Getting adequate sleep isn’t always easy in a world full of stimuli and stress. We’re continually inundated with choices and pressure to be our best selves which can make relaxing and turning our brains off at night challenging. While prescription medication is a great option, many people prefer natural products to aid our health, and magnesium is a fantastic alternative.
Using this nutrient, our body creates specific biochemical reactions to fuel muscle function, regulate blood pressure, and maintain your immune system. It also helps us to relax when we need to close our eyes. We’ve compiled a list of the best rated magnesium for sleep to help optimize your rest so you can make the most of your waking hours.
High AbsorptionNobi Nutrition
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Best Oil SpraySeven Minerals
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Best CitrateSuperior Labs
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4 Top Rated Magnesium Brands for Sleep
Nobi Nutrition – High Absorption
- Serving size: 1 capsule
- High absorption
- Magnesium Oxide/Citrate
If taking an ethical supplement is essential to you, Nobi is vegan friendly. It offers a pure form of the nutrient and is not combined with any preservatives or binders, commonly used during manufacturing.
Nobi’s high absorption formula helps maintain hip and spine strength to support your body to achieve optimal health. The company is committed to its customers, and addresses directly in their selling points their willingness to resolve any dissatisfaction, making for a pleasant buying experience.
Seven Minerals – Best Oil Spray
- Topical transdermal spray
- Magnesium chloride
Seven Minerals Oil Spray takes an unconventional approach, offering Mg through a spray. This spray delivers direct results at the cellular level through skin absorption. It’s mined from an ancient Permian seabed in its liquid, ionic state, and as a result, doesn’t require your body to process it any further than the way it’s delivered.
This magnesium offers a natural remedy for migraines, sore muscles, and leg cramps. The spray helps you unwind at the end of the day and supports sound sleep so you can wake up feeling refreshed and energized.
Superior Labs – Best Citrate
- Serving size: 2 capsules
- Magnesium Citrate
Citrate is a nice addition to Mg as it helps with constipation. However, it’s not as potent of a laxative as oxides. The citrate works by pulling water into your intestines and as a result, eases bowel movements when you’re feeling backed up.
Some companies use fillers to make for cheaper manufacturing such as stearates, glycerides and dioxides, but this product from Superior Labs is free of contaminants, letting you trust what you’re putting into your body. After using the product, users seem to have an overall positive experience awarding it with high ratings, making for a trustworthy buying experience.
BioSchwartz – Best Bisglycinate
- Serving size: 2 capsules
- Magnesium Bisglycinate
- Mini capsule design for easier consumption
The human body uses Mg for almost everything, as each organ in the body utilizes it to function and countless enzymes need it to attach, making it a crucial necessity to our health and wellbeing.
According to a study from the Center for Magnesium Education & Research in Hawaii, roughly half the population in the United States is low on Mg and deficiencies could lead to serious health conditions like diabetes and bone weakness. Biglycinate is also commonly referred to as diglycinate, and this supplement is paired with “glycine,” an amino acid. Individuals with low magnesium can take this to increase their intake because the pairing helps the body absorb the Mg rather than simply ingesting it, to take advantage of its full effects.
Magnesium for Sleep Buyer's Guide
Magnesium supplements come in various sizes and quantities; you may only need a small dose every so often, or you may prefer to take it nightly. Below we’ll detail how the nutrient works with your sleep patterns, and how it can work well for you, so you can make an informed decision.
What is Magnesium?
Magnesium is a nutrient that helps our body function in a variety of ways. It regulates blood pressure, optimizes mental health, maintains muscle and bone strength, and a host of other benefits. We all need this nutrient in our diet, and while eating nutritious foods can help achieve adequate levels of magnesium, sometimes we’re still deficient and need assistance.
The element is critical to not only our cells but hundreds of enzymes to function, as it interacts with many other elements to fuel these vital processes in the body. It is used by the body for metabolism and to combine proteins. Additionally, Mg stabilizes nerves and spasms in eclampsia and can reduce seizures.
Magnesium can be found in foods like seeds, greens, nuts, beans, and whole grains. The recommended daily intake for adults is between 310 and 420mg per day, so if you’re not eating foods high in this element regularly, it might be a good idea to introduce this daily supplement.
How Does Magnesium Help You Sleep?
Magnesium is linked to severe sleep disorders such as insomnia and restless leg syndrome. Additionally, low magnesium levels have shown links to depression, which is also associated with poor sleep. In a double-blind study, Mg supplements show improvements in sleep among older people significantly.
The nutrient is linked to many functions in the body. As a result, even if it’s not directly related to sleep, it can indirectly affect your slumber. In women, in particular, it’s not uncommon to see sub-par levels. Taking a supplement helps as Mg is an essential vitamin, because, without it, the body can become more at risk for chronic health issues.
