Archive | June 2013

How Magnesium Helps Sleep and Relaxes the Nerves and Muscles

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 and vitamin D) 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 or capsules.  One formula that has these qualities and is gaining in popularity is Sleep Minerals II from http://www.NutritionBreakthroughs.com.   Sleep Minerals II contains highly absorbable forms of the best minerals for sleep and relaxation: Calcium, magnesium with Vitamin D. The ingredients are delivered in a softgel form with healthy carrier oils, making them more easily assimilated than capsules or tablets and providing a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.

Richard P. of Parkville, Maryland says: “The Sleep Minerals are making quite a difference.  I was regularly waking up at around 3:00 a.m. and after a week or so 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.”

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

 

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

How to Cool Off Menopause Hot Flashes and Night Sweats and Remedy Insomnia

A high percentage of women in the premenopause and postmenopause years experience hot flashes and night sweats. In fact, the National Institutes of Health recently published a report called the “State-of-the-Science Statement on the Management of Menopause-Related Symptoms”. In this article, the authors write that 30% to 80% of women in menopause regularly experience this sudden, intense, hot, perspiring feeling in their face and upper body.

A diminished level of estrogen has a direct effect on the hypothalamus, the part of the brain responsible for controlling our body temperature, sleep cycles, and hormones. The menopausal drop in estrogen confuses the hypothalamus, which is sometimes referred to as the body’s “thermostat”, and makes it read “too hot.”

Lifestyle Tips

Here are some things you can do to reduce the discomfort from hot flashes and night sweats.

Dress in layers so you can peel them off as you get warmer. Stick to loose clothing of cotton, linen or rayon and avoid synthetic fabrics and wool. Check into “Wicking Nightwear”. These nightclothes are designed to whisk away sweat and moisture and keep you dry and comfortable while you sleep. Cotton sheets are best.

Have you heard of “Cleavage Coolers”? These are small fabric covered gel packs that can be frozen overnight. When a hot flash starts, place one inside your shirt or bra to help you cool down fast. These stay cold in your bra for up to three hours.

Use full-size fans, a ceiling fan, or an air conditioner to cool off your space at work or home. A portable hand-held battery-operated fan can also be kept in your purse. Also keep a thermos of ice water with you at work and at home.

Try a “Chillow” pillow insert for night sweats. The Chillow is filled with water and placed inside the pillowcase, on top of the pillow. It absorbs and dissipates heat to keep you cooler and doesn’t require refrigeration. It is comfortably cool, rather than cold and it always stays dry.

Menopause Remedies

Hops flowers are best known for their role in brewing beer. You can also find hops extract in herbal remedies designed to calm and relax. In one animal study from the Journal of Endocrinology, the phyto (plant) estrogen from hops was found to be equally as effective as an estrogen drug in reducing hot flashes and lowering high body temperature in menopause. In fact, the beneficial effects lasted five days after the hops extract was withdrawn, compared to four days after the estrogen.

Vitamin E is a proven remedy for hot flashes. One study supporting vitamin E is from the University of Iran, published in “Gynecologic and Obstetric Investigation” in 2007. 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 an effective, recommended treatment for hot flashes.

Natural Sleep Remedies

According to the journal article on the management of menopause-related symptoms, women seem to have more sleep disturbances as they progress through the menopausal stages. The prevalence of sleep disturbance varies from 39% to 47% in perimenopause, and from 35% to 60% in postmenopause. 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 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 insomnia remedy becoming popular among menopausal women is Sleep Minerals II from http://www.NutritionBreakthroughs.com. This natural sleep remedy contains highly absorbable forms of calcium and magnesium, the best minerals for sleeplessness and insomnia, as well as for 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 assimilated than tablets or capsules and providing a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.

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.”

Valerie H. of Santa Clarita, California says: “I had such severe menopause insomnia it took me hours to fall asleep even though I was extremely tired. My legs also had crawling and tingling feelings at night. I got the Sleep Minerals and after several days, it started to work really well. I fall asleep now within 20 minutes and no more restless legs.”

So if you are suffering with hot flashes or night sweats, try some of the ideas above to stay cool as a cucumber!

For more information on Sleep Minerals II, visit http://www.NutritionBreakthroughs.com/html/sleep_remedy_for_insomnia_help.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 aid that contains highly absorbable forms of calcium and magnesium, the best minerals for insomnia, as well as for 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 assimilated than tablets or capsules and providing a better, longer-lasting sleep.  

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.”

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