If you’ve been struggling with sleep disturbances and insomnia for a while, you might be wondering how to use magnesium for sleep. Supplements can offer a natural solution to a host of sleep issues. Magnesium help to balance your internal systems, reduce stress, and promote relaxation.
While magnesium oil for sleep or magnesium capsules might not work for everyone, many experts agree this mineral could play a valuable role in sleep regulation. Though the substance is available in multiple forms of food, many of us don’t get enough magnesium in our daily diets. This deficiency could be one of a myriad of reasons why you struggle to drift off at night.
If you have a magnesium deficiency, and you’re looking for a natural, gentle way to improve your sleep habits, a magnesium supplement, magnesium oil or lotion, could be the perfect solution.
What is Magnesium? An Introduction
Before we start exploring how to use magnesium for sleep, it’s worth taking a closer look at the supplement and how it works. Magnesium is one of the 24 essential minerals and vitamins the human body needs to thrive. In fact, it’s responsible for more than 300 processes throughout the body.
Magnesium plays an important role in regulating muscle and nerve function. It preserves a healthy immune system, and even helps manage your blood pressure. The substance is also crucial for managing blood sugar levels, and supporting healthy energy production.
While our bodies need magnesium to thrive, we don’t produce this substance naturally. This means we’re reliant on our diet to get the right dose. Experts recommend an average intake of around 310-320mg for women, and 400-420mg for men.
Unfortunately, many of us are deficient in magnesium, as a result of a somewhat unbalanced diet. Around 68% of Americanadults don’t have enough magnesium in their system at any given time.
Lack of magnesium can lead to a number of problems, including a higher risk of insomnia. Aside from a bad night’s sleep, you may have a greater risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, stroke, and osteoporosis. Especially the elderly notice debilitating nightly leg cramps when deficient in magnesium.
The benefits of magnesium for sleep
Though studies into how to use magnesium for sleep are still ongoing, experts are beginning to discover just how crucial this substance can be to our sleep pattern.
A lack of magnesium is directly correlated to bad sleep quality, and insomnia. Additionally, if you don’t consume enough magnesium, you’re more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety. This can further hamper your sleep process.
Research now shows taking magnesium supplements, and using magnesium lotions, creams, or other solutions can effectively reduce insomnia and promote better rest.
In fact, in one study, participants who added magnesium to their diets experienced longer sleep times, better sleep efficiency and fewer early morning waking times.
One of the core reasons magnesium is considered to be beneficial for sleep, is that it has a direct impact on your GABA levels. Normal levels of Gamma-Aminobutyric acid can slow the brain down at night, allowing you to relax in time for sleep.
Magnesium assists the body in maintaining healthy levels of this chemical, so you can enjoy a balanced circadian rhythm.
Magnesium and sleep apnea, RLS, and other issues
Aside from effectively calming your mind and preparing you for sleep, magnesium can have a range of other benefits when it comes to addressing common sleep disorders.
For instance, while magnesium isn’t a cure for OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea), it can help to relax your body before bedtime, so you can breathe more naturally, and avoid tension around your airways.
Supplemental magnesium is particularly effective at regulating stress and anxiety levels, which can worsen a host of sleep conditions. One study found taking magnesium regularly helped to regulate the parasympathetic nervous system in patients, allowing the body to rest more soundly at night.
When participants in the study took magnesium supplements, they reported a decrease in sleep disorders, better concentration, reduced depression, and less irritability.
Some of the other benefits of using a magnesium spray for sleep, lotion, or capsules include:
Reducing restless leg syndrome
RLS affects around 10% of the population, causing an uncontrollable urge to move your legs. Research has shown treating patients with magnesium can help to improve sleep efficiency, and even reduce leg cramps.
Improving gut health
Magnesium is also effective at improving gut health and preserving a healthy digestive tract. Often, doses of magnesium have been used to soothe heartburn and decrease constipation. Eliminating gut problems before bed can reduce your risk of having to get up through the night to go to the bathroom.
Mood disorders like depression commonly give symptoms related to your sleep pattern and rest. Fortunately, magnesium could be a valuable natural treatment for those who suffer from depression. The Journal for the American Board of Family Medicine found magnesium supplementation led to fewer symptoms of depression in patients.
