Archive | April 2012

12 Home Remedies for Restless Legs Syndrome

This helpful information on restless leg syndrome comes from the Editors of Consumer Guide:

It’s bad enough when you can’t get to sleep and you just lie there, staring at the ceiling. But people who suffer from restless legs syndrome don’t just lie there. They are seized by an uncontrollable urge to move their legs. Their legs actually twitch or jerk, while they experience the sensation of something squirming or wiggling under their skin. Consequently, restless legs syndrome can lead to problems associated with sleep deprivation, such as anxiety and depression.

Researchers say this is a condition still shrouded in much mystery.  Although there seem to be connections with other conditions — such as heart, lung, and kidney disorders: circulatory problems; and arthritis — the culprit sometimes appears to be as simple as excessive caffeine consumption or too little exercise.

The following home remedies are designed to help you combat this problem. If you find that you still have twitching legs after you’ve tried these tips, however, it’s time to get a medical evaluation.

Get up and walk. Walking around may be the only thing that helps. A midnight stroll through the house may calm your legs enough to keep them still when you go back to bed.

Check out your caffeine consumption. Coffee, tea, chocolate, sodas, and even over-the-counter (OTC) medications may contain caffeine. Try cutting your consumption of caffeine-containing foods and medications (or substituting decaffeinated varieties) to see if your condition improves. Avoid tobacco, which contains the stimulant nicotine, and alcohol, which can have its own detrimental effects on sleep, as well.

Modify your medication. Some OTC medications, such as certain cold medications and allergy pills, contain mild stimulants that can result in jittery legs. Ask your pharmacist if any medications you are taking contain stimulants and whether there are any nonstimulating alternatives.

Take a bath. A warm bath or massage before bed relaxes muscles and therefore may be helpful.

Change your temperature. Sometimes, a change from hot to cold, or cold to hot, can do the trick. Try putting a heating pad or hot pack on your legs for a short while. If that doesn’t work, drape a cool towel over your legs, or dip your feet in cool water.

Make sure you’re eating well. There are some indications that a deficiency in iron, folate, or magnesium may contribute to restless legs syndrome. By eating a wide variety of nutrient-rich foods, you should get the vitamins and minerals you need. However, your doctor may recommend supplements of these specific nutrients.

Make a bedtime habit. Get into a regular routine that will help your mind and body settle down and prepare for bed.

Stick to a schedule. Getting to bed at about the same time each night and allowing for a full night’s sleep may help avoid the fatigue that could be a contributing factor to restless legs syndrome.

Soothe your stress. Stress may not be the cause of restless legs syndrome, but it can exacerbate it. Try to eliminate some of the stress in your life. Regular exercise and some form of relaxation technique or even an engaging in a hobby may help you “de-stress.”

Exercise your legs. Moderate exercise often helps, although excessive exercise can aggravate restless leg symptoms. A daily walk at a moderate pace is an excellent exercise, especially for folks who haven’t been very physically active in a while

Stretch your legs.  Try stretching your calves, hamstrings (backs of the knees), and gluteal (butt) muscles before bed

Wear socks to bed. Some experts have found that a lot of people who suffer from restless legs syndrome also seem to have cold feet. Although nobody has studied the connection, it might not hurt to bundle up your tootsies for the night.

……Additional comments from Nutrition Breakthroughs:

Studies have shown the mineral magnesium to be effective in helping to calm restless leg syndrome and insomnia.  Supplements should contain a 2 to 1 ratio of calcium to magnesium (twice as much calcium as magnesium). The original research on this recommended ratio appeared in 1935 in the Journal of Physiological Reviews.
In addition, a softgel form is more digestible than tablets.  Softgels formulated with carrier oils such as evening primrose have been shown to increase mineral absorption and increase bone density.
One formula that has these qualities and is gaining in popularity with restless leg syndrome sufferers is Sleep Minerals II from http://www.NutritionBreakthroughs.com.  Sleep Minerals II is an insomnia remedy which contains six forms of calcium, three forms of magnesium, boron, Vitamin D, Vitamin K and horsetail herb – all combined in a softgel with carrier oils.