Not only does the mineral have a profound effect on one’s mood, but there are links between a lack of magnesium and insomnia, as well. Increases in the element have been shown to curb symptoms of restless leg syndrome and improve sounder sleep. This can be attributed to GABA, a neurotransmitter in your brain, which helps you relax, and low levels of it can lead to stress, difficulty calming one’s nervous system, and sleep problems.
Magnesium and Melatonin Correlation
Studies have shown significant correlations between combinations of magnesium and melatonin and slumber disorder improvement. Participants showed difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, and obtaining quality night’s rest. After taking magnesium and melatonin, their conditions significantly improved and even had more alertness in the morning.
Check Out Our Comparison: Magnesium vs. Melatonin For Better Sleep
How Much Magnesium to Take for Sleep
Mg deficiencies are more often found in people who follow a standard “western” diet, which typically lacks leafy greens, beans, and more refined grains and processed foods, all of which provide healthy doses of this essential element.
Individual doses often vary, as each person has unique health needs and issues, and those variations should be taken into consideration when ingesting any foreign supplements.
It’s recommended for adults to take between 100-350mg; however, some sources say you can take up to 420. We don’t recommend taking any higher than 350 without professional guidance. As with anything, it’s a good idea to start on the conservative side. If you have significant troubles and are hoping to take a higher dose, it’s better to consult a medical professional to address specific health issues.
There are side effects to Mg that are experienced by some, but not all. The supplement is generally well-tolerated in healthy adults. These side effects include vomiting, upset stomach, nausea, bloating, and diarrhea, so start small and work your way up.
Does the Mineral Itself Make You Sleepy?
Magnesium is used in almost all parts of the body, reacting with other elements to fuel our functioning. However, it doesn’t necessarily promote sleep on its own during the day. If you’re well-rested, it can help you feel more energized and refreshed because it recharges your tanks on a cellular level.
Suppose it is making you sleepy as a direct result of taking the supplement. In that case, it’s likely since you’re already tired, the nutrient is merely working with enzymes that have been inhibited previously that promote sleep and relaxation.
While Mg won’t typically make you sleepy on its own, it works with an abundance of other chemicals and compounds within the body to help your muscles relax and calm your nerves. What can encourage sleepiness is melatonin, and the combination of magnesium and melatonin can make a world of difference in your quality of sleep.
Common Deficiency Symptoms
Many people in the western world struggle with mineral deficiencies, and unfortunately, they aren’t always easy to spot. Since most of the western population subsists on an abundance of processed foods, it's common to find our bodies aching for more of this critical ingredient. Processed food filters out many essential components and leaves us lacking significant nutrients.
Magnesium powers multiple enzyme reactions and bodily functions to make our muscles work at optimal strength. However, without it, we can feel lethargic, suffer from poor mental health, and even an irregular heartbeat.
A few symptoms are muscle twitches, anxiety, fatigue, panic attacks, arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat), loss of appetite, and nausea. Many of us struggle with not getting enough rest; however, a significant lack can cause serious problems. If any of these symptoms sound like you, it’s never too late to get tested and see if a magnesium supplement can help you get back on track.
Which Magnesium Supplement Form Is Right for You?
Some brands offer magnesium in a chelated form, which is a good option if you have a sensitive gastrointestinal tract. It’s more gentle for your stomach to absorb and optimizes the bioavailability of the element, making it easier for your gut to soak up its nutrients.
Additionally, choosing Mg with added vitamins can help you rehabilitate muscles if you live an athletic lifestyle, struggle with leg cramps, or suffer from restless leg syndrome (RLS). Supplements combined with Glycinate, oxide, taurate, and malate should all work well when combined with magnesium to absorb into the body and promote sleep.
Glycinate can bond well with the nutrient allowing you to take both supplements simultaneously, which is beneficial in a few different ways. Glycine absorbs more readily within the body so you can digest it manageably, and it’s more gentle on your stomach. It also has a host of other health benefits that can aid in sleep issues.
Glycine can relieve anxiety due to its calming effect on your brain and help maintain blood sugar for those with diabetes. It supports bone strength and density, and also reduces abnormal heart rhythms. Mg has even been claimed to mitigate premenstrual syndrome symptoms.
Oxide is excellent for those who suffer from chronic or periodic migraines and headaches. It’s also beneficial for people who struggle with heartburn and indigestion. However, keep in mind it often produces laxative effects.
Malate can work well for those who struggle with fatigue and even fibromyalgia, which is because malic acid helps generate energy. It can also provide a more gentle substance for individuals who are sensitive to oxide or citrate.
Taurate is beneficial in a few different ways because it’s chelated; it will be easier on your stomach. This mineral is also commonly used to aid in cardiovascular issues and support heart health. Due to these benefits, it can help in arrhythmia, and you can take it without worry about laxative effects.
If you suffer from constipation, citrate works well in response, as it pulls water into your intestines to ease bowel movements. Unlike Oxide, however, the effect of the laxative is much more tolerable.
