Can Magnesium Help You Sleep?

magnesium for sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep is as important as consuming a balanced and nutritious diet and exercising. Adequate sleep varies from one person to another; however, it is advised that one should sleep for around 7 to 9 hours every day/night.

A study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that 35% of the American adult population is sleep deprived. Not getting adequate sleep is detrimental to your overall health and safety. Therefore, there is a need for you to prioritize your sleep frequently and by all means.

One should seek immediate medical attention if suffering from a lack of sleep. A doctor can prescribe some medicine and magnesium supplements to help restore sleep.

They will also advise on the appropriate lifestyle change to get adequate sleep. A lack of sleep can also indicate an underlying health condition; hence, you should not take chances with your sleep.

The Benefits of Having Enough Sleep

Enables you to maintain or lose weight

Short sleep, for less than 7 hours a night, has been associated with weight gain and high body mass index risks. This is according to a study by the National Library of Medicine. The survey was conducted in 2020, revealing that adults who slept for less than 7 hours a night had a 41% risk of developing obesity.

healthy older couple working out

However, sleeping for longer hours does not increase your chances of becoming obese. Several factors, such as motivation to exercise and hormones, are directly linked to the effect of sleep on weight gain. For example, if one does not have enough sleep, their ghrelin levels may increase and experience a corresponding decrease in leptin levels. Ghrelin is the hormone that makes one feel hungry, while leptin is a hormone responsible for making one feel full.

When one is sleep-deprived, they tend to feel hungrier than those who sleep for many hours. Various other studies show that sleep-deprived individuals tend to have a bigger appetite and eat more calories.

A lack of sleep makes one crave foods high in fats and sugar to compensate for the lack of energy. When one is sleep-deprived, they feel tired and unmotivated to do usual things such as going for a walk, hitting the gym, or any other physical activities they enjoy.

Quality sleep strengthens one’s heart

Inadequate sleep patterns may increase one’s chances of developing heart disease. It was established that when one sleeps less than 7 hours per day/night, it could increase the risk of death by 13% due to heart disease.

The analysis also revealed that sleeping less than average hours for every 1 hour of decreased sleep is connected to a 6% high mortality risk and heart disease. It can heighten your chances of developing blood pressure, especially if you have obstructive sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is a condition of interrupted breathing while sleeping. A study published in the NCBI found that individuals who sleep for less than 5 hours have high chances of developing high blood pressure. Also, individuals sleeping more than 9 hours had a high chance of developing high blood pressure and heart disease.

Depression Reduction

Depression, a mental health concern, and many others are closely linked to a lack of good sleep and other sleeping disorders. A study carried out among 2672participants revealed that those with anxiety and depression were more likely to report poor sleep scores than those without a mental health concern.

group of happy young adults

If one has a sleeping disorder such as obstructive sleep apnea or insomnia, they are more likely to report high rates of depression than healthy individuals. Therefore, it is vital to monitor your sleep. If one notices their mental health deteriorating, they should speak to their health care professional.

It supports a healthy immune system

Sleep deprivation can impair a person’s immune function. This is according to a study by the NCBI. In the study, participants who slept less than 5 hours a night were four times more likely to catch a cold than those with enough sleep. On the other hand, participants who slept for 5 to 6 hours had 4.24 times more likely to develop a cold.

A good night’s sleep improves your body’s antibody response to influenza vaccines. It was recently determined that adequate sleep after receiving the COVID-19 jab could enhance vaccine efficacy. Still, more research is being conducted to understand the connection.

What Is The Relationship Between Magnesium and Sleep?

Breaking the cycle of insomnia can be challenging. One may have tried all they could, including curbing caffeine intake, changing their sleeping routine, or adapting and dropping some lifestyle, ending in a dead-end. One may have even tried using sleeping supplements, but still, it hit a snug.

Magnesium has a broad range of effects on one’s body and has proven to influence various processes that enhance sleep. However, there is one supplement known for improving sleep, Magnesium. Read on to know what this mineral is and what it means for your sleep.

What is Magnesium?

magnesium for anxetyMagnesium is one of the 24 vital vitamins and minerals one’s body requires to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The human body requires a large quantity of Magnesium as it doesn’t produce Magnesium independently. Certain dietary minerals are influential in one’s physical and mental well-being, and Magnesium is one of them.

Therefore, it relies on diets or supplements for the recommended dose. According to the National Institute of Health, women aged 19 and above require 310 to 320 mg of Magnesium daily, while men of the same age bracket need 400 to 420 mg daily.

A healthy adult body contains approximately 25mg of Magnesium. This is still below the required level. Approximately half of a person’s magnesium is found in their bones, while the remaining 40% to 50% is found in their soft tissues.

The National Institute of Health says that up to 68% of American adults consume inadequate Magnesium in their meals or supplements. An inadequate amount of Magnesium in the human body can lead to a lack of sleep and other conditions such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes.

