Q&A Expert Health, as originally published in Rude Health Magazine's May/June 2020 issue.
Like a lot of people in Ireland dealing with social distancing due to Covid 19, combined with the schools being closed I am really feeling the pressure, trying to cope with children at home and working too. At times I feel really stressed and lie I can't cope, and my sleep is being affected. I am waking several times a night. Can you suggest something natural that might help? - Bernadette from Dublin
This is certainly a common feeling amongst many people these days, so know that you are not alone. My go-to when stress causes sleep issues is a high-quality magnesium supplement. Magnesium helps relax the muscles and nerves, and as a result, it is used up faster in times of stress. This means your body needs more of it when dealing with extra stressors, and right now we have a lot of them, most likely topped with the fear about you or your loved ones contracting the virus. Magnesium deficiency is shown in many ways as it is responsible for 80% of known body functions, but common symptoms are anxiety, inability to cope, exacerbated feelings of stress and restless sleep. Magnesium aids in both falling asleep and staying asleep, and sleep is one of the pillars for a strong immune system. Magnesium also plays a pivotal role in the immune system by increasing the formation of antibodies, boosting your immune response, protecting you against viral attacks, and keeping your thymus healthy.
Make sure you purchase a high quality supplement – when it comes to magnesium, you often get what you pay for. Look for a pure magnesium with no fillers and make sure to get one that has a high absorbability, such as a chelated magnesium bisglycinate or an ionic magnesium citrate.