Magnesium has many benefits to good health, one of them being its action as an effective natural sleep aid. Melatonin supplements are also used as a sleep remedy. These two ingredients have different qualities, different health effects, and different possible side effects. James F. Balch, M.D., author of Prescription for Nutritional Healing, writes: “A lack of the nutrients magnesium and calcium will cause you to wake up after a few hours and not be able to return to sleep.”
One of the main symptoms of magnesium deficiency is chronic insomnia that occurs with frequent nighttime awakenings. On the other hand, a high magnesium diet has been found to be associated with deeper, less interrupted sleep, per a study done by James Penland at the Human Nutrition Research Center in North Dakota.
In contrast with mineral supplements, melatonin is a hormone which is produced by the pineal gland, located in the center of the brain. At night or in the dark, the pineal gland naturally releases melatonin to regulate the sleep cycle. The body produces less melatonin with advancing age and while melatonin doesn’t require a prescription, it’s a potent hormone. If too much is taken, it can make it more difficult to wake up in the morning.
Mildred Seelig, M.D., the leading medical researcher on magnesium says: “Many people needlessly suffer pain – including fibromyalgia, migraines and muscle cramps – because they don’t get enough magnesium.”
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center web site, inadequate magnesium appears to reduce serotonin levels in the brain. One study found that magnesium was just as effective as an antidepressant drug in treating depression. In addition, researchers at Stockholm’s Karolinska Institute reported that for every 100 milligram increase in magnesium intake, the risk of developing type-2 diabetes decreased by 15 per cent. Other studies have shown that people with migraine headaches have low concentrations of magnesium in their body.
One possible side effect from taking too much magnesium is that the bowels may become too loose. According to the Mayo Clinic, possible side effects of melatonin include abdominal discomfort, anxiety, irritability, confusion and short-term depression. Melatonin supplements can interact with various medications such as blood-thinning medications, medications that suppress the immune system, diabetes medications and birth control pills. Melatonin is best used under the supervision of a doctor.
This news is provided to you by Nutrition Breakthroughs. Since 2001, Nutrition Breakthroughs has provided health articles and effective natural remedies. Their mission is to provide nutritional supplements that work well and help people avoid drugs and their side effects.
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