News and Research on Magnesium for Sleep

Archive for April, 2012

Studies Show Calcium and Magnesium Help Sleep, Bones, Heart, Stomach, Menopause, More

Calcium and magnesium are the most famous of all the minerals due to their vast array of benefits to our health. Dr. Linus Pauling, the two-time Nobel Prize winner said: “You can trace every sickness, every disease, and every ailment to a mineral deficiency.”  Studies have proven calcium to increase bone health, reduce high blood pressure, relax the nerves and muscles, and prevent colon cancer and kidney stones.  Magnesium is an effective nutrient for strengthening heart health, reducing diabetes, and treating migraines, insomnia and depression.

Calcium and magnesium were discovered by the British chemist Sir Humphry Davy in the early 1800’s.  Regarding stomach and colon health, a 2007 study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that calcium protects high-risk people from developing the polyps (growths in the colon) that can lead to cancer in the large bowel.  The researchers found that the risk reduction occurred during the study and also lasted a full five years after the calcium supplementation ended.

Calcium supplements were shown to help prevent kidney stones in a 2008 study at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine. The theory of how this works is that dietary calcium binds with a waste product in the stomach called oxalate, which comes from foods like spinach, strawberries, nuts and tea. Most kidney stones are made of oxalate.  When calcium is taken, the calcium and oxalate bind together, crystallize, and exit the body long before there’s a chance for the oxalate to form into kidney stones.

Mildred Seelig, M.D., the leading medical researcher on magnesium says: “Many people needlessly suffer pain – including fibromyalgia, migraines and muscle cramps – because they don’t get enough magnesium.”  According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, inadequate magnesium also appears to reduce serotonin levels in the brain.  One study found that magnesium was just as effective as an antidepressant drug in treating depression.  In addition, researchers at Stockholm’s Karolinska Institute reported that for every 100 milligram increase in magnesium intake, the risk of developing type-2 diabetes decreased by 15 per cent.

Studies have found that people with migraine headaches have low concentrations of magnesium in their body. The word “cephalalgia” literally means head pain or headache. In a German study of 81 migraine patients published in the journal “Cephalalgia”, 42 percent of the people taking oral magnesium reduced both the duration and intensity of their migraine attacks. They also reduced their reliance on medications to control migraines.

James F. Balch, M.D., author of Prescription for Nutritional Healing, writes: “A lack of the nutrients calcium and magnesium will cause you to wake up after a few hours and not be able to return to sleep.”  Chronic insomnia is one of the main symptoms of magnesium deficiency.  Sleep in magnesium deficiency is usually agitated with frequent nighttime awakenings. On the other hand, a high magnesium diet has been found to be associated with deeper, less interrupted sleep. This was shown in a study done by James Penland at the Human Nutrition Research Center in North Dakota.

Nutritional supplements containing calcium and magnesium can also double as an effective sleep remedy. An example of a well-balanced mineral supplement is Sleep Minerals II from http://www.NutritionBreakthroughs.com.   This natural insomnia remedy contains six forms of calcium, three forms of magnesium, boron, Vitamin D and Vitamin K – all combined in a softgel with carrier oils. Oils such as evening primrose have been shown to increase mineral absorption, reduce calcium excretion, and increase bone density.

Sandra M. of La Verne, California says: “I have been using Sleep Minerals II for several months now and I see a marked improvement in my sleep. I have struggled with anxiety, depression and sleeplessness for nearly 15 years – increasingly so in the last 10 years. I’ve tried everything on the market including herbal teas, melatonin, GABA, Ambien, Lunesta, and others. Nothing has worked like Sleep Minerals II.”

The best thing about supplementing with calcium and magnesium is the large list of studies showing they support virtually every part, organ and system in the body.

For more information on Sleep Minerals II visit http://www.nutritionbreakthroughs.com/html/sleep_remedy_for_insomnia_help.html

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Study Shows Calcium and Vitamin D Keep Bones Strong after Menopause

In a recent study from the British Medical Journal, it was confirmed that taking both calcium and vitamin D together on a daily basis significantly reduces the risk of bone fractures.