 

Credit:  the Editors of Consumer Guide.  “12 Home Remedies for Restless Legs Syndrome”  16 January 2007.  HowStuffWorks.com. http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/natural-medicine/home-remedies/home-remedies-for-restless-legs-syndrome.htm  28 April 12

Study Shows Calcium and Vitamin D Keep Bones Strong after Menopause

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, women can lose up to 20% of their bone mass in the five to seven years after menopause, making them more susceptible to osteoporosis and fractures.  In a recent study from the British Medical Journal, it was confirmed that taking both calcium and vitamin D together on a daily basis significantly reduces the risk of bone fractures.

The research was based on a review of seven controlled trials comprising almost 70,000 people throughout the U.S. and Europe. These findings are important because this is one of the few studies to show that vitamin D alone does not reduce the risk of fracture.

John Robbins, a professor of internal medicine and co-author of the study says: “What is important about this very large study is that it goes a long way toward resolving conflicting evidence about the role of vitamin D, either alone or in combination with calcium, in reducing fractures.  My earlier research in Sacramento included more than 1,000 healthy, postmenopausal women and concluded that taking calcium and vitamin D together helped them preserve bone health and prevent fractures. This latest analysis, because it incorporates so many more people, really confirms our earlier conclusions.”

The National Osteoporosis Foundation defines osteoporosis as porous bone; a disease characterized by low bone mass and structural deterioration of bone tissue.  This can lead to fragile bones and an increased susceptibility to fractures, especially of the hip, spine and wrist, although any bone can be affected.  The foundation estimates that 10 million Americans have osteoporosis, of which 80% are women and 20% men.

Regarding the use of calcium and vitamin D together, Robbins said: “This (recent) study supports a growing consensus that combined calcium and vitamin D is more effective than vitamin D alone in reducing a variety of fractures.  Interestingly, this combination of supplements benefits both women and men of all ages, which is not something we fully expected to find.”

In addition to strengthening bones, recent research has shown that calcium is also an effective insomnia remedy, as well as being an important agent to lower blood pressure, alleviate symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and protect against colon cancer.  More and more nutritional supplements are being formulated with calcium and vitamin D because of their wide array of benefits.

In order to prevent a magnesium deficiency, supplements should contain a 2 to 1 ratio of calcium to magnesium. The original research on this recommended ratio appeared in 1935 in the Journal of Physiological Reviews.  In addition, a softgel form is more digestible than tablets.  Softgels that are formulated with carrier oils such as evening primrose have been shown to increase mineral absorption, reduce calcium excretion, and increase bone density.  One formula that has these qualities is Sleep Minerals II from http://www.NutritionBreakthroughs.com.

Sleep Minerals II is a unique natural insomnia remedy and bone strengthening product which maximizes calcium absorption with six forms of calcium, three forms of magnesium, boron, Vitamin D, Vitamin K and horsetail herb – all combined in a softgel with carrier oils.  Lyn K. of Los Angeles, CA. says: “I’ve had chronic insomnia for some years now and had been taking other calcium products to help with my sleep.  No other insomnia remedy has worked as effectively or consistently as Sleep Minerals II.  I can count on it whenever I need help falling asleep at night or going back to sleep in the middle of the night. This is what sets it apart from the rest – it works reliably. It also eases my menopause symptoms, evens out my hormonal changes, and seems to put my body into a healthy balance.”

The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends the following good preventive measures for maintaining bone health, including getting the daily-recommended amounts of calcium and vitamin D, engaging in regular weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercise, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol.

Here’s to the health of your bones and to every part of you.

For more information on Sleep Minerals II, visit http://www.nutritionbreakthroughs.com/html/sleep_remedy_for_insomnia_help.html

Insomnia Research: Sleep Drug Risks vs. Natural Remedies

A new study from the University of Colorado at Boulder has found that people who take one of the world’s most commonly prescribed sleep medicines are significantly more at risk for nighttime falls, potential injury, and memory impairment. The study, which involved twenty-five healthy adults, showed 58 percent of the older adults and 27 percent of the young adults who took a hypnotic, sleep-inducing drug called zolpidem showed a significant loss of balance and impaired thinking-ability when awakened two hours after sleep.

