Magnesium is a natural mineral that helps you stay asleep longer and experience better sleep – all by supporting your body’s natural systems. Here’s how it works.
Magnesium contributes to many different functions in the body including muscle and nerve function, regulating blood sugar and blood pressure and supporting a healthy immune system.
It’s naturally present in many of the foods we eat like green leafy vegetables, nuts and legumes, yogurt and milk and whole grains.
While it’s possible to get all the magnesium you need just from your diet alone, a limited diet or underlying medical condition can prevent us from getting all the magnesium we need to function. Some of the effects we see with low levels of magnesium relates to our sleep: poor sleep quality, restless legs syndrome and insomnia.
Multiple studies have shown that a magnesium supplement can help improve multiple aspects of sleep, including:
Magnesium helps activate your parasympathetic nervous system (the part of your nervous system that helps you relax). With your body in a relaxed state, it can help you fall asleep faster. In this study, participants who took a magnesium supplement fell asleep an average of 17.36 minutes faster than their placebo counterparts.
Studies (like this one) have shown that taking a magnesium supplement directly correlates to higher concentrations of the naturally occurring hormones that contribute to deeper and more restorative sleep like melatonin and serum renin. Rather than addressing the lower levels of melatonin, magnesium goes straight to the source and helps your body produce natural melatonin, resulting in a more organic path to deeper sleep.
Cortisol is a natural stress hormone that keeps us alert when we’re in danger. But an overactive supply of cortisol, or burst of cortisol late in the day can keep us alert and awake later, impacting the quality of our sleep and our ability to stay asleep.
In addition to the aforementioned sleep study which also showed decreased levels of cortisol in participants who took a magnesium supplement, other studies on magnesium intake and depression show that higher levels of magnesium result in lower levels of cortisol – allowing you to have better quality sleep.
Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) affects 5-15% of the population and is a condition that becomes more prevalent as we age. Likely due to its effects on muscle and nerve function, magnesium has been reported as an effective therapy for Restless Legs Syndrome, aiding the body in more restful sleep and restorative rest for your muscles with a significant decrease in RLS symptoms.
After ruling out any sleep disorders and conflicting medications with your healthcare provider, consult with your doctor about incorporating a magnesium supplement to help you sleep better!