We all know that getting enough rest is of vital importance to our health. It seems that we are all clear about this concept but few apply it, whether due to lack of time, perseverance or awareness. Be that as it may, sleeping the necessary hours and ensuring a repairing rest is the best method to keep us balanced, in all aspects. So, it is important to keep your nervous system in good conditions.
The benefits of sleeping well are widely known, one of the most important is directly related to the well-being of our nervous system, since by sleeping we counteract the effects of stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol. Lack of sleep causes an increased and sustained release of stress hormones.
But what happens when we can’t sleep properly?
Insomnia is the most common disorder of the nervous system. It is characterized by the inability to sleep properly. During the night, different recovery processes take place in the body. Without them, our body would not be able to repair all the damages that occur throughout the day. Therefore, insomnia has associated risks such as cardiovascular disease, anxiety and potentially cancer. It is also associated with increased mortality in adults.
Nutrients with homeostatic implications
Keeping the nervous system in good condition can save us from suffering certain homeostatic imbalances such as anxiety or migraine. It should be noted that scientific evidence shows that some of them can be prevented or reduced by simply maintaining a balanced diet and eating certain foods, some described below.
Bio elements such as magnesium
Magnesium is a mineral that helps the normal functioning of nerves and promotes mental activity. It also helps to relax the nervous system since serotonin, responsible for raising mood, depends on magnesium. In addition, it improves sleep thanks to the property of magnesium to stabilize melatonin, a hormone that regulates its cycle.
Biomolecules such as coenzyme Q10, Nadh and Serine
Coenzyme Q10 or ubiquinone is present, mainly, in the mitochondrial inner membrane and is distributed throughout the body. It is a powerful antioxidant and participates in energy production. Coenzymes are molecules that bind to enzymes and help them perform their function. Apart from their role in energy metabolism, they also have a role in reducing oxidative damage.
Nadh is involved in energy production, neurotransmitter synthesis and antioxidant activity. It is a coenzyme that is found in all living cells and that participates in the oxide-reduction reactions, allowing various cellular processes such as the release of energy from nutrients or certain synthesis reactions.
On a cognitive level, its three main functions (energy production, neurotransmitter synthesis and antioxidant effect) help improve mental function.
Serine is essential for the proper functioning of the brain. It is an amino acid especially important for the proper functioning of the central nervous system. It is also essential in the communication between nerve cells, since it regulates the entry and exit of substances such as neurotransmitters. For this reason, it is believed that the contribution of serine significantly improves cognitive functions.
Plants such as California Poppy, Passionflower and Valerian
The California poppy is located in the temperate zones of North and South America. It has been seen that its extract induces sleep thanks to its majority active ingredients, the alkaloids.
On the other hand, passionflower, native to South America and is used for its sedative action, which helps to slightly reduce arterial hypertension and heart rate. It is traditionally used as an aid in the treatment of neuralgia, migraine, insomnia and nervous tension.
Finally, Valerian, native to Europe and some parts of Asia. Valerian is one of the most used plants and of which more studies have been conducted to verify its effects in the treatment of insomnia and other symptoms associated with nervousness.
Last but not least
The nervous system is one of the pillar systems of homeostasis, controlling the regulation of signals and interrelating all organic systems.
The nervous system also has an influence on moods since our most basic behaviors (happiness, aggressiveness, fear, etc.) are defined by the physiology of our species.