Minerals are involved in almost all biological processes in our body and can also have a decisive influence on our sleep. Here we explain why the right mineral supply can improve sleep and which quantitative and trace elements are particularly important for a restful night.
Table of Contents
- What are minerals?
- Minerals & Sleep
- These minerals harm sleep
- The 4 most important minerals for good sleep
- Is a nutritional supplement with minerals useful?
1. What are minerals?
Minerals are vital nutrients that are essential for our health and performance and fulfill numerous important functions in our body. Minerals are involved in almost all energy and metabolic processes and, among other things, contribute to the control of muscle and nerve functions or the regulation of a healthy water and electrolyte balance. They are also essential for building and maintaining healthy body structures (e.g. b. bones, muscles, teeth) and enzymes, hormones or blood cells and also play an important role in brain function, our heart and the immune system. To ensure that we remain healthy and productive and that all biological processes in our body run smoothly, an adequate supply of minerals is of great importance.
Minerals are divided into two groups according to the amount in which they are needed in the body: bulk and trace elements. Bulk elements (also macrominerals) occur in a higher concentration of around 50 mg per 1 kilogram of body weight and are also referred to as so-called electrolytes due to their involvement in the regulation of water balance. Trace elements (including microminerals), on the other hand, occur in smaller amounts of less than 50 mg/kg.
Quantity elements: Calcium, chloride, potassium, magnesium, sodium, phosphorus
Trace elements: chromium, iron, fluorine, iodine, copper, manganese, selenium, zinc
Unlike many vitamins, minerals cannot be produced by the body itself and must be supplied entirely through daily food. With a healthy and balanced diet our body usually receives a sufficiently high amount of minerals. However, under stress, lack of sleep or as a result of health problems, daily requirements can increase and it can make sense to take minerals through a dietary supplement so that the body has the optimal amount of the important substances available.
2. Mineral deficiency
Even an acute mineral deficiency has a significant impact on our health and daily well-being. The typical and directly noticeable deficiency symptoms include fatigue, loss of appetite, the appearance of cramps or muscle and bone pain, hair loss, difficulty concentrating or a weakened immune system. But serious cardiovascular diseases as well as the development of anemia or osteoporosis can also be linked to a mineral deficiency. Deficiencies in calcium, magnesium, iron, iodine or zinc are particularly widespread.
3. Minerals & Sleep
Especially at night, our body depends on a good supply of nutrients so that sleep and the associated regeneration processes are not disturbed during the night and we can recover optimally. Because some minerals are involved in the very body functions that regulate our sleep behavior, our sleep-wake rhythm and the quality of sleep. A deficiency or undersupply of certain quantities or trace elements can therefore have a negative impact on falling asleep, the quality of sleep and the duration of sleep and can promote the development of sleep disorders. Such a lack of sleep or poor sleep quality in turn increases the daily nutrient requirement and counteracts an already existing mineral deficiency.
4. The 4 most important minerals for good sleep
Since an all-round healthy organism forms a good basis for a restful sleep, you should of course rely on an overall balanced diet. If you want to specifically improve your sleep, you can make sure to consume enough minerals and vitamins and certain amino acids, especially in the evening. This means that the body has a sufficient amount of important nutrients available during the night, which it can use to maintain our health and ensure a restful sleep. You can now find out which minerals improve sleep and are particularly important for a restful night.
Magnesium plays, among other things, a central role in energy production, metabolism and the function of muscle and nerve cells. It supports the relaxation of the muscles and body cells, reduces the strain on the nervous system and helps protect us from restlessness, nervousness or internal tension. Magnesium also enables healthy production of the sleep hormone melatonin, so that we can easily fall asleep in the evening and develop a regular sleep-wake rhythm. This was also shown in various studies in which taking magnesium not only increased melatonin levels, but also noticeably improved the quality and length of sleep. Overall, the mineral promotes sleep, counteracts stress and enables you to fall asleep and stay asleep relaxed. You can find more information about the mineral magnesium in this article.
