All about sleep

Researchers now agree with each other that we need between seven to nine hours of sleep that goes largely uninterrupted. Obviously not sleeping in the longer term may carry health risks.

Research has also shown that without sleeping well, we are four times as likely to feel depressed, twice as likely to become addicted and twice as likely to feel anxious. We may also be at risk of a heart attack or even a stroke.

A lack of sleep has also been linked to diabetes and obesity. There are things we can do to help get sleep back. It comes in the shape of tryptophan, which is an essential amino acid found in dietary protein and other foods, including oats, bananas, yogurt, cow’s milk, cottage cheese, eggs, chickpeas, and peanuts.

Tryprophan helps us balance our mood and sleep patterns. It is then converted into serotonin and serotonin is then converted into melatonin and melatonin helps with sleep. There are also several vitamins and minerals known to help with sleep.

Magnesium and calcium are considered good for helping the body to relax and calm us down, as well as act as a good muscle relaxant, which is why people with Cerebral Palsy may benefit. Magnesium is found in foods such as green vegetables, seafood, nuts and seeds, whilst calcium is found in green vegetables, dairy produce and molasses.

Balancing blood sugar levels, which means cutting out refined carbohydrates and sugar from our diet is also important in helping us sleep.

20 Nov, 2010

4 thoughts on “All about sleep

  1. My sleep is very erratic. Some nights are great but others aren’t. And here lately it’s been harder because we have to turn the heat up for the baby and I don’t sleep well in a warm room.

    So I’ve closed the vent in our bedroom for now. It has helped a little. I also have problems due to fibromyalgia. I have “P” waves during sleep, (I have pain).

    I used to take prescription meds for sleep but that quit working so I don’t take anything now except the natural remedies you have suggested and they help. Great post Ilana.

    1. Thanks Lisa. I have tried taking my calcium and magnesium tablets about an hour and a half before retiring for the night. That seems to help, I’ve had three good night’s sleep. Glad what you’re taking now is working for you Lisa.

  2. I deal with waking up at night and not falling asleep quick enough. You really have a lot of blogs about different things.

    I get a lot of knowledge from your journals. I’m glad we are friends on here. Take care of yourself.

    1. Thank you Colleen. I have the same problem. I wake up at night and take too long to get back to sleep. I have started taking a calcium and a magnesium supplement before I go to sleep and they seem to be helping.

      I have had three good nights so far. I’m also glad we’re friends on here. Thanks for posting. You’re a gem.

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Ilana x