Magnesium Magic: How to Improve Sleep Quality and Reduce Stress

Magnesium Magic: How to Improve Sleep Quality and Reduce Stress

Magnesium is vital for numerous essential body functions, including regulating the function of muscles, nerves, and the cardiovascular system; maintaining healthy blood sugar and blood pressure levels; and generating DNA, bone, cholesterol, protein, and more of the body's essential building blocks. 

Magnesium is also essential for sleep, which means that nearly half of Americans who don't get enough magnesium in their diets are significantly more likely to experience sleep problems such as insomnia. So, it's no surprise that increasing magnesium intake through diet and supplementation to raise one's overall magnesium levels may considerably improve sleep quality for better full-body health and wellness.

Magnesium for Sleep Quality

As an essential nutrient, the benefits of magnesium are many. One of the most important of these beneficial effects is improved sleep quality. 

Regulating Sleep Cycles

Some scientists believe that magnesium deficiencies can contribute to insomnia by causing nerve-signaling issues and imbalances of sleep hormones such as melatonin. Increasing magnesium intake or supplementing with magnesium often resolves this deficiency and the problems that it may be causing. 

Magnesium supplementation is believed to improve sleep quality via several mechanisms, such as reducing cortisol (an essential stress hormone) levels, increasing melatonin production to normalize sleep-wake cycles, and regulating neurotransmitters for the central nervous system.

Research on Magnesium's Effects

A systematic review of the relationship between magnesium intake/status and sleep quality found that magnesium is effective for sleep. Having a higher magnesium intake was associated with fewer instances of falling asleep during daytime, overall sleepiness, and snoring, and with longer sleep duration. 

Likewise, this double-blind placebo-controlled trial (one of the most rigorous designs for a scientific study, meaning the results are highly dependable) of older adults with insomnia found similar results. In this study, supplementing with magnesium significantly improved subjective measures of insomnia such as sleep efficiency, time taken to fall asleep, total sleep time, and early morning awakening. Magnesium supplements also improved objective measures of insomnia with the study of participants' levels of critical sleep-related chemicals such as melatonin and cortisol.

Most scientists and medical professionals agree that taking magnesium supplements to help improve sleep is a low-risk, relatively affordable practice. However, experts agree that more well-designed, long-lasting studies with large groups are needed to fully understand the relationship between magnesium and sleep.

Magnesium for Stress Management

In addition to improved sleep, one of the most notable benefits of taking magnesium may be reduced stress levels. There are a multitude of ways that magnesium is thought to support stress management.

Impact on Stress Hormones

Cortisol is a stress hormone that’s involved in the fight-or-flight response, how the body utilizes macronutrients, inflammatory responses, blood sugar, blood pressure, and the sleep/wake cycle. Magnesium may help decrease cortisol levels, which in turn may increase feelings of calm. 

Magnesium may also inhibit the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor, relaxing the muscles and promoting feelings of relaxation.

Finally, magnesium may also regulate gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) levels, a neurotransmitter that soothes the central nervous system by blocking the transmission of specific signals. Part of magnesium's sedative effect may be attributed to its regulation of GABA in the central nervous system.

Incorporating Magnesium

Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for Magnesium

The daily recommended magnesium-dose varies depending on age, sex, and other factors. For adults aged 19 to 51+, the RDA is 400 to 420 mg daily for men and 310 to 320 mg for women. Pregnant women typically need 350 to 360 mg of magnesium daily, but this may need to drop back down to 310 to 320 mg while lactating.

Dietary Sources of Magnesium

Magnesium can be found in a wide variety of foods. It’s commonly found in plant-based foods such as whole grains, nuts, seeds, dark green leafy vegetables, legumes, and fortified cereals. Animal sources of magnesium include fish, poultry, and beef. Some of the best dietary sources of magnesium include almonds, peanuts, cashews, pumpkin seeds, peanut butter, black beans, soybeans, cooked spinach, brown rice, oatmeal, bananas, 70%+ dark chocolate, and raisins.

Magnesium Supplementation

If the body is not absorbing enough magnesium, dietary magnesium intake is commonly insufficient to meet one's magnesium needs or issues with sleep/excessive stress, where taking a magnesium supplement can often be highly beneficial. However, it's essential to consult with a doctor before starting magnesium supplementation to avoid interaction with your existing medications or circumstances.

Maximizing Magnesium Absorption 

There are several ways to improve magnesium absorption: avoiding consuming foods high in calcium for approximately two hours before/after eating foods that are high in magnesium or taking a magnesium supplement, avoiding high-dose zinc supplementation, rectifying a vitamin D deficiency, quitting smoking cigarettes, and consuming vegetables in their raw form rather than cooked form.

Common Questions About Magnesium Supplementation

What's the Most Magnesium You Can Take Per Day?

Despite the benefits of magnesium supplementation, taking too much magnesium in supplement form is possible. The Tolerable Upper Intake Level is defined as the maximum daily intake of a nutrient or mineral that’s unlikely to create adverse health effects. For magnesium, the cutoff is 350 milligrams from supplements for adults. Exceeding this level may lead to digestive distress, including diarrhea, abdominal cramping, and nausea. Exceeding 350 mg of magnesium from food is unlikely to cause side effects as the kidneys commonly eliminate the excess through urination.

Can You Take Magnesium Every Day?

You can take magnesium daily if you stay within the abovementioned upper intake level. 

What Are the Best Times of Day to Take Magnesium?

For those using magnesium to improve sleep, the best time of day to take it is about 30 minutes before going to sleep. Those taking magnesium to lower stress levels can take the supplements at any time of day, but they may also prefer to take them before bed, as the supplements may cause sleepiness. Ultimately, the best time to take magnesium is whenever you can consistently take it.

What Type of Magnesium Is Best for Sleep Support?

There are quite a few types of magnesium, including magnesium citrate, magnesium oxide, magnesium chloride, and more. Magnesium supplements are thought to serve various purposes, including relieving constipation and heartburn, replenishing magnesium levels, promoting healthy blood sugar levels, and more. 

However, the best magnesium for sleep is thought to be magnesium malate and magnesium glycinate, which are forms of magnesium that are bound to amino acids to improve absorption and minimize the risk of digestive side effects. 

InnerThera BioMag contains 300 mg of magnesium in a mixture of DiMag™ (magnesium malate) and MetaMag® (magnesium glycinate). These are the two most bioavailable forms of magnesium, making BioMag the best magnesium supplement for sleep support. These supplements offer 250 percent better absorption than the more common magnesium oxide or citrate forms, providing the commonly recommended daily intake of magnesium in just two veggie capsules. 

BioMag is vegan, non-GMO, and allergen free. In addition, all InnerThera products are manufactured in a state-of-the-art, FDA-regulated facility in the United States; each product is also third-party tested for purity and potency before being sold.