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, women can lose up to 20% of their bone mass in the five to seven years after menopause, making them more susceptible to osteoporosis and fractures.  In a recent study from the British Medical Journal, it was confirmed that taking both calcium and vitamin D together on a daily basis significantly reduces the risk of bone fractures.

The research was based on a review of seven controlled trials comprising almost 70,000 people throughout the U.S. and Europe. These findings are important because this is one of the few studies to show that vitamin D alone does not reduce the risk of fracture.

John Robbins, a professor of internal medicine and co-author of the study says: “What is important about this very large study is that it goes a long way toward resolving conflicting evidence about the role of vitamin D, either alone or in combination with calcium, in reducing fractures.  My earlier research in Sacramento included more than 1,000 healthy, postmenopausal women and concluded that taking calcium and vitamin D together helped them preserve bone health and prevent fractures. This latest analysis, because it incorporates so many more people, really confirms our earlier conclusions.”

The National Osteoporosis Foundation defines osteoporosis as porous bone; a disease characterized by low bone mass and structural deterioration of bone tissue.  This can lead to fragile bones and an increased susceptibility to fractures, especially of the hip, spine and wrist, although any bone can be affected.  The foundation estimates that 10 million Americans have osteoporosis, of which 80% are women and 20% men.

Regarding the use of calcium and vitamin D together, Robbins said: “This (recent) study supports a growing consensus that combined calcium and vitamin D is more effective than vitamin D alone in reducing a variety of fractures.  Interestingly, this combination of supplements benefits both women and men of all ages, which is not something we fully expected to find.”

In addition to strengthening bones, recent research has shown that calcium is also an effective insomnia remedy, as well as being an important agent to lower blood pressure, alleviate symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and protect against colon cancer.  More and more nutritional supplements are being formulated with calcium and vitamin D because of their wide array of benefits.

In order to prevent a magnesium deficiency, supplements should contain a 2 to 1 ratio of calcium to magnesium (twice as much calcium as magnesium). The original research on this recommended ratio appeared in 1935 in the Journal of Physiological Reviews.  In addition, a softgel form is more digestible than tablets.  Softgels that are formulated with carrier oils such as evening primrose have been shown to increase mineral absorption, reduce calcium excretion, and increase bone density.  One formula that has these qualities is Sleep Minerals II from http://www.NutritionBreakthroughs.com.

Sleep Minerals II is a unique natural insomnia remedy and bone strengthening product which maximizes calcium absorption with six forms of calcium, three forms of magnesium, boron, Vitamin D, Vitamin K and horsetail herb – all combined in a softgel with carrier oils.  Lyn K. of Los Angeles, CA. says: “I’ve had chronic insomnia for some years now and had been taking other calcium products to help with my sleep.  No other insomnia remedy has worked as effectively or consistently as Sleep Minerals II.  I can count on it whenever I need help falling asleep at night or going back to sleep in the middle of the night. This is what sets it apart from the rest – it works reliably. It also eases my menopause symptoms, evens out my hormonal changes, and seems to put my body into a healthy balance.”

The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends the following good preventive measures for maintaining bone health, including getting the daily-recommended amounts of calcium and vitamin D, engaging in regular weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercise, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol.

Here’s to the health of your bones and to every part of you.

For more information on Sleep Minerals II, visit http://www.nutritionbreakthroughs.com/html/sleep_remedy_for_insomnia_help.html

A Comparison of Natural Insomnia Remedies from Nutrition Breakthroughs

According to a recent study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), 1.6 million American adults with insomnia have gotten a deeper, more restful night’s sleep by using natural and alternative remedies. The most widely known natural insomnia remedies for sleep are the minerals calcium and magnesium, the herb valerian root, the natural hormone melatonin, and the amino acid tryptophan.

The NIH study on Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that ”A majority of people who used natural therapies for their insomnia reported they were helpful.”  Many adults who suffer with sleeplessness would prefer to avoid the side effects of sleep medications such as memory loss, headache, nausea, depression, dizziness, confusion, a hangover effect the next day, and possible addiction.

