Solving The Mystery Of Zinc
The idea that ions can regulate wake and sleep is actually not new. In 1927, Demole discovered that the injection of CaCl2 into the pituitary of cats increased sleep for several hours. More recently, Nedergaards lab thoroughly studied the interaction between sleep/wake status and the CSF concentration of three ions: K+, Ca2+ and Mg2+ . They reported that the concentration of extracellular K+ increases in the CSF of mice during wakefulness, while those of Ca2+ as well as Mg2+ decreases. Moreover, the authors assessed whether the sleep/wake status was responsible for the change in ion concentrations or if the change in ion concentrations was physiologically responsible for the promotion of sleep and wakefulness. They demonstrated that infusion of artificial CSF mimicking the concentration of ions in wake or sleep reversed the neuronal activity and the behavioral state. Involvement of Ca2+ in the control of sleep was also recently demonstrated in mammals . These results shed new light on the importance of the non-neurotransmitter type of communication within the brain, involving ions such as Ca2+, Mg2+ and also Zn2+, to control even the most critical physiological functions.
Zinc And Sleep Should You Take Zinc Before Bed
The main reason you should take a zinc supplement before bed is that you are deficient in zinc due to not obtaining enough from your diet. If you are consuming enough zinc each day, you shouldnt need to take zinc before bed, and you certainly dont want to exceed the FDAs Tolerable Upper Limit of zinc intake per day.
The Tolerable Upper Limit for zinc intake, as defined by the Food and Drug Administration , is 40mg per day.
Dietary sources of zinc include oysters, beef, crab, and yogurt, amongst others. Zinc is found in a variety of plant foods as well, although in smaller quantities and with worse absorption.
For those of you who do not consume enough zinc in your diet, a zinc supplement can be effective for improving your health, and specifically your immune system.
There are a variety of negative health effects of zinc deficiency, and many of them involve the immune system and the bodies healing processes.
According to a study published by the American Society for Nutritional Sciences,
The results of more than three decades of work indicate that zinc deficiency rapidly diminishes antibody- and cell-mediated responses in both humans and animals.
If you consistently take a quality zinc supplement before you sleep each night, you can be comfortable in knowing that your immune system will work at its full potential.
Other Diet Changes To Help You Get To Sleep
The body also needs to make certain hormones in order to support natural circadian rhythm, thereby maintaining sleep and wake cycles through the 24 hour clock.
Melatonin plays an important role in regulating sleep, however the production of this hormone can be influenced by levels of other hormones, such as cortisol .
The levels of these hormones fluctuate according to the light and dark cycle as well as sleep, feeding and general behaviour.
Melatonin, our sleep hormone, is synthesised from tryptophan, an amino acid, which is obtained from the diet. Foods such as poultry, bananas, oats, seeds and nuts are all good sources of tryptophan.
Claire said: Although, not conclusive, some studies have shown improvements to sleep with tryptophan, where the individual already experiences some sleep disturbances. Whilst we should avoid eating a large meal before bedtime, a small bowl of porridge containing bananas, seeds and nuts or a banana and oat smoothie could potentially help to increase the amount of tryptophan available for conversion into melatonin.
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May Help Control Blood Sugar Levels
Magnesium and zinc may also regulate your blood sugar levels.
An analysis of 32 studies in 1,700 people revealed that taking zinc significantly reduced levels of insulin, fasting and post-meal blood sugar, and hemoglobin A1c a marker of long-term blood sugar control .
Another analysis of 25 studies in over 1,360 people with diabetes found that supplementing with zinc reduced HbA1c as much as metformin, a common diabetes drug .
Moreover, research suggests that magnesium may aid blood sugar control in people with diabetes by enhancing your bodys ability to use insulin a hormone that moves sugar from your blood into your cells .
An analysis of 18 studies in people with diabetes indicated that magnesium supplements were more effective at reducing fasting blood sugar levels than a placebo. Plus, blood sugar levels dropped significantly in those at risk of this condition (
- muscle weakness
- numbness and tingling
If you experience any of these symptoms, consider lowering your dosage or consulting your healthcare provider.
Because calcium overdoses are linked to kidney stones and a higher risk of heart disease, its especially important to stick to the dosage recommendations on the packaging .
Plus, its worth noting that calcium competes with magnesium and zinc for absorption. If youre deficient in any of these minerals, consider taking these micronutrients separately and spacing them out between meals.
Shop for calcium-magnesium-zinc supplements online.
Are Natural Sleep Aids Safe For Adults
Natural sleep aids are not universally safe or unsafe for adults. Many natural sleep remedies, when taken in the proper dosage by healthy adults, have few side effects. But this does not mean that all-natural sleep aids are safe.
The best bet for adults is to talk with their doctor or pharmacist before taking a natural sleep aid. Adults should also stop taking natural sleep aids if they notice any abnormal health changes or side effects.
