The surprising reason you might be sleep-deprived

Kristine Tarbert

If you find yourself unable to fall asleep, stay asleep, or wake up rested then you might be lacking in magnesium.

While magnesium isn’t uncommon – it’s found in brown rice, green leafy vegetables, beans, avocados, almonds and dark chocolate – most of us don’t get enough.

It’s such an essential mineral, which plays a crucial role in more than 300 different areas of the body each day, your sleep cycle and body clock involving many of them.

If you're struggling to sleep you could have a magnesium deficiency. Photo: Youtube

According to Healthista, a study of 8,000 Brits by Mineral Check discovered around 70 per cent had low levels of magnesium. And there’s no doubt we’re in the same boat in Aus.

If magnesium levels are too low, studies have shown that it makes it harder to stay asleep.

Magnesium can be found in many things. Photo: Getty

Rick Hay, a London-based nutritionist and author of The Anti Ageing Food & Fitness Plan, says the mineral offers the nervous system the support it needs to combat sleep disturbances.

He explains that it increases a chemical neurotransmitter in the brain called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) – which helps you unwind and relax.

Just 500mg of magnesium taken for eight weeks before bed helped improve insomnia levels, a study in 2012 revealed.

Magnesium can help improve insomnia levels. Photo: Getty

So there you have it. If you’re always feeling tired and not sleeping well it could be because of a magnesium deficiency.

“Magnesium is part of the body’s natural energy production system and contributes to energy release,” Rick Hay says.

It will help with energy levels as well. Photo: Getty

Magnesium helps to produce adenosine tri-phosphate (ATP) within the body, which is essential to creating energy.

Other signs of magnesium deficiency include depression, migraines, chocolate cravings, muscle spasms, eye twitches, irregular heartbeat, acne, eczema, and skin problems.

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