30 Aug 22 Article 01

Magnesium for better sleep

Sleep is an important part of daily life. We spend about one-third of our time in sleep. According to CDC, adult above the age of 18 years old should get 7 or more hours of sleep per night. Quality sleep is very important as one gets to rest and restore the body’s energy levels. But at any stage in life, we can experience sleep difficulties due to several reasons. Overtime, lack of sleep or poor-quality sleep can negatively affect your physical and mental health. Many may try changing their sleep regimen or reducing caffeine intake however these do not always work. Supplements has gained popularity as an option to help in breaking the cycle of poor sleep one of which is magnesium. Magnesium is a dietary mineral which has wide-ranging effects in the body and may play a part in the processes that promote sleep.

  • Magnesium helps the body and brain to relax
    Magnesium plays a role in regulating the parasympathetic nervous system also called the ‘rest and digest’ system to help our body and brain to relax in order to fall asleep and stay asleep.
  • Magnesium and GABA levels
    Gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a neurotransmitter that plays a role in overall sleep health. GABA slows down communication between brain and the central nervous system which helps us relax, relieves stress and eventually falls asleep. Magnesium helps to maintain the balance of GABA level in the body, promoting deeper and more rejuvenating sleep.
  • Magnesium and melatonin
    In response to darkness, our brain releases the hormone melatonin. This hormone helps with the timing of our biological clock and with sleep. Research has shown that magnesium is able to increase concentrations of melatonin in the body improving insomnia.

Though there are research to support the use of magnesium to improve sleep quality, before starting magnesium supplements it is important to first focus on getting adequate amount of nutrients through a healthy balanced diet which includes vegetables, whole fruits, whole grains and protein foods. If the problem persists, you may consult a healthcare provider to rule out other underlying sleep disorders or other concerns affecting your sleep before starting on magnesium supplementation.

References:
1.Wienecke E, Nolden C. Long-term HRV analysis shows stress reduction by magnesium intake. MMW Fortschritte der Medizin. 2016 Dec 8;158(Suppl 6):12-6.
2.Uygun DS, Ye Z, Zecharia AY, Harding EC, Yu X, Yustos R, Vyssotski AL, Brickley SG, Franks NP, Wisden W. Bottom-up versus top-down induction of sleep by zolpidem acting on histaminergic and neocortex neurons. Journal of Neuroscience. 2016 Nov 2;36(44):11171-84.
3.Abbasi B, Kimiagar M, Sadeghniiat K, Shirazi MM, Hedayati M, Rashidkhani B. The effect of magnesium supplementation on primary insomnia in elderly: A double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. Journal of research in medical sciences: the official journal of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences. 2012 Dec;17(12):1161.
4.Durlach J, Bac P, Bara M, Guiet-Bara A. Biorhythms and possible central regulation of magnesium status, phototherapy, darkness therapy and chronopathological forms of magnesium depletion. Magnesium research. 2002 Mar 1;15(1-2):49-66.

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