- Magnesium: If you are experiencing cramps, twitching eye or have ringing in your ears (tinnitus) you could be deficient in Magnesium. Magnesium is used in most of the body's chemical reactions. Stress depletes magnesium like crazy. Increasing magnesium intake will help with sleep, anxiety and general mental health. The RDA is 400mg per day. An absorbent type of magnesium is magnesium citrate. Note: Magnesium citrate is a slight laxative and your body might need a few days to get used to it. Beware of other cheaper less absorbent compounds for example magnesium oxide.
- Fish Oils: Taking a fish oil supplement for 6 weeks or longer can improve mental health and reduce depression. Studies have shown that prison inmates fought less and were calmer after a regular intake of fish oil. Look for supplements that have high EPA content.
- Multivitamin: Taking a good quality multivitamin (eg by Solgar) during extended periods of stress will ensure your body and mind are in peak health and receive all the nutrients they need.
- Sugary foods: Sweets, chocolate, rice, bread and anything else with a high GI content is going to make your insulin levels go up and down like a yo yo. One minute you'll feel full of energy then next you'll feel tired. Cut down on sweets and sugary drinks and see what happens to the stress levels. Eat high protein or high fat foods instead of bread and sugary products.
- Stimulants: Tea, coffee, diet coke, and nicotine are stimulants which are going to make you more agitated. If you can't sleep or feel anxious then first give up these things. Don't consume stimulants and take sleeping (or anti-anxiety) pills at the same time, there is little point.
- Alcohol: If you want to sleep well then don't drink alcohol. Ever wondered why you sometimes wake up early after a heavy night of drinking? When you drink alcohol your brain skips REM sleep. It might get you to sleep faster but the quality is much worse. You'll wake up with low blood sugar, feel tired, crave junk foods and feel less inclined to exercise.