Many people struggle to get a perfect night’s sleep. You might have tried to change your sleep routine, or cut down your caffeine intake, but breaking the cycle of insomnia can be difficult. So does magnesium help you sleep?
Magnesium supplements have gained in popularity as a potential sleeping aid. Healthy magnesium levels can protect the metabolism, stabilise your mood and help to improve heart and bone health. But, more importantly, for those with sleep issues, magnesium supplements might be able to help you get some shut-eye.
What is magnesium?
Magnesium’s role in sleep and overall health is often forgotten and it’s not uncommon for people to have less-than-desirable magnesium levels. However, as magnesium plays such an important role, it’s actually one of the main vitamins that your body needs. Low magnesium levels can have a detrimental impact on the body as it increases the risk of chronic health problems.
The magnesium your body needs mostly come from outside sources. For instance, the human diet contains many magnesium-rich foods, including:
- Dairy products
- Dark leafy greens
- Seeds and nuts
- Whole grains
However, magnesium supplements are an easy and effective source for those who aren’t getting enough in their diet or are more vulnerable to magnesium deficiency.
Every cell and organ needs magnesium to function properly. As it is necessary for overall health, magnesium supplements have been increasingly popular. Not only do they contribute to inflammation prevention, constipation relief and reduced blood pressure, but magnesium supplements can also help you sleep.
Does magnesium help you sleep?
Putting it simply: yes. Magnesium helps activate neurotransmitters that are responsible for calming your body and brain. By activating the parasympathetic nervous system, magnesium helps you relax and fall asleep much quicker than usual. Additionally, research shows that regular magnesium intake helps regulate the levels of melatonin in your body, which helps to maintain its sleep-wake cycles.
Insomnia is a common symptom of magnesium deficiency, so maintaining healthy magnesium levels often leads to better sleep. By maintaining healthy levels of GABA, a neurotransmitter that encourages sleep, magnesium supplements can improve sleep quality. Furthermore, one study found that magnesium can lead to better sleep for those with restless leg syndrome.
Who is at risk of magnesium deficiency?
Certain groups have a higher risk of magnesium deficiency, and they are also more vulnerable to disturbed sleep patterns and insomnia. These groups include:
- People with digestive diseases
- People with alcohol dependence
- People with diabetes
- Older adults
Groups that are at risk of deficiency are often encouraged to take magnesium supplements. However, it is important to discuss your symptoms with your GP first.