A poor night’s sleep doesn’t only impact how you feel and perform the following day, but can also affect your long-term health. Chronic sleep problems are linked to anxiety, inflammation, metabolic diseases, and many other negative health outcomes.
If you’re struggling with quality sleep, you may be deficient in the mineral magnesium. If so, supplementation may not only improve your sleep but also improve your overall health. Here, we cover the many benefits of magnesium and answer the question, “Does magnesium help you sleep?”
Does Magnesium Help You Sleep?
Magnesium is an essential micronutrient that helps regulate many bodily functions, including sleep. Magnesium has been shown to have a beneficial effect on sleep quality, sleep eﬃciency, and sleep time. While numerous studies have found an association between higher levels of magnesium and better sleep, more research is necessary to better understand magnesium’s effect on sleep.
That said, if you want to improve your sleep, you may want to talk to your doctor about magnesium supplementation, or add magnesium-rich foods to your diet. Foods that are high in magnesium include leafy green vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.
3 Benefits of Magnesium
In addition to helping you sleep, magnesium helps support the body in many other ways. Low levels of magnesium are linked to numerous health problems, including hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes. By supplementing your diet with magnesium, you may help reduce your risk of these problems, as well as alleviate stress or anxiety and headaches or migraines.
1. Reduces Stress
Magnesium deficiency has been linked to stress, generalized anxiety, mood disorders, and panic attacks. While more research is necessary, studies suggest magnesium supplementation can help reduce anxiety and stress in vulnerable people. And if stress is at the root of your sleep problems, taking magnesium for stress or anxiety may help you sleep better too.
2. Improves Metabolic Health
Magnesium also plays an important role in glucose metabolism and, therefore, metabolic health. A meta-analysis of multiple studies found that the risk of metabolic syndrome was lowered by 17% for every 100 mg/day of magnesium intake. Metabolic syndrome can often lead to cardiometabolic diseases, such as heart attack, stroke, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and type 2 diabetes. So, by reducing the risk of metabolic syndrome, magnesium can also help prevent the onset of these other serious diseases.
Further research supports this as well. In another meta-analysis that tracked nearly 300,000 patients, researchers found that an increase in total magnesium intake by 100 mg/day decreased the risk of diabetes by 15%.
3. Relieves Headaches
There are many things that can trigger a severe headache or migraine, including stress and lack of sleep, for which magnesium may help. However, magnesium in and of itself may help prevent or alleviate headaches. People who experience tension headaches and migraines typically have lower levels of magnesium or magnesium deficiency. Consequently, researchers have found that magnesium supplementation can help relieve headaches and reduce the frequency of migraines.
Based on this evidence, The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) and the American Headache Society (AHS) have updated their guidelines for headache and migraine treatment. Their recommendations now include magnesium supplementation as a possibly effective preventative treatment.
How Much Magnesium Should I Take
The amount of magnesium you should take per day depends on why you are taking magnesium. For example, studies support up to 600 mg of magnesium per day for the prevention of migraines. However, this amount exceeds the recommended daily intake of magnesium, so it’s important to only take this much magnesium if directed to do so by a healthcare provider.
For adults between the ages of 19 and 30, the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of magnesium is 310 mg per day for women (350 mg if pregnant) and 400 mg per day for men. The RDA for adults 31 and over is 320 mg per day for women (360 mg if pregnant) and 420 mg per day for men. However, the majority of Americans are not getting enough magnesium from food alone.
For many people, taking 100 mg of supplemental magnesium per day may be enough to meet the RDA. Studies show that this amount of magnesium is effective in reducing the risk of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. However, you may need more than this amount of magnesium to help with anxiety, migraines, or sleep.
How much magnesium for sleep?
Research suggests that supplementing with more than 500 mg of magnesium per day for at least 8 weeks shows the most promise for improving sleep time and efficiency. However, this amount of magnesium exceeds the recommended upper limit and can result in uncomfortable GI side effects. Therefore, it’s critical to talk to your doctor before taking magnesium supplements for sleep. They can recommend the right dosage and how to incorporate magnesium supplementation into your routine.
When To Take Magnesium
Most studies on magnesium supplementation focus on 2-3 doses throughout the day. This may mean one dose in the morning and one at night, or a dose with each meal. However, the frequency and timing of doses will depend on the type and strength of the magnesium supplement.
For this reason, talk to your doctor before taking magnesium supplements. They can recommend the proper dose for your concern and a quality supplement to help. Additionally, magnesium supplements can interact or interfere with some medicines, which can influence when you should take them and whether you should take them at all.
If you have a question about magnesium’s potential interactions with your medication, don’t hesitate to reach out to your NowRx pharmacy. We’re here to help.