High Salt, Great Sleep?

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I’ve invited my nutritional guru Heather back to guest blog again this week.  She’s going to be writing a series on  something important to all travelers… sleep!  Check out her earlier posts this week about sleep:

Does Sleep Affect Your Weight?

Natural Supplements for Quality Sleep

4 Natural (and Affordable) Sleep Remedies


Did you know that salt may help you sleep better?

Sounds crazy right?

Sleep and salt are connected through the metabolic process because of the effects salt has on stress hormones and brain chemicals.  So less stress equals better sleep!

Maybe the “low-salt” diet myth is not true after all….

Studies now show that low salt diets are not actually healthy for everyone.  One study claimed that no strong evidence exists that advising people to eat less salt or putting them on a low salt diet reduces their death rate or cuts cardiovascular events.

Here is what a “low salt” diet may do to your metabolism:

– May promote insulin resistance in healthy individuals.
– People that consume a moderate amount of salt are in the lowest risk category for heart problems and death, even lower than people who consume low salt diets.

How salt can help you relax:

1) Salt lowers stress: racing thoughts, stressed about work, stressed about travelling, exhausted from too many things to do. (enter salt)

Salt helps you calm down. Having adequate sodium in your blood stream actually decreases your anxiety, lowers your blood pressure and improves your bodily response to stress.

2) Salt raises oxytocin levels

what is oxytocin anyways…It is a hormone that helps you feel calm and relaxed, increases your sense of confidence and wellbeing and improves your relaxation. How everyone wants to feel before they sleep, right…?

Is all salt created equal? NO

Commercial table salt is often loaded with additives, so choose Celtic Sea Salt or Himalayan Salt— both of these products contain trace minerals as well as sodium

table-salt-himalayan-salt-health-nutrition

Read more about this here and here.

I also love this sleepy dust recipe you can check it out here

What do you think?

Image Source: www.bodyunburdened.com

Heather Heefner MS, RD, LD, CLT is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian who blogs at www.thefittestfuel.com and www.intolerablewomen.org. Heather is passionate about helping people establish a balanced lifestyle by leading by example and is committed to spreading the truth about food to help people live life to the fullest. Heather believes that nutrition doesn’t have to be complicated…but with a little practice it becomes habit! Visit her websites for more information about her services. 

Comments

  1. I gotta throw the B.S. flag on this one. Sodium LOWERS your blood pressure?! Not according to years of medical science. And those “additives” that table salt has such as iodine that we need? Sea salt is chemically exactly the same as table salt – NaCl. This sounds like it comes from someone who runs a “health” store.

    • I’ll let Heather weigh in – she’s the one with the nutrition background. I will say that I had to raise my salt intake to level out my labs – I had a sodium deficiency. My physician suggested I do things like sprinkle a teaspoon of pink sea salt on my sliced avocado snack or add a pinch of salt to my vegetable juice. The key is likely moderation… going out and eating high sodium high fat processed food misses the point and definitely won’t help blood pressure.

    • Dan… I’m not a points and miles blogger, never have been. Glad you could swing by – it looks like you discovered my guest blogger nutritionist talking about sleep this week. Sleep is definitely a big topic for those of us who fight jet lag and sleep in a different hotel every night. I wish someone would find a way to manufacture sleep like some manufacture spend. 😉

  2. I also had to up my sodium intake (with healthy measures) as I typically have very low sodium levels in my lab work.

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