Does a Magnesium Supplement for Sleep Really Work?

In the search for a good night’s sleep, many studies recommend a magnesium supplement for sleep deeply. It is obvious now that we are going to answer one simple question in this article. Is magnesium good for sleep?

A good night’s sleep is essential for our health. In fact, it is as important as consuming healthy foods and regular exercise.
Adults need between 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. However, studies show that more than 35% of adults do not get enough sleep.

Sleep problems can increase many health issues. Therefore, it is important to make a good night’s sleep one of your priorities.

In this article, we will find out whether taking a magnesium supplement help sleep well or not.

What is Magnesium?

Magnesium is one of the most important nutrients for our health. It is involved in nearly all the important functions in our bodies including more than 600 cellular reactions.

For example, it is essential for the proper nerve and muscle functions. Besides, it helps in regulating blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Also, it is important for building bones and preventing DNA damage.

Taking Magnesium supplements can provide many health benefits including preventing inflammation, helping with constipation and digestive problems, and decreasing high blood pressure.

People who consume a balanced diet probably get enough magnesium. It exists in many plant and animal foods such as nuts, whole grains, and dairy products.

Therefore, magnesium deficiency is rare in most people. However, magnesium deficiency can occur in older adults, diabetic patients, alcoholics, and people with digestive problems. These people can benefit from magnesium supplements, which are available in many types such as magnesium citrate and magnesium chloride.

Is Magnesium help you sleep? 

The simple answer is yes, magnesium can help you to get enough good night’s sleep.

Some studies show that a magnesium supplement helps sleep since it regulates the neurotransmitters linked to sleep. Neurotransmitters are chemicals responsible for connecting your brain with your body.

Besides, taking a magnesium supplement for sleep aid really helps according to many reviews from people who tried it.

Here is how magnesium helps.

Magnesium Helps the Body and Brain to Relax

To sleep well for 7 to 9 hours per night, your body and brain must relax. Chemically speaking, magnesium helps the body and brain relax. It enhances the activation of the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for making your body and brain calmer.

First, it helps the nervous system regulate the chemical neurotransmitters, which are responsible for sending signals from the body to the nervous system and vice versa.

In addition, it helps the body to regulate the melatonin hormone, which is essential for guiding the sleep-wake cycles of our bodies.

Furthermore, magnesium binds to the GABA receptors. GABA or Gamma-Amino-Butyric Acid is one of the neurotransmitters responsible for inhibiting nerve activity and making nerve conductions slower.

Many sleep drugs such as Ambien depend on GABA to promise improved sleep quality. 

A magnesium supplement helps sleep by calming down the nervous system, which prepares your body and mind for better sleep.

Magnesium Deficiency Interferes with Sleep

Magnesium deficiency can lead to sleep disorders including insomnia.

Animal studies show that it is important to keep the magnesium levels in your body optimal in order to have normal sleep. Both too high and too low magnesium levels can cause sleep disorders.

Magnesium deficiency is common in certain groups including:

  • People with Digestive Problems: Digestive problems can prevent many essential vitamins, minerals, and elements from being absorbed properly including magnesium, resulting in their deficiencies.
  • Diabetic Patients: Diabetes mellites and high insulin resistance can lead to excessive magnesium loss.
  • Regular Alcohol Consumption: People who consume alcohol regularly can suffer from severe magnesium deficiency in the long run.
  • Older Adults: Older people usually consume foods that are not rich in magnesium. Besides, their digestive tracts may not be as efficient as younger people at absorbing magnesium.

    Therefore, taking a magnesium supplement for sleep aid may be essential in some cases.

Magnesium Promotes Sleep Quality

Magnesium does not only help people to sleep at night but also plays a role in helping people to get high-quality sleep.

A study on older adults who took 500 mg of a magnesium supplement found that it helped them to promote their sleep quality, compared to a placebo.

The study found that the magnesium group had higher levels of renin and melatonin. These two hormones are responsible for regulating sleep and promoting its quality.

Another study on older people who suffered from insomnia confirmed the previous results. The participants received 225 mg of magnesium, 11.25 mg of zinc, and 5 mg of melatonin. Compared to the placebo group, the other group had higher quality sleep. However, it is not clear the role of magnesium in this study since the participants also received zinc and melatonin.

