Dietary supplements for better sleep

Dietary supplements for better sleep

The world of dietary supplements is vast, meeting a variety of needs from boosting the immune system to optimising digestion. Among them, some supplements stand out for their ability to promote restful sleep. But what makes these tablets, capsules and vials so special for our night's rest? It's all down to the synergy of nutrients, vitamins and minerals they contain.

Melatonin, for example, is frequently used to regulate sleep cycles, while magnesium, which is omnipresent in our cells, can relax our muscles and make it easier to fall asleep. It is crucial to understand the specific characteristics and benefits of each dietary supplement. By picking the right information, we can choose the supplement best suited to our needs and our diet for a peaceful night's sleep.

How dietary supplements can improve our sleep

Sleep quality is crucial for optimum vitality. Sometimes, despite a balanced diet, our body lacks certain micronutrients that are essential for a good night's sleep. This is where food supplements come in. These supplements, in the form of capsules, vegetarian capsules or liquid doses, can make up for certain nutritional deficiencies, helping to improve sleep.

Melatonin and magnesium, for example, play key roles in regulating our sleep-wake cycle. However, it is essential to consult a pharmacist or nutrition expert before starting any supplementation. Overconsumption or overdosing can have undesirable effects. In addition, eating a varied diet rich in fruit and vegetables remains the basis for good health and quality sleep.

Companies such as produce food supplements. However, check with a doctor before taking any food supplements.


The basics of melatonin and its effects on sleep

Melatonin, often referred to as the "sleep hormone", is produced naturally by our body, more specifically by the pineal gland in the brain. This hormone regulates our biological clock, orchestrating our sleep-wake cycle. As night falls, melatonin production increases, signalling to our body that it's time to rest.

Conversely, melatonin secretion decreases at dawn. Melatonin-based food supplements can help to regulate jet lag or certain types of insomnia. However, they should be taken in moderation and under medical advice, as taking them inappropriately can disrupt the natural sleep cycle.

Magnesium: an essential mineral for a peaceful night's sleep

Magnesium is an essential mineral for many physiological functions, including the proper functioning of the nervous system. It plays a crucial role in muscle relaxation by helping to prevent night cramps, thereby promoting peaceful sleep. In addition, magnesium can counteract oxidative stress, a factor that can disrupt sleep. Magnesium deficiency can lead to sleep disorders.

Hence the value of supplements such as marine magnesium or magnesium chloride. However, as with other food supplements, it is essential to follow the recommended dosage and consult a health professional before taking any supplements.

Are there any risks associated with taking sleep supplements?

Food supplements, although often of natural origin, are not without risk. In the case of sleep supplements, a number of precautions need to be taken. Firstly, over-consumption or incorrect combination with other substances can lead to undesirable side-effects. For example, taking too much lemon balm or valerian, commonly used for their relaxing properties, can cause headaches, daytime drowsiness or digestive problems.

It is also essential to consider interactions with other medicines or dietary supplements. The absorption of certain active ingredients may be altered, reducing their effectiveness or causing harmful effects. In addition, pregnant or breast-feeding women, as well as people suffering from cardiovascular disease or other serious pathologies, should be particularly cautious.

The use of sleep supplements should always be supervised by a health professional. It is essential to follow the recommended dosages and give preference to natural products without additives or allergens. It is also advisable to find out about the bioavailability of the supplements chosen, and to favour those that are easily assimilated by the body.

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Drug interactions to be aware of

When we talk about drug interactions, we are talking about the way in which one drug can affect the efficacy or safety of another. Some sleep supplements can interact with common medicines, making them either less effective or potentially dangerous.

For example, valerian, often used to promote sleep, can increase the sedative effect of benzodiazepines or antihistamines. Similarly, St John's Wort, a mood regulator, can reduce the effectiveness of oral contraceptives or anticoagulants. It is therefore crucial to be vigilant and always inform your doctor or pharmacist of any supplements or medicines you are taking.

Other less well-known but equally important interactions can occur. For example, taking certain supplements rich in vitamin K can interfere with anticoagulant medication. As a general rule, before starting a course of dietary supplements, especially if combined with medical treatment, it is essential to consult a health professional.

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