Do you wake refreshed? If you have trouble facing the new day, perhaps you’re not getting enough sleep. Magnesium can help relax muscles, support nerves, and help you get a good night’s sleep.
You may be tempted to use prescription medicines or over-the-counter sleep aids to help get the rest you need. Unfortunately, these medications have a range of unwelcome side effects including dry mouth, dizziness, and feelings of drowsiness during the day.
What does magnesium do?
If you’re looking for a natural way to relax and get a good night’s sleep, magnesium may be the supplement for you. Required for more than 300 biochemical processes in the human body, magnesium:
- supports a healthy immune system
- regulates muscle function and helps muscles relax
- maintains nerve function
- regulates heart rhythm
- maintains normal blood pressure
Magnesium as a muscle relaxant
Magnesium’s ability to relax muscles makes it a natural choice as a sleep aid. Calcium makes muscle fibres contract whereas magnesium makes them relax. Too much calcium and not enough magnesium can cause muscles to twitch, spasm, and convulse. Magnesium helps to soothe the muscles, and relaxed muscles lead to more restful sleep.
Magnesium as a sleep aid
Magnesium has a reputation as the anti-stress mineral. It can calm feelings of nervousness, irritability, and an inability to relax, all of which may be signs of a magnesium deficiency. When normal cells are at rest they contain 10,000 times more magnesium than calcium. If our magnesium levels are low, calcium enters our cells when we don’t need it, creating a stimulated state that makes us feel nervous, irritable, and unable to sleep.
Types of magnesium supplements
Several types of magnesium are available in supplement form.
- magnesium gluconate: its possible side effects include upset stomach and diarrhea
- magnesium lactate: also used to treat heartburn, indigestion, and upset stomach; its side effects may include diarrhea
- magnesium hydroxide: an ingredient in laxatives and antacids; commonly known as milk of magnesia
- magnesium sulphate: used as a laxative; commonly known as Epsom salts
- hydrated magnesium chloride: used as a supplement but may cause diarrhea
- magnesium bisglycinate: was absorbed at a rate 228 percent higher than magnesium chloride in studies, and was better tolerated by subjects
The amino acid L-taurine improves the absorption and retention of magnesium bisglycinate. Given its excellent absorption rate, magnesium bisglycinate is a natural choice as a sleep aid.