The vital importance of a good night's sleep
If you are one of the many people who are dealing with occasional insomnia or the inability to stay asleep all night, then you know that having a full night's rest is vitally important. There can be many causes for disruptions in our sleep patterns.
For some, the reason can be traced back to what you are putting in your body before going to bed. In particular, it is the consumption of caffeine too late in the day. Eating a heavy meal that may be more difficult to digest keeps your body more concerned than it needs to be. Of course, there are always those who can do both and immediately fall asleep. We will all have unique and particular challenges to get a restful night's sleep.
Other considerations are food additives, such as artificial colors, flavors and sweeteners, even MSG, which can be chemically toxic to some individuals. One of the main negative effects of these toxins is that the liver and other organs of elimination have to work overtime to cleanse your system and possibly interfere with rested sleep. And there is evidence, in previous studies, that these additives may be implicated in hyperactivity in children.
The more natural and organic your diet is, the happier your body will be and the better you will feel. (Eating foods rich in calcium and minerals before bed, such as almonds, figs, sesame seeds or tahini butter are great late-night snacks that won't keep you awake.)
One of the main causes of insomnia is STRESS. Stress can be caused by worry, overwork and physical and emotional exhaustion. This can have a number of different repercussions on the body. There is no doubt that stress consumes nutrients. (Notably, the use of calcium, an important nutrient in the nervous system, can be reduced by emotional stress.) Once these nutrient levels are compromised, you may find that your muscles cannot relax and remain tense, even spasmodic. Restlessness, the inability to be comfortable, even pain, can be the end result. Stress also creates anxiety and, often, its own vicious cycle. A hyperactive mind continues to redo the things we are most stressed or anxious about, while trying to come up with resolutions to alleviate those same tensions in our lives.
There are many natural ways to induce sleep that will take you through the night. Homeopathic remedies are one of the best alternatives you have to over-the-counter (OTC) drugs that can have unfortunate side effects.
Calcium is essential for nerve function, muscle mobility and relaxation, and the body's ability to communicate with itself.
Magnesium plays the same vital role as calcium and the two need each other.
Niacin is essential for cellular reactions; at least 200 enzymes depend on their Co-enzymatic forms, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) and nicotinamide adenine phosphate dinucleotide (NADP). Niacin is so important that the amino acid tryptophan is converted to niacin in the liver. Tryptophan is important for the sleep process because it is a precursor to serotonin, the neurotransmitter that helps the body regulate sleep patterns. The supply of niacin may have the potential to convert more tryptophan to serotonin because tryptophan does not have to be converted to niacin.
Inositol is another essential nutrient that helps to manage some of the complex systems of the body.
Passion flower and hops have a long and historic use to calm the nervous system.
- Eat foods rich in calcium and minerals
- Avoid a heavy meal in the morning
- Drink mineral water before bedtime
- Avoid additives, artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners and MSG
- Avoid caffeine, drinks before bed.
- Avoid stress
- Try Yoga
- Do a nighttime stretch
- Avoid nicotine before bed, it is a stimulant.
- Find a peaceful place to sleep
- Meditate for 3-5 minutes before bed