In modern herbal medicine, Valerian is the most common herb used for insomnia. Valerian root makes getting to sleep easier and is also used for nervous tension and anxiety. Valerian is often combined with other mildly sedating herbs like chamomile, hops, passion flower and lemon balm. Drowsiness and an inability to remain alert are Valerian’s most common side effects.  It may be unsafe to take while driving or operating heavy machinery and should not be consumed along with alcohol or sedative drugs.

Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone produced by the pineal gland, which is located in the center of the brain. At night or in the dark, the pineal gland releases melatonin to regulate the sleep cycle. The body produces less melatonin with advancing age.  While melatonin doesn’t require a prescription, it is a potent hormone.  If too much is taken, it can make it more difficult to wake up and may result in daytime grogginess.  It is best used under the supervision of a doctor.

Tryptophan is an amino acid (a component of protein) that is found in turkey, tuna, bananas, dates, oats, and dairy products. It has been used for people with insomnia because it is converted into serotonin, a chemical messenger in the brain that’s involved in mood, appetite and sleep.

A related compound to tryptophan that occurs naturally in the body is 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), This may also be helpful for insomnia.  Possible side effects with 5-HTP include nausea, stomach upset and decreased sex drive. It should not be used along with antidepressant drugs.

The minerals calcium and magnesium may be the best choice for insomnia.  They are proven natural relaxants and provide many additional health benefits. Calcium is directly related to our cycles of sleep. One study found that calcium levels were higher during some of the deeper levels of sleep, such as the rapid eye movement (REM) phase.  Calcium helps to strengthen bones, lower blood pressure, alleviate symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, and protect against colon cancer. One possible side effect from taking too much calcium or magnesium is diarrhea, at which point less can be used.

William Sears, M.D. writes: “Calcium helps the brain use the amino acid tryptophan to manufacture the sleep-inducing substance melatonin. This explains why dairy products, which contain both tryptophan and calcium, are one of the top sleep-inducing foods.”

In magnesium deficiency, chronic insomnia is one of the main, central symptoms. Sleep is usually agitated with frequent nighttime awakenings. On the other hand, a high magnesium, low aluminum diet has been found to be associated with deeper, less interrupted sleep. This was proven in a study done by James Penland at the Human Nutrition Research Center in North Dakota. The study was titled “Effects of trace element nutrition on sleep patterns in adult women.” It’s important to note that a balanced ratio of calcium and magnesium is important to overall health, and these two minerals should be taken together in a two to one ratio for best results (twice as much calcium as magnesium).

Jobee Knight, a nutritional researcher and founder of Nutrition Breakthroughs in Glendale, CA., is someone who fought her own battle against sleeplessness and insomnia. She decided to put her background to use by searching out effective natural ingredients for relaxation and deeper sleep. The result was Sleep Minerals II, a natural sleep aid which contains six forms of calcium, three forms of magnesium, boron, Vitamin D, Vitamin K and horsetail herb – all combined in a softgel with carrier oils. Oils such as evening primrose have been shown to increase mineral absorption, reduce calcium excretion, and increase bone density.

Veronica R. of British Columbia, Canada says, ”Sleep Minerals II has worked wonders for me. Before I started taking it, I would fall asleep and wake up in the middle of the night and not be able to get back to sleep (after going to the bathroom). Now I take these and have had no problems going back to sleep.  I don’t have to be awake for 2 or 3 hours every night. I’m so happy I took the chance to try it. I don’t like taking over-the-counter drugs. With Sleep Minerals II , I don’t feel sleepy at all during the day.”

The National Institutes of Health study confirms that millions of people are benefiting from natural remedies for insomnia. Indeed, these are far better than putting a drug-based, potentially addictive chemical into your body. One good tip is to seek remedies that not only help you sleep more deeply, but also have additional benefits to your overall health.

For more information on Sleep Minerals II, visit the Sleep Remedy page at Nutrition Breakthroughs.

