In the last few articles I have talked about sleep problems and insomnia. Insomnia is a pervasive problem in the United States. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the number of people that are reporting loss of sleep has been increasing since 2001. With sleep becoming such a problem many of my patients come in to ask for help with this, along with their other complaints. I have used magnesium as one of my principle minerals to restore health in patients with insomnia. I use it for patients who have had problems both getting to sleep and those that have difficultly staying asleep. One of the main reasons for insomnia has to do with anxiety or worry over problems that occur in daily life.
Medications and chronic issues also contribute to sleep disturbances as well. As a naturopathic doctor I will always look at the total picture and prescribe an appropriate diet, stress management and other essential nutrients to help address all the underlying issues with regard to insomnia or other sleep issues. However I find there is one mineral that I use more than any other in as part of my health and wellness plan and that is magnesium.
Magnesium is used by the nervous system and the muscular skeletal system during all of their transmissions in the body. If there is a deficiency of magnesium in the body the skeletal and nervous system cannot fully relax. In addition to muscle relaxation magnesium can help to relieve insomnia do to slight to moderate pain. In a study published in Sleep August 1998 the use of magnesium eliminated muscle twitches in patients with moderate restless leg syndrome which resulted in better sleep for all participants. I use magnesium as part of the relaxation process for the muscles so the body can achieve better levels of sleep. This shows how magnesium can be effective in relaxing muscle with improves the quality of sleep.