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Nightmare and the Gut Connection

In the mysterious world of nightmares, a surprising discovery has been made – there’s a deep connection between our stomach health and the colorful scenes we see in our dreams.

Recent research unveils a fascinating interplay between the gut and the brain, with indigestion, late-night eating, and heavy foods emerging as potential influencers on the haunting narratives that unfold during our sleep.

The Gut-Brain Connection

Let’s take a closer look at the fascinating link between our gut and brain. Imagine them as close friends who talk to each other all the time, influencing how we feel and even the kind of dreams we have.

Our gut and brain communicate through something called the gut-brain axis. It’s like a two-way street where information travels back and forth. Picture this as a continuous chat that affects not only our physical well-being but also our emotions and thoughts.

In this communication system, there are special messengers called neurotransmitters. One of these messengers is serotonin, known for its role in regulating our mood. Surprisingly, we find a lot of serotonin not just in our brains but also in our gut. This highlights the deep connection between what happens in our stomachs and how we feel in our minds.

Understanding this connection helps us see how our digestive health might play a role in shaping our dreams. It’s like the gut and the brain are teaming up, and the quality of our sleep and dreams might depend on how well this partnership works.

As we explore further, we’ll discover how disturbances in our digestion, such as indigestion, might lead to disruptions in our sleep cycle. These disruptions could contribute to the vivid and sometimes unsettling dreams we experience at night. It’s like a ripple effect – what happens in our stomach can echo in our dreams.

Nightmares and Indigestion

Indigestion, often marked by stomach discomfort and bloating, may be more than just a tummy trouble – it might be haunting our dreams. Imagine indigestion as an uninvited guest disrupting our sleep party, causing disturbances that spill into the dream world.

When our stomach is upset, it sends signals to our brain, disrupting the peaceful transition from wakefulness to sleep. This disruption blurs the lines between reality and imagination, giving rise to vivid and sometimes distressing dreams. Researchers are now unraveling the connection between these stomach woes and the content of our nightmares, aiming to understand how digestive issues reach into the realm of our subconscious.

It’s like a puzzle where indigestion pieces fit into the nightmare picture. As we uncover the pieces, we gain insights into the intricate interplay between our gut health and the stories our dreams tell. So, next time indigestion knocks on the door, it might be worth considering not just the discomfort in your belly but also the potential impact it could be having on the adventures unfolding in your sleep.

Late-night Eating: A Culprit in the Night

In our fast-paced society, late-night eating has become a prevalent habit. However, its implications on the digestive system are profound.

When we eat late, we disturb our body’s natural rhythm linked to digestion. This disruption can lead to problems in how our body processes food during sleep, potentially causing nightmares. The impact of late-night eating on our digestive system unfolds as a key player in the nighttime narrative of our dreams.

So, the next time you reach for a midnight snack, consider how it might be shaping not only your digestion but also the adventures that play out in your sleep.

Read Top 10 Ayurvedic SuperFoods for Fat-burning, Weight loss and Kapha Dosha Balancing

Heavy Foods and Nightmares

When it comes to nightmares, the food we eat plays a role more significant than we might imagine. Consider the heaviness of certain foods – those hearty, rich meals that leave our stomachs feeling full and content. These foods, high in fats or tough to digest, could be influencing the stories that unfold in our dreams.

Researchers are exploring how these heavy meals might be linked to the intensity and content of our dreams. Picture it like this: a complex dance between what we eat and the way our body processes it, affecting the mysterious narratives that play out in our sleep. By understanding the impact of heavy foods on our dreams, we gain insights into how our nightly culinary choices might shape the stories that unfold in the theater of our minds.

Tips for a Dream-friendly Diet

Embarking on a dream-friendly diet doesn’t require complicated changes. Simple habits can make a significant difference in promoting better sleep and reducing the chances of nightmares.

Here are some easy-to-follow tips:

– Mindful Eating: Slow down and savor your meals. Pay attention to the flavors and textures of your food. This helps your body focus on digestion without distractions.

– Avoid Heavy Meals Before Bed: Steer clear of large, heavy meals close to bedtime. These can burden your digestive system, potentially disrupting your sleep and inviting unwelcome nightmares.

– Limit Caffeine and Sugary Snacks: Cutting down on caffeine in the evening and avoiding sugary snacks before bed can help stabilize your blood sugar levels, contributing to a more restful sleep.

– Opt for Light, Balanced Snacks: If you’re feeling peckish before bedtime, choose light, balanced snacks. A small serving of yogurt, a handful of nuts, or a piece of fruit can be gentle on your stomach.

– Hydrate Smartly: Stay hydrated throughout the day, but be mindful of your water intake close to bedtime to avoid disruptions from late-night bathroom trips.

By incorporating these simple tips into your daily routine, you can create a dream-friendly diet that supports your digestive health and contributes to a more peaceful night’s sleep.

Read Health and Beauty Benefits of Pomegranate – Fruit, Seed, Peel and Oil

Beyond Diet: Lifestyle Factors

Beyond what we eat, our daily habits also play a big role in how we dream. Stress is like a disruptor that can mess with both our digestion and our sleep. Imagine it as a puzzle where stress is a missing piece that can affect our dreams.

On the flip side, moving our bodies is like a friend that helps us sleep better. Simple activities like walking or stretching can make a real difference. So, it’s not just about what’s on our plate but also how we handle stress and move our bodies which can impact the kind of dreams we have.