12 Home Remedies for Restless Legs Syndrome

This helpful information on restless leg syndrome comes from the Editors of Consumer Guide:

It’s bad enough when you can’t get to sleep and you just lie there, staring at the ceiling. But people who suffer from restless legs syndrome don’t just lie there. They are seized by an uncontrollable urge to move their legs. Their legs actually twitch or jerk, while they experience the sensation of something squirming or wiggling under their skin. Consequently, restless legs syndrome can lead to problems associated with sleep deprivation, such as anxiety and depression.

Researchers say this is a condition still shrouded in much mystery.  Although there seem to be connections with other conditions — such as heart, lung, and kidney disorders: circulatory problems; and arthritis — the culprit sometimes appears to be as simple as excessive caffeine consumption or too little exercise.

The following home remedies are designed to help you combat this problem. If you find that you still have twitching legs after you’ve tried these tips, however, it’s time to get a medical evaluation.

Get up and walk. Walking around may be the only thing that helps. A midnight stroll through the house may calm your legs enough to keep them still when you go back to bed.

Check out your caffeine consumption. Coffee, tea, chocolate, sodas, and even over-the-counter (OTC) medications may contain caffeine. Try cutting your consumption of caffeine-containing foods and medications (or substituting decaffeinated varieties) to see if your condition improves. Avoid tobacco, which contains the stimulant nicotine, and alcohol, which can have its own detrimental effects on sleep, as well.

Modify your medication. Some OTC medications, such as certain cold medications and allergy pills, contain mild stimulants that can result in jittery legs. Ask your pharmacist if any medications you are taking contain stimulants and whether there are any nonstimulating alternatives.

Take a bath. A warm bath or massage before bed relaxes muscles and therefore may be helpful.

Change your temperature. Sometimes, a change from hot to cold, or cold to hot, can do the trick. Try putting a heating pad or hot pack on your legs for a short while. If that doesn’t work, drape a cool towel over your legs, or dip your feet in cool water.

Make sure you’re eating well. There are some indications that a deficiency in iron, folate, or magnesium may contribute to restless legs syndrome. By eating a wide variety of nutrient-rich foods, you should get the vitamins and minerals you need. However, your doctor may recommend supplements of these specific nutrients.

Make a bedtime habit. Get into a regular routine that will help your mind and body settle down and prepare for bed.

Stick to a schedule. Getting to bed at about the same time each night and allowing for a full night’s sleep may help avoid the fatigue that could be a contributing factor to restless legs syndrome.

Soothe your stress. Stress may not be the cause of restless legs syndrome, but it can exacerbate it. Try to eliminate some of the stress in your life. Regular exercise and some form of relaxation technique or even an engaging in a hobby may help you “de-stress.”

Exercise your legs. Moderate exercise often helps, although excessive exercise can aggravate restless leg symptoms. A daily walk at a moderate pace is an excellent exercise, especially for folks who haven’t been very physically active in a while.

Stretch your legs.  Try stretching your calves, hamstrings (backs of the knees), and gluteal (butt) muscles before bed.

Wear socks to bed. Some experts have found that a lot of people who suffer from restless legs syndrome also seem to have cold feet. Although nobody has studied the connection, it might not hurt to bundle up your tootsies for the night.

……Additional comments from Nutrition Breakthroughs:

Studies have shown the mineral magnesium to be effective in helping to calm restless leg syndrome and insomnia.  Supplements should contain a 2 to 1 ratio of calcium to magnesium (twice as much calcium as magnesium). The original research on this recommended ratio appeared in 1935 in the Journal of Physiological Reviews.  In addition, a softgel form is more digestible than tablets.  Softgels formulated with carrier oils such as evening primrose have been shown to increase mineral absorption and increase bone density.

One formula that has these qualities and is gaining in popularity with restless leg syndrome sufferers is Sleep Minerals II from http://www.NutritionBreakthroughs.com.  Sleep Minerals II is an insomnia remedy which contains six forms of calcium, three forms of magnesium, boron, Vitamin D, Vitamin K and horsetail herb – all combined in a softgel with carrier oils.

