Most of us have heard that chocolate (specifically cocoa-rich dark chocolate) can improve your mood through boosted serotonin levels, but did you know that it can help you sleep better too?
A recent study conducted at the University of Edinburgh found that the amount of magnesium in your diet helps regulate the body’s natural sleep and wake cycles. In addition to dark chocolate, other magnesium-rich foods that can have similar benefits (on your body’s natural ability to regulate its internal clock) include nuts, seeds, and greens.
But just how, exactly, does magnesium biologically accomplishes this? Let’s take a deeper look.
Magnesium-Rich Food that Helps You Sleep
According to ScienceDaily, magnesium “helps control how cells keep their own form of time to cope with the natural environmental cycle of day and night.” This internal body clock (also referred to as circadian rhythm) determines when we wake and fall asleep as a result of hormone release, body temperature, and other bodily functions.
The University of Edinburgh team observed the activity of human cells throughout 24-hour windows of data collection, in which they recorded drastic rising and falling of magnesium levels that seemed to coincide with sleep and wake cycles. From this, they were able to conclude that amount of magnesium concentration in a person’s cells was directly linked to the amount of sleep that a person regularly had gotten, as well as how much energy he or she burned throughout the day. It’s this oscillation of magnesium levels in our cells at different times of the day that influences other sleep-related biological functions such as cellular metabolism, hormone release, and body temperature regulation.
To help translate these findings into bigger-picture implications, one of the study’s senior authors (Dr. John O’Neill of the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge) put it this way: “Although the clinical relevance of magnesium in various tissues is beginning to garner more attention, how magnesium regulates our body’s internal clock and metabolism has simply not been considered before. The new discovery could lead to a whole range of benefits spanning human health to agricultural productivity.”
If Eating Chocolate Before Bed Doesn’t Help…
One of those human health areas of study includes the field of chronotherapy, which according to Merriam-Webster, is the “treatment of a sleep disorder (such as insomnia) by changing sleeping and waking times in an attempt to reset the patient’s biological clock.”
Chronotherapy is an exciting new area of scientific research that is of special interest to us here at Spink & Edgar. While we prefer to leave the molecular-level studies to properly trained medical professionals, we nevertheless are always in search of smart ways to incorporate their findings into improving our luxury mattresses at a similar micro-level of detail. Regardless of whether you’re battling a medical condition as simple as magnesium deficiency, or your insomnia is connected to a more serious sleep disorder, we firmly believe that selecting the highest quality mattress, like the unique design of each and every Spink & Edgar, you can afford is always the first step to achieving a consistently good night’s sleep.
Enjoying The Scholar so far?
We invite you to continue your journey towards a better night’s sleep. Signup for The Scholar today to receive more information and resources to help guide you through the world of sleep science.