Threonate is unique because it’s been shown in studies by MIT researchers to boost magnesium levels in the brain. It seems to enable the brain to reverse brain aging and demonstrates benefits with sleep disorders.
Magnesium Intake Extra Benefits
Magnesium is essential to the functioning of hundreds of enzymes in our bodies daily; however, many don’t get as much as they need. While the symptoms of too little Mg may not be obvious, taking a supplement can help with cardiovascular health, bone density, migraines, anxiety, and even PMS.
Anxiety and Depression Relief
Magnesium has been shown to help relax and calm nervous systems, helping you decompress before a night of zzz’s. Getting proper sleep is critical to more than just your physical functioning but also your mental fitness, as lack of sleep could lead to anxiety and depression.
When taking care of yourself, it’s critical to include proper nutrients and sleep into your routine to maintain healthy stress levels and serotonin to combat anxiety and depression. Without care for your mental health, these two can really send an individual into a mental tailspin. Additionally, struggling with anxiety or depression can further inhibit sleep, causing a vicious cycle that can be difficult to emerge from.
Sometimes falling asleep can feel like a challenge at the end of a stressful work day, so learning how to shut our brains off at night can be difficult. When our minds are constantly stimulated with valuable information to mentally organize, we can feel overwhelmed, inhibiting the ability to shut our eyes and drift off.
Not only can magnesium help you relax, calm your mind, and fall asleep faster, but it can also improve your quality of sleep. In studies done with magnesium and placebos, the groups who took Mg were shown to have improved slumber when compared to those who took the placebo. The group that had better snooze quality showed higher renin and melatonin levels, two critical components to a sound sleep.
Taking melatonin has shown to help those who struggle with rest, offering a reliable and natural alternative to traditional snooze medication, which can cause drowsiness and dependence.
Magnesium not only helps with sounder sleep but can help with a host of other benefits as well. It’s known for reducing blood pressure, supporting bone growth, and expediting potassium and calcium through the body. Additionally, it quells stomach acid and promotes cellular energy production, allowing us to sleep soundly.
Adding magnesium to any individual's diet can help produce a plethora of positive benefits, and could even help you wake up refreshed.
Who Should Avoid Mg Supplements?
While the supplement can be beneficial in many ways, it can be negative in certain circumstances. Just like anything, Mg should only be administered when necessary or in small doses. In extremely high doses the nutrient could even be fatal, so it is important to exercise caution when considering adding it to any diet.
Some individuals should only consider taking the nutrient after consulting a doctor. Those types are people with diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, and intestinal disease. Certain issues can be exacerbated by magnesium, and while it is vital to have Mg in your system to maintain a healthy body, it’s critical to be sure it’s right for you.
If you’re unsure whether Mg is a wise choice, a medical professional is the only source you should be consulting with your medical history considered carefully. Taking anything without orders from a doctor can result in negative effects. An overdose of Mg can look like nausea, low blood pressure, fatigue, diarrhea, and weakness.
Main Causes of Magnesium Deficiency
It’s common for individuals to be lacking the nutrient in their daily diets. Much of our soil has been over-tilled, and is often lacking crucial vitamins we need to lead healthy lives. While, yes, we can usually survive with less, you may find yourself asking, at what cost?
Magnesium is necessary in almost every function of our body. Every human organ uses Mg to perform correctly. If we lack it, our bodies simply won’t function well and can cause us to lose sleep. The energy and chemical processes in the body use Mg as well, like metabolic function, which helps us transform fat into energy, and if our bodies lack their essential needs, these functions won’t work.
As a result, we can become overweight or struggle with weight issues, leading to other significant problems like lowered heart health, depression, anxiety, or low self-esteem.
Some issues tend to lead to higher deficiencies of the nutrient. Those include:
- Alcohol use
- Excessive sweating
- Large burns
- Chronic Diarrhea
- Excessive urination
- Kidney disorders
- Pancreas issues
If you suffer from any of these, it’s never a bad idea to get checked out for a deficiency to make sure your body is performing at its optimum levels.
Sleeping well is a common issue in the western world. However, it doesn’t need to be a typical difficulty with available help at our fingertips. If you’re finding rest to be an area of challenge, you’re not alone, and we’re here to help.
If you desire an alternative to prescription medication and are looking for a natural sleep remedy, magnesium is a wonderful supporter of sound slumber. Rest is critical in order to perform our best and show up daily, without which we might crumble under the pressure of our daily lives. If you want yourself and your family to feel and function your best, recharging every night should be the first place to start.
Jill Zwarensteyn is the editor for Sleep Advisor and a certified sleep science coach. She is enthusiastic about providing helpful and engaging information on all things sleep and wellness.
Based in Los Angeles, she is an experienced writer and journalist who enjoys spending her free time at the beach, hiking, reading, or exploring new places around town.
She’s also an avid traveler who has a personal goal of being able to successfully sleep on an airplane someday.