Everything you need to know about magnesium for sleep

Everything you need to know about magnesium for sleep

Have trouble sleeping? You may not be getting enough magnesium. Get everything you need to know about magnesium for better sleep now. 

Disclaimer: This information is meant simply for educational purposes and should not be mistaken for medical advice. Before using CBD make sure to talk with your trusted healthcare provider. This page may contain also affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here.

What is the connection between magnesium and sleep?

Before we get to studies about whether magnesium supplements are effective for treating sleep disorders, let’s talk about the general reasons why magnesium might be good for sleep. 

So why could magnesium help you get the rest you need? While it’s not exactly clear, one of the main theories out there is that it’s due to magenium’s calming effects on our nervous system: 

It’s also thought that magnesium may increase the activity of melatonin, which is needed for regulating our sleep-wake cycles. However, I’ve seen mixed results in the research. 

Has magnesium been shown to improve sleep?

The short answer is yes. 

A few studies have found an improvement in sleep quality and sleep time (1, 2).

However it’s worth noting that both studies only looked at the effects of magnesium supplements in older adults with diagnosed insomnia. 

So it’s unclear if magnesium supplements would have any benefit for younger adults, or those without diagnosed insomnia. 

Still, early research suggests that magnesium deficiency could cause disturbed sleep and even the development of insomnia (3, 4). 

How much magnesium do I need per day?

The current recommended intakes for magnesium include: 

  • Women
    • 14-18 years old: 360 mg (400 mg if pregnant, 360 mg if breastfeeding)
    • 19-30 years old: 310 mg (350 mg if pregnant, 310 mg if breastfeeding)
    • 31-50 years old: 320 mg (360 mg if pregnant, 320 mg if breastfeeding)
    • 51+ years old: 320 mg
  • Men
    • 14-18 years old: 410 mg
    • 19-30 years old: 400 mg
    • 31-50 years old: 420 mg
    • 51+ years old: 420 mg 

Magnesium for sleep dosage

Since the research is still quite limited, there’s no “best” recommended amount of magnesium to take. 

As a result, it’s important to talk with your doctor about whether magnesium supplements are right for you and how much you should take. 

If you do decide to take supplements, do not exceed 350 mg of magnesium from supplements per day. 

Best magnesium supplements for sleep

If you are curious about trying a magnesium supplement, another reason why you’ll want to talk with your doctor is to find out which form of magnesium to buy. 

When it comes to sleep and anxiety, you’ll likely end up being recommended one of these types of magnesium:

  • Magnesium glycinate: Easily absorbed and thought to have a calming effect that could be especially good for sleep. 
  • Magnesium lactate: Easily absorbed and generally easier on your digestive system than other forms of magnesium. 

Potential side effects of magnesium supplements

  • Nausea
  • Cramps
  • Diarrhea

Magnesium supplements can also interact with certain medications, including:

  • Antibiotics
  • Blood pressure medications
  • Muscle relaxants

Foods high in magnesium

However, as the research on magnesium supplements is still so limited, upping your intake through food is the best before reaching for a pill. 

So which foods are rich in magnesium? Here are some of the best sources:

  • Almonds and almond butter
  • Avocado 
  • Bananas 
  • Brazil nuts
  • Cashews and cashew butter
  • Flax seeds
  • Oats
  • Peanuts and peanut butter
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Spinach
  • Whole grains
  • Yogurt

Other natural sleep remedies 

If you’re having trouble sleeping, magnesium is just one piece of the puzzle. There are many other remedies  that can help you rest at night, including:

  • Yoga and meditation 
  • CBD 
  • Lavender 
  • Exercise 

Curious to learn more about CBD for sleep? Check out my previous post here

The bottom line

If you’re having trouble sleeping, not getting enough magnesium could be to blame. 

Before trying a supplement, make sure that you’re eating plenty of magnesium-rich foods such as almonds or spinach. 

You can also give these Almond Bliss Balls (a.k.a sleepytime bites) a try! 

Everything you need to know about magnesium for sleep

The information contained in this website is not intended to recommend the self-management of health problems or wellness. It is not intended to endorse or recommend any particular type of medical treatment. Should any reader have any healthcare-related questions, promptly call or consult your physician or healthcare provider. No information contained in this website should be used by any reader to disregard medical and/or health-related advice or provide a basis to delay a consultation with a physician or a qualified healthcare provider. The statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products discussed are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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I’m Kelli MS, RD. As a foodie with a background in nutrition research, I’m a firm believer that what we eat affects nearly every aspect of our wellbeing, and that food should taste freaking delicious.

Welcome to New Mind Nutrition!

My name is Kelli McGrane, and I’m a Denver-based registered dietitian with a Master’s degree in nutrition.

As a foodie with a background in nutrition research, I’m a firm believer that what we eat affects nearly every aspect of our wellbeing, and that food should taste freaking delicious.

My goal with New Mind is to help you find balance in both your mind and body through nutrition research and whole foods-based recipes.

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