According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), almost six out of ten Americans report having insomnia and sleep problems at least a few nights a week. Insomnia is defined as "An inability to fall asleep or remain asleep long enough to feel rested, especially when the problem continues over time." In an effort to combat this, as many as 25 percent of the people in the United States try medications to help them sleep.
Most sleeping pills, especially when taken over long periods of time, can have multiple side effects. The drugs stay in the bloodstream, give a hangover effect the next day and beyond, tend to be addictive, and can increase the risk of car and work accidents. They also impair memory and performance on the job and at home.
In a study published in the European Journal of Nutrition, researchers found that drinking tart cherry juice results in significant improvements in sleep. These include longer sleep time, less daytime napping, and increased overall sleep efficiency (the ratio of the time spent in bed to the time spent sleeping).
The researchers compared these results to other participants who were given a non-cherry juice drink. They credit these benefits to the high natural melatonin content of cherry juice. Melatonin is a natural hormone produced by the brain that regulates the sleep/wake cycles. More melatonin is produced at night.
Regarding mineral-based natural sleep aids, calcium is also directly related to the cycles of sleep. In one study, published in the European Neurology Journal, researchers found that calcium levels are higher during some of the deepest levels of sleep, such as the rapid eye movement (REM) phase. The study concluded that disturbances in sleep, especially the absence of REM deep sleep or disturbed REM sleep, are related to a calcium deficiency.
When magnesium is deficient, chronic insomnia is one of the main, central symptoms. Sleep is usually agitated with frequent nighttime awakenings. On the other hand, a high magnesium diet has been found to be associated with deeper, less interrupted sleep. This was shown in a study done by James Penland at the Human Nutrition Research Center in North Dakota.
A balanced calcium magnesium ratio is important to overall health and these two minerals should be taken together for best results (in a two to one ratio with twice as much calcium as magnesium).
This news is provided by www.NutritionBreakthroughs.com. Since 2001 Nutrition Breakthroughs has provided natural health articles and effective natural remedies. Their mission is to provide nutritional supplements that get results and therefore help people to avoid drugs and their side effects.
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