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Do You Need Magnesium For Sleep?

a headshot of our reviewer Connie

Written By Connie

CPD Sleep Consultant

do I need magnesium for a better sleep and better health

29 April 2024 6 min read

Magnesium is known to have a positive effect on insomnia. So, if you can't sleep and you don't understand why, you should consider whether you may be missing this mineral. Here's why you should take magnesium for sleep.

If you've ever wondered do you really need this mineral – yes, you do. Whether you need it to fall asleep easily or to sleep at all, this mineral is much more than that. It is necessary to use it for the proper functioning of overall health. So if all your attempts to fall asleep have failed, try to avoid sleepless nights by using magnesium for sleep.

Magnesium is synonymous with improving sleep. It also helps you enjoy a deep and peaceful, uninterrupted sleep. Sleep is necessary for every person and that is why it is important to try all kinds of solutions that are available to you.

What is magnesium?

Our body cannot function without essential minerals. They are responsible for all types of bodily functioning, the health of our bones, heart, brain, etc. Magnesium is one of them and it exists in our serum and red blood cells. However, we can find it in other places as well.

Thus, this mineral is highly represented and is an ingredient in many foods. Magnesium lowers blood pressure, reduces stress and improves sleep quality. If you still do not understand exactly how it affects insomnia, it is very easy to explain. In order to fall asleep, our brain must feel tired and relaxed. It’s a natural way to slow down its activity at the end of the day.

How does magnesium help you to sleep better?

Our body must naturally prepare for sleep. That is why the interaction of melatonin with the nervous system is important. Since magnesium stimulates this process, it is responsible for transmitting messages between the brain and the nervous system.

Magnesium affects the nervous system by blocking molecules that cause “excitement” to bind to neurons, resulting in calming of your nervous system. Magnesium can be efficient method of getting enough sleep when you are suffering from the intercostal muscle strain as well.

Relaxes your body and mind

A healthy woman that uses magnesium on a regular basis

Magnesium is associated with calcium, as well as sodium and potassium. Since the ratio of sodium to potassium is very important, it must be properly regulated. For this purpose, there is a kind of biological pump that is in charge of their regulation, and magnesium is an important item in the operation of that pump. However, due to insufficient intake of magnesium, its work can be disrupted.

There are clear symptoms that indicate this condition, and nervousness of the mind and muscles are one of them.

The good news is that this mineral has the function of transferring neurotransmitters between neurons. Neurotransmitters transmit information in the brain and affect thinking, emotions, memory, concentration. It will stimulate your brain waves and you can feel much better.

Regulates the sleep quality

an image of a man sleeping in bed

Poor sleep quality or insomnia is another indicator of insufficient magnesium intake in the body. This would mean that you have too much calcium in the cells and calcification occurs. Remember that even a small deficiency of this mineral can affect the fact that you cannot fall asleep. Its role is of great importance when it comes to the functioning of GABA receptors, and they enable the brain to reach a state of rest.

To solve this problem, people generally take magnesium in the evening for even better results. However, this is not the only factor that contributes to insomnia. Restless legs and cramps syndrome is a common occurrence, and magnesium has a positive effect on this condition.


Decreases anxiety and depression

The state of depression and anxiety is noticed very quickly. If you have noticed frequent nervousness, you cannot focus or overreact to stressful situations, look for a reason. However, if you are simply in a bad mood and do not see a special reason, consider taking magnesium. You probably don't get enough of it. People can confuse these symptoms with the chronic fatigue they feel, but it is also a clear indicator of a lack of this mineral.

If you notice that you are not doing anything that would exhaust you so much physically or mentally, it may be a sign of a mineral deficiency. Since magnesium is responsible for energy transport, due to lower intake, weakness and energy drop can easily occur.

What to consider when taking magnesium for sleep?

Magnesium is a recommended dietary supplement when used for sleep or better functioning of the body. This mineral is found mostly in food, but there are plenty of available options to consider. If you take a moderate daily dose, you will not experience any of side effects. However, there are other things you must not forget.

Follow the daily intake limit

a woman taking a daily dose of magnesium

Experts recommend that men stick to 400mg of magnesium when it comes to daily intake. For women, the upper limit is 350mg. When it comes to children under the age of 8, the appropriate dose would be 100 mg, while 60 mg is recommended for younger children. However, we must not forget that magnesium can also be consumed through diet.

And if you want to be 100% sure that you're getting an appropriate amount of magnesium, talk to your doctor or nutritionist.

Take into consideration possible side effects

While it is practically impossible to consume it too much through the food, you can bring in too much with supplements. The problem will occur if you exceed the recommended dose, and the most common symptoms are diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea and arrhythmia. It is also important to consider the medications you use in addition to magnesium, as side effects can occur.

