality yogurt and cheese, sardines with bones, salmon, green leafy vegetables, other green vegetables, and avocado.
What is a natural remedy for hot flashes?
Vitamin E is famous for it’s health benefits to glands and organs, however it may not be generally known that vitamin E is a proven remedy for hot flashes. Other effective natural remedies include ground flax seeds, calcium and magnesium.
What causes hot flashes?
Dr. John R. Lee, M.D. explains the source of hot flashes in his book: “What Your Doctor May Not Tell You about Menopause”. When the female hormones become depleted as in menopause, the brain sends out signals for the ovaries to make more hormones, but they no longer respond. The the brain begins to “shout”. This over-activity affects adjacent areas of the brain; particularly the area that controls body temperature and sweating mechanisms — thus the occurrence of hot flashes.
What triggers hotflashes?
Sometimes spicy food, hot beverages, caffeine, alcohol or cigarettes can bring on a hot flash. For help with night sweats in bed, keep the bedroom cool and keep a washcloth in a bowl of ice near the bed to use on the forehead or chest as needed. To minimize hot flashes during the summer weather, stay cool by using fans and drinking cold drinks. Keep air conditioners on and make sure that the air is circulating throughout the room. Dress in layers so you can peel them off as needed.
Hot 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.
Shared by Nutrition Breakthroughs,
maker of Sleep Minerals II, the effective calcium and magnesium based sleep aid **************************************
“You are what you eat,” as the saying goes. Apparently, what you eat affects how you sleep too.
Studies have found that nutrition has a huge impact on how well you do (or do not) sleep. Ensuring that you get sufficient amounts of the four nutrients listed below is a great step toward ridding yourself of sleep troubles and insomnia.
It is common knowledge that calcium is necessary for bone development. What is not as well-known is the subtle role that calcium plays in allowing your body to sleep well.
Calcium naturally soothes the nervous system, which speeds up the process of quieting down the mind prior to sleep. When you are stressed, calcium levels are rapidly depleted, which makes it even harder to fall asleep.
Good sources of calcium are organic dairy products, beans, nuts, seeds, seaweed, broccoli, and calcium-fortified products.
If you decide to take calcium supplements before bed, remember that your vitamin should also contain vitamin D as vitamin D facilitates calcium absorption.
Magnesium deficiency can lead to unexplained anxiety and nervousness, which makes it difficult to fall asleep.
Even worse is that once asleep, people with magnesium deficiency sleep lightly and wake up frequently. As a result, it is difficult to feel rested in the morning even if you were able to fall asleep.
To counteract a deficiency, eat foods that are high in magnesium like almonds, cashews, and bran.
3. B-Complex Vitamins
Several vitamins are included in the B-complex. Vitamins B3, B5, B9, and B12 are particularly important in the body for regulating sleep cycles.
Vitamin B3, also known as niacin, is recommended to help people with depression or those who wake up frequently to sleep better. Vitamin B3 also enhances the effectiveness of tryptophan, an amino acid that aids in the production of serotonin (a mood regulator).
Vitamin B5, also known as pantothenic acid, can help reduce feelings of anxiety or stress. Without enough vitamin B5, you may start to feel fatigued yet unable to sleep.
In its natural state, vitamin B9 is called folate; folic acid is the term used when the nutrient is man-made. Whether you get folate from your diet or folic acid from a supplement, it is yet another B vitamin deficiency that can exacerbate insomnia. Folate is found in green leafy vegetables (spinach, lettuce, broccoli), beans, peas, lentils, lemons, bananas, and melons.
Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, helps the body maintain its circadian rhythms, which control the sleep and wake cycles. Without enough B12, you may start to feel irritable, exhausted, and have trouble focusing and falling asleep. Many doctors recommend vitamin B12 to treat insomnia and possibly rectify other sleep disorders.
A study on the zinc levels of adults found that higher levels resulted in participants sleeping uninterrupted for longer duration.
Zinc is found in beef, lamb, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, cashews, turkey and lentils.
In closing, if you suffer from insomnia or sleep disturbances, take a moment to consider your diet. In general, if you eat well, you sleep well. Talk to your doctor about potential absorption issues that can lead to deficiencies, which in turn can cause insomnia.
A note from Nutrition Breakthroughs: Sleep Minerals II contains the necessary minerals and vitamins to remedy insomnia and support better sleep – calcium, magnesium, vitamin D and zinc — all combined in a softgel with healthy oils. The softgel form is more quickly absorbed than tablets or capsules and provides a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.