Zolpidem is a generic drug that is marketed under a number of different brand names, including Ambien, Zolpimist, Edluar, Hypogen, Somidem and Ivedal.  “These findings are important because falls are the leading cause of injury in older adults, and 30 percent of adults sixty-five and older who fall, require hospitalization each year,” said Associate Professor Kenneth Wright, lead study author.

“The balance impairments of older adults taking zolpidem were clinically significant and the cognitive impairments were more than twice as large compared to the same older adults taking placebos,” said Wright. “This suggests to us that sleep medication produces significant safety risks.”

The good news is that there are natural alternatives available.  A recent Gallup Poll survey reported that magnesium consumption greatly declines as we age.  79 percent of adults fifty-five and over are eating below the recommended dietary allowance  (RDA) of magnesium.  In fact, the National Institutes of Health web site says that older adults are at increased risk of magnesium deficiency due to their decreased ability to absorb the mineral.  Also, the diseases to which older adults are vulnerable, and some of the drugs used in therapy, also contribute to magnesium loss.

Richard Rivlin, M.D., Chief of the Nutrition Division at New York Hospital, Cornell Medical Center says: “The prevalence of heart disease, diabetes and even leg cramps increases dramatically among older persons, and these are all health conditions in which magnesium deficiency has been found.”

A recent National Sleep Foundation poll found that 67 percent of older Americans report having frequent insomnia and sleep problems. Particularly for older people, a possible underlying nutritional cause of insomnia may be a deficiency of certain minerals.  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.”

Chronic insomnia is one of the main symptoms of 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 shown in a study done by James Penland at the Human Nutrition Research Center in North Dakota. The study was called “Effects of trace element nutrition on sleep patterns in adult women.”

Regarding the use of a nutritional sleep remedy containing magnesium for insomnia relief, certain formulas are more effective than others.  The combination of minerals included and the presence of cofactors in the product are key.  Formulas should contain a two to one ratio of calcium to magnesium.  The original research on this recommended ratio appeared in 1935 in the Journal of Physiological Reviews, and is made on the basis of long-term metabolic studies in men and women.

One natural insomnia remedy showing good results is Sleep Minerals II, made by http://www.NutritionBreakthroughs.com in Glendale, CA.  This sleep remedy contains six types of calcium, three forms of magnesium, boron, Vitamin D, Vitamin K and horsetail herb — all combined in a softgel with carrier oils. Oils such as evening primrose have been shown to increase mineral absorption, reduce calcium excretion, and increase bone density.

Veronica R. of British Columbia, Canada says “This product has worked wonders for me. Before I started taking it, I would fall asleep and then wake up in the middle of the night and not be able to get back to sleep for hours. When I got the product I started taking them, and have had no problems going back to sleep. Now I don’t have to be awake for two or three hours every night. I’m so happy I took the chance to try it. I don’t like taking over-the-counter drugs. With Sleep Minerals II, I don’t feel sleepy at all during the day.”

As research continues on sleep medications, more and more adverse effects are likely to be discovered.  Natural minerals can be an effective, safe alternative.

For more information on Sleep Minerals II, visit http://www.nutritionbreakthroughs.com/html/sleep_remedy_for_insomnia_help.html

Night Sweats and Insomnia – How Magnesium Helps Sleep

This helpful article on sleep and magnesium comes from the Nutritional Magnesium Association:

By Judy Phillips – Master Herbalist

When the things that “go bump in the night” seem like sonic booms and wake you from sleep, the problem could be magnesium deficiency. Among its many important qualities, magnesium has a calming effect on the nervous system. In fact, magnesium has recently received considerable attention as an inexpensive dietary supplement that can resolve and alleviate many sleep disturbances.

To date, over 200 published clinical studies document the importance of magnesium. Many of these studies were completed within the last decade, supporting the theory that changes in the American diet have further depleted our bodies’ reserves of magnesium.

