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Book Review: Sleep Smarter, by Shawn Stevenson

27 July 2015 - Posted by Kathryn Kos under

Sleep Smarter: 21 Proven Tips to Sleep Your Way to a Better Body, Better Health, and Bigger Success,
by Shawn Stevenson

High quality sleep fortifies your immune system, balances your hormones, boosts your metabolism, increases physical energy, and improves the function of your brain. Without all the essential benefits sleep is providing, you will never, I repeat never, have the body and life you want without giving your body the right amount of sleep.” – Shawn Stevenson

Sleep Smarter by Shawn StevensonIn our culture sleep is not respected; working hard is. However, there is a big difference between doing work and doing effective work. Sleep is necessary for our work to be of quality. In this book, Shawn Stevenson explains all the benefits you reap from getting a quality night’s sleep, and teaches why we need to place more value on sleep in order to perform better in all other aspects of life.

Stevenson not only details the importance of sleep, but also teaches ways to improve upon your sleep, such as getting sunlight during the day in order to produce melatonin. He also discusses magnesium as a necessary mineral for sleep, and discusses why transdermal magnesium is the best form when it comes to inducing quality sleep. Stevenson leaves no stone unturned when it comes to learning about sleep. He covers caffeine, alcohol, computer screens, having a sleep “sanctuary”, exercise, nutrition, and even how having an orgasm can be as a good way to help induce quality sleep.

One of the takeaway messages from this book that resonated the most was the need to place more value on sleep. We value material things. We value friendships. We value nurturing our bodies with quality food, and we value exercise. It’s time we really start to place value on sleep. We know it’s important, yet as a culture we tend to make it a last priority. Let’s work on making sleep our first priority, and then we can reap the benefits we feel when we are truly rested.


Female Guide to Magnesium – Part 1

5 August 2014 - Posted by Ashley under , , ,

Female Guide to Magnesium - Part 1: Obstacles Women Face in Maintaining Adequate Magnesium LevelsIf you’ve ever walked the supplement aisles of a grocery store, you’ve probably noticed that there are very well-defined differences in men’s vs. women’s supplements. This same principle applies not only to blends of vitamins, minerals, and herbs in individual products, but also to label-recommended use and dosage amounts. Women have not only their own multivitamins, but also multivitamin varieties, blends catering to reproductive and sexual health, anti-aging formulas, fitness supplements, and (of course) weight loss aids.

In light of these important differences, we figured: Why not magnesium?

In this two part series we’ll explore the unique needs and options that women have for ensuring optimal magnesium. However, before we get into tactics on intake, we first need to tackle the obstacles that women in particular face.

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Pre-Menstrual Syndrome & Magnesium

4 February 2014 - Posted by Ashley under , ,

Ladies, it’s time to bump magnesium up your priority list, and here’s why…

Pre-Menstrual Syndrome & Magnesium | Ancient Minerals   #pms A while back I decided to embark on a month of “clean living.” Since I already live a relatively clean lifestyle, this concept was more of a “fine tuning” than total rehabilitation. I started by deleting caffeine and alcohol – not that I was consuming either excessively, but both of these are diuretics, causing an unnecessary loss of minerals and fluids. I also set up reminders for myself to ensure that I took my vitamins, bumped up my activity levels, and got adequate amounts of sleep. I lowered my sugar intake, ate more raw foods, and kicked up my “good fat” consumption.

One extra thing that I did was to make a conscious and consistent effort to really boost my magnesium levels through both topical and oral supplementation. Of course, one might assume, since I have magnesium literally at my fingertips, that I have no problem getting sufficient amounts. However, I’m only human and even I find myself needing to renew my habits now and again.

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Intravenous and Inhaled Magnesium for Childhood Asthma

20 December 2013 - Posted by Ashley under ,

Intravenous and Inhaled Magnesium Sulphate in Management of Children with Bronchial Asthma | Ancient MineralsAlthough we’ve discussed the benefits of magnesium for those with asthma and allergies, a new study released in the Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine has displayed further evidence that the use of magnesium – inhaled magnesium – is a powerful means of battling childhood asthma.



Asthma is the most common chronic disease of childhood and the leading cause of childhood morbidity. When uncontrolled, asthma can place significant limits on daily life, and is sometimes fatal. The use of magnesium sulphate (MgSO4) is one of numerous treatment options available during acute severe asthma in children. The efficacy of intravenous, or inhaled MgSO4 has been demonstrated, while little is known about the actual clinical use of either intravenous (IV) or inhaling MgSO4.

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Magnesium Levels Vital to Brain and Mental Health

5 November 2013 - Posted by Ashley under , , ,

Magnesium Levels Vital to Brain and Mental Health | Ancient Minerals BlogNovember is National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month and the serious issues of cognitive health will be in the spotlight in the coming weeks. The medical community agrees that cognitive impairment (CI), ranging from mild to severe, is almost epidemic in the U.S. as the Baby Boomer generation is aging and living longer. Scientists believe one reason is that the human brain begins shrinking after age 25. Structural changes and loss of brain synapses lead to rapid decline in cognitive health.

The solution is still unclear, however the good news is that the human brain has a greater degree of plasticity than scientists previously believed, and new studies, specifically those made in nutritional research, show that magnesium deficiency in adults may play a more important role in CI, and more seriously, Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), than previously thought.

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What is MSM?

