Potassium is a common mineral in our body that helps with just about every bodily function. Potassium is a mineral that is used by the body cells to create an electrical conduction system across the cell membrane. These cell membrane transmissions promote heart function, nerve impulse transmissions and muscle contractions. An imbalance of potassium can cause many different side effects including anxiety and new research suggests a potential for sleep disturbances.
If you have low levels of potassium, you may experience an increase in your anxiety symptoms.
Anxiety is an abnormal feeling of worry, fear, apprehension or nervousness. Anxiety can occur for a number of reasons, and comes in varying degrees of intensity. One common cause of anxiety is poor diet. Your body is a complex chemical system. When you lack a particular vitamin or mineral, your system can be thrown off. In relation to potassium, low levels can cause mental fatigue, stress and anxiety. Eating a well balanced diet and incorporating whole, natural foods may help you get on track to overcoming your anxiety.
Although there is no definitive research to support the concept that low potassium causes sleep problems, the potential is there. Potassium channel dysfunctions, which can prevent potassium from getting into cells, and the muscle spasms, which are one of the symptoms of hypokalemia (deficiency of potassium in the bloodstream), could both disrupt your sleep. If you have a chronic problem with insomnia or feel tired all the time, consult a health care professional – insomnia and fatigue can be symptoms of serious disorders such as sleep apnea.
Lauren F. White, LCPC