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A Better, Deeper Slumber: How Much Magnesium for Sleep?

Poor sleep affects all aspects of health and performance, making you tired, groggy, and not ourselves. The good news is that there are many things you can do to improve your sleep. In this article, we will share with you magnesium’s role in sleep and how magnesium supplements can improve your sleep quality.  Importance of…

Reviewed by Adna Goralija
Fact checked by Nattha Wannissorn

Poor sleep affects all aspects of health and performance, making you tired, groggy, and not ourselves. The good news is that there are many things you can do to improve your sleep. In this article, we will share with you magnesium’s role in sleep and how magnesium supplements can improve your sleep quality. 

Importance of sleep 

Sleep is when your body performs restorative functions. During sleep, your liver is detoxifying, your immune system is jumpstarting, and your neurons are reorganizing themselves. Therefore, sleep is critical for normal cognitive functions and mood balance.

Lack of sleep has many negative consequences on your body, such as increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, and cancer.

Sleep isn’t just lying still for 8 hours. High-quality sleep means your sleep is uninterrupted, and you can get enough hours in the deep and rapid-eye-movement sleep stages.

In short, both our sleep quality and quantity are important for our bodies and minds to function as they should.

Magnesium for quality sleep

Magnesium is an essential element, facilitating over 300 biochemical reactions in the body. Yet less than half of the population even consumes the recommended daily intake (RDA) each day. 

The Institute of Medicine recommends the RDA of 310-360mg of magnesium intake for women and 400-420mg for men. Studies show that up to 75% of the population are not even getting the RDA levels daily.

Magnesium deficiency may be a factor in poor sleep. Now, let’s learn about how much magnesium to take and why it is important for sleep quality and quantity.

How much magnesium to take for quality sleep

The RDA is the minimum level of intake needed to prevent frank deficiencies, like the amount of vitamin C you need daily to prevent scurvy. What we and our physician colleagues have observed is that most people need significantly more than RDA doses for optimal health, especially if they have been deficient for a long time. 

We’ve found that a higher daily intake of magnesium is well tolerated and may improve sleep. 

Magnesium supplements promote better sleep efficiency, sleep time, quality, and quantity. They come in 10 different forms, each with different tissue bioavailability. These different forms of magnesium support your body in different ways. These forms include:

  • Magnesium citrate
  • Magnesium chloride
  • Magnesium malate
  • Magnesium sulfate
  • Magnesium glycinate

Our Magnesium Breakthrough supplement contains 7 forms of magnesium to maximize its bioavailability into the tissues. That way, you can maximize the relaxation and health benefits.

We suggest taking 1-2 capsules in the morning and 3 capsules one hour before bed. You can take them on an empty stomach or with food. Choose whatever works best for you!

Why magnesium is important for sleep

Magnesium participates in the sleep-wake cycle. It also helps the body relax by reducing stress and thus helps you sleep better and longer.

Magnesium promotes relaxation and balanced stress responses

Both pre-clinical and clinical studies have established a relationship between poor stress response and low magnesium intake. Stress can cause your body to excrete more magnesium, while magnesium deficiency makes you even more susceptible to harmful effects of stress.

Stress hormones and neurotransmitters can promote a “fight-or-flight” response. This response makes you alert and awake, which is important for day-to-day activities. However, if you can’t wind down from these responses, especially at night, they can interfere with your sleep. 

Magnesium interacts with these neurohormones and neurotransmitters by inhibiting stimulating neurotransmitters such as glutamate (NMDA). At the same time, it activates GABA receptors, which promote relaxation and restful sleep [R9]. GABA is responsible for calming down nerve activity, thus making you more relaxed and calm.

A clinical study examined middle-aged adults, who had sleep problems and sources of stress. 58% of these individuals had magnesium deficiency.

Individuals with mental and physical stress benefit from daily intake of magnesium. A group of students who were experiencing stress and sleep deprivation each received 250mg of magnesium daily for 4 weeks. They showed an increase in magnesium levels and a decrease in cortisol levels.

Magnesium improves sleep quality and increases deep sleep

Aside from relaxing the stress response, magnesium also directly promotes better and deeper sleep. This is mainly due to magnesium’s ability to influence the nervous system. 

Magnesium supplementation improves insomnia in many cases. A group of elderly people with insomnia who each took 500 mg of magnesium for 8 weeks were able to fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and had better overall sleep quality. They also had higher levels of melatonin, a hormone that participates in the sleep-wake cycle.

Furthermore, supplementation with magnesium enhanced slow-wave sleep, also known as deep sleep or non-rapid eye movement sleep, and decreased cortisol levels – a hormone released during stress. Mg(2+) was given as dissolving tablets in three-day intervals of 10 mmol and 20 mmol, followed by 14 days of 30 mmol.

Magnesium vs. other sleep supplements 

Melatonin is also often taken as a supplement to assist with sleep issues. Unlike melatonin, though, magnesium not only initiates sleep but also helps maintain the sleep state. Furthermore, magnesium is not a hormone and it is a nutrient that your body needs, so there is no concern about taking it every day.

One of the biggest side effects of melatonin is feeling drowsy the next day. It can also affect your circadian rhythms. This does not occur with magnesium supplements, since magnesium is a necessary nutrient.

Other ways to fall asleep quickly and stay asleep throughout the night 

Many factors can cause poor sleep. Fortunately, cultivating good sleeping habits can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Some of them are :

  • Practicing relaxation techniques before bed
  • Having a regular sleep schedule 
  • Developing a bedtime routine 
  • Avoiding smoking before bed
  • Avoiding caffeine and alcohol 4 to 6 hours before bed
  • Exercising regularly 
  • A healthy diet
  • Avoiding heavy meals before bed
  • Turning off electronics 30 minutes before bed and limiting your exposure to bright light 
  • Ensuring that you have healthy levels of magnesium, which typically requires supplementation

Bottom Line

Having a healthy lifestyle can improve your quality and quantity of sleep. Nowadays, most people are deficient in magnesium. Therefore, consuming magnesium will not only help with relaxation and sleep problems but will also come with many other health benefits.


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