Should you take magnesium to improve sleep?
Original Article By: Korin Miller
More than one-third of adults in the United States are suffering from a lack of sleep, which can lead to a host of chronic health issues, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and depression. In order to improve their sleep, many individuals may consider taking magnesium, which is a mineral that is naturally present in many foods and has been linked to better sleep patterns.
Magnesium is essential in over 300 chemical reactions in the body and helps regulate processes such as muscle and nerve function, blood pressure regulation, and energy production. Recommended daily intakes vary based on sex and pregnancy status. However, it is generally suggested that adult women consume between 310-400 milligrams per day, while adult men should aim for 400-420 milligrams.
Magnesium can help support sleep in several ways. It promotes relaxation in the body, helps maintain proper levels of the neurotransmitter GABA, which is responsible for feelings of sleepiness, reduces inflammation levels in the body, and can lower the risk of muscle twitches and cramps during the night. Foods such as pumpkin seeds, almonds, spinach, and brown rice are rich in magnesium. However, over-farming practices have led to a decrease in magnesium levels in foods over the past 50 years, which is why some people may need to take a supplement.
The recommended dose of magnesium for improving sleep is anywhere from 100 to 350 milligrams per day. Still, it is best to consult a doctor first to determine if one is deficient in the mineral. A simple blood test can be conducted to check magnesium and other vitamin levels. Although taking magnesium may not dramatically improve sleep, it can definitely help support good sleep patterns. Overdosing on magnesium supplements can result in side effects such as diarrhea, nausea, and stomach cramps, so it is important to follow the doctor's recommendations and not exceed more than 5,000 milligrams per day.
Miller, K. (2023, February 13). Magnesium for Sleep - Benefits, Uses, Side Effects. Prevention.com. Retrieved February 13, 2023, from https://www.prevention.com/health/sleep-energy/a42815152/magnesium-for-sleep/
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