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The Benefits of Magnesium for Sleep

A recent study found that 50% of the U.S. doesn't get enough magnesium from foods alone. This statistic is troubling due to the way that magnesium benefits the body. However, magnesium supplements can help bridge the diet gap.

Many different types of magnesium supplements are available, and each one has its own benefits. In this guide, we'll discuss what magnesium does for the body and explore which type is best for those looking to promote restful sleep.

About Magnesium Deficiency

How much magnesium a person needs daily depends on age, weight, sex, and medical history. One way to reap the benefits of magnesium is through diet. Some foods that are high in magnesium include pumpkin seeds, green vegetables, soybeans, brown rice, and cashews. The typical American diet often lacks magnesium-rich foods, putting people at risk for deficiency. Low levels of magnesium can cause several unpleasant symptoms, including:  

  • Fatigue

  • Muscle cramps and spasms

  • Muscle weakness

  • Numbness

Fortunately, magnesium supplements can make up for a lack of the mineral and reduce the risk of deficiency in those who can't eat enough foods with magnesium.

What Is Magnesium Good For?

Magnesium plays several critical roles in the human body. It helps to regulate the nervous system's activities as well as controls muscle movements. In addition, magnesium is necessary for keeping blood sugar levels in check as well as for producing bones, DNA, and proteins that form various structures in the body.

Does Magnesium Help You Sleep?

Even people who eat enough magnesium-rich foods may take supplements to address specific concerns. Among the biggest of these concerns is difficulty sleeping. Research suggests that magnesium may help with sleep in the following ways:

Aids in Stress Management

Taking magnesium for sleep may be beneficial due to the mineral's impact on the autonomic nervous system, the part of the nervous system that controls processes that occur on their own, such as heartbeats, blood pressure regulation, urination, and sweating.

The autonomic nervous system comprises two parts: the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for the fight or flight response, which raises heart rate and blood pressure and triggers the release of chemicals such as adrenaline and cortisol during stressful times. After the stressor has been resolved, the parasympathetic nervous system takes over to calm the body down.

Magnesium plays a vital role in activating the parasympathetic nervous system. As a result, it helps the body manage stress. This is important for sleep, as stress can cause insomnia.

Improves Sleep Quality

Magnesium is also responsible for regulating a hormone called melatonin. In the body, this chemical messenger controls the sleep-wake cycle. Imbalances of melatonin have been shown to reduce sleep quality. Taking magnesium supplements can ensure an adequate mineral supply to ensure that melatonin functions properly and promotes restful sleep.

Promotes Tension Release

As previously mentioned, magnesium is known to be crucial to muscle control. When the brain signals that it's time to move a muscle, calcium binds to proteins in the muscle tissue, causing the muscle to contract. Then, magnesium takes the place of calcium to relax the muscles. Magnesium's role in this process explains why people who suffer from deficiencies may experience muscle problems such as cramping.

Taking magnesium supplements may help ensure that muscle relaxation occurs normally. In this way, magnesium may help to ease tension that can interfere with sleep.

Supports Relaxation

Magnesium is also found to quiet nerves and relax the body and mind. To do so, magnesium binds with receptors designed for the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Some sleep drugs, such as Ambien, induce sleep by binding to these same sites. As a result, some researchers hypothesize that magnesium can offer similar relaxation benefits.

What Is the Best Type of Magnesium for Relaxation?

If you're interested in taking magnesium for better sleep, it's essential to understand the differences between types of magnesium. Read on to learn more about some types of magnesium that are commonly taken for sleep, so that you can determine which is the best magnesium for your relaxation needs.

Magnesium Glycinate

Magnesium glycinate is a supplement that’s made from elemental magnesium and the amino acid glycine found in fish, meat, dairy products, and legumes. Some small studies have found that the amino acid may support restful sleep. As a result, some researchers believe that magnesium glycinate may be one of the best types of magnesium supplements for sleep.

Numerous studies into the benefits of magnesium glycinate have backed up this theory. Research indicates that the supplement may have a calming effect that improves sleep quality as well as reduces anxiety and stress. In addition, the supplement is easy for the body to absorb and utilize.

Magnesium Taurate

Magnesium taurate is a combination of elemental magnesium and the amino acid taurine. Studies suggest that this type of magnesium may help to regulate blood pressure levels. Magnesium taurate may be particularly beneficial for people experiencing stress, as their blood pressure may increase. By improving blood pressure regulation, magnesium taurate may help to protect the body from some of the effects of stress.

Magnesium Threonate

Also called magnesium l-threonate, magnesium threonate contains elemental magnesium and threonic acid, a molecule derived from vitamin C. This form of magnesium is easy to absorb and is one of the most effective for boosting magnesium levels in the brain. As a result, researchers speculate that magnesium threonate may be beneficial for those hoping to promote deep sleep and relaxation.

Magnesium Malate

Another easy-to-absorb form of magnesium, magnesium malate, is a mix of magnesium and malic acid, a substance found in fruit. Based on scientific research, healthcare providers sometimes recommend this form of magnesium for easing symptoms of depression and chronic fatigue.

Other Types of Magnesium

Scientific research suggests that magnesium taurate, magnesium malate, magnesium threonate, and magnesium glycinate greatly benefit those looking to support restful sleep and relaxation. Still, you should also be aware of some other types of magnesium. They include:  

  • Magnesium oxide: A mix of magnesium and oxygen, this type of magnesium is most commonly used for digestive issues. Research suggests that magnesium oxide benefits heartburn and constipation but isn't readily absorbed by the body and therefore, is not effective for addressing magnesium deficiencies.

  • Magnesium sulfate: Magnesium sulfate combines magnesium, sulfur, and oxygen, and is commonly called Epsom salts. Typically, it is used as a bath soak for sore muscles.

  • Magnesium carbonate: A salt made of magnesium and carbonate; magnesium carbonate benefits the body in ways similar to magnesium oxide. The most common magnesium carbonate uses address heartburn, acid reflux, and constipation.

What Type of Magnesium Should I Take?

If you would like to take magnesium for relaxation and sleep, consider Unwind by BodyKitchen. Each serving contains 420 milligrams of pure magnesium, allowing you to reap both magnesium malate and magnesium glycinate benefits.

Because it's a magnesium powder, the Body Kitchen Unwind supplement is easy for the body to absorb and utilize. The natural cherry flavor makes the powder pleasant to use in order to support tension release and promote restful sleep, and the formula is entirely free of synthetic ingredients and GMOs.

Speak with your healthcare provider about whether Body Kitchen Unwind suits you.


"I prefer powders over capsules for better results. This powder has a decent taste and mixes well with any liquids. Plus I very pleased with the results, thank you!" - Dennis C