I know my 15-year-old daughter is getting close to adulthood because she’s starting to have that feeling that there just isn’t enough time in the world.
She’s decided that she’s going to invent several pills – one for eating . . . one for doing the dishes . . . one for homework . . .
And several times she’s mused about inventing a pill for sleeping – not a sleeping pill that helps you go to sleep, mind you . . .
But a pill you can take instead of sleeping.
Of course nothing can replace good sleep. And even if there was a pill, I’m not sure I’d go anywhere near it.
But there is a pill I do recommend to help you get to sleep.
And funny enough, not only is it one of the most effective natural supplements you can take to improve your sleep, it’s also associated with increasing your body’s energy levels.
It’s an energy pill and sleeping pill combined
But before I tell you about one of my favorite supplements, let me step back a moment and make it clear why you shouldn’t rely on the regular over-the-counter sleeping pills to get snoozing.
Why Sleeping Pills Won’t Help You
Most sleeping pills won’t do you much good.
First of all, they can kill you.
- A study published in 2012 conducted by the Scripps clinic that followed over 30,000 people over 2 ½ years published in 2012 found that people taking prescribed sleeping pills are 4.6 times more likely to die in that time period than people who don’t.
Now, there are all kinds of reasons for why this is the case. This study didn’t go too much into the details of why. As the authors point out these numbers include everything from car accidents from driving when under the influence of these drugs to people who take sleep aids because they’re already sick and in pain.
- However, the study did find that sleeping pill takers were 35% more likely to be diagnosed with a new form of cancer. And other research shows an increased risk for kidney and liver problems associated with OTC sleeping pills.
But the health risks don’t stop here.
See, sleeping pills actually don’t help you sleep.
While certainly, if you’re desperate, they can help you get some rest. They help you sleep lightly.
But when you’re talking about the deep, restorative REM sleep that allows your body to repair itself . . . that strengthens your memory and mental alertness . . . that enables your immune system to build itself . . .
Nope, sleeping pills won’t get you there.
In fact they make it harder to get deep sleep. Just like alcohol, sleeping pills prevent you from getting the real sleep you need.
So while sleep experts like Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, author of From Fatigued To Fantastic, will prescribe them to help you over the first hurdle of getting a little sleep, he makes it clear they are not a long-term solution. And in the long run they only get in the way of good sleep.
So what can you take? What’s the “sleeping pill” I recommend?
The Best Pill You Can Take For Sleep
Now while I think nutritional supplements are great and far better than pharmaceutical drugs, I don’t advocate blindly replacing good nutrition with any pills – no matter how good they are.
And as I mentioned in an earlier post, there are some very simple ways to help you get more sleep. No pills needed.
But there are a few supplements in particular that I recommend. And there’s one I take myself that can give you a good night’s sleep.
Magnesium is a mineral that often gets ignored despite the fact that it’s an essential co-enzyme in over 300 reactions in your body.
Most notably, it plays a critical role in maintaining the mitochondria in your cells. Your mitochondria are your cells power plants, where energy is made.
It helps your body turn fats, carbs, protein – everything – into energy!
So you need magnesium in order to get enough energy.
And by conservative estimates, at least a third of American adults don’t get enough magnesium.
How Can An Energy Supplement Help You Sleep?
Here’s the funny thing – you need energy to relax. As I noted in the last post on how you can get sleep, the less sleep you get, the harder it is to get to sleep.
Magnesium has a tremendous effect in helping your muscles and nerves relax.
In fact I usually take magnesium after a hard workout when my muscles are sore and cramping. Did you know it’s the main ingredient in Grandma’s cure for sore muscles – Epsom salts?
So simply by helping you physically relax, it can help you sleep better.
But some researchers have gone a little further in looking at what magnesium can do for your dreamtime . . .
In 2002, researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry wanted to see if magnesium could reverse the decrease in deep sleep associated with aging. They conducted a double-blind placebo-controlled study with the help of 12 elderly patients.
√ The researchers found that when patients took magnesium, it significantly increased the amount of slow wave – or deep sleep – the patients were experiencing.
√ Blood tests of the test subjects further revealed that magnesium supplementation was linked with decreased levels of cortisol, the hormone that keeps us alert.
Admittedly, it’s a small study – but it hints at something worth checking out for yourself.
Finally, magnesium seems to serve another role in helping you sleep more . . .
You may have heard about melatonin as a good supplement for helping you sleep.
√ While the research is preliminary, a recent study published in the journal Magnesium Research indicates that magnesium increases the activity level of an enzyme that helps produce melatonin.
Where Can You Get Magnesium?
One reason so many of us are magnesium deficient is that it’s not as easy to get through food. As our soils are depleted of essential nutrients, so goes our food.
The magnesium we used to get from our everyday diet is disappearing. And the overprocessing of food doesn’t help.
However, there are some particularly magnesium-rich foods.
- Nuts like almonds and cashews are particularly rich.
- Leafy greens like spinach can give you a good amount because magnesium is the center element in the chlorophyll molecule.
- And whole grains have magnesium in their bran – another reason to skip white flour.
But even then it’s still sometimes hard to get enough. That’s why I take a magnesium supplement. And in particular I recommend Jigsaw Health’s magnesium with slow release technology.
Full disclosure, Jigsaw Health hired me to write several articles for their newsletter. And this is definitely a case of the more you know about a company, the more you respect and appreciate them.
A family-owned business born out of the father/founder’s health crisis, they put excellence at the top of their checklist. Their high quality magnesium supplement is the centerpiece of their business. And it’s truly exceptional.
In addition to using a high quality magnesium, they have developed a slow release technology. Many people who take magnesium end up having problems with diarrhea. In fact that’s why milk of magnesium is prescribed for constipation.
However, the Jigsaw Health magnesium supplement is developed to go easy on your digestive system. People who have previously had a difficult time taking magnesium don’t have the same digestive problems with Jigsaw’s magnesium with SRT.
Go With Magnesium For Energy And Sleep
So don’t go near those sleeping pills – they might just kill you. And they won’t help you get the real sleep you need.
And for that matter, don’t go near those caffeine-laced energy drinks to help you get through the day after another sleepless night. They can rob you of your health. And they just make it harder to get to sleep.
Instead, enjoy sweeter dreams and more energy during the day with the help of a simple mineral – magnesium.
Have you tried magnesium? Has it helped? Share your story below.
Sarah Clachar has built a thriving health copywriting business from scratch while being a mom . . . nurturing a strong marriage . . . and running a small homestead farm. Along with a BA in biology, she’s got two decades of experience teaching and researching about natural health. Her articles have been published in Life Extension Magazine, Health, Mothering, A Taste For Life, Nutrition Business Journal, and Natural Foods Merchandiser.
Over the years, she became keenly aware how important strategically working to maintain her health was for her business. And even more importantly, how good health factored into enjoying the rewards of having a successful business.
At Your Healthy Home Biz, Sarah has combined her expertise in health and her experience running a freelance health copywriting business into a special resource for home biz owners, freelancers and solopreneurs. Your Healthy Home Biz provides inspiration and a system for transforming your workday so you can run your home business without running yourself into the ground.
Want More Details On How To Energize And Transform Your Work Day? Sarah’s created a FREE report just for you: The Simplest Most Important Thing You Can Do For Your Business, Your Waistline And Your Life. Go get your copy!