Credit:  the Editors of Consumer Guide.  “12 Home Remedies for Restless Legs Syndrome”  16 January 2007.  HowStuffWorks.com. http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/natural-medicine/home-remedies/home-remedies-for-restless-legs-syndrome.htm 14 April 2012.

Magnesium Lowers Blood Pressure, Study Suggests (from ScienceDaily)

Elevated blood pressure or hypertension is a major risk factor ….from cardiovascular and renal (kidney) disease. Causes of hypertension include (but are not limited to) smoking, sedentary lifestyle, a diet high in sodium and an inadequate intake of other minerals such as potassium, calcium and magnesium.

“Until now, there’s been inconclusive evidence regarding the effect of magnesium supplements on blood pressure,” said Lindsy Kass, Senior Lecturer and registered nutritionist at the University of Hertfordshire. “So we conducted an ….analysis by analysing data from twenty-two trials involving 1,173 people to assess the effect of magnesium on blood pressure.”

In the trials, the magnesium supplementation doses ranged from 120 to 973 mg with between 3 to 24 weeks of follow-up. Although not all individual trials showed significance in blood pressure reduction, by combining the trials, the overall data indicated that magnesium supplementation reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. With the best results observed at the higher dosages.

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Comment from the blog author Nutrition Breakthroughs:

According to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, magnesium deficiency can also contribute to insomnia.  They say that:

“Researchers have found in both human and animal studies that magnesium deficiency results in sleep disturbances, such as agitated sleep and frequent periods of awakenings. This has been related to changes in electrical activity in the brain. It looks like magnesium is important for a good night sleep.”

Sleep Minerals II from http://www.NutritionBreakthroughs.com is an effective sleep remedy for insomnia that contains absorbable forms of magnesium and calcium. For more information on Sleep Minerals II, visit this link:
http://www.nutritionbreakthroughs.com/html/sleep_remedy_for_insomnia_help.htm

Study Shows Insomnia in Teenage Girls Increases When Periods Begin – Insomnia Remedies Can Help

THE STUDY: A study in the Journal of Pediatrics has found that the changes of puberty can create a period of substantial risk for the development of insomnia.  The researcher’s data came from a random sample of 1,014 adolescents who were 13 to 16 years of age in the city of Detroit Michigan.

RESULTS: A total of 88% of adolescents with a history of insomnia reported that they currently had insomnia. In an exploratory analysis between insomnia and puberty development, the onset of menstruation was associated with an increased risk for insomnia that was three times greater. There was no difference in risk for insomnia among girls before menses onset (menstruation) relative to boys, but a difference emerged after menses onset.

CONCLUSIONS: Insomnia seems to be common and chronic among adolescents. The often found gender difference in risk for insomnia seems to emerge in association with the onset of menses.

NATURAL REMEDY: Teenagers are a special breed, having to face all the challenges of being in an in-between stage of life; not quite a child anymore and not yet an adult.  Along with an acceleration of social interests and activities, they also sustain accelerated physical growth and increased nutritional needs.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 90% of teen girls and 70% of teen boys aren’t getting enough calcium.  Their bones are growing the fastest during the teen years and they need more calcium than at any other time of life.  This calcium deficiency can translate into irritability, nervous tension, hyperactivity and insomnia.

Due to a deficiency of crucial minerals at the teenage time of life, calcium and magnesium supplements can be an effective sleep remedy.  One natural insomnia remedy that’s gaining in popularity for all ages is Sleep Minerals II from http://www.NutritionBreakthroughs.com.   It contains six forms of calcium, three forms of magnesium, boron, Vitamin D and Vitamin K, all combined in a rapidly absorbed softgel.

One mother of a teenager who was suffering with insomnia, was grateful to find Sleep Minerals II.  She says: “We had spent hundreds of dollars on testing and supplements and it just didn’t work.  I searched on the Internet and found Sleep Minerals II.  I thought to myself, ‘I’ll give it a try, there’s nothing harmful in it’.  Well, from the get-go it helped our child sleep better.  I just can’t say enough about what this product has done for us.”

For more information on Sleep Minerals II visit http://www.NutritionBreakthroughs.com/html/sleep_remedy_for_insomnia_help.html

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