Magnesium is considered the “anti-stress” mineral and is a natural tranquilizer. In the elderly, magnesium supplements were found to improve sleep by decreasing the release of cortisol (a stress hormone), a known cause of sleep disruption. Stress depletes magnesium and magnesium relieves stress. When your magnesium levels are low, your nervous system gets out of balance, and you feel on edge, naturally resulting in tightening muscles.

Although we expect sleep to relax us, when magnesium levels are low, it may not. When we sleep, muscle groups move and stretch, in preparation for the next day’s activity. However, magnesium works with the calcium in our bodies to help our muscles first contract and then relax again. Muscles contract with the help of stored calcium. Magnesium is the mineral that helps them relax. Without enough magnesium, muscles are unable to relax fully after contraction and nighttime muscle cramps develop, causing another sleep disruption.

Studies suggest that magnesium deficiency may also be one of the causes of insomnia, a condition that is experienced by an estimated one out of two Americans. Magnesium eases anxiety, relaxes muscles and nerves, resulting in an overall improvement of your night’s sleep.

Several studies show a lack of magnesium can alter electrical activity in the brain, causing agitated sleep and frequent awakenings. “It looks like magnesium is important for a good night’s sleep,” says U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) researcher Forrest H. Nielsen.

Judy Phillips is a Master Herbalist with over 25 years of experience with alternative healing and herbalism.

…..Additional comments from the blog author Nutrition Breakthroughs:

Supplements with Magnesium:The combination of minerals included in a supplement and the presence of vitamin cofactors (such as calcium, vitamin D and vitamin K) are key. Formulas should contain a 2 to 1 ratio of calcium to magnesium (twice as much calcium as magnesium). The original research on this recommended ratio appeared in 1935 in the Journal of Physiological Reviews.

In addition, a softgel form is more digestible than tablets. Softgels formulated with carrier oils such as evening primrose have been shown to increase mineral absorption and strengthen bone density.One formula that has these qualities and is gaining in popularity is Sleep Minerals II from http://www.NutritionBreakthroughs.com.  Sleep Minerals II is an insomnia remedy which contains six forms of calcium, three forms of magnesium (including the very absorbable citrate form), boron, Vitamin D, Vitamin K and horsetail herb – all combined in a softgel with carrier oils.

————————————————————————————————

Credit: From the Nutritional Magnesium Association, http://www.nutritionalmagnesium.org/articles/insomnia/309-how-magnesium-helps-you-sleep.html

With 25% of the U.S. Suffering Side Effects from Sleep Drugs, Natural Insomnia Remedies are Needed

Sleeplessness is a big problem in America. According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), almost six out of ten Americans report having insomnia at least a few nights weekly. Additionally, in a recent NSF poll they found that as many as 25 percent of the people in the U.S. use medications in an effort to combat insomnia and get some rest.

The use of prescription sleeping drugs, such as Ambien, Lunesta and Sonata, has been steadily increasing.  Global sales for all sleeping pills, called hypnotics, will top $5 billion in the next several years.  Most sleeping pills, especially when taken over long periods of time, stay in the bloodstream and give a hangover effect the next day and beyond.  They impair memory, reduce performance on the job and at home, and contribute to machine and car accidents.

From a nutritional perspective, several research studies have shown certain minerals to be effective alternatives to 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.”

The pioneering nutritionist Adelle Davis discusses minerals as an insomnia remedy in her book Let’s Get Well.  She 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 billions of dollars spent on them, could largely be avoided if the calcium intake were adequate.”

Regarding magnesium, Davis says: “Hundreds of recent studies indicate that almost everyone, especially ill persons, is deficient in magnesium.  Probably no other single deficiency is so responsible for the widespread use of tranquilizers.”

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.

