Not sleeping well at night? When’s the last time you ate spinach, or snacked on edamame? If you haven’t been noshing on leafy greens, nuts, and beans lately, you could be deficient in an important mineral which, in turn, is causing your restless nights.
What is this magical mineral? Magnesium.
Usually when something sounds too good to be true, it is. But when it comes to magnesium, it can be a remedy for a lot of health problems, including not sleeping well.
According to Healthline.com magnesium helps activate neurotransmitters that are responsible for calming the body and the mind.
In layman’s terms this means magnesium has a calming effect on your body’s nervous system and helps to relax muscles, which in turn will help you to fall asleep easier. On the other side of the coin, a lack of magnesium can cause nervousness and restless leg syndrome and/or leg cramps preventing you from getting the zzzzzz’s you need.
As Dr. Mark Hyman says “Think of magnesium as the relaxation mineral. Anything that is tight, irritable, crampy, and stiff — whether it is a body part or even a mood— is a sign of magnesium deficiency.”
Other signs you aren’t getting enough magnesium can include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and weakness. But these can also be signs of other things happening within your body so never self-diagnose and see a doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.
So, let’s say you want to increase your magnesium intake. The best place to start is with your diet.
There are plenty great food sources of magnesium, including leafy greens, nuts, wheat bran, figs, brown rice, rye, and beans. You can get a more comprehensive list of foods here and they are all easy to add into your diet. And while you’re including those good whole foods into your daily food routine, you should also think about limiting your intake of coffee, salt, sugar, and alcohol, all of which can drain magnesium from your body.
Hey, nobody said it was going to be easy.
Still not getting enough? You can also opt for a magnesium supplement. MedlinePlus has the recommended guidelines for how much magnesium you should get each day. For women it’s between 310 and 320 milligrams daily but on average, most of us get below 200 milligrams. However, I’ll remind you once again to always check with your doctor first as certain medications can have the potential to interact with magnesium supplements.
You may also experience a few side effects when you start taking a magnesium supplement including nausea, cramps or diarrhea.
Now, if you want a more relaxing way to get your magnesium, you could also try taking a hot bath with Epsom salts. Also known as magnesium sulfate your body can absorb it while you soak the stress of the day away. Or if you’re lucky enough to live near a beach, swimming in the ocean is another fantastic way to get your daily magnesium.
Whichever way you decide to get your magnesium, do it now. Your sleep may depend on it.