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The original chill pill: 3 ways magnesium can help you sleep

Trouble sleeping? You’re not alone! Approximately one-third of individuals in the UK experience episodes of insomnia at some stage1https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/insomnia/.

Instead of conventional sleeping pills, here at Chuckling Goat, we’re looking at natural supplements that can help you get a better night’s kip. Magnesium is often recommended as a natural aid for sleep, with research suggesting it plays an important role in sleep regulation.

Insufficient magnesium levels have been linked with sleep issues.2https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/magnesium-and-sleep#insomnia Magnesium supplementation has been shown to help people that struggle with sleep and insomnia to fall asleep faster, reduce waking up during the night, stay asleep longer, and increase levels of naturally circulating melatonin.3https://www.sleepfoundation.org/magnesium

Because of its calming, sleep-promoting effects, magnesium has gained the nicknames “nature’s valium”, “the original chill pill”, and “nature’s tranquiliser”.

In order to fall asleep and stay asleep, your brain and body both need to relax – read on to find out how magnesium glycinate supplementation can help with both.

1. Muscle relaxation

Calcium is a mineral most often associated with healthy bones and teeth, but it also helps your muscles to contract. However, muscle contraction at night can lead to cramps, restless leg syndrome, and disturbed sleep. Magnesium helps your muscles to relax by acting as a natural calcium blocker.4https://www.metabolics.com/blog/the-definitive-guide-to-magnesium-and-magnesium-supplements This muscle relaxation can help you to fall asleep more easily and improve overall sleep quality.

2. Reduced stress and anxiety

Stress uses up magnesium stores in the body, which can cause insufficiency. Supplementing with magnesium glycinate can help to build up these stores again! Magnesium also has calming effects and can reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. Magnesium glycinate regulates neurotransmitters like GABA, which has a calming effect on the nervous system, making it easier to fall asleep. Due to this calming effect on the brain, it can be taken before bed to aid sleep.5https://www.chucklinggoat.co.uk/which-magnesium-supplement-is-right-for-you/ You could also have some ready at your bedside if you are prone to waking up regularly or struggle to stay asleep.

3. Melatonin production

Melatonin is a hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle.6https://www.sleepfoundation.org/melatonin7https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12030424 Magnesium is involved in the production and release of melatonin. Ensuring you get enough magnesium can support optimal melatonin production, and promote a healthy sleep-wake rhythm.

We recommend opting for magnesium glycinate (also known as magnesium diglycinate or magnesium bisglycinate) when choosing a magnesium supplement. Magnesium glycinate is gentle on the gut, has no laxative effect, builds up magnesium stores in the body, provides superior absorption, and is specific for sleep. We advise avoiding magnesium oxide, which is often found in cheaper supplements.

To learn more about magnesium check out our article Are you getting enough magnesium? and try our Mega Magnesium Smoothie!

Any questions? Contact one of our Nutritional Therapists via live chat, we’re available on weekdays from 8am to 8pm.

References

Questions? Talk to a Nutritional Therapist on live chat!

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