Many people have trouble sleeping, and breaking the cycle of insomnia can be hard.

You can try changing your sleep routine and curbing your caffeine intake, but sometimes these lifestyle interventions fall short.

Cooper if you’re reading this I’d recommend this

 

JMM if you’re reading this I’d recommend this

Supplements are another popular option. One supplement that’s gained some attention as a potential sleep aid is magnesium.

This mineral has wide-ranging effects in the body and may influence some of the processes that promote sleep.

Read on to learn the connection between magnesium and a good night’s sleep

Less Powerful but still good

 

Magnesium is one of the most common minerals on earth and is present in many foods (1, 2, 3).

It’s essential for human health and is used in over 600 cellular reactions throughout your body (3).

In fact, every cell and organ need this mineral to function properly. It contributes to bone health, as well as proper brain, heart and muscle function (3).

Magnesium supplements have been linked to a number of benefits, including fighting inflammation, relieving constipation and lowering blood pressure (4, 5).

In addition, magnesium may help treat sleep problems.

Many types of magnesium supplements are available. These include magnesium citrate, magnesium oxide and magnesium chloride.

Here are 4 major benefits of taking magnesium.

1. It Can Help Your Brain and Body Relax

In order to fall asleep and stay asleep, your body and brain need to relax.

On a chemical level, magnesium aids this process by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, the system responsible for getting you calm and relaxed (6).

First, magnesium regulates neurotransmitters, which send signals throughout the nervous system and brain.

It also regulates the hormone melatonin, which guides sleep-wake cycles in your body (7).

Second, this mineral binds to gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors. GABA is the neurotransmitter responsible for quieting down nerve activity. It is the same neurotransmitter used by sleep drugs like Ambien (8, 9).

By helping to quiet the nervous system, magnesium may help prepare your body and mind for sleep.

order to fall asleep and stay asleep, your body and brain need to relax.

On a chemical level, magnesium aids this process by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, the system responsible for getting you calm and relaxed (6).

 

Other Useful Options

First, magnesium regulates neurotransmitters, which send signals throughout the nervous system and brain.

It also regulates the hormone melatonin, which guides sleep-wake cycles in your body (7).

Second, this mineral binds to gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors. GABA is the neurotransmitter responsible for quieting down nerve activity. It is the same neurotransmitter used by sleep drugs like Ambien (8, 9).

By helping to quiet the nervous system, magnesium may help prepare your body and mind for sleep.

 

 

2. Not Having Enough of It Interferes With Sleep

Not having enough magnesium in your system can cause troubled sleep and even insomnia (10).

Studies in mice have shown that optimal levels of this mineral are needed for normal sleep and that both high and low levels can cause sleep problems (11).

Certain groups of people have a higher risk of magnesium deficiency, including (2):

  • People with digestive diseases: Issues with your digestive tract can cause your body to not absorb vitamins and minerals properly, resulting in deficiencies.
  • People with diabetes: Insulin resistance and diabetes are linked with excess magnesium loss.
  • People with alcohol dependence: Deficiency in this mineral is common among those who drink heavily.
  • Older adults: Many older adults have less magnesium in their diets than younger adults and may also be less efficient at absorbing it.

If you’re not getting enough magnesium, then you may experience sleep problems.

3. It Helps Regulate Sleep Quality

Not only can magnesium help you get to sleep, but it plays a part in helping you achieve deep and restful sleep as well.

In one study, older adults were given 500 mg of magnesium or a placebo. Overall, the magnesium group had better quality of sleep.

This group also exhibited higher levels of renin and melatonin, two hormones that help regulate sleep (12).

These results were bolstered by another study that gave elderly adults with insomnia a supplement containing 225 mg magnesium, 5 mg melatonin and 11.25 mg zinc.

The participants of this second study also had better sleep compared to the placebo group, although it’s hard to attribute the effect to magnesium since the supplement additionally contained zinc and melatonin (13).

Yet another study found that creating a magnesium deficiency in mice resulted in sleep patterns that were light and restless (14).

This is partially due to this mineral’s influence on the nervous system. It blocks more “excitable” molecules from binding to neurons, resulting in a calmer nervous system.

However, since the current research has only studied magnesium supplements among older adults with insomnia, it’s not clear whether younger adults would benefit as well.

4. It May Help Relieve Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and depression can both have a negative impact on sleep. Interestingly, magnesium has been shown to help alleviate both of these mood disorders.

This is especially true when there’s a magnesium deficiency, since anxiety, depression and mental confusion are often seen during deficiency (15).

But emerging research also indicates that this mineral could enhance conventional antidepressant treatment and possibly treat anxiety (15, 16).

While how this works isn’t fully understood, it seems to be related to magnesium’s ability to stimulate the calming devices of the nervous system (3).

If your insomnia is related to an underlying mood disorder, then magnesium just might help.