Alternatives to Ambien That Can Help You and Elon Musk Sleep Better at Night6 years ago | Sleep
By Joy Stephenson-Laws, JD, Founder
Tesla founder Elon Musk has been having a tough time as of lately. Exhaustion is setting in. It appears the stress of running one of the most technologically advanced automobile companies, an interstellar space rocket business and spearheading an experimental earth drilling project, is finally catching up with Elon.
Recently Musk tweeted: “Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured.” He also told the New York Times that no one saw or reviewed his tweet about the plan to take the company private before he posted it.
The haphazard tweet landed him in hot water with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). That single tweet was responsible for Tesla having the worst week since 2016. Stocks plunged 8.9% to close at $305.50. Four straight days of decline dashed Tesla’s yearly gains and shoved shares down 14% that week alone, creating speculation of whether his tweet was intentional.
Musk isn’t remaining hush on the matter either. He has recently opened up about his stressful schedule and how it has negatively impacted his health, relationships and his professional life.
The Rest Factor
The Tesla genius has had a rigorous schedule for the last two decades, and his health and personal life have suffered as a result of it. “There were times when I didn’t leave the factory for three or four days — days when I didn’t go outside,” he said. “This has really come at the expense of seeing my kids. And seeing friends.”
Elon’s never-ending struggles with getting adequate rest have resulted in the tech icon relying on the sleep aid Ambien, otherwise known as zolpidem. Ambien is a powerful medication and sedative. Other public figures like Tiger Woods have had issues with Ambien, and it can become addictive if not administered properly.
“It is often a choice of no sleep or Ambien,” Elon said. The New York Times reported that some of the Tesla board members have expressed their concern about Elon’s use of the medication.
Proper sleep is needed to keep a healthy balance of neurochemicals in the brain. Those that find themselves not committing to a healthy sleep schedule may really start to see the effects. Lack of proper sleep is connected to depression and a variety of ailments.
So Can We Eat Ourselves To Sleep? Well, Kind Of
We all have had bouts of sleeplessness at one point in our lives. We may have even considered taking a sleep aid to help us crash. However, there are dietary solutions to getting a good night’s sleep.
Here are some useful minerals and nutrients to help you get the rest you deserve without succumbing to the hazy perils of heavy medications.
Iron: According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), deficiencies in the mineral iron may be related to restless leg syndrome, a cramping in the legs that causes an irresistible urge to move them. Iron-rich foods include red meat, pork, poultry, seafoods, beans, spinach and other leafy greens. The NIH also says B vitamins may help with nocturnal leg cramps.
Vitamin D: The NIH found that people with lower vitamin D serum levels had more sleep disturbances. They also found evidence of this when examining mice. “In animal studies, vitamin D receptors have been found in specific regions of the central nervous system, some of which regulate sleep…” reports NIH. To find out how much vitamin D (or any other nutrient for that matter) you are lacking and how much you need, take a Proactive Health Labs nutrient test.
Magnesium: Foods containing magnesium include spinach, pumpkin seeds, yogurt, kefir, almonds, black beans, avocado, figs, dark chocolate and bananas. A study with elderly people and mice found that magnesium supplementation helped with sleep onset and insomnia. This makes sense considering magnesium is needed by more than 300 human body enzymes to facilitate biochemical reactions.
Other Foods That May Help Rock Us to Sleep
- Kiwi. According to various studies, kiwis may be one of the best foods to eat before bed. Over a 4 week study, 24 adults consumed two kiwifruits one hour before going to bed each night. At the end of the study, participants fell asleep 42% more quickly. Another study revealed that eating kiwis before bedtime may help people who have trouble sleeping or have actual sleep disorders. The study examined males and females between the ages of 20 to 55. The subjects consumed two kiwis one hour before bedtime for four weeks. The results revealed the subjects fell asleep quicker, had longer sleep durations and had better quality sleep. “Numerous studies have revealed that kiwifruit contains many medicinally useful compounds, among which antioxidants and serotonin may be beneficial in the treatment of the sleep disorders,” reports the NIH.
- Cherry Juice. Few things are natural sources of melatonin, and cherries are one of them. It is considered the ‘sleep hormone’. Melatonin is said to help with sleep disorders and insomnia. Cherries are also packed with nutrients such as iron, potassium, vitamins C & A. Cherry juice is a great way to reap the benefits without having to eat a bowl of cherries.
- Walnuts. Walnuts are a great source of the amino acid tryptophan. One serving of walnuts contains 300 mg of this beneficial amino acid. Eating a walnut-rich snack an hour before bed could help you drift off to sleep more easily. Walnuts are very rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids (a type of polyunsaturated fatty acid), especially alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Omega-3s are important, because they are critical in keeping us healthy but the human body does not produce them. This is why we must consume these healthy fatty acids.
- Leafy Green Vegetables. Maybe try eating a salad for dinner? Kale, spinach, turnip greens, and mustard greens are excellent sources of calcium. Calcium helps your brain use tryptophan to produce the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin. Eating a salad with dark leafy green vegetables for dinner can help you get the sleep you need.
- Bananas, Bananas seem to have everything you need contained in one peelable food. Not only do bananas have a healthy dose of magnesium, but they also contain tryptophan AND melatonin. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid and is one of the building blocks in protein biosynthesis. Proteins are required to sustain life. Humans are unable to produce their own tryptophan so they need to obtain it through their diet. Opt for an all natural melatonin smoothie with unsweetened almond milk, cherries and a banana to help lull you to sleep.
As humans, it is easy to get swept up in our busy schedules and feel torn between responsibilities, family time and self care. We may push ourselves beyond acceptable thresholds. Sleep is one of the first things to get overlooked when we have a busy life. But we must remain vigilant and regard sleep as a vital piece of the puzzle in leading a healthy life. Recently, one study even suggested that “a single sleepless night can alter metabolic processes leading to weight gain and lack of muscle maintenance.” Without proper rest, our bodies and minds will not function efficiently.
And as with all things health related, nutrition plays a huge role in ensuring that you get enough sleep. Your body will thank you in return.
Enjoy your healthy life!
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