Supplements for Better Sleep: Is Magnesium Good For Sleeping?
Sleep is essential for proper cognitive and physical functioning.
If you follow the wellness industry at all, you may have heard that magnesium supplements are proving themselves to be a natural remedy for sleep problems. Perhaps that’s what brings you here. But, how effective are they?
Is magnesium good for sleeping? This article will explore magnesium’s potential role in improving sleep and how it can be used as a supplement to help people get a better night’s rest.
Find out what you should know about supplements and sleep right here.
What is Magnesium?
Magnesium is a much-needed mineral when it comes to the function of our body and our overall health. It’s not something the body produces but rather digested and absorbed through magnesium-rich foods, magnesium-fortified foods, or by magnesium supplementation.
Healthy magnesium levels help the body to function in many ways. For example, it plays an irreplaceable part in energy production—enabling enzymes to convert stored foods into energy that can then be further utilized by the cells of the body.
Magnesium plays a vital role in supporting normal nerve and muscle function, boosts energy production and metabolism, helps maintain stable blood pressure, and can greatly reduce the risk of heart disease.
It contributes to optimal bone health, maintaining proper levels of calcium and phosphorus in our bones so that they stay strong as we age.
Magnesium also plays a key role in regulating our moods and managing stress levels—something especially important for anyone looking to lead a healthier lifestyle.
Clearly, magnesium is an invaluable element for our bodies and should not be taken for granted!
How Magnesium Impacts Sleep
There are many things that can interfere with a good night’s sleep from stress, nerves, anxiety, an overactive mind, and even various health issues or diseases.
Because magnesium is involved in so many biochemical reactions in the human body, it just might be that the root of your sleeplessness is magnesium deficiency.
Having trouble sleeping? Is magnesium good for sleeping? You may want to discuss with your doctor the need to have your magnesium levels checked.
If the results show that you are indeed low in magnesium, adding a quality magnesium supplement could be all you need to get the sleep you’re in need of.
It Can Help Your Body and Brain Relax
Magnesium can actually help your body and brain to relax more deeply and easily. Magnesium helps increase the effects of GABA-a neurochemical that is responsible for calming nerve signals in the brain.
Magnesium’s benefits to promote physical and mental relaxation are well-documented. Not only does it reduce stress and help your muscles relax, but it can also calm your restless mind.
Have you ever felt restless at bedtime? Perhaps restless leg syndrome has prevented you from falling asleep or staying asleep?
By ensuring that your magnesium intake is adequate by adding magnesium-rich foods to your diet or adding oral magnesium supplementation to your daily routine, you may be able to combat those uncontrollable urges that are very much a part of restless leg syndrome.
Not Having Enough Of it Interferes With Sleep
Over the years, experts have seen a steady rise in cases of magnesium deficiency. Also on the rise is the number of people struggling to get a good night’s sleep. Not a coincidence!
Not having enough magnesium can be detrimental to our sleep patterns. Magnesium helps to support a healthy circadian rhythm—the 24-hour natural body clock.
This is what tells us when it’s time to go to bed and when it’s time to wake up. Without maintaining healthy magnesium levels, our internal clocks can’t function efficiently, and this results in sleepless nights or disrupted rest.
It Helps Regulate Sleep Quality
Magnesium also regulates hormones such as cortisol, which is known as the “stress hormone” and is involved in the sleeping cycles of melatonin production.
Study after study shows inadequate magnesium as one of the leading causes of insomnia or interrupted sleep.
Magnesium is able to not only improve the quantity of sleep obtained but regulate the overall quality as well. It has a calming effect on the central nervous system and influences the interactions between neurotransmitters, which control when we fall asleep and how easily we stay asleep.
It May Help Alleviate Anxiety and Depression
Magnesium has been increasingly studied for its many beneficial effects on mood disorders. Its calming properties have been known to reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety, balancing our hormonal system and allowing the body to function more efficiently.
Magnesium affects numerous neurotransmitters and hormones in the body, including serotonin, dopamine, adrenaline, and endorphins.
Research indicates that people with certain mental health disorders have low levels of magnesium compared to those who do not have mental health issues.
Because of this, magnesium has been shown to help reduce signs of depression, such as those associated with hormone imbalance.
Magnesium helps us maintain emotional balance, reducing neurochemical imbalances by aiding neurotransmitter production, regulating hormones, and providing essential relaxation responses in our bodies.
An increased intake of magnesium-packed foods or magnesium supplementation has shown to improve mood and reduce stress by improving sleep quality and helping muscles relax.
People with anxiety or depression may find relief from taking magnesium supplements in order to balance their body’s natural chemistry and support their overall well-being without the side effects known to medicinal forms of antidepressant or anxiety medications.
What Can Make You Deficient in Magnesium?
There are a number of things that can lead to magnesium deficiency. The most common cause is simply not getting enough magnesium in your diet, which leads to your body not getting the needed amount for healthy function.
Other sources of magnesium deficiency include consuming excess caffeine, sugary beverages, and processed foods, as well as certain medications for conditions such as acid reflux or diabetes.
