How Magnesium Can Help You Sleep

In order to fall asleep and stay asleep, your body and brain need to relax. On a chemical level, magnesium aids this process by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, the system responsible for getting you calm and relaxed. First, magnesium regulates neurotransmitters, which send signals throughout the nervous system and brain. It also regulates the hormone melatonin, which guides sleep-wake cycles in your body. Second, this mineral binds to gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors. GABA is the neurotransmitter responsible for quieting down nerve activity. It is the same neurotransmitter used by sleep drugs like Ambien. By helping to quiet the nervous system, magnesium may help prepare your body and mind for sleep.


The effect of magnesium supplementation on primary insomnia in elderly

…dietary magnesium supplementation brought about statistically significant increases in sleep time (P = 0.002), sleep efficiency (P = 0.03), concentration of serum renin (P < 0.001), and melatonin (P = 0.007), and also resulted in significant decrease of ISI score (P = 0.006), sleep onset latency (P = 0.02) and serum cortisol concentration (P = 0.008). Supplementation also resulted in marginally between-group significant reduction in early morning awakening (P = 0.08) and serum magnesium concentration (P = 0.06).


Should you take a Magnesium supplement?

While most people find magnesium to be calming, others discover that it makes them feel more alert, and even uncomfortably wired. The reasons why this happens (and why it happens only in some people) aren’t clear, but one study showing the stimulant effects of magnesium in mice suggested the effect of magnesium on important neurotransmitters as a possible cause. If this is you, a magnesium supplement in the morning would be a better choice to reduce any micronutrient deficiencies without interrupting a restful night of sleep. And if the magnesium is causing extreme mood or insomnia problems, it’s best to stop taking it. After all, even a supplement that’s great in theory won’t help you if it makes you miserable in practice.


The Effect of Melatonin, Magnesium, and Zinc on Primary Insomnia

The food supplement resulted in considerably better overall PSQI scores than placebo (difference between groups in change from baseline PSQI score=6.8; 95% confidence interval=5.4–8.3, P<.001). Moreover, the significant improvements in all four domains of the LSEQ (ease of getting to sleep, P<.001; quality of sleep, P<.001; hangover on awakening from sleep, P=.005; alertness and behavioral integrity the following morning, P=.001), in SDQ score (P<.001), in total sleep time (P<.001), and in SF-36 physical score (P=.006) suggest that treatment had a beneficial effect on the restorative value of sleep.



Every organ in the body, especially the heart, muscles, and kidneys, needs magnesium. This mineral also contributes to the makeup of teeth and bones. Magnesium activates enzymes, contributes to energy production, and helps regulate levels of calcium, copper, zinc, potassium, vitamin D, and other important nutrients in the body.

This is an extensive overview of Magnesium — dietary sources, interactions, and affects — with a HUGE list of primary sources at the bottom.