News and Research on Magnesium for Sleep

Archive for April, 2016

Melatonin Rich Fruits for Sleep: Nutrition Breakthroughs

Composition of various exotic fruits isolated on white background

Getting a good night’s sleep is a satisfying, energizing, and vital part of a healthy life.  However, per the National Sleep Foundation, almost six out of ten Americans report having insomnia at least a few nights a week..

Melatonin is a natural hormone made in the brain by the pineal gland that helps regulate the sleep and wake cycles.  Researchers in recent studies have found that eating tropical fruits such as pineapples and bananas, and also certain vegetables, can naturally increase melatonin in the body and help to improve sleep.

Melatonin levels start rising in the evening and go up to a peak level in the early hours of the morning, perhaps around 2:00 or 3:00 a.m, and then it reduces.  Melatonin production also declines with increasing age. This may partially explain why some people can sleep fine for a few hours and then suddenly find themselves wide awake in the night and unable to go back to sleep.

The research study showing how tropical fruits increase melatonin was published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry.  Thirty healthy volunteers ate one fruit at a time with a one-week wash-out period between fruits.  Significant increases in melatonin were observed after eating pineapple (a 266% increase), banana (180%) and orange (47%).  The researchers made important discoveries about fruit consumption for those people with age-related melatonin deficiency symptoms such as sleeplessness and insomnia.

Eating more vegetables can increase melatonin levels in the body as well.  Ninety-four Japanese women participated in a recent study.  Half of the women ate high amounts of selected vegetables for 65 days, while the other half were told to avoid the same vegetables.

At the end of the study, the average daily intake of melatonin from eating the vegetables was 1,288 nanograms, while the non-vegetable group had an increase of a mere 5.3 nanograms.  (For reference, a nanogram is a common measurement in research studies and equals one billionth of a gram, and there are 28 grams in an ounce).  Another Japanese study tracked consumption of vegetables such as tomato, pumpkin, spinach, Japanese radish, cabbage, carrot, etc., and discovered there was 16% more melatonin in the women with the highest vegetable intake.

Supplements of synthetic melatonin are made commercially in a lab.  Because they often offer several milligrams per supplement, which is far more than the body makes naturally, common side effects of these supplements can include daytime sleepiness, dizziness, headaches, nightmares, anxiety and irritability.  Melatonin supplements are only recommended for short-term use and are best used under the guidance of a doctor.

In addition to fruits and vegetables, the brain can be assisted in its melatonin production by taking calcium supplements. 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.”  It’s important to note that a balanced ratio of calcium and magnesium (in a 2 to 1 ratio) is important to overall health, and that these two minerals should be taken together for best results.

Digestibility and absorption are important factors in selecting the best forms of calcium and magnesium to use. For example, Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs is a natural insomnia remedy that contains highly absorbable forms of these minerals and it’s effective for sleeplessness and insomnia, as well as for heart health, restless leg syndrome, bone strength, menopause insomnia and teenage insomnia. Sleep Minerals also contains vitamin D and zinc and is delivered in a softgel form mixed with natural rice bran oil, making it better assimilated than tablets or capsules and providing a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.

Richard P. of Parkville, Maryland says: “The Sleep Minerals are making quite a difference.  I was regularly waking up at around 3:00 a.m. and after a few days of use my sleep improved quite a lot. I wake up once a night to go to the bathroom, but the great thing is, I then fall back asleep and sleep several more hours.  This has been a great improvement.”

Fruits, vegetables and absorbable forms of calcium and magnesium are good remedies to increase melatonin in the body and help with better sleep.  For more information, visit the Sleep Minerals II page.

Advertisements

Benefits of Cherries: Remedy Insomnia, Arthritis, More

cherries
Not only are cherries one of the most satisfying and delicious foods around, they are rated by the American Journal of Nutrition in the “Top 50 List” of foods with the most powerful nutritional content and health benefits.

It’s the deep red, blue and purple colors of the top berries that contain the plant chemicals delivering a potent punch against disease. Recent research studies have discovered the health benefits of cherries include muscle pain relief, reducing inflammation, remedying insomnia, protection of brain cells, and relief for knee arthritis.

Many of the scientific studies on cherries are done with tart cherries or Montmorency cherries — usually sold as juice, dried, frozen, and in powdered supplement capsules. For those seeking a food-based remedy for sleeplessness and insomnia, the tart Montmorency cherry is known to contain high levels of melatonin, the hormone made in the brain that regulates the sleep-wake cycle.

The European Journal of Nutrition presented a placebo-controlled study that proved drinking tart cherry juice increases melatonin and improves sleep quality. Drinking the juice resulted in longer sleep times, less daytime napping and greater overall sleep efficiency (the ratio of the time spent in bed to the time actually spent sleeping).

Cherries also give proven relief for people who would like to reduce muscle pain or soreness after exercise or a lot of physical activity. A study from a sports nutrition journal discovered that runners who drank tart cherry juice prior to and during a race, experienced much less pain afterwards. The high levels of anti-inflammatory properties in cherries provided a protective effect against muscle damage.

In the battle against belly fat, cherries can be a good weapon. In one animal study from the University of Michigan, scientists mixed whole tart cherry powder in with a high fat diet. The animals that ate the cherries had a lower body weight, lower cholesterol and significantly lower levels of the kind of inflammation that’s linked to heart disease and diabetes in humans.

Fat cells have been described as “chemically active” ones that can lower the strength of the immune system and lead to the onset of widespread inflammation. In a study where people drank eight ounces of tart cherry juice each day for a month, it was shown that inflammation was lowered in the body in many of the most significant blood markers of it.

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It causes chronic joint pain, swelling, and reduced motion in joints. It can occur in any joint, but usually it affects hands, knees, hips or spine. In a recent study at the Baylor Research Institute, scientists gave tart cherry powder in capsules to people with knee osteoarthritis. At the end of the eight week study, over 50% of the people benefited with good increases in movement and significant reduction of pain.

Gout is a kind of arthritis that can cause an attack of sudden burning pain, stiffness, and swelling in a joint, usually in a big toe or in other bones of the foot. A study from the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism found that patients with gout who consumed cherries over a two-day period showed a 35% lower risk of gout attacks.

For better brain health as one ages, a study from the journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry has proven that tart cherries protect brain cells from cell-damaging stress in a dose-dependent manner. In other words, when more cherries are eaten, there are more neuro-protective benefits for the brain. This shows a potential defense against conditions such as Alzheimer’s.

Cherries are certainly a delicious way to reduce pain and inflammation and help keep many parts of the body healthier and sleeping better.

This natural health news is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a publisher of nutrition articles and effective natural remedies since 2001. Nutrition Breakthroughs, makes the original calcium and magnesium based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II, as well as Joints and More, the natural solution for joint relief, aches and pains, stronger hair and nails and more energy.

Tag Cloud