Not getting enough sleep doesn’t just ruin your morning. Or leave you falling asleep in your soup. It also destroys your health—and in far more ways than most people might imagine.
Insomnia messes with your memory. It sabotages your weight. It suppresses your immunity and sends inflammation levels skyrocketing. Which means that, ultimately, those sleepless nights could be shaving years off your life, too.
But of course, you and I both know that solving this problem isn’t simply a matter of going to bed earlier. Because many folks will be spending those extra hours tossing and turning anyway. Even with a new mattress, blackout curtains and a bedroom free of electronic distractions.
And prescription sleep aids are simply bad news. With a long list of serious dangers—including a higher risk of everything from dementia to heart attacks—the cost for this “sleep cure” is steep, to say the least.
Insomnia triggering nutritional deficiencies
For longtime sufferers, insomnia may seem like an impossible foe to conquer. But if you’ve tried every trick to no avail, then it might be time to take a closer look at your nutrition. Because, believe it or not, a simple nutritional deficiency could be the real culprit behind your chronic sleep troubles.
Following are four common nutritional deficiencies that could be stealing your sleep…
Turns out, there’s some wisdom behind that warm milk mom always recommended after all. Calcium helps your body produce melatonin, the hormone that triggers sleep. And recent research suggests that this mineral plays a crucial role in helping us to fall sleep and stay asleep longer.
But you don’t necessarily need to double down on dairy to meet your daily quota. Leafy greens and broccoli are rich in calcium, too.
Experts estimate that at least half of the U.S. population may not be getting enough magnesium. Which is bad news for folks trying to get some rest, because magnesium is essential for regulating your body’s stress response.
So it’s no surprise research from the University of Geneva found that optimal magnesium levels leads to deeper, more restful sleep.
You’ll find magnesium in almonds, cashews, spinach, and black beans. And the mineral appears to be especially effective in combination with calcium—making these two minerals a natural insomnia fighting pair.
When your body’s short on potassium—whether from excessive sweating, dehydration, or magnesium deficiencies—muscle spasms and cramping are your first telltale signs. And nothing hijacks a good night’s sleep faster than a killer cramp.
On the other hand, research shows that potassium can significantly reduce night-wakings, helping you to stay asleep longer. Eating plenty of sweet potatoes, avocados, spinach and white beans can help to keep your potassium on track.
4. Vitamin D:
It’s called the sunshine vitamin—but you’ll have a hard time sleeping through the night without it. Studies show that low levels of vitamin D have a direct link to insomnia and poor sleep quality. While vitamin D supplements slash the amount of time it takes to get to sleep—and help you stay asleep longer.
The sun is your best natural source of vitamin D. (And those daytime rays will help to regulate your sleep cycles, too.) But it’s only enough if you’re actually able to get 20 minutes of bare- skin exposure daily. If not, stocking up on vitamin D-rich foods such as fatty fish, egg yolks and cheese, and taking a daily D3 supplement can help.
Don’t let these four insomnia triggering nutritional deficiencies stand in the way of you getting a good night’s sleep.