In magnesium deficiency, chronic insomnia is one of the main, central symptoms. Sleep is usually agitated with frequent nighttime awakenings. On the other hand, a high magnesium diet has been found to be associated with deeper, less interrupted sleep. This was proven in a study done by James Penland at the Human Nutrition Research Center in North Dakota. The study was titled “Effects of trace element nutrition on sleep patterns in adult women.” It’s important to note that a balanced ratio of calcium and magnesium is beneficial to overall health, and that these two minerals should be taken together in a 2 to 1 ratio for best results (twice as much calcium as magnesium).

Jobee Knight, a nutritional researcher and founder of http://www.NutritionBreakthroughs.com 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 remedy which contains six forms of calcium, three forms of magnesium, boron, Vitamin D, Vitamin K and horsetail herb – all combined in a softgel with carrier oils. Oils such as evening primrose have been shown to increase mineral absorption, reduce calcium excretion, and increase bone density.

Veronica R., British Columbia, Canada says: “This product has worked wonders for me. Before I started taking it, I would fall asleep and then wake up in the middle of the night and not be able to get back to sleep. When I got the product, I started taking them, and have had no problems going back to sleep. Now I don’t have to be awake for two to four hours every night. I’m so happy I took the chance to try it. I don’t like taking over-the-counter drugs. With Sleep Minerals II, I don’t feel sleepy at all during the day.”

Ali M. of Istanbul Turkey says:  “I have been a pharmacist in Istanbul Turkey for almost 40 years, and I also work as a consultant in food supplements. I suffer from restless leg syndrome at night. I recently tried your Sleep Minerals II and it had an astonishing beneficial result. My youngest brother, who is also a pharmacist, suffers from restless leg syndrome also. He tried the Sleep Minerals II with the same astonishing result. My mother aged 92 was complaining of sleep problems. She also tried it and the result was again amazing.”

Sleeping drugs can wreak havoc on one’s health and well-being.  The right blend of natural minerals can be an effective natural insomnia remedy that helps the sleepless get some good rest.

For more information on Sleep Minerals II, visit http://www.nutritionbreakthroughs.com/html/sleep_remedy_for_insomnia_help.html

Sleep Inducing Foods – Study Shows Potassium Helps with Deeper Sleep

Here is a summary of a recent study published in the Journal “Sleep”:

The present study examines the effects of potassium supplementation on sleep quality as indicated by the use of a wrist monitor and sleep logs, in normal young males on a low-potassium diet. A placebo-controlled study compared one week of oral potassium chloride supplements to one week of identical placebo capsules. Outcome measures were taken from sleep logs and wrist monitor data.

The results: Potassium significantly increased sleep Efficiency due to a reduction in Waking After Sleep Onset.  Side effects were minimal and not significantly different between treatment conditions.  The results may indicate an improvement in sleep consolidation (less interruptions) with potassium supplementation..  Reference: The Journal “Sleep”, August 1991.

Comments from the blog author, Nutrition Breakthroughs: One of the best, highest sources of potassium is the banana, which contains 400 milligrams of potassium.  Eating a banana before bedtime may help reduce nighttime awakenings and provide better, deeper sleep.  A banana can also be eaten in the middle of the night to help you get back to sleep.

Here is a list of some high-potassium foods; courtesy of the Linus Pauling Institute:

Banana                                 1 medium           422 mg
Potato, baked with skin      1 medium           926 mg
Prune juice                           6 fluid ounces     528 mg
Plums, dried (prunes)         1/2 cup                637 mg
Orange juice                        6 fluid ounces     372 mg
Orange                                 1 medium            237 mg
Tomato juice                        6 fluid ounces     417 mg
Tomato                                 1 medium           292 mg
Spinach, cooked                 1/2 cup               420 mg
Sunflower seeds                 1 ounce               241 mg
Almonds                               1 ounce              200 mg

This information is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs. Nutrition Breakthroughs makes Sleep Minerals II, the effective natural remedy for sleeplessness and insomnia.  Sleep Minerals II contains calcium, magnesium and other vitamins and minerals in a uniquely potent formula.  To see the reviews of Sleep Minerals II and get additional information, visit the Sleep Remedy page at Nutrition Breakthroughs.

