There are a few things that make our everyday life easier and more beneficial. One of those things is having a steady night of peaceful and interrupted sleep.
But, many people have trouble sleeping. There are many routines and changes in daily lifestyles that can improve sleep, like sleeping routine, cutting on caffeine intake, or better nutrition. However, sometimes it’s just not enough and that’s where supplements step in.
Supplements are another popular option, next to habits changes, when it comes to sleep improvement. Although there are many supplements for boosting your health, the most important one when it comes to sleep improvement is actually magnesium.
What Is Magnesium?
Drugstore shelves are crowded with supplements that claim to promote regular and steady sleep. But the mineral that gained the most attention is magnesium. Magnesium is known for having a wide-range effect on the body and can even influence body processes that promote sleep to actually boost them and get the most out of them.
Magnesium is a crucial mineral that plays a key role in keeping you healthy. This implies muscle function and nerves. Magnesium is responsible for your overall health. It plays an important role in a number of body functions:
- bone health
- blood sugar regulation
- muscle function
- calms the body and mind
- regulates melatonin
There is no surprise that magnesium can help with your sleep as well. Actually, magnesium can play a crucial role in your sleep. It can be found in food such as whole grains, legumes, nuts, dark green veggies, and fish. Magnesium is always found in certain ingredients, as the body doesn’t produce it.
Quick fact: Elderly people have lower levels of magnesium compared with younger adults.
How Does Magnesium Work?
Magnesium facilitates many essential functions within the body. Therefore, one of magnesium’s most important roles is as an enabler of healthy enzyme function. (1) Furthermore, magnesium is intertwined with more than 300 different enzyme-related reactions in the body’s cells. Also, magnesium:
- Activates ATP, an energy molecule that fuels body’s cells
- Regulates transport of calcium and potassium(2)
- Maintains heart rhythm
- Regulates blood pressure and blood glucose levels
- Regulates cholesterol production
- Guards bone loss
- Maintains fluid balance in your body
- Helps control hormones that elevate or diminish stress
- Helps control body’s stress-response system
Magnesium comes with a broad role in the body’s functioning and there is no surprise when it comes to numerous benefits of magnesium. One of the most common benefits that people who are fighting with a lack of sleep includes better sleep. (3)
Magnesium deficiency can lead to insomnia or even hyperinsomnia. People with detected low magnesium often experience restless sleep and often waking up during the night. Lack of magnesium in your body can even lead to nocturia.
Maintaining healthy magnesium levels leads to more sound and deeper sleep. Magnesium’s crucial role is in supporting restorative sleep by maintaining healthy levels of GABA.
Quick fact: GABA is a neurotransmitter that promotes sleep.
The number of research indicates that supplemental magnesium can improve overall sleep quality, especially in people with poor sleep. Even more, magnesium can help insomnia that’s linked to the sleep disorder called restless-leg syndrome.
Moreover, if you are interested in boosting your magnesium level you should think about improving your nutrition first. Adding a significant amount of minerals, like broccoli, or nuts to your diet will improve your magnesium levels. Also, the intake of this food is good for your overall health.
Magnesium And Sleep
Your brain needs to feel relaxed and tired in order to go to sleep. No wonder that humans go for deep sleep at the end of the day. Magnesium helps your sleep by pushing this process through its interactions with the nervous system and melatonin levels.
Magnesium is capable of controlling both melatonin and neurotransmitters. (4) The main role of neurotransmitters is to relay messages between your brain and your nervous system.
In addition, your melatonin levels control your sleep-wake cycles. Furthermore, a scientist has discovered that melatonin and magnesium levels correlate within the body.
Moreover, research shows that those with reduced magnesium levels are experiencing poorer sleep, while those with a normal level of magnesium have no issues whatsoever. Based on these findings, the connection between magnesium and sleep is established. In other words, melatonin and magnesium are closely tied to your circadian rhythms. (5) You are probably familiar with the saying of taking melatonin before sleep. This explains why magnesium is the next best thing or the alternative.
Magnesium And Sleep Problems
Also, many others can suffer from magnesium deficiency with no heavy conditions. In that case, these individuals can benefit from supplemental magnesium. If you don’t have a significant level of magnesium your body will most definitely experience insomnia or disturbed sleep.
On the other hand, it’s possible to have too much magnesium. Regardless of your above or below average magnesium level, you can expect sleep problems. Therefore, the right balance of magnesium is the only thing that guarantees a regular sleep cycle. So, optimal magnesium levels help you fall asleep initially. It also improves your sleep quality.
