Most of the body’s magnesium (60 percent) is found in the bones. Food sources include artichokes, nuts, beans, whole grains and shellfish.
Magnesium deficiency is sometimes associated with frequent nocturnal awakenings. Nocturnal instrument monitoring reveals major disorders of sleep organization. The deficiency may be diagnosed on the basis of clearly low blood magnesium levels. Thus, it may prove helpful to supplement with magnesium for sleep support.
Magnesium, a mineral, functions as a coenzyme for nerve and muscle function, regulation of body temperature, energy metabolism, DNA and RNA synthesis and the formation of bones. It can be used as a laxative, antacid, for management of head comfort and to keep bones healthy. Preliminary evidence shows that magnesium may help with PMS symptoms, blood sugar in adults and cardiovascular health. Magnesium is involved in over 300 metabolic reactions and is necessary for every major biological process. It is an alkaline earth metal that exists under physiological conditions in its divalent state. Magnesium is interlocked biologically with calcium, and they cooperate in the normal production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). The mineral has been called “nature’s physiological calcium channel blocker” because it appears to regulate the intracellular flow of calcium ions.
Nearly 75 percent of the American population fails to consume enough magnesium in their diets; therefore supplements may be warranted in some cases, particularly for those concerned with bone growth.
Passion flower has a long history of use for promoting relaxation. German regulatory authorities cite passion flower as a potential help for “conditions of nervousness.” Passion flower is a perennial vine, which reaches 30 feet in length. It grows naturally from the southeastern United States to Brazil and Argentina, and is cultivated as a garden plant in Europe. The blossoms are considered symbolic of Christ’s passion, which accounts for its name because the central corona represents the crown of thorns. The medicinal value is found on the above ground parts of the plants. Passion flower is available as an herb for tea and is also an ingredient in some sedative bath additives.
Chamomile has been used for centuries to treat insomnia and for its calming and sedative effects that are attributed to the flavonoids, including apigenin, which acts as a lignan for the central benzodiazepine receptors.
Melatonin is a neurohormone produced in the brain by the pineal gland. The synthesis and release of melatonin are stimulated by darkness and suppressed by light, suggesting the involvement of melatonin in circadian rhythm and regulation of diverse body functions. Levels of melatonin in the blood are highest prior to bedtime. It is found in animals and, in much lower concentrations, in plants. Melatonin is synthesized endogenously by the pinealocytes of the pineal gland, and the essential amino acid L-tryptophan is a precursor in its synthesis. Melatonin supplementation has become popular as a possible sleep aid. It has also been known to assist with jet lag.