If you have trouble getting a good night’s sleep, you might be looking for anything you can do to sleep better.
Finding ways to decrease your stress, relaxing and avoiding screens before bedtime, creating a good sleeping environment, and avoiding caffeine late in the day can all help.
Lately, magnesium supplements have been getting a lot of attention as a way to sleep better.
What Is Magnesium?
Magnesium is a mineral that is found in many foods and water. It is used to complete hundreds of reactions in your body, impacting areas of your health that range from bone to brain function.
How Does Magnesium Affect Sleep?
Magnesium helps regulate hormones that trigger relaxation in preparation for sleep. It also regulates melatonin levels in the body, and melatonin controls the sleep-wake cycle.
If you aren’t getting enough magnesium, your sleep will be disrupted. However, if you get too much magnesium, your sleep can be disturbed, too (Chollet D1, 2001).
Not only do your magnesium levels help determine whether you are able to sleep, but they also regulate how well you sleep. Studies of older adults taking magnesium supplements showed that they got deeper, more restful sleep than those taking a placebo (Abbasi B1, 2012).
Magnesium also seems to have an effect on anxiety in some people. In fact, magnesium deficiency has been shown to contribute to anxiety and depression (Serefko A1, 2016). Therefore, people whose insomnia is associated with anxiety may sleep better if they take a magnesium supplement.
People with certain conditions may be more at risk of magnesium deficiency than others. These conditions include:
- Digestive problems
Older people are also more prone to being low in magnesium than younger people.
How Can You Increase Your Magnesium Levels?
Perhaps the best way to improve your magnesium levels is to make sure you are eating foods rich in the mineral and drinking tap water. Some foods high in magnesium include:
- Green vegetables
Should You Take a Magnesium Supplement?
You should always talk with your doctor before beginning any supplement. Magnesium supplements can have side effects such as stomach cramping and diarrhea. They can also interfere with some medications, resulting in serious problems.
Your doctor is best suited to help you decide whether a magnesium supplement is right for you and how much to take.
- Abbasi B1, K. M. (2012, Dec.). The effect of magnesium supplementation on primary insomnia in elderly: A double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. Retrieved from PubMed.
- Chollet D1, F. P. (2001, Sept.). Magnesium involvement in sleep: genetic and nutritional models. Retrieved from PubMed.
- Serefko A1, S. A. (2016, March 1). Magnesium and depression. Retrieved from PubMed.