The Secret Powers of Magnesium: How It Can Help You Sleep AND Help You Stay Awake
There are natural foods that some of us are aware of that help us boost energy. Nuts and seeds, for example, are frequently seen in trail mixes, bars, and cereals, a favorite snack for those of us constantly on-the-go. But few of us understand why these healthy foods, nuts, seeds, avocados, bananas, etc., give us energy. And an even smaller percentage are aware that they can help us sleep too.
What’s the secret?
Magnesium. This vital mineral actually facilitates energy and sleep. How is this possible? When you are deficient in magnesium (about 75% of Americans are according a 2009 study conducted by the World Health Organization) you can’t sufficiently make the compounds necessary for both energy and sleep.
Even if a blood test shows that you are not deficient, these tests tend to be unreliable unless the red blood cell magnesium is measured directly - not a standard practice.
Magnesium and Energy
ATP (adenosine triphosphate) is the main energy currency in your body. It is created by your cells through glycolysis and the Krebs cycle, also known as the citric acid cycle. Each and every cell in your body requires ATP to conduct its biochemical processes. In order for the ATP in your body to become active, magnesium has to bind to it. Not enough magnesium in your body? Not enough energy either.
Magnesium and Sleep
Low magnesium can throw off the secretion of cortisol, which is controlled by the circadian rhythm (the 24-hour natural wake and sleep cycle). When this happens, it is common for people to feel awake at night and drowsy and groggy in the morning. Melatonin, the initiator of the sleep cycle, is dependent on magnesium to be present in the body in order for it to be metabolized.
What’s the solution?
While there are many foods naturally rich in magnesium, most of our current food supply is low in vitamin and mineral levels, explaining why so many Americans are deficient, even when they eat healthy. And when we consider that the standard American diet consists of processed and fast foods, it is really no wonder that this deficiency is becoming rampant.
The best form of action is to make sure your bases are covered, which means eat foods high in magnesium (nuts, seeds, green leafy vegetables, chocolate, dried fruits, avocados, bananas) while also supplementing with a good chelated magnesium supplement for absorption, such as magnesium malate, magnesium citrate, magnesium chelate, magnesium taurate, and magnesium glycinate.
Looking for better sleep and more energy? Who knew it could be as simple as magnesium!