As several clinical studies tell us, a lack of calcium and magnesium can cause insomnia. Our diet, increasingly in deficit because of the lack of quality food or our lifestyle, directly affects our nightly rest. Being aware of this and covering the daily intake of these minerals will make us feel better.
This problem is far from being a one-off, and it doesn’t just boil down to a sleep disorder. There is indeed an aspect to be taken into account. Studies like the one carried out at the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Genoa, for example, tell us that a good part of traffic accidents are due to the same problem: insomnia, lack of attention.
The accident rate would be between 10 and 20%. In addition to this very serious problem, other factors are involved. If our insomnia is chronic, we may also experience mood swings. We will therefore be more vulnerable to various disorders, such as depression.
Lack of good quality sleep, as we see, can be dangerous. Taking into account the factors behind this problem can be of great help to us. Therefore, let’s take care of our diet and don’t forget these two key minerals: calcium and magnesium.
Lack of calcium and magnesium can cause insomnia
Certain nutrients, through their effects and the processes in which they are involved, promote nighttime sleep. As nutritionists tell us, many of us believe we are eating well. In general, we think we are covering our daily nutrient intake. However, it is not the case.
For example, our soils, the land where we grow fruits and plants, are less and less rich in magnesium. In addition, there is a fundamental aspect to take into account: the way we cook food can cause it to lose many essential natural minerals.
It would therefore be necessary to increase the consumption of vegetables, seeds and fruits without processing them. However, we are not used to it; in general, we opt for other choices. These everyday decisions end up having an impact on our organism, which has fewer nutrients.
And the effects appear little by little.
Lack of magnesium
Dr. James F. Balch, surgeon, diet expert and author of health books, explains in several of his works that a lack of calcium and magnesium can cause insomnia. He’s warning us for a very simple reason. We sometimes tend to resort to medication without knowing that our quality of life would improve simply by taking care of our diet.
- Thus, the lack of magnesium has become a very common problem.
- This mineral is a muscle relaxant and promotes deep sleep.
- Magnesium increases GABA, an amino acid that enhances relaxation and sleep.
- What’s more, people with magnesium deficiency often suffer from restless leg syndrome, in addition to insomnia.
- In addition, it has been seen that people subjected to higher levels of stress generally have a greater deficit in magnesium.
Lack of calcium
Studies like the one published at the Center for Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology at the University of Pennsylvania tell us the following:
- Calcium is linked to our sleep cycles. We need this mineral to be able to achieve REM sleep, that phase of sleep that allows for deeper and more restful rest. Thanks to this sleep, the brain performs important tasks to ensure our physical and psychological well-being.
- In addition, calcium is essential for the production of tryptophan. This amino acid allows us to make melatonin which, as we know, is essential for inducing sleep.
Good nutrition is our best therapy
We know that a lack of calcium and magnesium can cause insomnia. So how can we rectify these deficiencies? Usually, the first thing that comes to mind is to go to a pharmacy and buy the classic food supplements. However, this is not always the best answer.
So let’s see what are the steps to follow.
Keys to fighting insomnia through diet
First of all, we have to go to our general practitioner. Through various clinical tests, we will know whether or not we actually have deficiencies in these nutrients.
We cannot forget the fact that insomnia is also caused by other factors: chronic pain, diabetes, stress, menopause, poor sleep hygiene…
- Another important factor is keeping our vitamin D levels up. This nutrient can also be hidden behind the lack of calcium and magnesium.
- Consume foods rich in magnesium:
- Green leafy vegetables
- Chia seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds …
- Ripe tomatoes
- Cocoa and dark chocolate
- Rye and barley
- Foods rich in calcium:
- Dairy products
- Almond, soy and rice drinks
- Sun-flower seeds
- Dried vegetables
To conclude, now that we know that a lack of calcium and magnesium can cause insomnia, the best thing to do is to consult a doctor before starting to consume supplements. In fact, even if it is only to improve our diet, without the need for “extras”, it would be best to seek help from a specialist. By doing this, we will save a good amount of resources such as time and money.