There are, to be sure, many different vitamins and minerals that the human body needs to stay healthy and well. From vitamin A to Zinc and many more in between, all of these vitamins and minerals are vital, although some are more vital than others.
One of the most important is magnesium, as it’s involved in hundreds of different bodily processes. They include keeping your bones strong, your blood sugar normal, and your heart as healthy as possible. Magnesium also impacts your sleep but, as there are different forms of magnesium, some people aren’t sure which one is the best. That’s the subject of today’s blog, Which Magnesium is the Best for Better Sleep? If you’re looking to biohack your bedtime and sleep better, read on to find out more!
What, Exactly, is Magnesium?
Magnesium is a mineral, not a vitamin. What’s the difference? While vitamins are organic and can be broken down by heat, minerals hold onto their chemical structure because they are inorganic. That’s a vital difference because it means that our bodies can more easily absorb magnesium in plants and animals we eat. Vitamins have a more difficult time since cooking, freezing, and even simple air exposure can inactivate their health-providing compounds.
How Much Magnesium Does a Person Need?
Magnesium is found in many different plant and animal foods. The problem? Today’s soil is so devoid of nutrients that what we eat has much lower magnesium amounts than it did a few decades ago. (That’s why supplementing magnesium is so essential.) Below is a brief guide on how much magnesium a person needs n a daily basis:
- Adult women. 300 mg per day
- Pregnant women. 400 mg per day
- Adult men. 400 mg per day.
- Children. Between 30 to 400 mg per day, depending on their age. (Ask your pediatrician.)
Why Does a lack of Magnesium Negatively Affect Sleep?
Several mechanisms in the human body rely on magnesium to work correctly. For example, the nervous system is where magnesium is used to help you calm down at the end of the day as you prepare for bed. When the human body doesn’t have enough magnesium, it’s more difficult to wind down at the end of the day. Also, a lack of magnesium can stop you from falling into a deep sleep and, even worse, causes your body to wake frequently during the night.
How Does Magnesium Help You Sleep?
Sleeping is a surprisingly complex process that is regulated by a complex system of neurotransmitters and hormones. These natural chemicals send constant messages between your body and your brain and come out when they work together correctly, enable you to sleep well. (Basically, they stop the areas in your brain that keep you awake and conscious from doing that, which then allows you to become unconscious and fall into a state of sleep.)
Magnesium is at the center of this entire process. It regulates neurotransmitters, works with melatonin, and, together, they control both your internal body clock and your sleep-wake cycle. (Researchers believe magnesium is a better sleep aid than melatonin.) When your body has sufficient magnesium, you can sleep faster, deeper and your sleep will replenish and refresh your body more.
Magnesium Limits Cortisol, the Stress Hormone
Magnesium is scientifically proven to help people with sleep problems. One of the reasons is that it helps reduce or limits the amount of cortisol the human body produces. Cortisol, otherwise known as the ‘stress hormone,’ is a significant reason why many people sleep poorly or fitfully. By reducing its effect, your body will be able to relax better, calm down and fall asleep.
Magnesium Helps Your Muscles Relax
One problem many people have when trying to fall asleep is that their muscles are too tense. For example, many people suffer from “restless leg syndrome” that keeps them tossing and turning at night rather than sleeping soundly. Magnesium helps your muscles relax, allowing your body to relax, and fall asleep faster (and enables you to stay asleep longer).
Magnesium Can Help Children Sleep Better Also
If you have children that are having trouble falling asleep, a magnesium supplement can be quite helpful. Magnesium is utterly safe for children as long as the recommended daily dose is followed. (Again, consult your pediatrician.) By the way, toxicity from too much magnesium is rare. That’s because any excess magnesium is illuminated from the body naturally. (i.e., when you go to the bathroom.)
Magnesium Reduces Anxiety
One of the main reasons that magnesium is so effective for improving sleep is that it reduces anxiety. Anxiety, as well as depression and mental confusion, is one of the biggest reasons that people don’t sleep well. Current research, however, shows that magnesium reduces anxiety and can help reduce feelings of depression. (They aren’t exactly sure how it works just yet, just that it does work.)
What Are the Different Forms of Magnesium?
There are several different forms of magnesium, and each affects the body in a slightly different way. Below is a list of the most common forms and what they’re used to treat (mostly).
- Magnesium Citrate. The most popular form of magnesium, magnesium citrate, is one of the easiest for your body to absorb.
- Magnesium oxide is often used to help relieve constipation.
- If you have muscle soreness, magnesium chloride can be helpful.
- For people with fragile digestive systems, magnesium lactate is more tolerable than other forms.
- Magnesium malate is often recommended for people who have fibromyalgia and other chronic conditions.
- Magnesium taurate is recommended for managing high blood sugar and blood pressure.
- Magnesium L-threonate has been shown to support excellent brain health and help reduce depression and memory loss problems.
- Magnesium sulfate is often used to treat stress in its form as Epsom salt.
- Magnesium glycinate is the best magnesium to use if you have problems sleeping.
- People suffering from heart health problems often take magnesium orotate.
Which Magnesium is Best for Improving Sleep Issues?
Here’s an important fact; if you’re deficient in magnesium, supplementing with any form of it will be helpful. Researchers believe, though, that magnesium glycinate is the best form to take if you want to improve any problems you’re having with sleep. If you’d rather increase your magnesium through foods, the following have the highest amount, including:
- Whole grains
- Various types of nuts
- Very dark chocolate
- Several varieties of cold-water fatty fish
Probiotics seem, at least on the surface, to help with weight loss and preventing weight gain. Frankly, the results depend on several factors, including the person and the probiotic type they are using when supplementing. Some probiotics might have a modest effect on your weight, and some may be a bit more. In most cases, though, a healthy, low-fat, low-calorie diet is also necessary.
All that being said, taking a probiotic supplement is a healthy idea whether you’re obese or not. Probiotics can help improve your digestion, reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems, and reduce inflammation, a significant cause of ill health. In short, whether you need to lose a few pounds or just want to be as healthy as possible, supplementing with probiotics is an excellent idea.