If the average person was asked what trace mineral in the body…
- Is found in muscles, eyes, the brain, and other major parts of the body
- Plus, helps regulate our body’s immune response, and is essential to brain development
- Plus, helps promote sleep
- And, is the second most common trace element in the human body
…probably not many would confidently answer, zinc.
An article in the current edition of Psychology Today discusses some of these various contributing factors, which make the presence of zinc in the body so vital, including normal growth development; but it is the mineral’s contribution to positive sleeping experience which dominates the commentary.
Perhaps most notably, while not the trigger for sleep, “…adequate levels of zinc in the blood shorten the time it takes to fall asleep (sleep latency), increase the amount of overall sleep, and assure sleep quality and efficiency”. The conclusion of researchers is that “…once a certain blood level of zinc is reached, it crosses into the brain and activates signaling pathways to promote sleep”.
Zinc enters the body through supplements or certain foods. The latter is a tricky issue of limited access and palate: the main sources of high levels of zinc include oysters, red meat, and wheat germ. These are non-synergistic for many from a lifestyle perspective.
Perhaps it would be helpful to explore other, non-elemental options for inducing sleep, such as:
- Acts of fellow citizens which can induce one’s desire to escape wakefulness; an example is a case this week in Ontario of a woman wanting to take a barber of nearly 50 years experience to a human rights tribunal over his refusal to cut her hair, something he has never felt comfortable with doing for a woman in his shop (note: many women strongly support his position)
- Binge watching formulaic reality or crime shows
- Counting the number of times the same commercial appears in the same episode
- Waiting for politically motivated promises or assurances to actually take place
- Recalling episodes, in real time, of filtering through political pontificating
- Recalling episodes, in real time, of holding on the phone for customer service
- Reliving the exasperation in trying to get what you wanted when you reach customer service
Certainly there are many more examples to be had. All one has to do is to sleep on them.
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