Did you know that your diet affects the way you sleep? The right foods can help you sleep longer, harder, and more peacefully. In my previous posts, I’ve been exploring vitamins and minerals for better sleep. On May 20th, I looked at some of the most common minerals for sleep improvement. Today, I’d like to have a look at two less-lauded minerals that work best in conjunction with one another: calcium and magnesium.
Calcium actually plays a role in melatonin production. Melatonin is widely recognized for its role in producing drowsiness and maintaining a healthy 24-hour sleep/wake cycle. Melatonin levels rise at night and fall during the day in a healthy system, promoting daytime alertness and nighttime somnolence. It also helps relax muscles and nerves. Foods like dairy, dark leafy greens, tofu, and sesame seeds are rich in calcium.
Magnesium helps to relax the muscles and calm the nervous system, promoting healthy circulation in the process. Magnesium deficiency can exacerbate restless legs syndrome and insomnia, as well as other sleep disorders, while adequate magnesium consumption can keep these symptoms at bay. Foods like bananas, avocadoes, spinach, seeds, nuts, beans, and many whole grains are excellent sources of magnesium.
Dr. Michael J. Breus wrote for Huffington Post that calcium and magnesium in a 2:1 ratio can help the body prepare for sleep, whether they’re taken in supplement form or obtained through the diet. The same ratio also protects against a range of sleep disorders that have been linked to deficiency in one or more of these vital minerals. Healthy levels of calcium and magnesium in the system can help you relax at bedtime, sleep better longer, with fewer interruptions, and wake refreshed.