Furthermore, a study was done on mice found that magnesium deficiency is associated with light and restless sleep patterns. This study suggested that the lack of high-quality sleep was due to the effects of magnesium on the nervous system since it prevents excitable particles from getting attached to the nerves, which leads to a more restful and deep sleep.

The previous human studies were done on older adults, especially those who suffer from insomnia. It is not clear whether magnesium has the same effects on the quality of sleep in younger people or not.

Magnesium Alleviates Anxiety and Depression

Depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders can have a negative effect on sleep patterns and quality. Research shows that magnesium can alleviate mood disorders and promote sleep quality in people suffering from these problems.

Furthermore, magnesium deficiency is common in people suffering from psychological problems such as anxiety and depression. It is seen in many people suffering from these problems.

Since magnesium can calm nerves and prevent excitable molecules from getting attached to neurons, it enhances the efficiency of antidepressants and may participate in the treatment of anxiety and other mood disorders.

The role of magnesium in alleviating and treating psychological disorders is not fully clear. However, magnesium supplements are highly recommended for people who suffer from insomnia, especially older people and people suffering from mood disorders.

Magnesium Supplements for Sleep: How to Take Them?

Magnesium for sleep supplements can benefit people suffering from lack of sleep or restless sleep.

However, few studies tested the efficacy of magnesium supplements for sleep aid. Therefore, it is difficult to determine the recommended daily dosage.

In the previous studies, the participants took between 225 and 500 mg of magnesium daily. You should not exceed the recommended daily dosage in order to avoid worsening the condition.

The safe dosage of magnesium supplements is under 350 mg per day. It is better to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements, especially if you have chronic medical conditions or take any medications regularly.

Since it is not fully clear how magnesium deficiency can impair your sleep, it is better to increase your intake of whole foods, especially foods rich in magnesium first before taking any supplements.

According to the Institute of Medicine, the recommended daily intake of magnesium should be between 310 and 360 mg per day for adult women and 400 and 420 mg for adult men.

Most people can get all their magnesium needs by drinking enough water and consuming magnesium-rich foods such as nuts, meat, fish, green vegetables, and fruits.

Things to Consider While Taking Magnesium for Sleep Supplements

People who have sleep problems should try lifestyle changes first such as decreasing and regulating their caffeine intake, avoiding screens before going to bed, and creating a healthy regular bedtime regimen.

If the problem still exists, you can try taking a magnesium supplement for sleep.
But, what is magnesium good for sleep? Without question, it is magnesium glycinate since it is a combination of magnesium and the non-essential sleep-amino acid, glycine, which is sleep-inducing.  

However, there are some things you need to consider.

First, you should not exceed the upper limit of intake which is 350 mg per day.

Second, taking a magnesium supplement for sleep can be associated with many side effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and muscle cramps. If the side effects persisted or you experienced other side effects, you should stop taking the supplement and consult your doctor immediately. 

Finally, magnesium supplements interfere with many medications including:

  • Antibiotics.
  • Muscle relaxants.
  • Blood pressure medications.

If you take any medications or have a medical condition, you must consult your doctor before taking a magnesium supplement for sleep.

Bottom Line: Benefits of Magnesium and Melatonin

Magnesium can improve your sleep since it plays an essential role in regulating the nervous system. It activates certain mechanisms that soothe the body and brain in order to have a calm, deep sleep.

Besides, it can alleviate anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders, which interfere with sleep.

Even though most of the studies were on older adults, many reviews for magnesium supplements for sleep in the UK show that it helps.

Before taking magnesium for sleep supplements, try to increase your intake of magnesium-rich foods first. If this does not work, it may be time to take a magnesium supplement and sleep well at night!


  • Jonathan Reynolds, Naturopathic Doctor (Alternative Supplements)

    Jonathan Reynolds, being a naturopathic doctor, specializes in alternative supplements. His articles on offer insights into lesser-known or alternative supplements that have gained popularity in the wellness community. Jonathan explores the scientific evidence, potential benefits, and considerations associated with these alternative supplements, providing readers with a comprehensive understanding of their uses and potential effects.

  • Emily Collins, Nutrition Researcher (Supplements & Superfoods)

    Emily Collins, as a nutrition researcher, is responsible for providing in-depth insights and analysis on supplements and superfoods. Her articles on delve into the benefits, potential drawbacks, and evidence-based recommendations for various supplements and superfoods. Emily's expertise in nutrition research ensures that readers receive accurate and reliable information to make informed choices about incorporating these products into their health routines.

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