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Salt: The Surprising Solution to Your Sleep Problems

You’ve tossed and turned all night, trying to find that perfect position to drift off to sleep, but nothing works. It’s frustrating, especially when it happens night after night.

Luckily, there may be a simple solution for your sleep troubles… and it’s probably already in your kitchen. Believe it or not, the answer to getting a good night’s sleep could be salt.

Yes, you read that right. The very thing you’ve probably been avoiding because it’s “bad” for your health might actually be just what you need to soothe your nerves and help you fall asleep. Let’s explore the benefits of salt and how it can potentially help improve your sleep.

The truth about salt

Salt has been vilified for years. It’s been blamed for everything from high blood pressure to kidney problems and heart disease. But the tide is slowly turning, and we’re starting to realize that, like most things, it’s more about balance and moderation than cutting things out completely.

Salt is an essential nutrient for our bodies. It helps maintain proper hydration, balances electrolytes, and aids in nerve function. The problem arises when we consume too much of it, particularly the heavily processed kind found in most packaged and fast foods.

On the flip side, being deficient in salt can lead to a variety of health issues ranging from fatigue and lethargy to an increased heart rate, muscle cramps, and even mood swings and anxiety. In fact, a study published in the journal Hypertension found that low-sodium diets could even increase the risk of cardiovascular problems in some people.

Clearly, salt is more complex than we’ve been led to believe. So, how does it help us sleep?

How salt aids in sleep

There are a few ways that salt can help improve your sleep:

  1. Balancing stress hormones: Salt helps regulate cortisol levels in the body. Cortisol is the “stress hormone” that can keep us awake at night, making us toss and turn. By balancing these hormone levels, we can drift off to sleep more easily.
  2. Relaxing muscles: As mentioned earlier, salt aids in proper nerve function, which includes the relaxation of muscles. If you’re tense and anxious as you climb into bed, it’s difficult to fall asleep. By promoting muscle relaxation, salt can help us feel more at ease and ready to sleep.
  3. Maintaining a healthy blood pressure: While it’s true that too much salt can lead to high blood pressure, some salt is necessary to maintain a healthy blood pressure. A balanced blood pressure is important for restful sleep.

How to use salt for better sleep

Now that we know the benefits of salt, how do we use it to our advantage for better sleep? Of course, you need to be mindful about the type of salt you’re consuming. Ditch the table salt and opt for a high-quality, unrefined sea salt or Himalayan pink salt.

Here are a few ways to incorporate salt into your evening routine to help you sleep:

  1. A salt bath: Soaking in a warm, salty bath is a relaxing way to end your day. It can help soothe muscle tension and aid in detoxification. Add about two cups of Epsom salt or one cup of sea salt to a warm bath and soak for at least 20 minutes. You can also add a few drops of lavender essential oil for added relaxation benefits.
  2. Consuming a salty snack: Eating a small, salty snack before bed can help you sleep. Some ideas include a handful of salted nuts, a few olives, or a cup of warm, salted bone broth. Be mindful not to overdo it, as consuming too much salt can lead to water retention, which can cause discomfort and further disrupt your sleep.
  3. Creating a salt pillow: Fill a small cloth bag with a quarter cup of high-quality sea salt or Himalayan pink salt. Seal the bag and place it under your regular pillow. It’s said that the negative ions released from the salt can help relieve stress and induce a peaceful sleep.

Finding the right balance

It’s important to emphasize that moderation is key when it comes to salt. Consuming too much salt, especially the heavily processed kind, can lead to serious health consequences. But, in the right amounts, it can also provide many benefits, including better sleep.

It’s essential that you consult with your healthcare provider before making any significant changes to your diet, particularly if you have existing health conditions or concerns.

Incorporating salt into your evening routine may just help ease those sleepless nights, leaving you feeling well-rested and refreshed in the morning. So don’t be afraid to experiment with these suggestions and find the right balance that works best for you.

Remember, a good night’s sleep is critical for our overall health and well-being. So before you reach for those over-the-counter sleep aids or prescription medications, consider giving salt a try as a natural and cost-effective solution to your sleep problems.