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Best Supplements For Sleep

Ancient cultures considered sleep to be a “little death” that people endured every night. Most of us recognize the recuperative properties of sleep, and the importance of “rest”. It is commonly believed that people are able to go without sleep for a period of time if they are tough enough. This display of fortitude is thought to be possible because the body is “shut down” during sleep, and so it is just a matter of will power to keep going until there is a chance to rest, or fatigue finally overtakes us.

In actuality, the supposition that the body shuts down during sleep is far from accurate. Sleepers are thought to be conserving energy, but the metabolism actually only slows by 5-10% during sleep periods. The body and the brain are quite active during sleep, just not in the same ways they are during waking hours.

The voluntary muscles appear to be inactive during sleep, but they are actually undergoing a time of recuperation and repair. Serious body-builders talk about the need to rest after an intense work-out so that the muscles can take in nutrients and grow. This occurs during sleep.

The brain is very active during sleep, but the activity is different during the different stages of sleep. Some of this brain activity appears to be “file management”; the brain seems to be processing memories and impressions from the day, arranging them so that they can be recalled when needed.

One of the most fascinating elements of sleep is Rapid Eye Movement, or REM sleep. During REM, the voluntary muscle groups are effectively paralyzed, the eyes will move in a rapid and random fashion, and the brain may indulge itself with vivid and memorable dreams.

Because of the energy demands that sleep makes on the body, good sleep depends on good nutrition. One of the first supplements to consider for more effective sleep is a good multivitamin. Vitamins do not provide energy by themselves. Vitamins help the body to use nutritional fuel to accomplish different tasks within the body’s system.

B Vitamins, for example, are important to the formation of the hormone melatonin. Melatonin is produced in the pineal gland, and helps to regulate the body’s circadian rhythm, the sleep/wake cycle.

Minerals like calcium and magnesium are also important to the sleep cycle. Calcium has an important role in regulating the function of the nervous system. Magnesium deficiency may lead to restlessness, anxiety, and sleep disorders. Although sufficient amounts of these minerals may be present in the diet, deficiency can occur if the vitamins necessary for them to be processed are not present. Vitamin D, for example, is needed for the body to absorb calcium.

As the holidays approach, we begin to hear more about the amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan is a natural sleep aid because it is one of the building blocks of serotinin, a chemical produced in the brain that helps us to relax and plays a role in sleep.

Trytophan is found in the meat of your holiday turkey. However, dietary tryptophan is most effective on an empty stomach, so the full Thanksgiving plate with its heavy dose of carbohydrates and fat have a greater role in your after dinner sleepiness than the tryptophan in the turkey.

For more natural sleep inducing supplements, be sure to look at the high purity supplements from BioSynergy Health Alternatives.

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