Conclusion

In wrapping up our journey into the connection between what we eat and the nightmares we face, it’s clear that our gut health and dream world are intertwined.

By choosing a diet that supports good sleep, being mindful of when we eat, and making lifestyle adjustments, we can potentially transform our nights. It’s not just about what happens in our stomachs; it’s about fostering a harmonious relationship between our gut and our dreams.

So, the key to unlocking a more peaceful night lies in embracing a balanced connection between what we digest and the stories our dreams unfold.

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Magnesium is a mineral we should be paying more attention to! It is part of over 300 biochemical reactions and the fourth most abundant mineral in our body, with 65% of it in our bones and teeth and 35% in our brain, hearth, blood, and cells. But many of us can have low magnesium levels, and this can lead to many common symptoms.

Causes of deficiency

-Intake of coffee, alcohol, smoking
-Long term use of diuretics               
-Birth control pills
-Poor nutrition
-Diarrhea, dehydration                                  
-Hyperthyroid           
-Kidney disease – Since the kidneys are regulators of magnesium homeostasis
-Celiac and IBD (due to impaired absorption of minerals)
-Antibiotics                           
-Stress
-Sweating                                          
-Exercise

As you can see, many things affect magnesium absorption. Food processing in itself reduces magnesium, up to 80% in milling of wheat for example. Phytic acid and oxalic acid found in many greens and grains also reduce magnesium. Absorption also depends on stomach acid level, diet, and our bodily requirements.

Effects of Low Magnesium

Many of us can have any of the following symptoms, but don’t always connect this to magnesium deficiency:

  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Weakness, fatigue
  • Nausea, GI disorders, constipation
  • Muscle cramps, especially in the legs at night, restless legs
  • Excessive body odour
  • Hypersensitivity to noise, startle reactions
  • Cravings for chocolate
  • Poor coordination
  • Insomnia, hyperactivity, irritability
  • Poor memory

Sources of Magnesium

  • Seeds – pumpkin, sesame, sunflower
  • Green beans
  • Spinach and other leafy greens – Magnesium is at the centre of the chlorophyll molecule which is the green pigment found in green vegetables.
  • Figs
  • Avocados
  • Lemons, grapefruit
  • Nuts – almonds, pecans, cashews, Brazil nuts
  • Apples, bananas
  • Soybeans
  • Seafood
  • Dark chocolate
  • Whole grains – wheat germ and bran, millet, brown rice

Bones

Our society focuses a lot on Calcium for bone health, but magnesium is also very important. Studies have shown that excessive calcium intake, as well as phosphorus, iron, copper, and zinc will lower magnesium absorption. Since 65% of our magnesium is in our bones, it is important for bone and teeth health. It has a structural role for bones, as well as being essential to osteoblasts and osteoclasts (bone cells), and needed for ATP (energy) formation in cells. Magnesium also is required by enzymes that metabolize vitamin D, which is crucial for bone health. Studies show that restricting magnesium intake results in osteoporosis!

Cardiovascular health

Magnesium relaxes smooth muscles found around blood vessels, reducing artery spasms and keeping heart rhythm regular. It also dilates blood vessels to reduce blood pressure. It works with calcium to regulate muscle tone of the heart. It is a cofactor to many enzymes, it is needed for ATP production (cellular energy), regulates ion channels, myocardial contraction, vascular tone, and thrombosis. Magnesium taurate is one form of magnesium specifically for improving cardiac function, contraction, and reducing blood pressure.

Muscles

Magnesium regulates muscle contractions and is a muscle relaxant. It is a great supplement for restless legs, muscle spasms, cramps, and sore muscles. It is also useful for PMS cramps and athletes who suffer from cramps. One form of magnesium: magnesium bisglycinate is a very well absorbed form. Another form, magnesium sulfate, is found in Epsom Salts, and is beneficial as a bath for muscle relaxation.

Digestive Tract

Due to its relaxant function on smooth muscles around the digestive tract, it can cause loose stools especially in the Magnesium Citrate form. It is helpful when you have constipation. Magnesium also activates enzymes involved in metabolism of protein, fats, and carbohydrates.

Relaxation and Nervous System

Magnesium is an anti-stress mineral, popular as a supplement before bed to calm, relax, and help you sleep. It is a natural muscle relaxant. Deficiency of magnesium results in neurological symptoms, as magnesium is important for nervous system health. In terms of supplements, it was shown that Magnesium threonate actually enters the CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) and brain, and has effects on learning and memory and is neuroprotective.

To get more magnesium in your diet, Consicous Health has many plenty of foods/recipes with magnesium-rich foods! Check out Cacao, Kale Salad, or Zucchini Noodles

 

References:

Sara Castiglioni et al. Magnesium and Osteoporosis: Current State of Knowledge and Future Research Directions. Nutrients. 2013 Aug; 5(8): 3022–3033.

Tangvoraphonkchai K, Davenport A. Magnesium and Cardiovascular Disease. Adv Chronic Kidney Dis. 2018 May;25(3):251-260.

Jan Philipp Schuchardt and Andreas Hahn. Intestinal Absorption and Factors Influencing Bioavailability of Magnesium-An Update. Curr Nutr Food Sci. 2017 Nov; 13(4): 260–278.

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