Sleep and magnesium levels

Sleep and magnesium levels

We all want better zzzzz’s. Sleep that are uninterrupted and deep but some of us, no matter what we try, aren’t getting it. This morning I heard a dietician on the radio, saying that magnesium deficiency can lead to interrupted sleep cycles. I wanted to know more.

A big part of my personal training career is spent with people older than 55 years of age. People in this age group, complain that their sleep are restless, interrupted and not deep at all. They miss the nights where they slept without waking up or staying awake for long periods of time through the night. According to NCBI (1), there is a decline in magnesium levels in our food. We do see that some cereals we eat, have added minerals and vitamins but the problem is, we do not know what the daily intake of these vitamins and minerals should be.

Thanks to Healthline (2), they are providing a table of the recommended magnesium intake for us humans but remember, that this can vary from person to person. The best way to know how much magnesium you need, is to get tested by your doctor with a blood test to see whether you have a deficiency and how much you should supplement with. The following table are an indication only, by Healthline.

According to Dr Michael J. Breus, PhD (3), one of the benefits of adequate magnesium intake are better sleep. Magnesium deficiency plays a role in your sleep and leads to insomnia. He furthermore states, that adequate levels of magnesium ensures “deeper more sound sleep by maintaining healthy levels of GABA, a neurotransmitter that promotes sleep.”

But when in the day, should we take magnesium for better sleep?

I couldn’t find a definite answer on reputable websites or sources, when to take your magnesium supplement. The only answer that I could find, is that you should take it daily in the recommended guidelines as shown on the table in this article.

Warning about taking magnesium

People with kidney disease, should be cautious of taking extra magnesium supplements according to Health Harvard (4). They also states that the evidence to support the claims that magnesium ensures better sleep, are not there. Health Harvard also states that we can get adequate levels of magnesium through food such as “green leafy vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and fish.”


All the sources stated, says that magnesium can be found in food sources, that you should test your magnesium levels first and that it might or might not help with better sleep. My personal take on this is, test for yourself. See your doctor and test your magnesium levels should you suspect low levels of magnesium because of poor sleep quality. If it is not so, then there should be another cause of your insomnia otherwise if the blood tests shows low levels of magnesium and you do supplement with doctor’s prescription, then you know that you are safe. You will also then know, upon taking the magnesium supplements, whether it do aid in your insomnia or not.






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