23 August 2013 - Posted by Ashley under , ,

Methylsulfonylmethane – or as it’s more widely known amongst the health community, MSM – is an organosulfur compound.What is MSM? | Ancient Minerals Blog

This naturally occurring sulfur is found in all vertebrates – although the extent of its importance still has yet to be explored. It can be obtained through a variety of food sources in small amounts, but occurs higher in [raw] nutritionally-dense foods such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage – as well as dairy products and certain cuts of meat. However, like many agricultural products today, depleted soils have significantly lowered the mineral contents in foods overall.

Unlike more common vitamin and mineral supplements, MSM is a bit of a dark horse, so to speak. Since taking off in the natural health community, many of its deeper benefits have been glanced over – a truly unfortunate oversight – in order to simply promote it as a muscle and joint pain relief agent. Despite its proven benefits and popularity amongst certain communities, lack of sufficient [incontrovertible] research along with mainstream skepticism has kept MSM from becoming a staple product for health and wellbeing.

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Melatonin: Wonder Hormone

17 May 2013 - Posted by Ashley under ,

Melatonin – that lovely chemical that is intrinsically tied to our circadian rhythm…

Many know it as a powerful sleep supplement, some with knowledge of its critical role in our health, while others know nothing of it at all. However, the functional capacity of this vital hormone is surprisingly extensive.


Melatonin has long been known to be a pervasive scavenger of free-radicals and protector against oxidative damage, but its role as an indirect antioxidant doesn’t stop there. For the most part, antioxidant enzymes are regulated depending on the oxidant status of the cell. However, melatonin has been found to have an influence on both cellular mRNA levels for these enzymes as well as antioxidant enzyme activity.

Over the years it has been determined that many disease states are either directly due to, or exacerbated by, high oxidative stress. In these situations, melatonin has proven to be an effective means of reducing the severity of disease and/or being a protectant against a vast array of conditions. As an indirect antioxidant, melatonin boosts activity of glutathione peroxidase – an enzyme family expressed in nearly all mammalian tissues whose primary role is protecting against oxidative damage. In fact, melatonin has shown an aptitude for stimulating gene expression for a variety of other antioxidant enzymes, as well as inhibiting the expression of genes such as ALA-S (Aminolevulinic acid synthase).

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Does Magnesium Help You Sleep?

1 March 2013 - Posted by Ashley under ,

Using Magnesium for a Better Night's Sleep #insomnia #supplement #nutrition | by Ancient Minerals Our favorite mineral is a regular wizard when it comes to relaxing the body and helping minimize our response to stressful stimuli. So it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that this wonder nutrient also has a phenomenal impact on sleep function and quality.

We often don’t consider just how crucial getting sufficient amounts of undisturbed, quality sleep is for overall health and well-being – the focus often being placed instead on diet and exercise. It’s certainly not new or shocking that a lack of sleep can lead to any number of mental health issues and even death, but sleep research over the last decade has been uncovering deeper connections to illness and disease than we’ve suspected in the past. Our brain is still quite an enigma in the grand scheme of things, but one thing is for sure, it’s ultimately in the driver’s seat of our biological processes. Lack of sleep equates to neglect… neglect of the most important organ in your body.

Can’t Sleep? Call Dr. Magnesium

One of the many benefits attributed to magnesium use is improved sleep – whether it be simply helping you stay asleep longer, fall asleep faster, or battle recurring bouts of insomnia. However we still receive the occasional request for reassurance, “Will using topical magnesium help me sleep?” Not wishing to exaggerate and create unreasonable expectations, I can still say, “Yes, magnesium will help you sleep.” That’s not to say that it will completely ‘heal’ whatever may be the underlying cause of your sleep issues – but its necessity for a good night’s sleep is so critical that it will most definitely provide a helping hand.

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Goodnight Lotion for a Better Night’s Sleep

22 February 2013 - Posted by Ashley under ,

The time has come – finally! Yes, we’re very excited to announce that our much anticipated new addition is available at last!

Ancient Minerals Goodnight Lotion

One of the many issues plaguing a vast spectrum of our society – an issue that spans age, gender, lifestyle, and health status – is poor or inconsistent sleep quality.

The benefits of a good night’s sleep reach far and wide as a key factor in helping maintain overall health and well-being. More than simply altering your energy levels, a lack of deep, quality sleep results in a change in brain activity, immune response, organ function and even gene expression. Surprising, isn’t it?

Ultimately, our goal in creating our Goodnight formulation was to attempt to tackle this burden in the same way that we have tackled other issues – transdermally. In that respect, we feel that we’ve hit the nail directly on the head.

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6 Reasons to Add Magnesium to Your Massage

16 November 2012 - Posted by Ashley under ,

6 Reasons to Add Magnesium to Your MassageWhen I have the opportunity, I absolutely love indulging in a deep tissue massage session. The health benefits alone certainly make it a worthwhile expenditure and help bridge the gap between luxury and necessity.

In fact, it was during a particularly necessary massage that I was inspired to write this article.

On this occasion, I went because my body was especially sore after a workout that week, and I also found my knee and shoulder giving me a bit of a twinge. A little background on me – for years now, my shoulders (rotator cuffs) have been susceptible to bouts of tendonitis and will flare up when I give them the slightest opportunity (e.g. sleeping in odd positions, reaching into the backseat of the car, etc). The only thing that I’ve found to work in relieving this pain and inflammation is topical magnesium.

And yes, before you ask, I did all of the stretching, menthol rubs and icing… I even finally broke down at one point and received a cortisone shot. All for naught! No matter what I did, it would come right on back and I would be struggling to even put on a shirt in the morning.

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