Using Magnesium as a Sleep Aid

Many people have sleep issues and tend to resort to sleep medication that can have side effects that make you feel groggy. Using Magnesium as a Sleep Aid may improve your sleep and it may also help relieve anxiety and depression. This is one of the many Health Benefits of Magnesium.

using magnesium as a sleep aid

Having difficulties with sleep? Well, insomnia is a sleep disorder that is related to poor sleeping habits, anxiety, stress, and depression. It can either be long term or short term and for those who have faced it, it can get frustrating. The most common medication is a prescription of sleeping pills or therapy but there has been research that indicates that magnesium may also help in reducing insomnia.

Magnesium is a mineral that is available in our daily lives. It’s found in the food we eat and the earth. The foods that contain magnesium include avocados, eggs, milk, yogurt, almond nuts, oatmeal, spinach. Magnesium can be taken as medicine or as a supplement either in the form of placebo, powder, or liquid form. Magnesium salt is easy to dissolve in water and is soluble.

The Best Magnesium Foods

For you to fall asleep and remain asleep for some hours the mind needs to be calm and relaxed. Magnesium is beneficial in this process as it regulates the neurotransmitters which are responsible for sending signals to the brain and nervous system.

Magnesium regulates the hormone melatonin a hormone produced by the brain which handles how we sleep and wake up within a 24hr period. Melatonin stimulates the brain to be calm and assists in better sleep.

Which form of magnesium is best for sleep?

There are several types of magnesium supplements which include, magnesium citrate, magnesium oxide, magnesium chloride, magnesium malate, magnesium lactate, magnesium glycinate, magnesium sulfate, magnesium orotate. You can become confused with all the types of magnesium supplements and they all have different purposes.

Below is the best form of magnesium to aid in sleep.

  1. Magnesium Citrate

Magnesium citrate is a form of magnesium that is attached to citric acid. It’s one of the most popular magnesium supplements and is fast to be absorbed in the body. It can be taken by mouth to increase the amount of magnesium in the body and the good thing is that it’s available in the food stores or chemists around. Other than reducing constipation research has found that it can help reduce stress and tension.

Stress and tension lead to less sleep but taking magnesium citrate two hours before sleeping may help you get good and efficient sleep. Magnesium citrate has been shown to relieve leg cramps and calm the nerves. This helps calm your nerves making you relax and have better sleep. 

2. Magnesium Glycinate

This is another form of magnesium supplement which is a combination of magnesium and glycine. Glycine is a form of amino acid and also a neurotransmitter that helps in inducing sleep, check on mood and appetite. It’s one of the most soluble forms of magnesium making it easier to dissolve in the body.

It’s available and can be purchased over the counter as one of the magnesium supplements.

3. Magnesium Sulfate

This is formed by combining magnesium, oxygen, and sulfur. The other name of magnesium sulfate is Epsom salt.

The physical appearance is white and has a salt-like texture. It can be used in baths for a calming effect, relieve sore muscles, and relieve stress. Lack of sleep may be a result of stress, deeping yourself in a bath mixed with magnesium sulfate may relieve your nerves make you calm, and give you a good night’s sleep.

4. Magnesium lactate

This is formed when magnesium bonds with lactic acid. It’s absorbable and has fewer negative effects on the digestive tract compared to the other magnesium salts. It’s recommended to people who are not able to take the other forms of magnesium salts or people who need to take the salt in large doses.

There have been studies that it helps in reducing stress and anxiety which are the main reason for lack of sleep though more research is needed for this.

How much magnesium should I take for sleep?

Magnesium salt is either absorbed through the food we eat as our diet or as supplements. The recommended dietary allowance for magnesium intake is 320 mg for women and 420 mg for men,410 mg for male teenagers, and 360 mg for female teenagers. To add to that, the recommended magnesium supplement intake is 350 mg for men and 350 mg for women. 

That’s the recommended dosage. When there is too much intake of magnesium from the food it does not cause any harm since the excess intake is eliminated by the kidneys. However, too much intake from magnesium supplements may cause diarrhea which may be accompanied by nausea and abdominal cramps.

Is it safe to take magnesium daily?

Magnesium is an important mineral in the body and is used in many functions of the body. This includes energy metabolism, good health, protein synthesis, healthy bones, brain functionality, and heart and muscle coordination and strength. Thus, it’s safe to say that it’s recommended daily.

The table below gives the daily dosage recommendation of magnesium intake in our bodies from infants to the elderly. (AI) means Allowed Intake and (RDI) means Recommended Daily Intake.

Birth to 6mnths(AI)30 mg30 mg
7-12mnths (AI)75 mg75 mg
1-3years(RDI)80 mg80 mg
4-8years(RDI)130 mg130 mg
9-13years(RDI)240 mg240 mg
14-18years(RDI)410 mg360 mg
19-30years(RDI)400 mg310 mg
31-50years(RDI)420 mg320 mg
51+years(RDI)420 mg320 mg

Magnesium is a very important mineral for the functionality of the body. Apart from being a sleep aid it has other uses within the body. The required daily dosage for an adult is between 310-420 mg and this depends on the age and gender of the person taking it.

Magnesium is beneficial in reducing stress, anxiety which may lead to lack of sleep by calming the nervous system and giving that relaxation mode. This makes it easier to fall asleep and also regulate what time to wake up.

But, it’s best to consult your physician before taking any form of supplements to make sure it doesn’t interfere with your health or any medication you may be taking.

More posts about Magnesium

Health Benefits of Magnesium

health benefits of magnesium


Sills, S., Roffe, C., Crome, P., and Jones, P., 2020. Randomized, Cross-Over, Placebo-Controlled Trial Of Magnesium Citrate In The Treatment Of Chronic Persistent Leg Cramps.. [online] Medical Science Monitor. Available at: <> [Accessed 29 December 2020].

Durlach, J., Pagès, N., Bac, P., Bara, M., & Guiet-Bara, A. (2002). Biorhythms and possible central regulation of magnesium status, phototherapy, darkness therapy, and chronopathological forms of magnesium depletion. Magnesium Research15(1-2), 49–66.

Inagawa K, Hiraoka T, Kohda T, Yamadera W, Takahashi M. Subjective effects of glycine ingestion before bedtime on sleep quality. Sleep Biol. Rhythms 2006; 4: 75–7. 2020. Office Of Dietary Supplements – Magnesium. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 29 December 2020].

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