Add Some Magnesium To Your Sleep Routine
This week, we asked Katherine Trinder from BetterYou to provide us with an insight into a chemical element that’s essential to our high-quality sleep – magnesium. So essential in fact, that without it, we could suffer from muscle cramps, facial tics, poor sleep, and even, chronic pain.
According to an international survey recently conducted by Aviva, UK adults are amongst some of the “worst sleepers” in the world, with over one third of the UK’s population reporting that they are not getting the right amount of sleep.
We spend approximately one third of our lives asleep which, to many, could appear as mostly wasted time. However, it’s pivotal to our well-being. While sleeping for example, the body detoxifies, repairs and regenerates its cells and tissues, vital for maintaining good physical and mental health.
Good quality sleep is crucial for us all. Poor sleep over a prolonged period can lead to problems such as anxiety and/or depression, poor concentration and weight gain.
Magnesium’s role in sleep
It’s well known that poor sleep can have a dramatic effect on our health, but what’s less well known is that a deficiency in magnesium can be one of the main factors affecting our quality of sleep. Speaking to the New York Times, Dr. Raj Dasgupta, a professor of pulmonary and sleep medicine at the University of Southern California, indicated that magnesium deficiency had long been associated with higher levels of stress, anxiety and difficulty relaxing, “which are key ingredients to not getting good sleep at night.”
Did you know that the body needs magnesium to maintain a state of rest, and that lower levels of the chemical element can lead to restless muscles keeping you awake at night? A small study conducted nearly 20 years ago for example, found that taking a magnesium supplement helped those suffering from restless leg syndrome to get more sleep.
Magnesium also works to relax our mental state, ensuring the GABA receptors in our brain and nervous system are working efficiently. It’s the GABA receptors that help the brain switch off in preparation for sleep.
Magnesium – a natural sleep aid
Magnesium is responsible for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body, and it can be difficult to get enough through diet alone.
It’s estimated that 70% of all adults have insufficient levels of magnesium, with children and adolescents failing to get the UK’s basic RDA for magnesium.
That’s why some form of supplementation is needed, as poorly-adopted or specialist diets can often affect your absorption of essential nutrients. Magnesium supplements are important for many people, yet the mineral can be poorly absorbed when taken orally.
An alternative is for it to be absorbed through the skin – an effective and convenient alternative to tablets and capsules.
Three steps to a better night’s sleep
- Focus on quality not quantity
Quality of sleep is hard to measure, so it’s perhaps unsurprising many of us judge a good night’s sleep according to how long it lasts. However, it’s important not to neglect the significance of ‘quality’ in your quest for a better night’s sleep. Your pre-sleep routine for instance, is particularly important for a high-quality, healthy night’s sleep, providing you with an opportunity to de-stress, lower your heart-rate, and enter a more calming mindset. One way to do this, is to try and focus on switching off any those devices that emit blue-light, such as your phone or tablet, an hour and a half before bed.
Also, try 5-10 sprays of BetterYou MagnesiumOil Goodnight across the body as part of your pre-sleep routine. Containing magnesium chloride and an aromatic combination of chamomile, clary sage and bergamot essential oils, this has been specially concocted to aid better slumber, encouraging overall relaxation by relieving muscle tension, whilst the essential oils soothe the senses to sleep.
- Melatonin production is key!
Sleep may be complicated, but it’s also a highly-regimented occurrence, actively reacting to the light and dark to ensure we fulfil our diurnal sleeping pattern. That’s because of something called the SCN or suprachiasmatic nucleus, initiating signals to those parts of the brain that produce hormones, such as cortisol or melatonin. It’s the production of melatonin in particular, activated by the SCN following a reduction in light from both natural and artificial light sources, that makes the process of slumber all the more inviting for you in the evening, as well as helping to maintain our circadian rhythm/internal body clock.
As a result, a great way to help your body ramp-up its melatonin production is to take a bath or shower, as well as fading the lights throughout the house or apartment. In which case, why not try a relaxing bath with 250g of BetterYou Magnesium Flakes?
- Wind down before bed
Winding down before bed is crucial for good quality sleep. For instance, amongst a whole host of other things, try not to eat or exercise at least two hours before bed, as well as steering clear any work-related duties. Instead, find a relaxing activity that you’re able to look forward to, capable of relieving stress and making you feel all the more comfortable just before bed.
One such example, is treating your skin to a luscious moisturising session on a daily basis, perhaps using BetterYou’s Magnesium Sleep Body Lotion, enabling your skin to feel sumptuous and smooth just before getting into bed .