A new study shows that a lack of sleep can not only leave you feeling frustrated and irritable, but may also severely impact your overall brain function! Presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience 2017, the study found that the epidemic of sleep deprivation may be more grave than initially thought.
That means your late nights scrolling through Instagram don’t just leave you feeling sleepy…
The consequences of sleep deprivation can negatively impact cognitive functioning and overall health. It can lead to impaired memory and judgement, as well as an increased risk in obesity and cardiovascular disease.
“The findings reveal interesting new aspects of the complex relationship between sleep and the brain and the vital role that sleep plays in everyday human functioning,” said Sigrid Veasey, Professor at the University of Pennsylvania.
The researchers looked at a micro-RNA expression that showed sleep loss in rats and humans. This expression played a key role in predicting those who were at risk for diseases and cognitive losses related to sleep deprivation. The study noted that the brain reactivates negative memories during sleep, which leads to the conclusion that memory retention could also be playing a key role in getting sound sleep.
One factor that could be leading to sleep deprivation? A magnesium deficiency.
Not only is magnesium necessary for over 300 enzyme processes in the human body, but it also has a natural relaxing effect on the body. Furthermore, it is responsible for the production of melatonin, which helps controls the body’s natural sleep cycle.
“Low magnesium intakes are linked with reduced cell energy production and chronic fatigue as well as serotonin levels, which helps maintain a balanced mood,” says medical nutritionist Sarah Brewer.
This means that a magnesium deficiency can not only affect your sleep, but can also reduce your energy levels when you’re awake.
According to Frank Lipman, MD, a Well+Good Council member, up to 80% of people are not getting enough magnesium in their diets. Factors like stress and alcohol or coffee consumption can contribute to lower magnesium levels.
Data shows that a daily dose of magnesium can not only help you fall asleep, but stay asleep throughout the night as well. The mineral helps relax your muscles and your parasympathetic nervous system.
If you’re looking for ways to get your daily fix of magnesium, then bananas, flax seeds, and almonds are all yummy foods rich in magnesium.