Important functions: Energy metabolism, muscle & nerve function, building & maintaining bones
Symptoms of a deficiency: Muscle and performance weakness, reduced stress resistance, nervousness, cardiovascular problems (e.g. b. High blood pressure, circulatory disorders)
Occurrence in food: Green vegetables, pumpkin seeds, millet or wholemeal bread and wholemeal pasta, milk, meat
Potassium can help to minimize physical stress and tension and prepare the body for a restful sleep. Potassium controls heart function and blood pressure and contributes to the normal function of nerve and muscle cells. Various studies have shown that an optimized potassium supply can effectively reduce blood pressure and the risk of stroke and alleviate the resulting nervousness and headaches. This positively influences the cardiovascular system, minimizes stress and promotes peaceful sleep.
Important functions: Blood pressure, function of nerves & cells, fluid balance
Symptoms of deficiency: Muscle weakness, fatigue, headaches, cramps, mood swings, unhealthy blood pressure and cardiac arrhythmias
Occurrence in food: Bananas, fruits, dried fruits, mushrooms, potatoes, legumes
An undersupply of iron is one of the most common mineral deficiencies and also stands in the way of good sleep. The trace element is an important component of the blood and essential for the transport and storage of oxygen in our body. If there is a lack of iron, organs, muscles and cells are no longer optimally supplied with oxygen, which slows down cell work and makes almost all bodily functions more difficult. A sufficient iron concentration, on the other hand, means that our body and brain are optimally supplied with oxygen and other nutrients via the blood, especially during sleep, and that the regenerative processes can run smoothly. Iron also plays an important role in hormone formation and has been successfully used in various studies to positively influence the serotonin-melatonin synthesis, which is essential for healthy sleep.
Important functions: Blood and hormone formation, transport & storage of oxygen
Symptoms of a deficiency: Anemia and fatigue, paleness, weakness, difficulty concentrating and performance
Occurrence in food: Meat, cabbage, nuts, whole grains, beans and peas, spinach
The trace element zinc is involved in important metabolic processes, the function of numerous enzymes and the formation of our DNA and has a positive effect on the immune system. Due to its important role in hormone and enzyme production, some studies have shown a connection between zinc deficiency and sleep disorders. A zinc deficiency led to reduced hormone production and a falling level of the messenger substances serotonin & melatonin, which are crucial for good sleep. A sufficient zinc concentration, on the other hand, ensures a balanced hormone level and can thus promote a healthy sleep rhythm.
Important functions: Cell metabolism, enzyme & hormone production, growth, immune system
Symptoms of a deficiency: Dry skin, hair loss, metabolic disorders, weakened immune system, fatigue
Occurrence in food: Beef, nuts and whole grains, cheese and eggs
5. Does a dietary supplement with minerals make sense?
Minerals are crucial for healthy body function and contribute significantly to our health and well-being. In good health, under "normal" everyday conditions and with the help of a balanced diet, we can usually provide the body with all the important nutrients in sufficient quantities. However, if we neglect our daily diet and come under physical or psychological stress, it is not always easy to ensure an optimal supply of minerals. This is precisely when additional intake through nutritional supplements can make a decisive contribution to staying healthy and productive. And our sleep also benefits from it, so that we can regenerate optimally at night and start a new day feeling refreshed and healthy.
In contrast to nutritional supplements with vitamins, it is particularly important to pay attention to the correct dosage when taking minerals. Harmful consequences for health can arise not only as a result of a deficiency, but also as a result of an excess of one or more mineral elements as well as an overall imbalance of the various substances. An additional intake of minerals is therefore often only recommended if there is a proven deficiency. The best way to do this is to get straightforward advice from your family doctor.
Minerals are vital nutrients that are involved in countless body processes and are essential for the healthy functioning of the body and mind.
A mineral deficiency is harmful to health and, in addition to daily performance, also affects sleep.
In particular, the bulk elements magnesium and potassium as well as the trace elements iron and zinc can have a positive effect on sleep and promote sleep quality.
A sufficient supply of minerals can usually be ensured through a balanced diet and effectively supported with the help of controlled nutritional supplements.
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