March 24, 2021 3 min read

Even though magnesium is found in abundance in our food supply, it is estimated that almost half of the entire US population does not get the minimum recommended daily intake of magnesium (1). 

With over 40% of Americans getting less than the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep each night (2), it got us curious about the role magnesium plays in sleep. 

This article will explore the role of magnesium on sleep. 

magnesium and sleep

What is Magnesium

According to the National Institutes of Health, magnesium is the most abundant mineral in the body and is responsible for over 300 unique enzymatic processes (3). 

It is considered an essential mineral, which means it is not naturally produced in the body, and is only supplied when consumed through diet or supplementation (4). 

Magnesium plays a role in muscle and nerve function, blood sugar balancing, regulating blood pressure, energy production and bone development. 

While magnesium can be found in a wide variety of plant and animal based foods, it can be found in abundance in green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains. 

According to researchers, there are a few groups that typically have lower levels of magnesium. These include people with gastrointestinal issues, type 2 diabetes, those who struggle with alcoholism and the elderly. 

The Role of Magnesium on Sleep

It is not unusual for someone with low levels of magnesium to experience restless sleep. 

According to Dr. Michael Breus, a diplomate of the American Board of Sleep Medicine, “Maintaining healthy magnesium levels often leads to deeper, more sound sleep.”

He goes on to explain that magnesium plays a role in maintaining healthy levels of GABA, a neurotransmitter that promotes sleep. 

The authors of a clinical trial investigating the role of magnesium on sleep indicate that the role of magnesium on sleep behaviors is not fully understood. However, researchers do know that magnesium plays a role as a cofactor for a number of different cellular processes that play a key role in neural transmission on a cellular level (5).

The researchers of the same study also commented on the role magnesium plays in regulating the excitability of the nervous system. 

The researchers of this study concluded that magnesium, “may become a useful instrument in managing sleep disorders in the elderly, which could also be extended as a helpful aid to the general population.”

Another trial looked at magnesium intake and symptoms of poor sleep. They found a correlation between higher intakes of magnesium consumption and lower levels of symptoms often associated with poor sleep (6). In other words, the more magnesium consumed, the better the subject slept. 

One last study we will look at was conducted on a smaller population size. These researchers assessed the role of magnesium and sleep quality in an older population (ages ranged from 51-85). 

This study concluded that, while further research is needed to further understand the role of magnesium in sleep, they were able to confirm an association between magnesium levels found in the body and sleep quality. 

How Much Magnesium Do I Need to Take?

The answer to that question varies based on your circumstances. 

According to the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA), the average dose for most adults is between 310-420 mg per day (7). The amount needed will vary based on your age, height, body weight, biological sex, medications and diet. 

It is important to note that the RDA is a base level to avoid deficiency diseases, and are not doses that necessarily lead to optimal health. 

In the case of the doses used in the various sleep studies, the dosages range between 320 mg - 500 mg per day. 

A well-known side effect of magnesium supplementation is diarrhea. The best way to avoid this is to start with a smaller dose and gradually increase your dose to determine your body’s response.  

If you feel like you could benefit from additional magnesium at bedtime, Utzy Naturals offers an easy to absorb form of magnesium calledU-Mag

Simply add a scoop ofU-Mag to a warm glass of water and you will have a delicious, organic lemon-flavored fizzy drink; a delicious way to increase your magnesium intake.


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