Magnesium Deficiency in Older Adults May Contribute to Osteoporosis, Insomnia, and Diabetes

A recent Gallup Poll survey reported that magnesium consumption decreases as we age, with 79% of adults 55 and over eating below the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of magnesium. In addition, the National Institutes of Health says that older adults are at increased risk of magnesium deficiency due to their decreased ability to absorb the mineral. The diseases to which the elderly are vulnerable, and some of the drugs used in therapy, also contribute to magnesium loss.

“A potential magnesium deficiency is a matter of concern for many individuals of all ages, but for the elderly, it could be particularly serious,” said Richard Rivlin, M.D., Chief of the Nutrition Division at New York Hospital, Cornell Medical Center.

“The prevalence of heart disease, diabetes and even leg cramps increases dramatically among older persons, and these are all health conditions in which magnesium deficiency has been found,” Rivlin said.

Diabetes

Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health evaluated the dietary intake of specific nutrients for more than 85,000 women and more than 42,000 men, in data supplied over 18 years for the women and over 12 years for the men.  They found that the men and women whose diets included the largest amounts of magnesium were the least likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Most of the participants in the study consumed magnesium through foods, such as whole grains, nuts and green leafy vegetables.

Osteoporosis

A lack of magnesium is also associated with osteoporosis.  Bone health is supported by many factors, most notably calcium and vitamin D. However, some evidence suggests that magnesium deficiency may be an additional risk factor for postmenopausal osteoporosis. This may be due to the fact that magnesium deficiency alters calcium metabolism and the hormones that regulate calcium.  In one study of older adults, a greater magnesium intake maintained bone mineral density to a higher degree than a lower intake.

Magnesium Sleep Remedy

A recent National Sleep Foundation poll found that a majority of older adults (67%) report having frequent sleep problems.  This translates to 37 million older adults in the U.S. having some form of insomnia.  Particularly for older people, a possible underlying nutritional cause of insomnia may be a deficiency of certain minerals.  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.”

Types of Magnesium

Some forms of magnesium are more digestible than others – an important factor because our digestive enzymes and our ability to absorb nutrients lessen with age.  Magnesium citrate is a unique form of magnesium in which the magnesium is bonded with citric acid to make it more absorbable.  Magnesium aspartate is another form that is carried into the body more fully.  It is made by binding the mineral to an amino acid (aspartic acid).

Supplements with Magnesium

The combination of minerals included in a supplement and the presence of vitamin cofactors (such as vitamin D and K) are key. Formulas should contain a 2 to 1 ratio of calcium to magnesium. The original research on this recommended ratio appeared in 1935 in the Journal of Physiological Reviews.  In addition, a softgel form is more digestible than tablets.  Softgels formulated with carrier oils such as evening primrose have been shown to increase mineral absorption, reduce calcium excretion, and increase bone density.

One formula that has these qualities and is gaining in popularity is Sleep Minerals II from http://www.NutritionBreakthroughs.com. Sleep Minerals II is an insomnia remedy which contains six forms of calcium, three forms of magnesium (including the citrate and aspartate forms), boron, Vitamin D, Vitamin K and horsetail herb – all combined in a softgel with carrier oils.

Lyn K. of Los Angeles, CA. says “I’ve had chronic insomnia for some years now and had been taking other mineral-based insomnia remedies to help with my sleep. No remedy has worked as effectively or consistently as Sleep Minerals II. I can count on it whenever I need help falling asleep at night or going back to sleep in the middle of the night. This is what sets it apart from the rest – it works reliably. And in my life, I need to be well-rested 7 days a week, so I call this product my ‘Sleep Insurance’. It also eases my menopause symptoms, evens out my hormonal changes, and seems to put my body into a healthy balance.”

Richard Rivlin, M.D. summed up the Gallup Poll survey by saying: “It is clear that consumers are largely unaware of the role of magnesium — a nutrient that is essential for the function of other minerals like calcium, as well as the normal operation of the heart and muscles.”

