Magnesium is a critical component of falling and staying asleep through through the night without waking up.
Studies show that the mineral magnesium is an important modulator of sleep quality and that dietary magnesium deficiency is linked to sleep disorders .
Magnesium has an intricate relationship with sleep because not only is it required for sleep to take place, but it is also restored to our bones and teeth during sleep.
Our cells source magnesium from our bones and teeth throughout the day to perform critical functions. At night when our body is in its resting phase it is able to shut down other processes to focus on functions such as bone and tooth building so that the body's magnesium storage is replenished for future use.
How It Works
Magnesium aids sleep outcomes in various ways including regulating production of melatonin, increasing GABA levels, activating the rest and relax nervous system, balancing levels of sex hormones and others.
1. Melatonin Production
Magnesium regulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin, which is primarily released by the pineal gland in the evening and has long been associated with control of the sleep-wake cycle .
2. GABA Production
Magnesium aids sleep by increasing levels of the neurotransmitter GABA or Gamma-Aminobutyric acid, which works to quiet down neuronal activity in the brain and nervous system to support rest, relaxation, and falling asleep .
To aid relaxation and promote deeper sleep naturally, Mellö Magnesium is enriched with extra GABA to calm brain and nervous system activity contributing to healthy sleep, pain relief, reduced anxiety, and blood pressure.
3. Parasympathetic Activation
Magnesium activates the parasympathetic, or the rest and relax nervous system, which is responsible for sleep and related processes such as physiological recovery, healing, DNA repair, digestion, and restoring magnesium to bone and tooth storage .
4. Balancing Hormone Levels
Magnesium is essential to maintaining balanced levels of sex hormones, which are intricately involved in our ability to achieve healthy sleep . Unbalanced sex hormone levels, such as too much estrogen in comparison to progesterone, for example, can lead to poor sleep, anxiety, headaches, fatigue, and other health issues .
Not only is magnesium needed for processes that enable production of sex hormones such estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, but it is also critical to detoxification and removing hormones from the body so that hormones like estrogen do not re-enter circulation .
How Much Do You Need?
A diet high in magnesium has been linked to deeper, less interrupted sleep .
Nutrition researchers suggest that adults should consume between 7mg and 10mg of magnesium per kilogram of body weight per day - a recommendation based on data from adults who don't get sick .
However, it's important to note that certain substances and drugs such as alcohol, coffee, stimulants, and other diuretics significantly increase magnesium excretion from the body.
For example, studies show that alcohol increases urinary magnesium excretion 2-3 fold, meaning you need to compensate for this loss .
Personally, I like to use the muscle tension rule: because a relaxed muscle is fully saturated with magnesium, if my muscles aren't relaxed I can usually tell I'm running out. At times, I fight this tension until my eye starts twitching and then I know for sure that I'm at critical magnesium lows.
Effects of Magnesium Deficiency on Sleep
Magnesium deficiency is a serious health issue that leads central nervous system (CNS) hyperexcitability and a variety of negative health outcomes including sleep deficiencies that prevent the body from undergoing critical healing and restorative processes intended to keep us alive.
Chronic insomnia, which is characterized by agitated sleep patterns and frequent nighttime awakenings, is one of the main symptoms of magnesium deficiency.
This is unsurprising because magnesium is needed for over 600 different cellular functions in the human body, many of which are related to rest, relaxation and sleep.
As a resource we can't live without, magnesium is surprisingly difficult to get in adequate quantities from food, and research shows that some 70% of Americans are likely not eating enough magnesium on a daily basis.
Magnesium deficiency often goes unnoticed due to the difficulty presented in testing and a lack of dietary knowledge on the part of medical doctors who often order blood tests to test for magnesium deficiency.
Unfortunately, by the time a blood test is able to detect a problem with magnesium levels the condition has deteriorated from deficiency to life threatening.
This is because our bodies rely on maintaining a constant and balanced supply of magnesium in the blood. Our cells are able to mine magnesium from our bones and teeth and deliver it to the bloodstream in order to keep this homeostasis or balance at all times.
Therefore, a disturbance of this carefully maintained balance indicates that a much larger problem is at hand, such as that you've used up your precious magnesium stores, did not replenish them during your deep sleep cycle each night like you were supposed to and now there is no magnesium left in your bones and teeth to mine for life critical processes.
What Is The Best Magnesium for Sleep?
Mellö Magnesium, of course. All natural, packed with 3 highly bioavailable forms of chelated magnesium and optimized with additional actives to help relax your mind and body for a deeply restorative night's sleep.
For More Natural Sleep Remedies
Learn more about how hemp actives such as cannabinoids work to promote healthy sleep in our article on Hemp Oil for Sleep and Insomnia.
And if you're still having trouble sleeping check out these 3 easy ways to fall and stay asleep naturally.
- Nielsen, F. H. (2015). Relation between magnesium deficiency and sleep disorders and associated pathological changes. In Modulation of Sleep by Obesity, Diabetes, Age, and Diet (pp. 291-296). Academic Press.
- Penland, J. G. (1988, March). EFFECTS OF TRACE-ELEMENT NUTRITION ON SLEEP PATTERNS IN ADULT WOMEN. In FASEB JOURNAL (Vol. 2, No. 4, pp. A434-A434). 9650 ROCKVILLE PIKE, BETHESDA, MD 20814-3998: FEDERATION AMER SOC EXP BIOL.
- Seelig, M. S. (1964). The requirement of magnesium by the normal adult: summary and analysis of published data. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 14(6), 342-390.
- Romani, A. M. (2008). Magnesium homeostasis and alcohol consumption. Magnesium research, 21(4), 197-204.
- 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 research, 15(1-2), 49–66.
- Wienecke, E., & Nolden, C. (2016). Langzeit-HRV-Analyse zeigt Stressreduktion durch Magnesiumzufuhr [Long-term HRV analysis shows stress reduction by magnesium intake]. MMW Fortschritte der Medizin, 158(Suppl 6), 12–16. https://doi.org/10.1007/s15006-016-9054-7
- Sparta, M., & Alexandrova, A. N. (2012). How metal substitution affects the enzymatic activity of catechol-O-methyltransferase.
- Fugh-Berman, A., & Bythrow, J. (2007). Bioidentical hormones for menopausal hormone therapy: variation on a theme. Journal of general internal medicine, 22(7), 1030-1034.