A Lack Of Magnesium and Potassium Can Cause Insomnia

If you’re like me…and I am guessing a lot of you are, insomnia can be an issue. So I decided to research the topic and here is one of the first things I learned: a lack of magnesium and potassium can cause insomnia!

We all know that food is important but many times we don’t keep in the forefronts of our minds that food is the fuel we live off of. (At least I don’t!) I have a tendency to get super busy and only concentrate on eating “healthy”, a.k.a. fruits, veggies and grains (and in no particular order). I gave up meat a while ago so they’re all I really eat. And I take vitamins….when I remember. And yes, I admit, I eat junk food. It’s been a lifelong quest to slow down on the sugar and carbs….and it will continue to be a quest! It is a little easier to stay away from these goodies when I eat healthy, but I still indulge more than I should! Anyway, I digress…..

To try to help with the insomnia issue, I’ve decided to eat more foods with magnesium and potassium. So I researched the foods rich in both and here is what I found:

Potassium: The foods highest in potassium are bananas, sweet potatoes, orange juice, tomato sauce, carrots, milk and yogurt. I like the first four. The last three? Not so much. Also prunes (which I can eat a few of) and fish (which I don’t eat at all.) Plus dark leafy greens (I can do that!) and apricots (not so much). I’ll experiment. And let you know how it goes.

Magnesium:  The food highest in magnesium are green leafy veggies.  Plus pumpkin seeds, almonds, avocados (yum!) and figs (not so sure about those) as well as bananas and dark chocolate (Okay!  Hand it over!).  You could also go catch a fish and cook it up with some whole grains and beans for a magnesium feast!

potassium-magnesium-food-collage

I’ll attempt to make it a priority for the sake of the maintenance of my sanity!  In a perfect world, that would mean…hmmm….a meal plan…oatmeal and bananas for breakfast with a side of orange juice (sounds good), a big salad for lunch topped with beans, carrots and quinoa (I don’t think so.)  How about a salad with some type of seeds, tomatoes, avocados and dressing?  (Yes. Much better.)  And a plate of spaghetti with lots of tomato sauce for supper?  (Sure.  Why not?).

Less than thirty percent of adults eat the recommended daily allowance of magnesium.  If you drink soda, eat refined sugars, drink caffeine every day (I’m guilty!), drink more than seven alcoholic drinks a week or experience anxiety, hyperactivity and difficulty sleeping, a lack of magnesium is most likely one of the culprits.  The RDA of magnesium is about 400 mg a day for men and 310 for women.

As far as potassium?  It can cause sleeplessness, numbness, constipation, irregular heartbeat, excessive sweating and cramps to name a few.  Less than two percent of people eat the amount of potassium they need a day.  (That’s crazy!  Two percent??  Yikes!)  Adults should be consuming around 4,700 milligrams of potassium a day.  That’s equal to three russet potatoes (about 420 mg each), two bananas (about 350 mg each), two cups of cooked lentils (beans-730 mg each), three cups of swiss chard (58 mg each) and a little less than a cup of beet greens which are loaded with potassium at 1309mg/cup.

Wow.  To eat responsibly almost requires becoming a mathematician.  But then it would be worth the effort.  Maybe creating a chart is the way to go.  That might end up being one of my goals!  Another good thing to do?  Find some awesome vitamins and remember to take them every day!

I’ll post more as I figure things out.  Thanks for reading!