Whether it's a deficiency in iron, vitamin D, or calcium, there always seems to be something our bodies are lacking when it comes to functioning like the well-oiled machine it needs to be.
Unfortunately, a deficiency in one of the essential vitamins or minerals our bodies crave can throw a whole host of things off-kilter. And, although eating a balanced diet should ensure that you stay in top shape, there are some things that may just creep up on you and hinder your health.
Little did we know that a magnesium deficiency is one of those and it might be stopping us from getting a good night's sleep.
In 2014, US-based nutrition expert and sleep specialist Shawn Stevenson published a whole book titled Sleep Smarter on the importance of sleep to your overall health and how to make the most of it.
According to Stevenson's research, 80% of the population are deficient in magnesium, which is effectively an anti-stress mineral responsible for balancing blood sugar and blood pressure, relaxing tense muscles, reducing pain and calming the nervous system.
Basically, magnesium is a big deal if you want to catch those 'Zzzs'.
If you don't have enough of magnesium - which is one essential macro-minerals the body needs - an individual can come under too much stress and suffer from seriously limited sleep productivity.
To make matters worse, our bodies don't produce magnesium so we have to get it from our diet.
Magnesium-rich foods include:
• Dark leafy greens
• Seeds and nuts, including sunflower and sesame seeds, cashews and almonds
• Squash, broccoli, and other vegetables
• Dairy products
• Dark chocolate
• Unprocessed whole grains
When it comes to sleep, Sleep Doctor explains further that the mineral works to help deep, restorative sleep by maintaining healthy levels of GABA, a neurotransmitter that promotes slumber. Research indicates supplemental magnesium can improve sleep quality, especially in people with poor sleep such as those suffering with insomnia.
But, wait, a deficiency of the stuff can be more serious that a few hours without shut-eye.
From Harper's Bazaar UK