If you’re having trouble sleeping and melatonin supplements aren’t working for you, you might be looking for another option. Enter magnesium, a mineral that occurs naturally in your body. Ways magnesium affects your sleep include improving sleep quality in some people. “Supplementation of magnesium appears to improve subjective measures of insomnia … sleep efficiency, sleep time and sleep onset latency, early morning awakening, and likewise, insomnia objective measures such as the concentration of serum renin, melatonin, and serum cortisol,” a study concluded.
While magnesium is already inside of your cells and bones, according to the National Institutes of Health, you can get additional magnesium from certain foods. The NIH recommends leafy green vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and more. “In general, foods containing dietary fiber provide magnesium. Some types of food processing, such as refining grains in ways that remove the nutrient-rich germ and bran, lower magnesium content substantially.”
1. Magnesium Deficiency Is Related To Poor Sleep
If you’re having trouble sleeping and your doctor can’t identify a cause, ask about taking a magnesium supplement.
2. Low Magnesium Contributes To Stress & Anxiety
The New York Times reported that magnesium is an essential mineral that plays an important role in a variety of bodily functions.
“Magnesium deficiency has been associated with higher levels of stress, anxiety, and difficulty relaxing, which are key ingredients to getting good sleep at night,” Dr. Raj Dasgupta, a professor of pulmonary and sleep medicine at the University of Southern California, told Roni Caryn Rabin for the Times. Dr. Dasgupta recommended changing your diet before trying a supplement
3. Magnesium Might Help You Fall Asleep Faster
The study published in the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences found that those who took a magnesium supplement fell asleep faster. While the study was conducted in the elderly, who are more likely to be magnesium deficient, there’s also plenty of anecdotal evidence from people who claim magnesium improved their sleep.
4. You’ll Wake Up Less In The Middle Of The Night
If getting to sleep isn’t a problem for you, but staying asleep is, having proper levels of magnesium in your body could help. Medical News Today reported in a press release that a study conducted on women at the Human Nutrition Research Center in North Dakota found that those who got appropriate magnesium levels from their diets slept deeper and woke up less during the night.
If you suspect that you could be magnesium deficient, talk to your doctor to make sure it’s right for you.
(Sidebar: Taking too much magnesium could give you the trots.) In addition, focus on eating magnesium-rich foods to see if diet changes can improve your sleep quality.