The Grandiosity of Magnesium Deficiency
How Lack of Sleep Can Create a World of Illusions
Have you ever felt like being the only one who understands how things work? like being on top of everything, a genius, and all the others are just ignorant who fail to understand? that you are powerful or good and all the others are weak or evil?
Grandiosity refers to an unrealistic sense of superiority — a sustained view of oneself as better than others that causes the narcissist to view others with disdain or as inferior — as well as to a sense of uniqueness: the belief that few others have anything in common with oneself and that one can only be understood by a few or very special people. It also occurs in reactive attachment disorder. […]
It’s interesting to see how Grandiosity can be a side effect of Amphetamine use.
Common psychological [side] effects of [amphetamine] therapeutic doses can include increased alertness, apprehension, concentration, decreased sense of fatigue, mood swings (elated mood followed by mildly depressed mood), increased initiative, insomnia or wakefulness, self-confidence, and sociability. Less common side effects include anxiety, change in libido, grandiosity, irritability, repetitive or obsessive behaviors, and restlessness; these effects depend on the user’s personality and current mental state. […]
Reading what amphetamine is, we can discover that it affects tremendously our Central Nervous System (CNS), and therefore our sleep and learning abilities.
Amphetamine is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), narcolepsy (a sleep disorder), and obesity, and is sometimes prescribed off-label for its past medical indications, such as depression. […]
If you are one of those people who work hard during the day, but doesn’t have established a good sleep-wake cycle, by procrastinating the time to go to sleep, thinking, for example, on one extreme, that work is more important, or, on the other extreme, that you need to loosen up and drink some beers, or even partying, at night, before going to bed. If all that is a habit of yours, and you feel like something is missing and it’s time for some change, please keep on reading and stick with me.
Have you ever felt tired during the day, with hard time to concentrate, focus, and be productive, like if your head was wrapped into a sticky bubble, and all around you is so damn slow or too damn fast?
Narcolepsy is a long term neurological disorder that involves a decreased ability to regulate sleep-wake cycles. Symptoms include periods of excessive daytime sleepiness that usually lasts from seconds to minutes and may occur at any time. […]
Amphetamine, other than used to treat Narcolepsy, is also used to treat ADHD, which condition can have very similar symptoms to sleep deprivation or sleep disorder.
But what if some of those who’ve been diagnosed with ADHD are, in fact, suffering from another disorder altogether — a sleep disorder? […]
Whenever our sleep-wake cycle gets disrupted, there can be serious consequences, in direct proportion to the gravity and to the duration (how long: days, weeks, months, years?) of that disruption. Also, how well we can cope with sleep deprivation has genetic factors, like bone mass and density, in connection with metabolic factors, like adequate amount of electrolytes (i.e. calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium), among which magnesium stands up.
Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include hyperexcitability, muscular symptoms (cramps, tremor, fasciculations, spasms, tetany, weakness), fatigue, loss of appetite, apathy, confusion, insomnia, irritability, poor memory, and reduced ability to learn. Moderate to severe magnesium deficiency can cause tingling or numbness, heart changes, rapid heartbeat, continued muscle contractions, nausea, vomiting, personality changes, delirium, hallucinations, low calcium levels, low serum potassium levels, retention of sodium, low circulating levels of parathyroid hormone (PTH), and potentially death from heart failure. Magnesium plays an important role in carbohydrate metabolism and its deficiency may worsen insulin resistance, a condition that often precedes diabetes, or may be a consequence of insulin resistance. […] Causes of magnesium deficiency include diet, alcohol abuse, chronic stress, poorly controlled diabetes […]
The magnesium in our body has to be in a certain proportion with the calcium (usually 1:2 is recommended), because magnesium regulates calcium release, which is used to contract muscles (heart included). Magnesium also regulates the sodium-potassium pump, necessary for energy production (also sodium:potassium is generally recommended with a 1:2 ratio).
Magnesium can be exogenous, taken along with food or through supplementation, or endogenous, stored into the bones. Generally speaking, people with big bones, that had very good nutrition when babies, through mother’s milk mostly, may have a very good tolerance threshold towards sleep deprivation, without showing off much of its symptoms.
Most of the systems in our bodies work with a negative-feedback mechanism. Magnesium uptake as well. When the body needs magnesium, it tries to get it from the food, and if it is not enough it pulls it out from the bones; as you can imagine, in the long run, the bones may get fragile. Magnesium regulates calcium release (for contracting muscles) and also controls Vitamin D absorption, both very important for strong bones. So, without proper amount of magnesium, calcium can be dangerous, and also sun exposure may become dangerous (since you get all the downsides — prolonged radiation exposure — without the upsides — usable Vitamin D).
Magnesium has also a critical role in insulin production. Insulin is a hormone very important in the metabolism of carbohydrates (sugar, starches, like pasta, cereals, etc., which all get broken down to glucose). Have you ever heard about the Glycemic Index (or GI)? It’s a number that says how much a certain food will raise blood glucose, and insulin is necessary to stabilize blood glucose levels. So the more GI has a certain food, the more insulin will be produced, the more magnesium will be needed, and, in the very long term, the more fragile your bones get, if adequate amounts of exogenous magnesium are not provided. This is mainly why you should always eat whole, non-processed, foods.
Processed foods are those foods almost, or totally void of micro-nutrients (i.e. vitamins and minerals). As a nutrition principle, macro-nutrients (i.e. calories, carbohydrates, fats) need micro-nutrients to be assimilated properly. If the body gets from food only the macro part, then it will need to get the micro part from its own storage, impoverishing the system on the long run, and sending famine signals — have you ever felt like “I’m starving!” when you go few hours without food? It’s the body that is saying “hey, you gave me so much energy, so suddenly, but where are the minerals?”, and you might, wrongly, assume that you need more energy and take more “empty” calories, like eat some snack loaded with sugar, or drink some soda, entering in a never-ending loop.
Closing the Circle
And the circle closes, when we see that sleep deprivation affects magnesium levels negatively, and magnesium deficiency induces poor sleep. The vicious cycle that makes us feel miserable is in full activity. Our perception of the outer world gets temporarily compromised, which might generate a form of panic, which can lead us to blame other people, “The whole world is against me”, then feel Grandiose, with some ADHD or Narcolepsy symptoms, then we realize the absurdity of those thoughts and start blaming time, “I’m getting old”, which makes us feel eventually relieved. But in reality we simply have a Grandiose Magnesium Deficiency and Sleep Deprivation.
I am aware that I am simplifying a lot here, but I hope that you get the idea nonetheless, and I hope to intrigue you in doing further research on your own and take care of yourself.
A magnesium supplement is a “must” these days, because the soil, almost everywhere, also organic, is impoverished of this precious mineral.
Here’s a list of magnesium supplements that I use, or used in the past, and work well for me.
- Calm Magnesium, by Natural Vitality
- Magnesio Supremo, by Natural Point (Italian brand)
- Magnesium Citrate, by Solgar
- Magnesium Citramate, by Thorne Research
- Magnesium Glycinate Powder, by Seeking Health
In general I have found working well both the citrate form of Magnesium (the first four in the list) and the malate form (the forth is a combination of citrate and malate); but the one that works best for me so far is the bisglycinate form (the last one). I have also tried some magnesium oxide, but my body doesn’t absorb well from that form. I always choose supplements with as few as possible added ingredients; I especially avoid sugar and all its forms or names, like dextrose, (malto)dextrin, glucose, fructose, sucrose, etc, or artificial sweeteners like sucralose, aspartame, saccharin, etc. (why adding empty calories, if the balance is already negative — not enough micro-nutrients — right?).