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Should You Talk To A Doctor Before Taking Natural Sleep Aids
It is advisable to talk with a doctor before starting to use any natural sleep aid. Even though these products are available without a prescription, your doctor may be able to help in several ways:
- Reviewing your other medications and the potential for interactions between them and a natural sleep aid.
- Addressing your health history and the likelihood of adverse reactions from natural sleep aids.
- Understanding your sleeping problems and evaluating if they may be caused by an underlying sleep disorder that can be resolved with a more specific form of treatment.
- Discussing the potential benefits and risks of specific types of natural sleep aids.
- Offering suggestions about dosage or timing for taking natural sleep aids.
- Providing guidance about how to know whether a natural sleep aid is working or causing side effects.
How To Diagnose A Deficiency
Only a blood test can diagnose a true deficiency, but its not so simple. Your body cant store zinc. A blood test will show whats currently in your blood, and if you ate enough zinc rich foods, your results can return normal.
Your doctor will likely base their diagnosis on your symptoms, and in severe or troubled cases, they might order a blood test to determine your zinc levels.
Assist your diagnosis by keeping a food journal, especially if youre already consuming a zinc rich diet. This is due to malabsorption syndromes, medications, or other gastrointestinal issues that could be causing your deficiency. You and your doctor can use this information to find the cause and a suitable course of treatment.
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A Zinc Overdose Or Toxicity Can Cause:
Vomiting Nausea and/or loss of appetite Abdominal cramps Decrease in good cholesterol Decreased absorption of other key nutrients, like copper and;iron
Because of these complications, you should take supplements under the care of a doctor, naturopath, or a dietician that is aware of your diet. Your doctor might recommend a higher dose and adjust it as needed until your zinc levels balance.
If you choose to supplement without guidance, choose a supplement with a lower dose more in line with the recommended daily milligrams to avoid possible toxicity. Understand that without blood work and monitoring, you cant know for certain how much zinc your body receives from food alone.
Are There Side Effects
No major side effects of ZMA have been reported, but there could be health concerns if the supplements are taken more frequently than the manufacturer suggests.
Too much zinc or magnesium can cause diarrhea, nausea, and cramping, and when taken in high doses over a period of time, zinc can lower the bodyâs immunity and its levels of HDL, or âgood,â cholesterol. One study also found that men who took 100 milligrams of zinc supplements for 10 years were more likely to get prostate cancer, but the reason isn’t clear. Taking too much supplemental B6 for a year or more may cause nerve damage.
More immediate concerns: Zinc and magnesium can make it harder for your body to absorb some prescription medications, such as antibiotics; and B6 supplements can intensify the side effects of certain drugs.
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How Zinc Helps Sleep
Researchers still dont know the exact mechanisms behind how zinc affects sleep, but there is a decent amount of research that all shows that relatively high zinc levels improve sleep :
SummaryWhile there isnt a ton of research looking at the effect of zinc levels and sleep, it all points towards a healthy zinc intake improving sleep.
Food Sources Of Zinc And Magnesium
You can lose zinc and magnesium when you sweat a lot or urinate, but the loss is usually temporary. Some people have low magnesium levels because of medications theyâre on or because of their alcohol use.
A simple way to replenish these minerals is through the food you eat. Spinach, almonds, cashews, whole grains, and beans are all rich in magnesium. Oysters, red meat, and poultry are great sources of zinc. And fish, fruit, potatoes, and other starchy vegetables can supply the body with B6.
Ask your doctor, a registered dietitian, or pharmacist to determine if a supplement is right for you before you take it.
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Science Explains 9 Hidden Causes Of Insomnia
If you do not get enough sleep, your life may become unbearable. Unfortunately, insomnia is a very common problem that affects almost everybody at some point in their lives. Some people experience short-term insomnia, while others develop a chronic condition that makes their entire world unbearable.
It can be daunting as you try to solve your sleep problems on your own. You could have tried various natural and artificial remedies that may or may not work for you. The process of trying to ease insomnia can be very frustrating at times.
There is a link between mental health and sleep. Insomnia can adversely affect your mental health. Likewise, having a mental health problem can negatively affect your sleep pattern.
Lack of adequate sleep also interferes with the body in various ways. For instance, it adversely affects the bodys daily metabolic repairs, hence affecting the bodys stress adaptation centers. This also reduces the effectiveness of your bodys immune system.
How Can You Find Safe Natural Sleep Aids
Finding dependable natural sleep aids can be a challenge given the huge range of brands and products on the market. Being a cautious shopper can reduce the risk of taking mislabeled or tainted supplements.
Start by looking carefully at the products ingredient list. Remember that product labels may use terms like natural, verified, or certified in ways that are not strictly defined or regulated.
Customers who want to research specific products can contact the manufacturer of a natural sleep aid and ask for documentation about testing and safety. Information about quality assurance in the manufacturing process can also be illuminating in some cases.
