If you are one of the millions of people who suffer from lack of sleep, you understand the importance of getting a good night’s rest.
You might also know that doctors often prescribe expensive medications to help control our sleep, so it might sound too good to be true that the much less expensive magnesium can help with our sleep problems.
Is magnesium really the new melatonin?
Why is restful sleep so important?
It’s not rocket science – we need to sleep well in order to recharge our batteries, to stay focused the next day, and to avoid being cranky. This is absolutely true, but there’s so much more to the story.
Lack of sleep actually impacts how your brain works. It changes how you make decisions, how creative you are, and how well you cope with change.
When you are sleep-deprived, you are also at a greater risk of major mental and behavioral health issues, including depression and suicide ideation.
Sleep deprivation also contributes to an inability to properly control blood sugars, which increases our risk of developing diabetes.
It also impairs our immune systems, so we are less able to fight off other illnesses that can have a significant negative impact on our lives.
Many people don’t realize that lack of sleep is also linked to high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.
Even obesity can be a greater issue due to lack of sleep because your brain is not able to maintain the balance of hormones that control your hunger levels.
That’s right – even if you have a healthy diet and you exercise regularly, you may be undoing all of your hard work by not getting enough sleep.
Is magnesium good for sleeping problems?
Magnesium has been found to be a very effective, natural way to improve both the quality and duration of our sleep. Magnesium is one of the most effective minerals to promote better sleep.
In fact, insomnia is often listed as a common symptom of magnesium deficiency. Additionally, restless leg syndrome, sleepwalking, and insomnia have all been linked to low levels of magnesium in the body.
Maintaining the recommended level of magnesium in your system are levels of GABA, or gamma-aminobutyric acid, a neurotransmitter that promotes relaxation, lowers stress, and decreases anxiety, which can also help you sleep more soundly.
It may even be helpful In helping to avoid daytime sleepiness. Research has shown that people who maintain the recommended levels of magnesium are less likely to fall asleep during the day.
For people who struggle with this challenge, this can be a major benefit to the quality of their lives.
Also, did you know that our bodies naturally produce melatonin? Melatonin is often purchased over the counter as a supplement to help us go to sleep, which is helpful if your body does not produce enough melatonin on its own.
However, a magnesium deficiency in the body can prevent us from being able to efficiently use the melatonin that our bodies produce.
Therefore, if you take melatonin supplements and you still don’t fall asleep efficiently, you may be low in magnesium.
Is magnesium better for sleep than prescription medication?
This depends on you. Most people always try to address their health issues through a healthy diet and recommended vitamins and minerals.
However, sometimes, that’s not enough. In these cases, your sleep deprivation may be a sign of a larger health issue.
If magnesium does not help you sleep better at night, you should consult your physician.
Is magnesium better for sleep than melatonin?
Magnesium and melatonin will both help you sleep at night, but they are actually very different. While magnesium is a mineral, melatonin is an antioxidant as well as a hormone that occurs naturally within our bodies.
While magnesium helps us sleep by calming our nerves, melatonin helps us sleep by helping to control our sleep cycles.
They both help control our circadian rhythms, but magnesium helps by controlling our body’s internal clock while melatonin signals our brain to create the hormones that make us sleepy.
As you can see, magnesium and melatonin work in conjunction with one another. So, it’s difficult to compare magnesium and melatonin because they perform different functions
Both are present in our bodies without a supplement, but if you’re having trouble sleeping, taking magnesium and/or melatonin can help.
Which form of magnesium is best for sleep?
Magnesium has been proven to promote better sleep, so any form of magnesium that you take may be of some assistance.
However, there is one form of magnesium supplements that stands out among its peers as the most effective to promote better sleep.
Magnesium glycinate is made with glycine, which is an amino acid that helps our bodies release stress and relax our muscles.
This gives you a double opportunity to naturally get a good night sleep. Glycine is also a neurotransmitter, which means that it’s sends messages to your brain that can decrease activity, which allows you to relax.
Taken by itself, glycine can help you fall asleep faster, sleep more deeply and restfully, and fight insomnia.
In addition, glycine increases blood flow throughout the body, which impacts our body temperature and therefore impacts how often we wake up throughout the night – which, in turn, affects the efficiency and quality of our sleep.
Finally, glycine may be effective an increasing our bodies level of serotonin, which is the sleep hormone that produces melatonin.
This is also a major contributor to our ability to sleep, fight insomnia and sleep apnea, and very importantly, develop healthier sleep patterns (such as allowing us to fall back asleep relatively quickly when our sleep is interrupted during the night).
Therefore, magnesium glycinate is often recommended by doctors when patients present with sleep problems in order to avoid prescribing costly man-made prescriptions.
However, magnesium glycinate is not the only magnesium supplement that has been proven to help you fall asleep.
Additionally, magnesium oxide can enhance your ability to fall asleep quickly and stay asleep longer.
Magnesium oxide has also proven to be effective in fighting insomnia, even though it is more commonly used to relieve heartburn, indigestion, and upset stomach.
When should I take magnesium for sleep?
Magnesium is an important mineral that we should strive to maintain in our systems at all times.
However, there are some times of the day that will be a more effective when taking magnesium for sleep.
If you decide to take magnesium supplements solely for the purpose of improving your sleep, you should take magnesium within 1 – 2 hours of the end of your day.
By taking the magnesium about an hour before bed, you allow your body to absorb the magnesium so that it can works its magic right on time and help you fall asleep.
Can you take magnesium before going to bed?
Magnesium can actually be taken at any time of day. The best time for you depends on the benefits you want to achieve.
For example, if you also need to control your stress and anxiety, which is common among those who struggle with their sleep, you may also benefit from taking magnesium during the day.
Consider taking half of your magnesium supplement during the day and the other half at night before bed.
To get the most effective sleep, be sure to include taking magnesium at the end of your day as part of your daily routine.
A lot of people choose to take magnesium with their dinner, especially because magnesium sometimes can be a bit harsh on your stomach – but your system can handle it better with food.
Other people have decided to take magnesium just after dinner, but still a bit before actually getting in bed to give the magnesium a chance to absorb into their systems.
However, even if you don’t take your magnesium until you actually get into bed, it is still effective in helping you stay asleep throughout the night.
Keep in mind that, because magnesium can boost your GABA levels, it also promotes healthy circadian rhythms, which is your body’s internal clock that regulates your sleep patterns.
Have you ever noticed that your body automatically starts to wind down at the end of your day, when you no longer have a desire to be active and you feel like it’s time to get in bed and shut down for the night?
Or when your body naturally wakes up at around the same time every morning, even if you don’t have an appointment? That’s your body’s circadian rhythms at play.
This regular pattern helps your body naturally fall asleep at the right now.
If you take magnesium before bed as part of your nightly routine, you will further encourage your body to rest at the proper times.