The body needs at least eight hours of uninterrupted, comfortable, and restful sleep. At least this is what health experts recommend. And while different individuals may have varying opinions as to the number of hours that can be sufficiently called as enough sleep, everyone agrees that good quality sleep is often difficult to achieve if the right conditions are not present. This often requires well-controlled sleeping environment as well as the addition of beneficial sleeping aids.
The Need for Sleep
Sleep is needed by the body to facilitate the various cellular reparative and regeneration processes. Consider sleep as that time of day when your muscles are not contracting, your mind is not thinking of anything, your breathing gets more relaxed, and most of your body are able to rest as well. However, there are certain parts of the body that will be literally awake to keep all of your vital organs optimally functioning. Additionally, any oxidative stress that may have occurred during the day can be effectively managed and the tissues repaired ready for another day.
It’s not a Disease, It’s a Symptom
Insomnia is not a disease but rather a symptom of a problem. It is often described as the inability to fall asleep or to stay asleep or waking up too early or a combination of any of these. Some experts point to nutrient deficiencies as well as other chemical imbalances that may respond to vitamin and nutrient supplementation. Health shops in Melbourne VIC know this too well and as such they do provide a host of vitamin, mineral, and herbal supplementation that can help bring back the quality of sleep in peoples’ lives.
One of the most important hormones that affect your internal body clock, known as circadian rhythm, melatonin is a very peculiar hormone that has excellent antioxidant properties but is only active during the night. Once darkness sets, the pineal gland starts releasing melatonin into the blood and by 9 PM you will already be feeling sleepy. The effect only lasts in so long as there is still melatonin in your bloodstream, usually about 12 hours max. Just think of melatonin as the driving mechanism behind your internal clock, the one that tells your body when it is time to go to bed and when it is already full awake. Unfortunately, any disruptions in this cycle can greatly diminish the effectiveness of melatonin as well.
While there are natural methods to increase your melatonin levels or to reset your internal body clock, most modern individuals prefer the convenience of melatonin supplementation. An initial dose of 0.25 milligrams or 0.50 milligrams is often recommended in order to allow you to fall asleep faster and keep you asleep longer. Additionally, you will experience lesser restlessness during sleep and avoid daytime fatigue.
The mineral magnesium is primarily important in ensuring cell membrane integrity. Magnesium ions close the calcium channels on cells in order to reduce the generation and transmission of electrical nerve impulses from nerves to muscles and across the entire length of the muscle. Without this electrical stimulation, the muscles go into a relaxed state and the neurons go into a hypoactive state. In simpler terms, magnesium puts you to sleep by making sure your nerve cells and muscle cells are already resting.
Insomnia therefore, is believed to be a manifestation of magnesium deficiency. As such, one of the treatments will be increasing your diet of magnesium-rich foods such as almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and avocados. If you want to be more specific about your magnesium intake, it is often better to take a supplement. Now you have to understand that if you are going to take magnesium supplementation, you will have to balance this with Vitamin D, calcium, and Vitamin K2 supplementation.
The herb Valerian has been known to exert its sedative effect by increasing the amounts of circulating gamma amino butyric acid, a neuropeptide that is responsible for inhibiting the generation and transmission of electrical impulses in neuronal structures. This leads to the induction of sleep pretty much like if you were to be sedated with an anaesthetic agent. Some experts believe that combining Valerian with hops can greatly improve its effectiveness as a sedative.
A deficiency in Vitamin D have been associated with increased incidence of daytime sleepiness which can become a significant contributor to the presence of insomnia when it is already time to sleep at night. As such, experts believe that Vitamin D supplementation of about 8,000 IU per day in order to achieve a Vitamin D serum level of 40 ng/mL.
There are other vitamin, mineral, and herbal supplements that are used for insomnia. However, these four supplements are excellent starters for you to achieve your much-needed sleep.
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