Some third-party organizations provide seals of approval for supplements that have been tested. This is not a guarantee of a products safety, but it does indicate that it has been subject to extra scrutiny. Organizations like ConsumerLab.com, US Pharmacopeia , and the NSF International Dietary Supplement program are among the most well-regarded certifications.
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If Zinc Isnt Causing Insomnia What Is
If I started to take a zinc supplement or eat more foods high in zinc, and started having sleep troubles, my first suspect wouldnt be zinc.
Instead, Id be looking for other recent changes in my life:
- New sources of stress – e.g. Moving, money problems, grief, etc.
- Other medications and supplements that I started to take
- Changes to when Ive been eating
- Changes to other aspects of sleep hygiene
You might also want to review the main risk factors of insomnia to see if anything seems relevant.
If you develop chronic insomnia, see a medical professional.
Nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice, just an overview of what the research says about zinc and insomnia.
What Is The Relationship Between Anxiety And Sleep
Serious sleep disturbances, including insomnia, have long been recognized as a common symptom of anxiety disorders. People who are plagued with worry often ruminate about their concerns in bed, and this anxiety at night can keep them from falling asleep.
In fact, a state of mental hyperarousal, frequently marked by worry, has been identified as a key factor behind insomnia. People with anxiety disorders are inclined to have higher sleep reactivity, which means they are much more likely to have sleeping problems when facing stress.
Sleeping difficulties have been found for people with various types of anxiety including generalized anxiety disorder, OCD, and PTSD. In several studies, over 90% of people with PTSD associated with military combat have reported symptoms of insomnia.
Distress about falling asleep can itself complicate matters, creating a sleep anxiety that reinforces a persons sense of dread and preoccupation. These negative thoughts about going to bed, a type of anticipatory anxiety, can create challenges to healthy sleep schedules and routines.
At the same time, strong evidence indicates that sleeping problems are not only a symptom of anxiety. Instead, sleep deprivation can instigate or worsen anxiety disorders. Researchers have found that people who are prone to anxiety are especially sensitive to the effects of insufficient sleep, which can provoke symptoms of anxiety.
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Digestion And Gut Health
Magnesium is important to gut health, a relatively new branch of research. One of the jobs of magnesium;is to relax muscles in the stomach and intestines, neutralize stomach acids, and promote a healthy digestive tract.
For this reason, high doses of magnesium are often used to relieve constipation and soothe heartburn. A diet of magnesium-rich foods helps to offset these uncomfortable conditions that have direct ties to the gut.
While research examining the link between magnesium and gut health is in its primitive stages, a2018 studyVerified SourceNational Library of Medicine Worlds largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible.View sourceusing male rats found that a diet high in magnesium led to a healthy gut among its test subjects.
Additional research out of Denmark found that adults deficient in magnesium may be more prone to symptoms of depression and anxiety because of animbalance of healthy microbiotaVerified SourceNational Library of Medicine Worlds largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible.View sourcein the gut.
Is Magnesium Better For Sleep Than Melatonin
Actually, magnesium and melatonin are addressing two different things in regard to sleep. Magnesium can help with relaxing and calming your body, while melatonin will directly lead to hormonal changes that can cause you to fall asleep, says Avena.
Melatonin will more directly affect your sleep and likely have a stronger affect on sleep habits compared to magnesium, which will mainly just help relax you before bed. It may be best to try magnesium first to help calm you before you rest at night, Avena says. And if you find that it doesn’t do the trick, then consider trying melatonin.
The bottom line: Magnesium supplement may help you relax if you’re having a hard time calming down at bedtime, says Dr. Winter, but you can get enough via your diet. And if falling asleep at night is a chronic issue, it’s time to check in with your doc.
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Are Natural Sleep Aids Safe For Children
Some natural sleep aids are safe for use in children; however, in many cases, there is insufficient research in children to confidently evaluate their safety or efficacy.
For certain natural sleep aids, such as melatonin, short-term use is generally considered to be safe for most children, but there is limited data about long-term use.
To make sure that any medication or sleep aid doesnt affect their childs health and development, parents should use caution when considering natural sleep aids for their children, including:
- Talking with their pediatrician first
- Ensuring that the dosage is meant for children and not adults
- Paying attention to the label and list of ingredients
- Looking for high-quality products that are tested by third-parties to reduce the risk of tainted or mislabeled supplements
Can Lack Of Sleep Kick You Out Of Ketosis
Lack of sleep is bad news, and at the very worst, not sleeping at the extreme end can lead to death.;
Fatal familial insomnia, while EXTREMELY rare, can be fatal.;
But I digress.
Lack of sleep shouldn’t impede your ability to get into ketosis, that is unless it causes you to eat carbohydrates.;
But I digress once again.
While lack of sleep shouldn’t kick you out of ketosis, and I’d be surprised if it did, stranger things have happened.
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