Interference with other medicine

When we say that a problem can arise if you use supplements and other medications, we mean certain antibiotics, drugs, medications for diabetes and blood pressure. In that case, you should consult your doctor when it comes to the recommended daily intake of this mineral.

How do I know that I have a magnesium deficiency?

Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include many things. And these can be symptoms such as insomnia, but also muscle cramps. Thus, problems can manifest as neurological, muscular, metabolic, or cardiovascular.

People generally report chronic fatigue, frequent muscle cramps, cravings for chocolate, nervousness or mood swings, high blood pressure, hormonal problems and inability to fall asleep.

Are there any foods that are rich in magnesium?

an image of food that is rich in magnesium

You can find this mineral in many foods. The richest in magnesium are chard, spinach and other green leafy vegetables, almonds, mackerel and salmon, pumpkin seeds, the aforementioned dark chocolate, bananas, etc. Diet and sleep are connected and diet is a great way to make up for a lack of minerals, but it also works the slowest.

So, make sure to take this into account when trying to calculate your daily dose of magnesium.

Is magnesium better than melatonin for sleep?

Since magnesium and melatonin are the most popular sleep supplements, we can often come across this question. However, it is wrong to equate their influence, because they deal with different things related to sleep.

For example, magnesium promotes relaxation and calming of the body, and melatonin automatically leads to a change in hormones that will cause you to fall asleep.

In that case, melatonin will directly affect sleep. Experts say magnesium can help us stay asleep for longer and feel more restored upon waking.

Thanks to the GABA effect, we get a protective and calming effect on the brain and body. The secret of this acid is in blocking certain signals in the central nervous system which slows down the brain. In order for the GABA effect to be as good as possible for our organism, it is necessary to increase its levels.

This is achieved by taking supplements, and magnesium is mostly used for that purpose. It binds to and stimulates GABA receptors in the brain.

Tips for buying and using magnesium for sleep

an image of a woman sleeping after magnesium intake

There are several factors to consider when choosing the best magnesium. The most important thing is to consider the type of magnesium you need. For example, some types of this product have a better effect on insomnia or some other condition… You may also find it harder to absorb and thus cause digestive side effects. In that case, you need a slow-release supplement.

That is why it is equally important to check the ingredients, especially if you have dietary restrictions or allergies. Of course, it is necessary for the product to pass independent tests in order to become certified. It would be good to check this glass as well. Don't forget to:

The Advantages of using magnesium for sleep

This mineral is essential for every person and plays an important role in the health of your body and brain. Although it is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body, sometimes you simply do not have enough of it. Whether you eat healthy and do everything right, that's the way it is.

Did you know that magnesium is involved in hundreds of biochemical reactions in your body? So, every cell contains it and without it cannot function.

It participates in the creation of energy, protein, gene maintenance, muscle turns and regulation of the nervous system. Since sleep plays an important role in your nervous system, you need to take care of it. Magnesium activates mechanisms that calm and calm you. In this way, the symptoms of anxiety and depression are alleviated, which can interfere with sleep.


Overall, taking magnesium for sleep might be just what the doctor ordered for a lot of people! So, make sure to have plenty of magnesium-rich food and/or look into magnesium supplements if you need an extra boost. Just make sure to consult your GP so that you don't accidentaly overdo it.

Spread the word

FAQs about magnesium for sleep

Chronic fatigue, stress, muscle aches are very general symptoms that can be associated with various conditions. This is exactly the reason why people do not immediately think of magnesium deficiency. However, if you suspect a deficiency of this mineral, you must be sure that you are doing the right thing. Otherwise you will have more harm than good. So you can never go wrong with additional information.

Which form of magnesium is the best for sleep?

Magnesium glycinate is one of the most popular forms associated with better sleep.

When is the best time to take magnesium?

You can take magnesium supplements at any time of the day.

Should I take magnesium for sleep every day?

All the benefits of magnesium are precisely related to long-term and constant use.

What could happen if I take too much magnesium?

The most common symptoms of too much magnesium in the body are diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea and arrhythmias.

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About the author

As a CPD certified Sleep Consultant I know how important sleep is. And as a combination sleeper, I have found it difficult to get products to suit my sleep style. I have more than 2 years product testing experience with The Sleep Advisors which means I have slept on, with and under more than 500 products with varying degrees of success. This is added to more than 2 years experience as a product reviewer for Closer, Heat and Grazia magazines, so I've got a rigorous process. I love sharing my sleep testimonials with our readers and hearing their experiences too.
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