For more information on Sleep Minerals II, visit
http://www.nutritionbreakthroughs.com/html/sleep_remedy_for_insomnia_help.html

References:

1. Landy, Liz. “Gallup Survey Finds Majority of American Diets Lack Sufficient Magnesium – At Potential Cost to Health,” Searle News, Sept. 21, 1994

2. NIH Office of Dietary Supplements, Fact Sheet on Magnesium

3. Lopez-Ridaura, R. “Diabetes Care”, January 2004; vol 27: pp 134-140. Ruy Lopez-Ridaura, MD, Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston.

4. Tucker KL, Hannan MT, Chen H, Cupples LA, Wilson
PW, Kiel DP. “Potassium, magnesium, and fruit and vegetable intakes are associated with greater bone mineral density in elderly men and women.” Am J Clin Nutr 1999;69(4):727-36.

5. National Sleep Foundation: “The 2003 Sleep in America Poll”.

Migraines, Sleeplessness, Heart Attacks – Magnesium? From Human Nutrition Research Center

By Forrest H. Nielsen, U.S. Dept of Agriculture, Human Nutrition Research Center

Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral element in the human body, following calcium, sodium and potassium. Magnesium enables many biochemical reactions necessary for life. However, much attention has been directed recently towards another role of this element: The movement of electrically charged ions (particles) of calcium and potassium, as well as organic molecules across nerve cell membranes to transmit a signal.

These roles are important for nerve conduction, muscle contraction, blood vessel relaxation and tensing and thus blood pressure, and a normal heart beat. Epidemiological (studies of populations) findings and supplementation trials show that people’s magnesium status is associated with the severity and frequency of migraine headaches, some forms of heart attacks, high blood pressure, sleep disorders and mood disturbances. Carefully controlled human studies at the Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center (GFHNRC) and elsewhere are being done to conclusively show that inadequate magnesium intake can result in these maladies.

For instance, in studies on women past menopause at the Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center, we found that a low magnesium diet resulted in heart rhythm changes, which were halted by a diet providing about 300 mg of magnesium daily. In a much more severe form, some of these changes in heart rhythm or beat can result in heart muscle contractions that do not move blood throughout the body and lead to death. So magnesium is definitely needed for a healthy heart.

The same studies also showed that a diet inadequate in magnesium caused changes in brain waves–electrical activity in the brain–when women were at rest. Other researchers have found in both human and animal studies that magnesium deficiency results in sleep disturbances, such as agitated sleep and frequent periods of awakenings. This has been related to changes in electrical activity in the brain. It looks like magnesium is important for a good night sleep.

Studies show that about half of migraine headache sufferers have a low amount of ionized (particles of) magnesium in the blood, which suggests a low magnesium status. And magnesium supplementation reduces the number and duration of migraines, including menstrual migraines, in some people. The findings suggest that too little magnesium can worsen the suffering from migraine headaches.

The Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences recently provided new recommended intakes for magnesium. The Dietary Reference Intake, or DRI, is the new term for Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). For magnesium, the DRI is 400 milligrams per day for men aged 19 to 30 years, and 420 milligrams per day for males over age 30. The DRI is 310 milligrams per day for women aged 19 to 30 years and 320 milligrams per day for women over age 30.

Dietary surveys show that the diet of many Americans does not consistently provide the DRI for magnesium. Older people are especially prone to consuming a diet inadequate in magnesium. Good sources of magnesium are leafy vegetables, nuts, skim milk and whole grains.

Comment from the blog author Nutrition Breakthroughs:

Sleep Minerals II from http://www.NutritionBreakthroughs.com is an effective sleep remedy for insomnia which contains highly absorbable forms of magnesium and calcium. For more information on Sleep Minerals II click here: http://www.nutritionbreakthroughs.com/html/sleep_remedy_for_insomnia_help.html
Credit: Human Nutrition Research Center:
http://www.ars.usda.gov/News/docs.htm?docid=10874

The Science Behind Sleep-Inducing Foods as Insomnia Remedies

The type of foods we eat in the evening can have a pronounced effect on the quality of our sleep. One of the keys to a restful night’s sleep is to calm and relax the brain, rather than stimulating it.  Certain foods are a natural insomnia remedy that contributes to restful sleep, while others keep us alert and awake.  The calming foods contain the amino acid tryptophan, which is a precursor to the sleep-inducing substances serotonin and melatonin.  Two recent studies confirm that eating more carbohydrates than protein increases tryptophan production, while eating a higher protein ratio increases tyrosine – an amino acid related to a stimulated, alert frame of mind.