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.”
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.”
Nutrition Breakthroughs of Glendale, California is providing Sleep Minerals II, a potent natural weapon in the war against insomnia and its many side effects.
This new generation of Sleep Minerals features fast absorbing forms of nature’s best-known minerals for relaxation – calcium and magnesium. Sleep Minerals II answers the demands of a National Sleep Foundation poll which reports that American insomnia rates have increased from 51% to 64% in the last few years.
According to the National Institutes of Health, insomnia can wreak havoc on the health and lives of its sufferers, causing excessive daytime sleepiness and extreme lack of energy. The sleep-deprived can become irritable and depressed and may have trouble focusing on tasks, paying attention, learning and remembering. Insomnia can contribute to accidents with machinery, accidents from poor balance, and accidents on the road while driving.
The use of prescription sleeping drugs has steadily increased, and most sleeping pills, especially when taken over long periods of time, stay in the bloodstream, give a hangover effect the next day and beyond, and impair performance on the job and at home.
Insomnia is a major problem for millions of Americans, with 25% of the U.S. using sleeping drugs in an effort to get some rest (per the National Sleep Foundation). Because of the side effects of sleeping drugs, an increasing number of people are reaching out to find an effective natural insomnia remedy .
Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs has stepped forward as a potent natural alternative. It can help the restless sleep whether they are unable to fall asleep at the beginning of the night, or they habitually wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep.
It is an effective insomnia remedy due to its unique combination of ingredients. It contains highly absorbable forms of calcium, magnesium, vitamin D and zinc, all combined in a softgel with healthy carrier oils. Oils such as rice bran oil have been shown to increase mineral absorption. Inside of the softgel, there is a creamy paste of absorbable nutrients which fuel the relaxing results that Sleep Minerals II provides.
Calcium is directly related to our cycles of sleep. One study found that calcium levels were higher during some of the deepest levels of sleep, such as the rapid eye movement (REM) phase. Calcium is one of the few minerals that acts as a natural sedative, because it causes the release of the sleep-inducing amino acid tryptophan.
The well-known nutritionist Adelle Davis says: “A calcium deficiency often shows itself by insomnia, another form of an inability to relax. The harm done by sleeping tablets, to say nothing of the thousands of dollars spent on them, could largely be avoided if the calcium intake were adequate.”
Insomnia is also one of the main symptoms of a chronic magnesium deficiency. Sleep in magnesium deficiency 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 called “Effects of trace element nutrition on sleep patterns in adult women.”
However, no matter how many studies support the use of these ingredients and their unique formulation, the proof is in the pudding. Reviews of Sleep Minerals II continue to demonstrate it’s effectiveness.
W.W. of Perth, Australia says: “I have been taking the Sleep Minerals for the past 15 nights and am noticing an improvement in my ability to go back to sleep when waking during the night. I have also been able to start reducing the medication that I have been taking for the past 7 years for sleep. I will definitely keep taking them and hope to keep reducing the prescription meds and continue to feel more rested during the day.”
S. K of Indianapolis, Indiana says: “I have been using Sleep Minerals II religiously every single night. I suffered from years of anxiety-related insomnia. Nothing helped. My doctor couldn’t find a medicinal combination of medications to treat my anxiety well enough to allow me to get some good sleep. On my first night of Sleep Minerals II, I was able to sleep all the way through the night. I’ve been using it for almost two years now. I am absolutely 1000% satisfied with this product and have even recommended it to my friends and family when they discuss their sleep issues with me.”
J.H. of Manitoba, Canada says: “Sleep Minerals II has made a huge difference in my life as I was having debilitating leg cramps that used to occur every night. My legs were sore even into the next day. These have now become history. My sleep is so much better and now I don’t worry constantly about my calcium and magnesium levels. I am 70 years old and look forward to a very healthy old age. I suffered with sleep deprivation for a very long time and I will continue to pass the word to my friends about how Sleep Minerals II has changed my life.”
In summary, if you or someone you care about is suffering with sleeplessness and insomnia, try putting some Sleep Minerals II into your natural medicine cabinet for effective relief.
By Dr. Joseph Mercola, a physician trained in both traditional and natural medicine who provides up-to-date natural health information.
This article is shared by Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of the effective calcium, magnesium and vitamin D based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II.
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:
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
Mineral deficiencies, including magnesium, potassium or calcium
Is 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.
Low 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)
Too 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.
You 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.
———————————- 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.