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The Link Between Insomnia and Stress - Sleep Remedy Research
Sometimes the pressures at work or at home can interfere with our sleep. Stress manifests on the physical level by an outpouring of adrenal gland hormones. These hormones deplete our calcium levels, a mineral known to help with relaxation and sleep.
Cortisol has a stimulating effect and can promote wakefulness at the very time when one is trying to fall asleep. Scientists have recently discovered that increased blood levels of cortisol exist in people with chronic insomnia. Research has also uncovered that in the presence of elevated cortisol levels, the amount of calcium is rapidly reduced in the body - a mineral that's widely known to assist with relaxation and sleep.
In one recent study (1), investigators monitored the sleep of eleven patients with insomnia and thirteen people without sleep disorders. Blood was collected every thirty minutes for twenty-four hours, and levels of the adrenal stress hormones were monitored. They found that the level of adrenal hormones were significantly higher in the people with insomnia, as opposed to the other group. The insomniacs with the highest degree of sleep disturbances produced the highest amounts of cortisol, particularly in the nighttime hours.
Another aspect of this is that it appears people become more sensitive to the stimulating effects of cortisol as they age. Researchers at the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine (2) found that when both young and middle-aged men were administered a version of cortisol, the middle-aged men remained awake longer and slept less deeply. This finding applies to aging women as well, who tend to experience insomnia and sleeplessness as part of their premenopause and menopause symptoms.
From a nutritional perspective, the mineral calcium has long been known as a natural aid to relaxation and sleep and is directly related to our cycles of sleep. In one study, published in the European Neurology Journal, researchers found that calcium levels in the body are higher during some of the deepest levels of sleep, such as the rapid eye movement (REM) phase. The study concluded that disturbances in sleep, especially the absence of REM deep sleep or disturbed REM sleep, are related to a calcium deficiency. Restoration to the normal course of sleep was achieved following the normalization of the blood calcium level.
It is interesting that cortisol has been shown to rapidly reduce calcium in the body (3). Studies have shown that calcium levels are reduced for as long as the cells are exposed to cortisol, but promptly return to their normal level once the stress hormone is removed. In light of recent discoveries about the relationship between stress hormones and calcium depletion, it’s likely that nighttime calcium levels can be restored and insomnia calmed by supplementing with highly absorbable forms of this mineral.
One sleep remedy that is gaining popularity due to its rapidly absorbed forms of calcium and magnesium is Sleep Minerals II from http://www.NutritionBreakthroughs.com. The product contains six different types of calcium, three types of magnesium, Vitamin D, Vitamin K, boron and horse tail herb. The ingredients are formulated with carrier oils such as evening primrose – an oil that has been shown to increase mineral absorption, reduce calcium excretion, and increase bone density.
Judy H. of Burbank CA. says, “Sleeping problems have become a regular part of my life. Since starting to use Sleep Minerals II, I’ve had lots of good nights where I’ve slept for many hours. I recently had a night when I just couldn’t fall asleep. I had taken one of the Sleep Minerals. The thoughts just kept racing around and around through my head and I couldn’t go to sleep. I decided to take another one and then I fell into a deep, sound sleep. I had a totally great day the next day.”
Other helpful tips to support our health in stressful times include eating nourishing foods such as brightly colored vegetables and fruits, taking concentrated food supplements like fish oil capsules and green drink powders, doing some daily exercise like taking walks, and creating positive communications and relationships with others.
For more information on Sleep Minerals II visit http://www.nutritionbreakthroughs.com/
1. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism August 2001; 86:3787-3794
2. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, April 2001
3. American Journal of Physiology, Endocrinology & Metabolism 286: E626-E633, 2004
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Nutrition Breakthroughs provides science-based health articles that are designed to clarify and simplify what can sometimes be a complicated subject. Their natural remedies include the effective insomnia remedy Sleep Minerals II.