One key study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, is titled “High-Glycemic-Index Carbohydrate Meals Shorten Sleep Onset”. The glycemic index measures the effect of different types of carbohydrates on blood sugar levels. Researchers at the University of Sydney Australia gave two different kinds of meals to the study participants, a few hours before bedtime. They found that a carbohydrate-based, high glycemic index meal resulted in a significant shortening of the time needed to fall asleep, compared with a low glycemic meal. (Feb. 2007, Vol. 85, No. 2).

In another study done at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, scientists honed in on specific measurements of tryptophan vs. tyrosine in the brain, based on whether carbohydrates or proteins were eaten at breakfast.  Blood samples were collected after the meals, and the researchers concluded that a carbohydrate-rich diet raises tryptophan levels, while high-protein foods depress it. (Amer. J. of Clinical Nutrition, Jan 2003, Vol. 77, No. 1).

For those who need to stay alert and sharp during the day, high protein, medium-carbohydrate meals are best eaten for breakfast and lunch. For dinner and bedtime snacks, eat a meal or snack that is high in healthy carbohydrates, with a small amount of protein that contains just enough tryptophan to relax the brain.

According to William Sears, M.D., “The best bedtime snack is one that has both complex carbohydrates and protein, and perhaps some calcium. Calcium helps the brain use the tryptophan to manufacture melatonin. This explains why dairy products, which contain both tryptophan and calcium, are one of the top sleep-inducing foods.”Dr. Sears recommends that foods high in carbohydrates and calcium, and medium-to-low in protein, make the most ideal sleep-inducing bedtime snacks. Some examples are whole-grain cereal with milk, hazelnuts and tofu, oatmeal and raisin cookies with a glass of soy or regular milk, or a peanut butter or almond butter sandwich with ground sesame seeds.

Sesame seeds are rich in tryptophan. Other foods that are high in tryptophan, which can be combined with healthy carbohydrates to become natural sleep remedies, are whole grains, lentils, chickpeas, beans, eggs, sunflower seeds, and miso. As always, it’s best to stay away from caffeine, sodas and nicotine in the evening.

The well-known pioneering nutritionist Adelle Davis writes about the roles of calcium for sleep in her book “Let’s Eat Right to Keep Fit”.  She discusses a natural insomnia remedy and 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.”

Sleep remedies containing highly absorbable, quick acting forms of calcium and magnesium, such as Sleep Minerals II from http://www.NutritionBreakthroughs.com can be helpful with both falling asleep and staying asleep during the night.  This natural sleep remedy contains six types of calcium, three forms of magnesium, boron, Vitamin D, Vitamin K and horsetail herb – all combined in a softgel with carrier oils. Oils such as evening primrose have been shown to increase mineral absorption, reduce calcium excretion, and increase bone density.

Veronica R. of British Columbia, Canada says, “Sleep Minerals II has worked wonders for me. Before I started taking it, I would fall asleep and wake up in the middle of the night and not be able to get back to sleep (after going to the bathroom). I take two in the middle of the night and have had no problems going back to sleep. Now I don’t have to be awake for 2 or 3 hours every night. I’m so happy I took the chance to try it. I don’t like taking over-the-counter drugs. With Sleep Minerals II, I don’t feel sleepy at all during the day.”

In conclusion, bedtime snacks and dinners that are high in carbohydrates, low-to-medium in protein, and contain calcium, will help you relax in the evening and set you up for a good night’s sleep. An effective natural sleep remedy such as Sleep Minerals II can also be taken before sleep and during the night if you find yourself waking up and unable to go back to sleep. Here’s to your good sleep.

For more information on Sleep Minerals II, visit http://www.nutritionbreakthroughs.com/html/sleep_remedy_for_insomnia_help.html