Discover the benefits of magnesium for a great night’s sleep
Magnesium: the humble mineral that is vital not only to human health, but to the long, peaceful sleep of your dreams. Let’s break down what it is, where you can find it, and how it can help you get a great night’s sleep.
What is magnesium?
Magnesium is one of the most important nutrients for human health and the fourth most abundant in our bodies. It’s something that all of your cells and organs need plenty of, since it plays a vital role in regulating heart, muscle, nerve, and brain function as well as blood pressure and blood sugar.
But it turns out that beyond all these vital functions, magnesium is also a powerful sleep aid that is capable of making it both easier to fall asleep and to stay asleep for longer. Best of all – it’s extremely safe.
Where is magnesium found?
Magnesium can be found in many foods such as oats, nuts, legumes, avocados, dark leafy greens and yes, even dark chocolate.
Those eating a balanced and healthy diet are likely to be consuming enough magnesium for optimal health, however, because only 30%-40% of dietary magnesium is generally absorbed by the body, there is a chance you might not be consuming enough. Data from Europe and the United States has shown that up to 50% of the population is not consuming enough of this vital mineral.
How does magnesium help you sleep?
Research has proven that magnesium plays a vital role in promoting restful sleep.
The way it does this is by regulating GABA, a neurotransmitter that is made in the brain which sends signals throughout the nervous system and brain to calm and relax your body. In addition, magnesium has been shown to reduce concentrations of cortisol, the so-called “stress hormone”, thereby helping to relieve mild anxiety and depression.
Those consuming suboptimal amounts of magnesium are more likely to experience problems falling asleep or staying asleep, and generally experience restlessness.
Thankfully, magnesium supplements can help. A comprehensive meta-analysis recently concluded that, in adults suffering from insomnia, daily magnesium supplementation effectively shortened the onset of sleep while increasing the total sleep duration. In other words, less time falling asleep, and more time sleeping – sounds like a win to us!
How to incorporate a magnesium supplement into your daily routine
Magnesium supplements are generally best when taken 30 minutes before bed. However, unlike other sleep aids, the benefits of magnesium are generally more apparent with consistent and long-term use, so it’s recommended to wait at least a couple of months to fully experience the full benefits.