Why I choose Magnesium for Sleep
Sleep deprivation is a form of torture- new parents, amiright?
No matter how good your body feels from adhering to a Paleo diet it can all make little difference if you’re not getting your required beauty sleep. With 3 children I’ll be the first to admit there have been more than a few sleepless nights, and when stress and sleep deprivation start to outweigh your healthy food consumption, your wellbeing will inevitably suffer.
Sleeping pills may seem like an easy solution but they come with a long list of consequences. Convincing yourself you’ll return to normal sooner or thinking you can relive your reveled college days is just going to make things worse.
What can you do to improve sleep?
As always, I always advocate a paleo diet template before adding any supplements to your regimen as many times that is all you need to get things like sleep in check. However, that is not always the case for some of us that have been abusing our bodies with foodstuff for decades. Luckily there are some effective, natural supplements we can use to help us get some ZZZs.
My friend and fellow real food blogger, Emily Benfit’s recently released her new book, “The Sleep Solution: End Your Insomnia Naturally” and it was very interesting to learn a few new things I did not know about how insomnia works and what to do about it.
Emily, a self-confessed lover of sleep, documents how she struggled through years of strange sleeping patterns, affecting both her mind and body.
I have endured my fair share of sleepless nights, coupled with the strains of working late, social events and the like. When I feel it all starting to catch up with me my go-to is to get myself on a sleep + bone broth + organ meat protocol…stat!
Superfoods like bone broth and organ meats combined with keeping a strict and early bedtime for a while can do wonders to get your circadian rhythm in check. There are also some great stress management techniques I wrote about in this post that can help get things going back in the right direction as well. But what if even after several days of dragging yourself to bed early and doing the obvious things like restricting caffeine and alcohol to aid your chances of adequate sleep, you’re still dragging? If you’re tossing and turning and not able to get some actual shut-eye there are still some natural remedies that can help!
Why I choose Magnesium for Sleep Over Melatonin
In The Sleep Solution, Emily documents the vast amount of sleeping supplements that are currently on the market, with a number of commonly known ones that may actually surprise you in their effectiveness (or lack thereof). Magnesium for insomnia, however, can be a great tool to have in your medicine cabinet and I’ve been using it daily for months with great results.
“Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxant. It accomplishes this by moving calcium out of the muscles, and back into the bloodstream where it can be mobilized elsewhere.” – The Sleep Solution
It’s the job of magnesium to induce those sleepy states so that you can get to sleep. Although you may think you’re getting an adequate supply of magnesium in your diet, Emily makes note that our digestive system actually has a tough time at taking full advantage of magnesium, absorbing only 50% of the magnesium we consume. (source)
How to get the most out of magnesium for helping sleep
There are a lot of ways you can take magnesium for sleep: as an oral supplement (I like this brand) or, transdermally—through the skin- epsom salt baths (which I give my kids nightly) or with magnesium oil you can rub into your skin, which is what Emily instructs as the most effective way of getting magnesium into your bloodstream.
In The Sleep Solution, Emily advises:
Spraying magnesium oil “onto your feet, torso, or arms and legs, preferably before bedtime, as magnesium can make you feel nice and sleepy!”
The Melatonin Misconception
When I asked on my facebook page what supplements, if any, my readers take to help get to sleep I was surprised to read melatonin several times.
We do produce melatonin naturally, so I see how it can be misconstrued as a benign supplement to simply pop in your mouth and start counting sheep. Melatonin is associated with sleep because it’s produced as a stress hormone to cope with darkness.
We’re stressed by the dark —> we produce melatonin to try and sleep —> anti stress.
You say you’re feeling sleepy when taking melatonin? Well, it’s merely inducing limpness in your body where blood is restricted to the brain and heart and your general cognitive function is impaired. Um, yikes! Deliberately slowing down the blood supply to my vital organs isn’t something I really want to be doing all that often.
Although melatonin may help induce sleep in the elderly, Emily states that there is no solid scientific evidence to support melatonin’s effectiveness for treating insomnia in young and middle-aged adults.
In The Sleep Solution, Emily outlines the possible side effects of melatonin consumption:
- Vasoconstriction of the brain, organs, and heart.
- Shrinks and involutes the thymus gland
- Shrinks sex organs Increases heart rate and perpetuates the stress cycle
- Inhibits fertility
Want to learn more about natural ways to help sleep?
Order a copy of Go to Bed: 14 Easy Steps to Healthier Sleep. Written by renown health expert Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, the guide gives you really valuable information about the science of sleep, why you aren’t sleeping, and how to get to sleep by taking a few easy steps.
Have you tried magnesium for sleep? What are your best sleep inducing tips and tricks? Do you struggle to get adequate sleep?
This post is part of the following blog carnivals: Holistic Squid Party Wave Wednesday
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