When writing the previous two articles about:
1. recognizing the importance of sleep to improve your life, and
2. some ideas on how to get a better sleep,
I became curious about an Epsom salt bath and how it helps with sleep.
Short answer – in many ways.
There are the obvious ways – the heat of the bath and the ritual of bathing before bed. But what’s with the Epsom salts?
Epsom salt isn’t a salt at all but a combination of magnesium and sulfate. Magnesium is a super-mineral that aids in a multitude of functions, including promoting melatonin (for sleep), muscle relaxation, reduction of anxiety, constipation, and brain fog, as well as improved nerve function, to name only few of its long list of effects (it was difficult to pick only a few from the list).
Unfortunately, it is estimated that 50-80% of us are magnesium deficient.
Why? Here are the basic reasons:
1. Processed food is stripped of naturally occurring magnesium.
2. Stress depletes our magnesium.
3. Sugar, in particular, depletes magnesium. 54 molecules of magnesium are needed to process 1 molecule of sugar.
4. Our soil, and therefore the food grown in it, has less minerals than before (synthetic fertilizer does not contain all of the minerals that occur naturally).
5. Many prescription drugs deplete magnesium.
6. Because of the myth that calcium alone strengthens bones, some have taken calcium supplements without balancing the calcium:magnesium ratio.
Even with that information, I do not see doom and gloom or feel hopeless.
And I do not have a subscription to the-vitamin/mineral-of-the-month-club.
So, what to do?
Mostly, stop doing the things that create the problem in the first place.
To insure good health: eat lightly, breathe deeply, live moderately, cultivate cheerfulness, and maintain an interest in life.
Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon.
1. Spend more time grocery shopping along the perimeter of a grocery store. If what you are buying is unrecognizable by your great-great-great grandma, then it is unrecognizable by your body. Slowly add whole foods before removing processed foods. If you feel deprived, then the new habit won’t last.
2. Breathe deep to reduce stress. Breathe deep at red lights, when listening to someone, when waiting in line, or whenever you think about it. Even a single deep breath can alter your stress level (I’m making up that fact but I feel different even after a single deep breath so am assuming it is true).
3. If you are able to buy organic vegetables and you know the soil has been cared for (that is, you know the person and how they care for the soil), do not peel them or wash them too carefully. If there is any dirt left on them, that dirt contains much needed minerals and enzymes.
4. Reduce sugar. This is an ongoing struggle for me. Sugar contains nothing helpful to the body and hurts the body in so many ways. The more you reduce sugar intake, the more magnesium you will have available.
5. If you take a calcium supplement, make sure there is a balance of magnesium (and there may be other minerals, vitamins and enzymes that are needed. Speak to a knowledgeable person).
6. If you do want to supplement your magnesium intake, there are several ways:
a) Increase your intake of magnesium-rich foods.
b) Take an oral magnesium supplement. Check the type of magnesium. Some are more absorbable than others. Introduce it slowly as re-adjusting/over-consumption has a laxative effect.
c) Rub on magnesium oil.
d) And, making a full circle to the beginning of the article, enjoy an Epsom salt bath. If you have someone who isn't thrilled spending time in the bath, our waterproof vibrating brush or roll-on might entertain while soaking up some magnesium.
If you would like to learn more about magnesium, watch a video by Dr. Carolyn Dean, author of ‘The Magnesium Miracle’. There are many short and longer ones available.
Have a MAGNE-ficent week (Cheesy I know but I wanted to work magnesium into the send-off. That was the best I could do)