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.
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.
It is not unusual for someone with low levels of magnesium to experience restless sleep.
According to sleep expert Dr. Michael Breus, “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.
This coincides with scientific research, which shows that magnesium may help to improve sleep efficiency, total sleep time, and sleep onset (5).
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.
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 called U-Mag.
U-Mag provides 400mg per scoop.
Simply add a scoop of U-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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