A deficiency in one of the essential vitamins or minerals can throw a whole host of things off-kilter. And although eating a balanced diet should ensure that you stay fully, erm, on-kilter, there are some things that may just creep up on you. A magnesium deficiency is one of them, and it might be stopping you from getting a good night sleep.
Shawn Stevenson is a nutrition expert and sleep specialist working in the US, and has recently published a whole book on the importance of sleep to your overall health and how to make the most of it. Check it out here. We can all get on board with anything that promotes sleep…
According to Stevenson’s research, 80 per cent 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 – it's a big deal. If you don’t have enough of it, your body can come under too much stress and therefore sleep quality is limited.
And it gets more serious, according to a study in The Journal of Intensive Care Medicine: people deficient in magnesium were twice as likely to die prematurely. We don't like those odds.
So what can you do? Firstly, up the intake of magnesium rich foods such as dark green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, fish, beans, avocados, whole grains and dark chocolate (yes!). Alongside your diet, Stevenson also recommends supplementation but through application of topical magnesium to your skin before bed. Look for transdermal magnesium oil and see if your sleep quality improves. Happy sleeping one and all.