Magnesium For Sleep
If you want to get your magnesium levels in balance you need to approach it with a certain amount of knowledge, like where you can find the highest amount of magnesium and how much you should intake on a daily level. The first and most logical step would be to talk with your doctor, so blood analyses if possible and improve your diet.
When it comes to a daily dosage of magnesium, The National Institute of Health recommends a daily intake of 400-420 mg of magnesium for adult men and 310-360 mg for adult women.(7) But, bear in mind that you can get much through foods and water that contain high amounts of magnesium, including:
- Whole grains
- Green vegetable
- Unprocessed cereals
A daily intake of magnesium can help you minimize stress, sleep problems, and to regulate your nervous system.
But, until today there is no specific study that tells about how much magnesium you should intake in order to treat insomnia or any sleep disorder. However, according to The Food and Nutrition Board when it comes to supplemental magnesium intake shouldn’t be higher than 350 mg for males and females 9 years and older, 110 for children between 4 to 8, and 65 mg for 1 to 3-year-olds.
Good to know: To use magnesium as a much-needed sleep aid, take it about one to two hours before you go to sleep.
Magnesium and Side Effects
It is always possible to have some side effects from intake of any supplement. The same case goes with a magnesium supplement. (8) Some of the side effects of taking magnesium may be diarrhea or nausea. The good thing is that this trouble can be resolved with the simple act of not taking magnesium on empty stomach – you should intake magnesium always with a full glass of water.
Again, you should check with your doctor to ensure that magnesium supplements will not interfere with any of your other medications, in case you are taking one.
How Can Magnesium Be Important For Your Sleep?
Magnesium is officially one of the 24 most important nutrients for your body. In addition, it’s also one of the seven macro-nutrients your body needs to function normally. (9) Ways of how magnesium deficiency can impact the quality of your nightly rest:
- Stress and anxiety – high level of stress and anxiety affect high-quality sleep. Simply said, it’s extremely difficult to fall asleep if you feel stressed out
- Digestion and gut health – lack of magnesium can change the gut flora. It can change gut flora to a level that you may begin to experience significant symptoms of depression
- Depression and mood – lack of magnesium can lead to a big leap in depression. However, proper magnesium intake can improve depression symptoms within one week
- Muscle cramps, aches, and pains – Research showed that magnesium deficiency leads to cramps, spasms, and overall body weakness. Each of these small pain creators is more than enough to cause sleep disturbances. Altogether, it can lead to insomnia or restless sleep
How To Choose The Best Magnesium Supplement?
Sometimes, eating healthy and leading a healthy lifestyle isn’t enough for you to have a proper level of vitamins. Therefore, a healthy lifestyle isn’t enough for you to achieve vitamin balance. Consequently, you just need some external support in the form of supplements.
So, if you’ve decided to go for supplements you will have to do some homework. Why? Because not all supplements are created equal. Determine what your body needs, consult with your doctor and set a goal. After that, make sure that you do a little test and test different manufacturers in order to find the best magnesium supplement for you.
When it comes to having better sleep with magnesium, one of the best forms to intake is magnesium glycinate. (10) This is also a good choice if you want to raise your levels quickly. The glycine content in collagen is the reason a lot of people like to take a spoonful of collagen before bed. The magnesium is bound to glycine, a calming amino acid that supports your sleep.
However, regardless of your magnesium supplement choice you should intake magnesium with food all the time, and organize your diet to be high in magnesium. Therefore, make sure that your table always contains avocado, dark chocolate (yes, chocolate!), or spinach. Also, the good thing about magnesium supplements is that they are not extremely expensive and that you can make it crucial to add to your stack.
FAQ On Magnesium And Sleep
1. Which Form Of Magnesium Is The Best For Sleep?
The best version for sleep is magnesium glycinate. This is also one of the most absorbable forms of magnesium capsules you can take. If you want to raise your levels quickly, this is a perfect choice.
2. Should Magnesium Be Taken At Night?
For the best results, yes. If you take magnesium at night, it can be intertwined with calcium and help you relax your muscles and lead to better sleep. Enzymes are best taken with dinner. In that way, you will be able to promote complete digestion before bed and ensure more restful sleep.
3. Does Magnesium Help With Sleep And Anxiety?
Yes, it can help to ease anxiety. Therefore, it can help with your sleep. It is known that both anxiety and depression can lead to a negative impact on your sleep. However, magnesium has been shown to help alleviate both of these mood disorders.
4. How Long Does It Take For Magnesium To Work For Sleep?
The best time to use magnesium is 1 to 2 hours before you go to bed.
5. Is It Safe To Take 500mg Of Magnesium A Day?
The daily dosage of magnesium shouldn’t be higher than 350 mg and it is the recommended dosage only with medical supervision.