Magnesium aids in calming the nerves and relaxing the muscles, which in turn can help individuals to fall asleep. Similarly, a deficiency of the mineral is sometimes responsible for the nervousness that prevents sleep. Magnesium deficiency hampers the ability of the body's motor nerves, which carry electrical impulses from the brain to the muscles to send the correct messages.
Magnesium deficiency is common in the United States, usually due to insufficient dietary intake. Physical and emotional factors can complicate matters more by increasing depletion of the mineral through urinary excretion. Low magnesium levels can also cause the release of certain stress hormones in the body, particularly high levels of norepinephrine, which increase under stress.
When a person feels stressed, hormones signal cells to release magnesium into the blood. From there, the mineral is excreted in urine. The more stressed a person becomes the more magnesium is lost from the body. Sleep deprivation itself is a chronic stressor that can lower magnesium levels.
Lack of magnesium can cause leg cramps or restless leg syndrome, disrupting restful sleep. Loss of sleep or poor quality sleep over time has been associated with high blood pressure. Results of a study published in the June 2009 issue of the journal of "Archives of Internal Medicine" reports that there may be a link between sleep deprivation and hypertension.
Magnesium suppresses the release of catecholamines, which stimulate activity in the sympathetic nerves. Increasing dietary intake of magnesium may also help to regulate blood pressure. According to the National Institutes of Health, research suggests that eating more fruit and vegetables and low fat dairy foods rich in magnesium may help to lower blood pressure. When the body is relaxed you sleep better. Food sources naturally rich in magnesium include wheat bran, blackstrap molasses, lima beans, kidney beans, broccoli, spinach and nuts, including almonds, cashews and hazel nuts. If you take magnesium supplements to help you sleep, take tablets about 45 minutes before going to bed. Check with your doctor as to how many milligrams you should take on a daily basis.
Before you start taking a magnesium supplement you should have your level check by the lab at your Drs.
If you are taking antacids remember many of them contain magnesium.
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