How Bone Broth Helps You Fall Asleep and Stay Asleep
Sleep. Does seeing that word make you want to yawn? Us too! We all need a lot more of it, yet sleep is one of the most undervalued foundations of our health. Sleep is at the top of the wellness pyramid, along with good nutrition, stress management, and fresh air.
It’s estimated that nearly 40 percent of Americans age 20 to 59 don’t get enough sleep, according to the National Sleep Association. For adults, that means getting less than a solid 7 hours of quality, consistent sleep a night.
As we sleep, our body repairs and regenerates itself. There are many imperative processes that take place while we are sleeping. If we aren’t sleeping, the best diet and training program in the world is not going to help us. Lack of sleep affects our memory, cognition, mood, and ability to perform in sports and movement
Of course, there are a million reasons for why we’re not getting enough sleep — stress at work, parenting, a noisy partner, anxiety, social obligations. There are many things we can’t control, but when it comes to relaxing and winding down, there are some things we can control.
How Bone Broth Helps You Fall Asleep
There are a multitude of sleep aids out there, all claiming and promising to help with getting you to fall asleep and stay asleep. However, many pharmaceutical interventions can be addictive, as well as leave us feeling drowsy the next day.
The natural solution? Bone broth. Bone broth is the perfect nighttime sleep elixir, as there are several ways in which bone broth can benefit our sleep.
Bone Broth Promotes Relaxation
Magnesium, which is found in bone broth, is known as the relaxation mineral. Magnesium is required for over 300 enzymatic processes in the body. Some of its major functions include synthesizing proteins, transmitting nerve signals, and relaxing the muscles. All of these functions can help improve sleep latency and quality.
However, our intake of magnesium has gradually declined over the years, as we have moved away from consuming traditional foods eaten by our ancestors. Instead, we have a lot more processed and nutritionally stripped food in our diets.
Along with our modern diets, our soil also is depleted of this essential mineral. According to The Magnesium Miracle, even the raw foodists and green juicers are magnesium deficient.
To top it off, most magnesium supplements are not easily digested. Therefore, the isolated supplement tends to go right through us and we don’t reap the benefits.
Bone broth is an essential source of magnesium, as well as other important minerals and cofactors such as calcium, iron, potassium, and phosphorus. These nutrients work together to catalyze most chemical reactions that occur in the body. Rather than taking an individual supplement, bone broth is a natural whole food supplement that helps us get all the necessary minerals to support restorative sleep.
Bone broth from mineral-rich, pasture-raised animals can help get us an easily digested form of “the relaxation” mineral right before bed.
How Bone Broth Helps You Stay Asleep
Bone Broth Improves Sleep Quality
Once we fall asleep, we want to be able to stay asleep. Glycine, an amino acid which is prevalent in bone broth, is a neurotransmitter possessing unique properties. Glycine operates through two different receptors, engaging in several functions in the central nervous system.
Glycine has long been known as an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brainstem and spinal cord (1). It’s the primary neurotransmitter that inhibits sleep cycle motor neurons during active sleep (2). Taken before bedtime, it improves sleep quality, efficacy, latency, and reduces daytime sleepiness and fatigue in people who struggle with insomnia (3). Glycine elevates cutaneous blood flow, resulting in heat loss and deeper sleep (4).
Bone broth contains approximately 27.2 grams of glycine per 100 grams of protein. Therefore, it makes for a great source of this amino acid. Rather than taking an isolated glycine supplement, bone broth contains glycine with other amino acids and minerals, which work together to help with restful sleep. Sipping bone broth before bed provides a bioavailable source of glycine, helping us get deeper, more restorative sleep at night.
Bone Broth Promotes Restful Sleep
We are creatures of habit and love to have rituals that help us fall asleep at night. Often these rituals involve reading a book or sipping on something warm. Bone broth is the best sleep elixir drink we can possibly have for this nighttime ritual. Not only will the cozy warm feeling of sipping help relax your mind, but the nutrients will do their part in relaxing your body and preparing you for sleep.
Suggestions For Winding Down Before Bed
- Stay off all screens for at least 2 hours before bed. If you need to be on a screen or device, wear blue light blocking glasses to protect yourself from bluelight, which is known to disrupt melatonin and impair our ability to sleep deeper. Be sure to keep the room as dark as possible. Any artificial light at night can impact our sleep quality.
- Don’t watch or read anything that will move your body out of a parasympathetic or relaxed state, and into a sympathetic (fight or flight state). Scrolling through Facebook, watching intense shows, and reading amped up news articles right before bed can easily switch us into a sympathetic state, making it more difficult to wind down.
- Go to bed at a reasonable time. Research suggests we get our best and most restorative sleep between the hours of 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. Most of our human growth hormone (hGH) is released around 10 p.m., midnight, and 2 a.m. The amino acids found in bone broth enhance hGH so it’s released by the pituitary gland.
- Have a night time relaxation ritual right before bed. This could include reading something (light material that isn’t going to fire up the brain too much), taking a warm bath, meditation, yoga, walking, or journaling. Be sure to include sipping bone broth in this nighttime ritual, in order to give your body the nutrients and minerals it needs to get restorative sleep.