A Lack of Vitamins and Minerals Could be the Reason Many are Counting Sheep at Night

You do not have to accept sleepless nights as a part of living.

We have more control over our health and wellbeing than most people think.

Instead of running to the local convenience store to pick up an over the counter drug to relieve any little symptom, with a little time, effort and help from a holistic practitioner, we may actually get to the root cause of our dis-ease and eliminate the symptom all together by ourselves. The mind, body, and spirit will respond favorably to natural healing — it’s how we’re designed — and the more we can boost our body’s natural immune and health systems, the better our results will be.

One of the symptoms people are experiencing at increasingly high rates today is insomnia and other sleep-related disorders.

A good night of sleep could be losing out to stress, late-night Internet wandering, or just busy life distractions. Growing scientific evidence suggests that too little or inconsistent sleep may be taking a serious toll on our health, leading to conditions including cancer, obesity, depression, and heart disease. According to the National Sleep Foundation, if we’re suffering from insomnia or other sleep disorders, we should review our health to consider any underlying conditions that could be contributing to our sleepless nights.

One of the main components of health is diet, and since the average American diet consists of large amounts of processed foods, a lack of vitamins and minerals could be the reason many are counting sheep at night.

· Lack of calcium is the most serious nutritional problem of older Americans. Many people dip far below even the minimal RDA for this micronutrient. Three quarters of women over thirty-five consume less than the minimal RDA. Calcium, especially when it is in food, has a sedative effect on the body. When we do not get enough calcium, it may contribute to restlessness and wakefulness. Calcium-rich foods include kale, sardines, yogurt, broccoli, watercress, and dairy.

· Magnesium can help induce sleep, and not having enough magnesium may cause nervousness, which may prevent sleep. Also, not getting enough magnesium and calcium may cause leg cramps at night. Calcium and magnesium have a calming effect on the brain, which helps with sleep. Some foods rich in magnesium include kelp, wheat, bran, almonds, cashews, blackstrap molasses, and brewer’s yeast.

· Vitamin B Complex is also known to have a sedative effect on the nerves. Some food sources for B Vitamins include liver, whole grains, wheat germ, tuna, walnuts, peanuts, bananas, sunflower seeds, and blackstrap molasses.

· Tryptophan also known as L-tryptophan is an amino acid that helps the body to repair protein tissues and create new proteins. The brain converts the amino acid tryptophan into serotonin, which is a natural sleep-inducing chemical. This also helps the body produce more melatonin, which helps to regulate a body’s inner clock. Tryptophan can be found in turkey and milk.

· Melatonin is considered the natural sleep chemical. It is known to induce sleep without negative side effect, it is secreted mainly at night, and it can be found in plants and algae. It has been helpful in inducing sleep in both children and adults as well as for people with normal sleep habits and those with insomnia. It can also be useful in helping get rid of jetlag.

You do not have to accept sleepless nights as a part of living.

Getting enough rest and sleep helps the mind and body to have enough energy to fight off infection and illnesses, to keep us active and energized, happy and joyful, and to help us to repair bones and muscles. It is important overall to eat a whole food diet with these vitamins and minerals to maintain our health so that our sleep may not be interrupted and so that we can feel good, rested, and ready to start every new day.

Originally published at www.huffingtonpost.com on February 20, 2017.