Lifestyles and highly stressful situations such as prolonged illness, repetitive trauma, or surgery also can deplete the body’s magnesium stores.
Perhaps you feel like you do eat fairly healthy and enjoy lots of magnesium-rich foods, yet your magnesium levels are low. How can this be?
Well, quite simply, with years of production, soils can become depleted. If soil isn’t maintained or managed properly, it will not contain the nutrients to grow magnesium-rich foods. Be sure your food sources are coming from ethically minded growers.
Foods With Magnesium
Dietary magnesium can be found in many foods. Thankfully for us, foods considered to be magnesium-rich include readily available favorites such as the following:
- dark leafy greens: spinach, collard greens, and Swiss chard
- seeds & nuts: sunflower, sesame, pumpkin seeds, almonds, and cashews
- fish: wild-caught fish such as mackerel, tuna, and halibut,
- grains: quinoa, buckwheat, oats, and millet
- legumes: black beans, chickpeas, and lentils
- dairy: milk, plain yogurt
- dark chocolate
- peanut butter
Of course, these are just a few examples; if you’re looking for an easy way to get your daily dose of dietary magnesium, also consider looking into magnesium-fortified foods like some breakfast cereals, breads, and snack bars.
A diet that includes both natural food sources of magnesium as well as fortified foods can provide your body with many benefits!
What Are the Side Effects Of Magnesium Supplementation? Is it Safe?
Magnesium is becoming an increasingly popular supplement with many touting its benefits in daily life, however, it’s important to consider potential side effects.
At the onset of magnesium supplementation, magnesium supplements can lead to diarrhea, cramps, and nausea as your body adjusts to the increased intake of this vital mineral.
Most often this can be avoided by beginning with a very low dosage and gradually increasing to the recommended dosage.
Should you experience any of these uncomfortable symptoms, be assured that they’re usually temporary and can be lessened by cutting back on the amount being taken as your body adjusts.
People with diabetes, kidney disease, infections, or on any medications such as blood pressure medication or even antacids, should discuss thoroughly with their doctor before taking any type of supplement.
It’s also worth noting that too much magnesium can be toxic, so it’s advised to stick to recommended daily intakes of dietary supplements. Too much of any health supplement can cause problems.
Generally, however, magnesium supplementation has proven safe with little to no risk in most people.
With so many health benefits being proven by adding a quality magnesium supplement to up your magnesium intake such as lower blood pressure, less anxiety, better moods, no more restless leg syndrome, improved sleep quality, and more, it’s definitely worth getting your magnesium levels tested.
When it comes to understanding supplements and sleep, there are a few questions that are frequently asked. The three main questions and what the experts have to say are listed below.
Is Magnesium or Melatonin Better For Sleep?
Struggling to sleep? Not sure which supplement is best for you? Magnesium and melatonin are two popular natural ingredients used to improve the quality of sleep, but which one is better?
Melatonin does help regulate your internal body clock and promotes feelings of drowsiness— ideal if you’re looking for something fast-acting that will help you drift off.
Magnesium, on the other hand, offers a bit more. It has been shown to relax the muscles and calm the nervous system, making it a great choice if you have insomnia caused by stress or anxiety or suffer from restless leg syndrome.
For these reasons, along with all the added health benefits to one’s overall health that come from increasing your magnesium intake, magnesium supplements are a more popular choice for better sleep.
What is The Best Time to Take Magnesium?
The best time to take magnesium for maximum effectiveness for sleeping is about 30 minutes before bedtime when your body is winding down and preparing for sleep. This ensures that you are not invigorated by the magnesium and allows it to help soothe your body instead of activating it.
The best time to take magnesium can vary from person to person. Some prefer a few moments before bed, while others find taking it earlier in the evening seems to work better.
Another option that works great for some people is splitting your doses up—taking a serving at dinner time and another a bit before bed.
It really can be a personal preference that depends on how your body responds to the magnesium supplement.
Depending on your individual needs, talk to your healthcare provider about how much magnesium you should take and when to get the most benefit from this natural supplement!
Can Magnesium Cause Insomnia?
Depleted levels of magnesium in your body or magnesium deficiency can easily contribute to insomnia.
Magnesium aids in producing calming hormones like melatonin and serotonin, which help regulate your sleeping patterns and improve sleep quality.
But, did you know that too much of a good thing can also be bad?
Some research suggest that consuming high amounts of magnesium in the form of dietary supplements may actually lead to a disruption in your sleeping habits and cause insomnia in rare cases.
Don’t just assume that you aren’t sleeping because you don’t have enough magnesium. It’s important to consult with your doctor to see what your magnesium levels are.
Once you have your results, should you be low in this vital mineral, your doctor will discuss the right supplement dosage for you, so you can ensure you get all the wonderful benefits from this nutrient without experiencing any side effects.
The Final Say
To be healthy, we need sleep! Is magnesium good for sleeping? Although there are many reasons for interrupted sleep, having enough magnesium is important for a good night’s sleep.
Not only does it assist in helping one get to sleep, but magnesium also helps with the ability to stay asleep too!
Interested in more information on magnesium or other great health-related tips, be sure to check out the following Health BLOG.
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