Magnesium works well when paired with other minerals and vitamins like calcium and vitamin D, ensuring they have the best possible effect on your body. Because of this, magnesium can play a role in how well your muscles function. The right supplementation can help to minimize muscle pain and even help the heart function more effectively, reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease and hypertension.
A dose of magnesium in your daily routine can also assist with tackling a range of other conditions which could disrupt sleep. For instance, magnesium is an important component in the bone building process, so it could help to minimize the risk of osteoporosis. Some studies have also suggested magnesium supplementation might be effective at preventing headaches and migraines.
Which form of magnesium is best for sleep?
If you’re experiencing sleep issues as a result of a magnesium deficiency, the best option may be to simply change your diet and then consider supplementation.
Magnesium glycinate is usually recommended as the best supplement for sleep. It contains both magnesium, and a sleep-inducing amino acid known as glycine. You can buy the following magnesium types, they each have different effects on your body.
There are various forms of magnesium capsules which can also contain various other helpful substances for sleep. For instance, these tablets combine magnesium with melatonin, a common hormone in the sleep process, as well as chamomile, lemon balm, and L-theanine.
If you want to know how to use magnesium for sleep without taking capsules, you can consider a few different topical options. Here are the pros and cons of the different topical magnesium treatments.
Magnesium spray for sleep
This could be the easiest way to apply magnesium to your skin when you’re suffering from aches, pains, and you don’t want to massage the muscles deeply. It’s absorbed very quickly and it only feels like spaying water on your skin. You will benefit from spaying the solution on you calves.
Magnesium lotion for sleep
Magnesium lotion is fantastic when you want to add the supplement rapidly and easily to your routine. You can use it after taking a relaxing, hot bath. You can use magnesium lotion anywhere on your body.
Magnesium oil for sleep
You will find magnesium oil is ideal for rubbing into your skin and giving your muscles some well earned massage. Magnesium oil can naturally soak into your skin throughout the night. You can combine it with a tranquil night routine. Applying magnesium oil directly to the bottom of your feet is a great way to promote absorption.
How much magnesium should I take for sleep?
There’s no specific recommended dose when it comes to figuring out how to take magnesium for sleep. For the most part, your focus should be on getting the right recommended daily allowance into your routine. This can be through a combination of diet, supplementation, and lotions.
This means you’ll need somewhere between 300 and 420 mg of magnesium depending on your age and gender. Older adults, people with type 2 diabetes, teenagers, and heavy drinkers can be more prone to magnesium deficiencies.
Magnesium levels can be measured in your blood. If you think you might be struggling with getting enough magnesium into your system, it’s worth speaking to a doctor about your options.
Usually, they’ll recommend starting with simple dietary changes, like adding leafy green vegetables, yogurt, nuts, tofu, and whole grains into your meals. There are even fortified foods available in supermarkets which contain extra magnesium.
However, try to avoid consuming too much magnesium at once. Over-dosing on extra amounts of magnesium can lead to diarrhea, cramping, and nausea. All of these symptoms are more likely to worsen your sleep.
Is it OK to take magnesium every night?
Now you know how to use magnesium for sleep, you might be wondering how often you can reasonably take your supplements, or use your lotions. You shouldn’t notice any negative side effects as a result of taking magnesium every night.
At present, research into magnesium is still ongoing. However, when taken in the right doses, most experts agree, this substance has more benefits than potential downsides.
After all, magnesium is a natural substance we often get when consuming many different foods. Try implementing avocados and bananas and peanut butter to your diet.
Magnesium can be taken throughout the day or at night, depending on when you feel you get the best results. As mentioned above, if you’re taking a magnesium supplement, opt for something with included glycine to improve your absorption rates.
As always, if you notice any negative side effects, it’s best to speak to your doctor and stop taking the supplementation immediately.
Siestio. Sleep Matters.
General advice disclaimer
This article contains general tips and advice. However, no diet or exercise program should be started without consulting your physician or other industry professional first. For more information read our full disclaimer here.