We all know that sleep is very important and with all of the connections to obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart failure, and cognitive failure, the need to sleep goes far beyond just looking better and seeing results from your diet and exercise efforts.
While there’s no hard number that applies to all people, a good rule of thumb is to receive between seven and nine hours of sleep per night, and to make sure that one poor night of sleep isn’t followed up with a few more. It might not seem like much, but it could make all the difference and mean more than any other health decision you make.
If you’re having trouble sleeping, supplement with melatonin and magnesium.
Melatonin regulates the wake/sleep cycle to help you get a better night’s rest. According to Dr. Margie Danchin from The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, Melatonin is a hormone that is produced by a gland in the brain in response to the dark stimulus created as the sun goes down. It helps to regulate the body clock in almost everyone, and is often used for jet lag, as well as for inducing sleep (although it doesn’t work in everyone). It can help some kids fall asleep faster and to stay asleep for longer.
However, before you supplement with melatonin ensure you’ve consulted with your Doctor and tried all strategies to optimise your sleep first including reducing ‘screen time’ at night ie. TV, smart phones, iPads or e-books because the light exposure from screens actually delays the natural secretion of melatonin and confuses your brain, thinking that it’s daylight and the sun is still up.
The other supplement you want to use to help you with your sleep is magnesium.
Insomnia is a common symptom of magnesium deficiency. People with low magnesium often experience restless sleep, waking frequently during the night. Maintaining healthy magnesium levels often leads to deeper, more sound sleep. Magnesium plays a role in supporting deep sleep by maintaining healthy levels of GABA, a neurotransmitter that promotes sleep. Research indicates supplemental magnesium can improve sleep quality, especially in people with poor sleep (thesleepdoctor.com).
There are weeks when I only sleep about 4-5 hours a night but yet still able to do high intensity training 3-4 times a week including 5 minute sparring rounds in the boxing ring. And my clients, family and friends ask me how I do it. Well a lot of willpower but Magnesium helps as well.
Which product do you recommend?
For melatonin, I personally haven’t needed to use it. You want to look for one that is all natural and 5mg per tablet is average. If you need something stronger, 10mg per tablet will do the trick. This one from Natrol seems to tick all the right boxes.
For magnesium, I like Ethical Nutrient mega mag.