Magnesium THE sleep supplement
There’s nothing more relaxing than a warm bubble bath and its perfect for unwinding in that hour or so before bed… There’s something that you can add to this however to really maximise your sleep even further. Magnesium is a super important mineral for us responsible for keeping our immune systems strong, helping with muscle and nerve function, regulating blood pressure and supporting our nervous systems. It is the second most abundant element in our bodies, and is used in regulating over 300 enzymes and reactions in the body, it also plays an important plays role in relieving many issues that may contribute to poor sleep including muscle tension, stress, worry and anxiousness.
Now it can be found in some foods that I’m quite sure most of you eat every day avocados, bananas, almonds, cashews (most nuts and seeds) kidney beans, lentils, black beans, peanut butter, leafy greens like spinach, raw cacao… If you have a good balanced diet its most likely that you are eating enough but therein lies the problem. So many of us now, due to bad digestion can make magnesium difficult to absorb when taken orally, especially for those with a damaged gut. It can make absorbing magnesium and other crucial minerals through the digestive system more difficult, which is why I love a topical magnesium oil/spray or magnesium bath salts are a wonderful suggestion to really up your sleep game and levels of the mineral all at the same time. The skin has an amazing ability to absorb making a bath a brilliant choice for you. But why is it perfect in the lead up to a restful night’s sleep? Magnesium is essential for whole-body wellness as I mentioned above, including the healthy functioning of GABA receptors. GABA stands for gamma-aminobutyric acid, which is a neurotransmitter that helps calm the brain and reduce tension. It’s responsible for helping the brain “switch off” so you can sleep. So switch off your phone, pour a camomile tea and run a magnesium bubble bath…
Different types of sleep and why we need them
We all know and feel the difference between a really bad night’s sleep and a really great one but did you know that these aren’t the only differences… There are two very distinct kinds of sleep: REM (rapid eye movement sleep when we dream) and non-REM sleep, also called slow wave sleep (SWS). While we sleep, our bodies progress through four different stages: 1, 2, 3, and REM. Stages 1, 2, and 3 are known as non-REM, or NREM, sleep. In a typical night, we will cycle through these stages 4 or 5 times (If were lucky!) Stage 1 is where your magnesium begins to kick in and you begin to feel nice and sleepy, a little drowsy even. Stage 2 is where the real sleep begins, you are no longer alert or aware of your surroundings, and your breathing begins to slow. In stage 3 this is where you get your deepest non REM sleep, your muscles are super relaxed and your blood pressure and breathing rate all drop. In this deep sleep section it is most common for sleepwalking, sleep talking, night terrors, to all occur during this stage of the night. This stage 3 sleep is so vital because its where our most restorative sleep happens. During this part of your sleep human growth hormone is released and refreshes your body to take on the next day; this includes immune system restoration and memory consolidation. Many people will feel refreshed and revitalised from just catching up on stage 3 sleep, if they have had a few nights of stage 1-2 sleep. During your REM sleep your most vivid dreams occur… you know the ones that you can remember every single detail! It’s easy to wake up during this stage due to an increase in heart and breathing rate, but once you do it can often leave you with that feeling of grogginess and sleeplessness! Many people refer to REM sleep as Paradoxical sleep because your brain is active, while your body is still and frozen.