How Magnesium Affects Sleep

Magnesium is vital in muscle and nerve regulation and could help a person struggling with sleep disorders. A 2012 study published in the National Institute of Health revealed that participants 65 years and above who took 500mg of Magnesium every day for eight weeks reported longer sleep and woke less in the middle of their sleep compared to another group of participants who took a placebo.

Magnesium may help one to sleep by reducing anxiety. Anxiety, as seen above, hinders the quality of sleep. Therefore, Magnesium enhances sleep by regulating neurotransmitters such as serotonin. Serotonin helps to ease tension and relax the body.

Magnesium Helps to Alleviate Anxiety and Depression

As discussed earlier, depression and anxiety can affect one’s sleep quality. Magnesium has been proven to improve these mood disorders. When there is a magnesium deficiency, a person is more likely to show signs of depression, anxiety, and mental confusion. Recent studies have shown that Magnesium can improve conventional antidepressant treatment and help cure anxiety.

Nonetheless, how this works is not quite understood, but there is a relationship between the ability of this mineral to stimulate the calming devices of a person’s nervous system. If the cause of insomnia is underlying, it could be treated with Magnesium.

Other Functions of Magnesium in Your Body

Besides enhancing sleep, Magnesium also plays a major role in a person’s body. It is responsible for the following:

  • It plays a vital role in energy production and activates the energy molecules that fuel the body cells
  • Regulates transport of other minerals such as potassium, calcium, and more essential minerals that aid the nerves and muscles to work properly and maintain the heart rhythm
  • Regulates the production of cholesterol, blood pressure, and the level of blood glucose
  • It helps in bone development and prevents bone loss
  • It acts as an electrolyte to maintain fluid balance in the human body
  • Magnesium helps in controlling the stress-response system and hormones that diminish or elevate stress

Can Magnesium Deficiency Affect Sleep?

A USDA research states that up to 48% of Americans take less than the required amount of Magnesium daily. When an individual does not consume enough of this mineral daily, they may develop symptoms that may affect sleep quality. Such symptoms include;

  • Twitching
  • Muscle cramps
  • Elevated blood pressure, and
  • Irregular heartbeats.

Digestion and Gut Health

A new branch of research reveals that Magnesium is vital for one’s gut health. It relaxes the intestines and stomach muscles and neutralizes stomach acids, thus promoting a healthy digestive tract. This is why Magnesium is used to soothe heartburn which could wake you up while sleeping. It also relieves constipation.

In a 2018 study conducted on rats, it was determined that a diet that is rich in Magnesium promoted a healthy gut among the subjects. Another research carried out in Denmark determined that adults with low magnesium levels were more prone to symptoms of anxiety and depression and also an imbalance of healthy microbiota in their guts.

How to Use Magnesium for Sleep?

The American Dietary Guidelines for 2020 to 2025 suggest that for one to meet most of their nutritional needs, they should take in plenty of nutrient-dense food and beverages. Such foods and beverages comprise whole fruits, vegetables, dairy, grains and whole grains, and protein foods. One must focus on getting a sufficient amount of nutrients in their diet before they can begin to consume magnesium supplements.

magnesium pills for sleep

It is also important for one to consult their healthcare provider if they lack sleep to know whether there might be an underlying sleep disorder or other conditions affecting their sleep. They should open up about their current medication, if any, to ensure the magnesium supplements do not interfere with the medication. From this point, they can discuss with their medical professional about magnesium supplements.

It is recommended, for melatonin, to take medication before bedtime; however, one can still take magnesium supplements during the day. The time one takes their supplement depends on their current medication. For instance, one should take their antibiotics 2 hours before taking magnesium supplements or 4 to 6 hours after. One must consult a medical professional to know what type of magnesium supplement is appropriate for them and the time they should take it to enhance their sleep.

What One Should Consider When Taking Magnesium Supplements

When one is experiencing trouble sleeping, they should first consider lifestyle interventions like establishing a regular bedtime, cutting back on caffeine, and avoiding screens when going to bed. Nonetheless, if all of these do not seem to work and they have resorted to taking magnesium supplements, they need to know a few things.

  • One’s daily upper limit for magnesium supplement is 350 mg
  • There might be some side effects such as cramps, nausea, or diarrhea when taken in supplement form
  • Supplements may interfere with certain medications such as blood pressure drugs, muscle relaxants, and antibiotics
  • Taking Magnesium with food could reduce the effects of excess magnesium intake


Sleep is vital to humans, and one should strive to sleep at least 7 hours daily or night. If a person is experiencing sleep deprivation, they should change their lifestyle. If symptoms persist, they should visit a healthcare professional before self-prescribing supplements.

Finally, Magnesium has been proven to enhance quality sleep among people who struggle with a lack of sleep.