Are you getting enough sleep every night? Research shows 61% of Americans are getting worse sleep than ever. With insomnia and sleep deprivation at an all time high, many are turning to solutions such as magnesium for sleep.
As popular as magnesium is, it has not traditionally been used as a sleep aid. Most people know that magnesium helps boost energy, reduce stress, and improve gut health, but how does magnesium actually link to sleep?
Here, we explore the link between magnesium and better sleep, and we also touch on ways to increase your magnesium intake for general health and well-being.
What Is Magnesium?
Magnesium is one of the most common minerals available. We rely on minerals to help us produce skin, muscles, and bones, as well as hundreds of other functions. Magnesium is a core mineral as it contributes to bone strength and helps keep the blood sugar steady so we can maintain energy levels.
We get most of our magnesium from the foods that we eat. However, we can develop a magnesium deficiency for several reasons. Lack of proper nutrition, decreased absorption in the gut, digestive issues, and problems associated with bowel movement all play a role in how much magnesium we have in our body.
When we don’t have enough magnesium, energy levels can plummet, and we become susceptible to more severe conditions such as diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease, and even stroke.
Link Between Magnesium & Sleep
Studies have linked low levels of magnesium to poor sleep and even sleep disorders. For example, one small clinical trial in Tehran studied the impact of magnesium on 43 older adults over 8 weeks. Participants were given either 500 mg of magnesium or placebo at random. The study concluded that those who had magnesium slept faster and longer.
There isn’t a direct link between magnesium deficiency and sleep. However, people low in magnesium can experience more significant stress and face difficulty relaxing. Low magnesium has also been linked to restlessness. A lab study concluded that insufficient magnesium resulted in light and restless sleep.
This shift in sleep quality can be explained by the role magnesium plays on the nervous system. Magnesium assists with muscle relaxation and proper nerve function. So naturally, when we have enough magnesium, it’s easier to feel relaxed when it's time to wind down and get ready for bed.
Can You Improve Sleep With Magnesium?
Sleep is one of the primary pillars of health. Poor sleep can impact every aspect of life, from mental functioning, energy and even digestion. With sleep deprivation at all-time highs, many people are trying new ways of getting better sleep.
Magnesium is one such method. But magnesium alone won’t solve all your sleep woes. It’s simply one aspect of good health that may make it easier to feel relaxed before sleep. If your goal is to sleep better, it’s critical to holistically look at your health and lifestyle.
For example, a heavy intake of alcohol can lead to a loss of magnesium intake. In addition, stress and mental health disorders have also been linked to reduced levels of magnesium.
On your journey to improve the quality of your sleep, it is always best to consult a doctor. A healthcare expert will identify whether your magnesium levels are low and recommend the best way forward.
Magnesium Supplements, Are They Good?
Your first source for magnesium should always be via your diet. There are a wide variety of delicious and healthy magnesium-enriched foods that will help you naturally increase your levels of the nutrient. You will find a list of those foods towards the end of this post.
Taking a magnesium vitamin in addition to healthy foods is another way to boost magnesium levels. Before you take any supplement, it’s essential to get medical advice to ensure you take the correct supplement.
Magnesium supplements are generally considered safe. However, it’s always best to speak to a healthcare professional to ensure that the dosage does not interfere with other medications or health concerns.
3 Other Benefits of Magnesium
As one of the most essential nutrients available to humans, the benefits of magnesium are comprehensive. A healthy level of magnesium does more than just assist with deep and restful sleep. Below are other known benefits of magnesium:
- Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS): Healthy magnesium levels help those dealing with restless leg syndrome, a disorder that causes the leg to move uncontrollably. Because magnesium assists the nervous system, doctors suggest it can help those suffering from RLS.
- Increase mood and energy: magnesium helps relax muscles and the nervous system, making stress and anxiety management more effective. Furthermore, by improving sleep quality, people can significantly elevate energy levels and daytime function.
- Bone strength: since magnesium lives in our bones, it plays a crucial role in supporting strong bone health. Magnesium works with other essential minerals such as calcium and potassium to help the body produce enough protein for energy.
Signs that you may be low in magnesium include numbness, muscle and joint pain, fatigue, and sleeplessness.
Foods High In Magnesium
The best thing about magnesium is that it is found in a wide variety of healthy and delicious foods. Leafy greens, nuts, fish, and dark chocolate are examples of foods that will increase magnesium in the body.
Small changes in your diet can add a significant boost to magnesium levels. For example, just one cup of boiled spinach contains up to 39% of your daily intake of magnesium. Switching up your usual desert to dark chocolate can also supercharge your magnesium intake. The best thing about these foods are that they are also considered some of the best foods that help you sleep.
Here are some examples of magnesium-enriched foods.
|Recommended Daily Intake (RDI)
|Dark chocolate (70–85% cocoa)
|3.5 ounces (100 grams)
|Quarter cup (24 grams)
|3.5 ounces (100 grams)
|One medium avocado (200 grams)
|1 cup (180 grams)
|1 cup (185 grams)
|Quarter cup (30 grams)
|3.5 ounces (100 grams)
It’s important to note that magnesium benefits won’t automatically lead to better sleep. There isn’t a specific type of magnesium for sleep that will make snoozing easier. Instead, magnesium-rich foods paired with exercise and a balanced lifestyle is the best way to ensure you fall asleep faster and wake up feeling rejuvenated.
Magnesium plays a vital role in helping our body function in the best possible way. To try the benefits of magnesium for sleep, start by eating foods that are rich in magnesium. If you feel a magnesium supplement is the way to go, get medical advice before you begin to take it.
Ultimately, improving your sleep may take some trial and error. As well as improving your diet, you may find that a simple upgrade to the most comfortable hybrid mattress can also greatly benefit the quality of your sleep.
Do you take magnesium supplements? Share your thoughts in the comments.
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Disclaimer. We love sleep and we want you to get the best sleep possible. But we do not provide medical advice. This blog is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical info, diagnosis, or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on our blog.