Trouble sleeping? You could be one mineral away from a restful night’s sleep. Magnesium is important for heaps of reasons, including tiredness and fatigue, muscle cramps and sleep. With so many people having trouble sleeping at the moment, we look at how magnesium can help you to sleep better and sleep for longer.
Magnesium and tiredness
Magnesium is involved in over 300 chemical processes in the body, from energy production to muscle function. If magnesium levels are low, deficiency can easily lead to tiredness and fatigue. Incredibly, as many as 70% of us get less than the recommended 350 - 400mg needed per day.
Magnesium relaxes muscles
Magnesium acts as a muscle relaxant. It is involved in sending nerve signals that help your muscles and brain to relax. 90% of the body's magnesium is found in muscles and bones, and so when levels are low, magnesium is pulled from these areas, which leads to muscle cramps and twitches. This discomfort is likely to keep you awake at night and may make you feel tired come morning.
Magnesium can improve sleep
By acting on the nervous system and instructing your muscles and brain to relax, magnesium can help you get to sleep. It would also appear to help you sleep better and for longer, and achieve a more restful night’s sleep.
How do I raise my magnesium levels naturally?
Natural food sources of magnesium include green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale, spices, nuts, almonds especially, cereals, avocado, oily fish, dark chocolate (yes) and quinoa.
But sourcing magnesium from food isn’t always that easy. Modern farming methods often leave our soils depleted of nutrients, meaning many of us obtain less-than-optimal amounts of magnesium from food.
Supplementing with magnesium
A magnesium supplement can certainly help. One of our favourites is BetterYou Magnesium Oil Good Night Sleep Spray. You spray it directly onto the skin where it absorbs quickly and efficiently. It is common to feel a slight tingling from the high-speed absorption – particularly if you are magnesium deficient.
It may provide less magnesium than some supplements but you can be confident that most of it will be absorbed by the body as it bypasses the digestive system completely, which is great if you’re suffering from digestive troubles or conditions like IBS. It’s even got added chamomile, bergamot and sage to help the mind to relax. We love this as a sleep remedy because the essential oils provide instant relaxation, while the magnesium provides more long-term support for sleep problems.
If you are looking for a different form of magnesium we also have it available in capsules, liquid and powder form. Here is a selection of our favourites:
Keeping magnesium levels high
In addition to eating foods rich in magnesium and topping up with a supplement, the following measures will help you to keep magnesium levels high:
- Give fizzy drinks a miss - the chemicals in fizzy juice bind to magnesium and get rid of it.
- Reduce your sugar intake - it takes 28 molecules of magnesium to metabolise 1 molecule of sucrose; simply put, sugar uses up magnesium.
- Stay on top of stress – stress drains magnesium stores. Have a warm bath, try some mindful stretches or deep breathing exercises to help calm and quieten your mind.
- Lower your caffeine intake – caffeine is a diuretic and so depletes magnesium.