Every individual has got a great love for their life, it’s quite natural that we all have a longing for a healthy and long life. However, being healthy all time is quite a challenging task and not a difficult one if one follows the etiquette of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which includes your sleep hours too.
SLEEP AND NERVOUS SYSTEM
Sleep is an important factor that connects has an impact on several aspects of life, as the following areas in your body are affected due to lack of proper sleep.
- Circulatory system (heart)
- Immune system
- Hormonal changes
- Memory and Concentration
The word sleep reminds us of the nervous system, a major system of communication with the body. Of note, we have excitatory pathways and inhibitory pathways, which represent the stimulation of nerves and relaxation, through the neurotransmitters called Glutamate and GABA in the brain respectively.
On the other hand, it’s important to understand that, a balance between these excitatory and inhibitory phases is essential for any healthy brain, which would otherwise lead to either excessive stimulation in the brain leading to muscle cramps or excessive inhibition, resulting in slowing down the functioning of the organ.
ROLE OF GABA FOR PROPER SLEEP
Our body has complex mechanisms to maintain regular functioning, which involves signaling between the body’s cells. Like each of us needs nutrition to grow, our body needs minerals and ions for its signaling process.
The neurotransmitter GABA plays a vital role in reducing nerve excitability, in other words, makes you feel relaxed, and less tense by suppressing the CNS, therefore excessive stimulation of nerves or reduced activity of GABA neurons would lead to sleep deprivation. Studies reveal that low levels of magnesium would lead to excessive excitability of the neurons and reduced activity of GABA, thereby resulting in sleep disturbances.
MAGNESIUM DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle cramps
- Lack of proper sleep
Insomnia, (sleeplessness) has become a major bothersome aspect in most of their lives, however, perhaps many would not realize at times that magnesium deficiency can be one of the reasons for your sleeplessness apart from the low levels of melatonin, a hormone that makes you feel drowsy.
REASONS FOR USING MAGNESIUM AS A SLEEP PILL
MAGNESIUM AND RENIN FOR HEALTHY SLEEP
The RAAS is well known for its role in blood pressure, nevertheless, it has its role in sleep regulation too, since the rapid eye movement (REM)-nonREM cycle is synchronized with the secretion of renin and aldosterone. Wherefore, high levels of renin contribute to healthy sleep. So, one of the ways through which magnesium aids in providing sound sleep is by increasing the production of renin.
MAGNESIUM AND PSQI SCORE
To understand the change in sleep improvement, there are a few scales to be used, however, one such important scale includes PSQI, consisting of 7 components (sleep quality, sleep latency, sleep duration, Sleep habits, daytime sleep, sleep disturbances, and use of any sleeping medications. Each section ranges from 0- 3, where the total PSQI score is measured by adding the score of each section and comparing it against the actual global score i.e. out of 21.
Then the final decision is made as follows:
- Usually, a score of below 5 indicates the quality of sleep, accordingly, the lower the scores, the higher the quality of sleep.
- Alternatively, a score of above 5 or even greater, clearly states that you lack proper sleep.
- Research studies state that there was a change in PSQI score, i.e. there was a significant reduction from 10.4 to nearly 6 after the administration of magnesium in people with a lack of proper sleep due to magnesium deficiency.
ROLE OF MAGNESIUM IN STRESS-INDUCED SLEEPLESSNESS
The author Ferira, specifies, that the levels of cortisol were found to be reduced in patients who used magnesium supplements. Cortisol is termed as the stress hormone, that would disturb your sleep patterns. Henceforth, magnesium supplements will help in maintaining your stress levels and impart a peaceful night with no such stress, or difficulty to fall asleep.
ROLE OF MAGNESIUM IN DEPRESSION-INDUCED INSOMNIA
There is clear evidence that low levels of dopamine (neurotransmitter) lead to depression, and consequently, this so-called depression affects you in many ways, and one such effect is insomnia, wherefore the administration of magnesium would thereby help such individuals in improving their mood, by increasing the levels of dopamine.
OTHER BENEFITS OF MAGNESIUM
Calcium serves as an important ion in muscle contraction for nerve stimulation, on the other hand, magnesium counterbalances this excessive stimulation and thus calms down the body so that you experience sound sleep.
- Controls the blood sugar levels
- Regulation of blood pressure
MAGNESIUM AND ITS SOURCES
Magnesium is one of the human body’s abundant electrolytes along with potassium, chloride, calcium, sodium, and Phosphorus. The recommended daily intake of magnesium is 400-420 mg and 310-320 for men and women respectively.
Almost every deficiency is naturally cured with foods, and additional supplements in the form of pills, similarly magnesium deficiency can be prevented if one adds these below foods into their diet chart, since mg is found in most of our regular foods.
- Firstly, green vegetables are rich in many vitamins, such as Vit A, C,E, and K, also most of the B vitamins, likewise, spinach, is one of the best leafy vegetables, where 1 bowl contains nearly 150 mg of magnesium in it.
- Secondly, the nuts, among which Almonds are known for their contribution towards memory, however, they are enriched with magnesium too, usually, one ounce of almonds contains 80 mg of magnesium.
- Among fruits, the consumption of 1 medium-sized banana, would provide you with 35 mg of magnesium.
- Salmon fish not only provides you with high-quality protein, but it also supplies you with 30 mg of magnesium.
- Well, the excellent source of nutrients is whole grains, which contain 86 mg of magnesium.
DOSING OF MAGNESIUM
The various forms of magnesium supplements, including magnesium glycinate and magnesium citrate, are available in a dose of 200mg. As it is obvious that anything in excess is harmful, so also are these supplements, hence magnesium supplements are to be used carefully, with a proper regular check at the mg levels, to avoid rushing too much of magnesium in your body.
At the bottom line, magnesium acts as a good sleep pill and is safer than any other medications being used for getting sound sleep, nevertheless, it’s not just the supplements check with your diet as well, and most importantly the mattress you use matters above all for your undisturbed sleep.