How Does Magnesium Help You Sleep?

does magnesium help you sleep

According to a study from Italy, magnesium can improve the quality of sleep of patients in aged-care facilities.

But, the question is, how can this mineral promote this effect?

Can it be considered a sedative supplement?

In this study, we will discuss how magnesium affects your sleep and how to take it for certain sleep conditions.

Magnesium Overview

According to a study from Germany, magnesium is one of the most common and abundant minerals on earth.

However, our bodies cannot produce magnesium. Thus, this mineral can only be acquired from supplements and foods. 

Abbreviated as Mg, this is a nontoxic chemical that can be used in both the medical and industrial fields.

In this section, we will discuss some of the benefits of magnesium and what are its other forms or types.

Benefits of Magnesium

Generally, magnesium is an essential mineral for proper body and cellular function. Low levels of it can cause some health complications such as osteoporosis and fatigue.

Based on one study from Ohio, diabetes increases the risk of a magnesium deficit. 

Other benefits of proper magnesium intake include enhanced bone health, blood pressure control, increased mental cognition, and proper muscle function. 

Types of Magnesium

When we talk about this mineral, it is also important to discuss that there are many types of magnesium. Some of these are the following:

  • Magnesium oxide
  • Magnesium citrate
  • Magnesium chloride
  • Magnesium glycinate
  • Magnesium sulfate

Among these, magnesium oxide is the most common. But, when we talk about sleep, magnesium glycinate is preferred.

According to a study from Texas, magnesium glycinate comes with calming effects. In this study, it was found that patients with depression were able to recover by using this type.

Another interesting magnesium compound is magnesium l-threonate nootropic (magnesium L-threonaat noötropicum), which is garnering attention for its potential cognitive benefits.

Magnesium Supplementation and Sleep

Magnesium supplementation

As stated above, magnesium supplements can improve sleep, and in this section, you will find out how this mineral can offer this benefit!

1) Relaxes Brain and Body

A magnesium supplement can improve sleep by relaxing the brain and body.

Of course, for you to sleep, you have to relax not just your body, but your brain as well.

This means, giving peace to both your brain and body.

According to a study from Dutchland, magnesium activates your parasympathetic nervous system (PNS).

Generally, the PNS is responsible for keeping you calm and relaxed.

In another study from France, Mg also regulates melatonin. This hormone regulates the sleep-wake cycles in your body.

Additionally, Mg binds with GABA. This neurotransmitter is responsible for depressing your nerve activity, thus, helping you fall asleep faster.

2) Magnesium Deficiency Interferes with Sleep

Maintaining healthy levels of magnesium is vital.

According to a study from Pennsylvania, if you have a deficiency in this mineral, you might fall asleep later and become at risk of insomnia. 

Other groups of people who are most at risk of Mg deficiency include the following:

  • People with gastrointestinal issues
  • Diabetic patients
  • Those with alcohol dependence
  • The elderly

According to a study from Australia, a magnesium supplement can improve the insomnia symptoms of elderly patients compared to the placebo group. 

3) Regulates Sleep Quality

It is common to ask: how does magnesium help you sleep?

Magnesium supplements do not only induce sleep. Instead, it also improves sleep quality by helping you achieve deep sleep. 

According to a study from Iran, those who took 500 mg of Mg experienced longer sleep efficiency than placebo.

Based on one animal study from France, it was reported that those with Mg deficiency are restless.

This restlessness occurs because this mineral is effective in blocking excitatory neurotransmitters in the brain to calm your CNS.

Understand that the information above is based solely on research studies.

If you have other health conditions, seek consultation from your medical provider or sleep doctor for proper medication planning and management.

4) Manages Anxiety and Depression

As we all know, anxiety and depression, as well as other mental health problems have a negative impact on sleep duration and sleep onset latency. 

Fortunately, magnesium can help you manage these mood disorders.

According to a study from Poland, individuals experiencing anxiety and depression are often seen during Mg deficiency.

Although this process is not yet fully understood, it mainly relies on the mineral’s ability to calm the nervous systems.

With these, there is hope that Mg is a potential treatment for these mood disorders.

How to Take a Magnesium Supplement for Sleep

Taking magnesium for sleep may not be as easy as you think.

There are many factors that you should consider such as the correct dosage for your health condition.

The recommended dosage of supplemental magnesium for adult women is around 310-360 mg per day while for men, the dosage is around 400-240 mg per day.

Many people who take magnesium for sleep use this mineral at bedtime.

If you are taking other medications during this time, you should also consider possible drug interactions.

Aside from magnesium supplements, you can consume magnesium from food sources such as green veggies, nuts, cereals, and meat.

According to the American Dietary Guidelines, before you opt for medications, you should take Mg from nutrient-dense foods and beverages.

Again, you should know your Mg intake limit to avoid side effects like loose bowel movements and Mg toxicity.

What to Consider Before Buying Magnesium Supplements

Before you buy magnesium supplements or any product with this mineral, you might want to consider some factors.

Some of these factors include the following:

  • Mg dosage and form – when taking note of the amount of elemental magnesium and its form, you should keep in mind the age of the user. Some patients cannot tolerate oral Mg products, thus, they turn to food beverages instead.
  • Quality – if you wish to go for supplements, choose the product with the best quality. You can check for user reviews to get insights about the brand you wish to purchase.
  • Bioavailability – If you have digestive issues, better to go for the magnesium brand that is easy to absorb and digest. 
  • Other ingredients – some products come with other ingredients aside from Mg. Thus, you have to take note of them, especially if you are taking other medications to avoid drug interactions.

The first step before considering the factors above is choosing which type is most suitable for your health condition.

Remember, different Mg types offer different effects and profiles.

You can consider price but always prioritize quality.

Final Thoughts

Magnesium plays a big role in your overall health.

It comes with many health benefits such as blood pressure control, energy production, and bone development.

Individuals taking magnesium may ask, how does magnesium help you sleep?

Generally, this mineral does not simply sedate you or put you to sleep. There are many processes involved in how it can calm you.

First, it relaxes your brain and body.

Second, it promotes healthy Mg levels to avoid deficiency causing insomnia.

Third, it increases your quality of sleep and not just your quantity of sleep. Lastly, it helps you manage anxiety and depression that causes restlessness, especially at bedtime.

Generally, magnesium can be consumed through supplements but a balanced diet is still highly recommended.

Although maintaining healthy magnesium levels is easy using supplements, people should be aware of the dosage they consume to avoid side effects.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can a magnesium supplement control blood sugar?

One of the benefits of using magnesium is its ability to control blood sugar. This is why many diabetic patients use it to improve their insulin sensitivity. Additionally, controlling blood glucose also prevents kidney disease.

What are other sleep aids aside from magnesium?

Aside from using magnesium to improve gastrointestinal health, such as managing constipation, many people also use it to improve their sleep. However, for some people, this technique does not work. Thus, these people tend to look for other sleep aids aside from this mineral. Some of these are over-the-counter antihistamines, melatonin, lavender oil, and glycine.

What are the effects of magnesium on mental health?

Magnesium can treat and manage anxiety, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and some eating disorders. Aside from this, some research suggests that it can also prevent and treat Alzheimer’s Disease and schizophrenia.