Minerals to Sleep Better

Consuming certain minerals can help with sleeping problems.

Consuming certain minerals can help with sleeping problems.

A lot can affect your ability to get a good night's sleep -- from stress and caffeine to prescription drugs, alcohol and breathing disorders. But whatever it is that has you counting sheep for hours, problems falling asleep or staying asleep will have you dragging through your daily routine and struggling to stay in good health. Still, you don't have to let insomnia rob you of sleep, there are natural minerals and vitamins that can help you get those precious hours of rest that you need.

Calcium and Magnesium

Calcium and magnesium go hand in hand when it comes to catching some shut-eye. Even a small deficiency in these minerals can cause insomnia since magnesium helps relieve nervousness and calcium helps calm the central nervous system. When taken as supplements, calcium should be taken in a 2 to 1 ratio with magnesium. Magnesium chloride and calcium lactate gluconate supplements are good forms of each mineral because they are easily absorbed. Dairy products, beans, fruits and veggies are all good food sources of calcium while wheat, nuts and kelp are foods rich in magnesium. Regularly snacking on these items can keep you sleep blissfully through the night.

Iron

Iron has a strong affect on your natural sleeping cycles and an iron deficiency can cause symptoms of restless leg syndrome, making it difficult for you to relax and comfortably get enough sleep. To avoid the grouchiness that comes with lack of sleep, you should make sure you are getting the right amount of iron. Foods like oysters, clams, beef tenderloin and dark-meat turkey are great sources of iron, according to "Fitness Magazine." However, it is important to consult with your doctor about the right amount of iron (and all supplements) that you should take for your unique body type and health since too much iron may cause other health concerns.

Copper

Copper is a mineral that influences serotonin -- the calming neurotransmitter that is part of what regulates emotions and sleep. A lack of copper can cause problems with your sleep cycle and leave you in a really bad mood. "Fitness Magazine" recommends eating foods such as whole grains, beans, nuts, potatoes and dark leafy greens to stack up on plenty of copper. Copper can also be taken as a supplement and is commonly found in many multivitamins.

B Vitamins

Vitamins and minerals usually work together to help maintain good health. The right balance of vitamins are just as important as minerals in helping you get some shut-eye. B Vitamins like B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), Vitamin B9 (folic acid) and Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) help your body produce serotonin and "regulate its use of sleep-inducing tryptophan," according to "Fitness Magazine." B vitamins can be taken as supplements in a multivitamin or eaten in foods like chicken, fish, turkey, potatoes and bananas.

 

About the Author

Based in the Los Angeles area, Brandi Junious specializes in health-related articles. Her writing reflects her expertise in fitness and education. Junious is the author of children's book "A World Without Trees" and her work has appeared on Modern Mom, The Nest Woman, Chron Healthy Living and at Loseweightandlivehealthy.blogspot.com. Junious holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Southern California and a master's degree in Education.

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