Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being throughout one’s life. Getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect a person’s mental health, physical health, quality of life and safety. Sleep is important for regulating the central nervous system and for cognitive function. Sleep also affects the immune system as those who sleep less than five hours are 4.5 times more likely to catch a cold than those who sleep for seven hours per night. For some though, sleep is not as easy as for them and with the worry of not being able to fall asleep, making the situation worse, many look for alternatives to ensuring a good night’s rest. Taking a certain supplement could help.
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Many people in the world battle with sleep problems or insomnia.
Sleepless nights can be triggered by a lot of things, such as traumatic experiences, a stressful time in your life or a medical condition.
Thankfully, supplements have become a popular option and one supplement that’s gained some attention as a potential sleep aid is magnesium.
This mineral has wide-ranging effects in the body and may influence some of the processes that promote sleep.
In order for a person to fall asleep, the body and brain needs to relax.
On a chemical level, magnesium aids this process by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, the system responsible for getting a person calm and relaxed.
Magnesium regulates neurotransmitters which sends signals throughout the nervous system and brain.
It also regulates the hormone melatonin which guides the sleep-wake cycles in the body.
What the studies say
In a study with the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, biorhythms and central regulation of magnesium statues on sleep was analysed.
The study noted: “Biological clock and magnesium status are linked.”
The study concluded that also having a magnesium depletion increases the risk of sleep disorders, migraines, chronic fatigue syndrome and even sudden infant death syndrome.
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What the experts say
Sleep expert James Wilson AKA the Sleep Geek said: “Many of us will use aids to help us sleep, such as aromatherapy, magnesium, pillow spray or valerian.
“They have different levels of evidence as to whether they work or not.
“However, they can be a great behavioural cue, saying to the body ‘when I take/do this thing the next thing that happens is sleep.’
“From my point of view, if they work carry on using them, if they don’t and you are still struggling you might need to look at your behaviours around sleep.
“Your mindset around sleep and your sleep environment.”
Sleep is a basic human need and a natural part of life. While operating on four or five hours sleep can be done for a while, lacking in sleep will more than likely cause many health problems in the future.
This is because sleep is not an option but rather an essential tool that our bodies need to operate efficiently daily.
Even though the exact reasons for sleep remain a mystery, many health experts know that during sleep many of the body’s major organ and regulatory systems continue to work actively.
Some parts of the brain actually increase their activity dramatically and the body produces more of certain hormones.
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