Last Updated on February 17, 2019
It's just after three in the morning. Tossing and turning, you stare at the ceiling, wondering how you'll make it through the day tomorrow if you don't sleep. It's not the first time this has happened and you're starting to worry it's becoming a pattern. You've tried prescription sleep aids but you hate the hangover feeling they leave you with. What's left? Well, there are plenty of natural solutions to try, one of which is a mineral your body can't live without — magnesium.
In this post, you'll discover how magnesium can help you get a better night's sleep and conclude with reviews of the five best magnesium for sleep supplements selling today.
- 1 How Does Magnesium Benefit Sleep?
- 2 How to Select a Magnesium Supplement for Sleep
- 3 Best Practices for Use
- 4 Reviews of the Best Magnesium for Sleep Supplements
- 5 Conclusion: What Is the Best Magnesium for Sleep?
Doctor's Best High Absorption Magnesium Tablets
KAL Magnesium Glycinate Tablets
Thorne Research Magnesium Citrate Capsules
MegaFood Magnesium Tablets
Metagenics Mag Glycinate Tablets
How Does Magnesium Benefit Sleep?
Integral to the healthy functioning of the brain, nervous system and muscles, magnesium is one of the most abundant elements on our planet and in the wider universe. It's little wonder then that we need it daily to ensure optimal health (source).
Within our bodies, cells communicate with each other using a complex chemical messaging system. Magnesium acts as a kind of "brake", keeping these constant messages from overwhelming the connections between cells, called nerve synapses.
When magnesium is deficient in the body, these excited cells wear down over time from continually firing, eventually manifesting as bodily symptoms like muscle cramps, restless legs, anxiety, depression, and insomnia (source).
But health problems like these can be avoided by increasing the amount of magnesium in your diet, giving your cells time to recuperate, which helps to relax your muscles and create a calmer mind (source). Once your mind and body are at peace, it's easier to reach the relaxation necessary for deep and restful sleep.
Disadvantages of Using Magnesium for Sleep
Unlike many sleep aids, which work by altering the brain chemistry to induce restfulness, magnesium supplements only serve to replenish a mineral already natural to the body. That said, possible negative reactions may occur:
Loose stools – Magnesium will reduce stomach acidity and speed up digestion, which can result in diarrhea in some individuals. If you experience this side effect, try experimenting with different supplement forms such as chelated magnesium, which is easier to digest. You might also try lowering the dosage and/or spreading out your intake over several hours instead of all at once.
Insomnia – Taking too much magnesium can actually have the opposite effect and cause insomnia, instead of prevent it. But so long as you read the bottle label and follow instructions exactly as directed, this shouldn't be a problem.
How to Select a Magnesium Supplement for Sleep
Magnesium is already present in your everyday diet, but if you're like most Americans, you're probably not getting enough to maintain optimal health. A high-quality magnesium supplement, however, can help increase your daily intake missing from your diet.
Choosing the best magnesium for sleep depends on your individual preferences. For example, various manufacturers offer a variety of strengths to each tablet, ranging anywhere from 200mg to 1000mg. If you've never taken magnesium for the purpose of aiding sleep, you may want to start at the lowest dose before working up to a higher amount.
Also, as mentioned above, magnesium supplements come in many forms (types of bonding agents to help make magnesium easier to digest). Some of the most absorbable forms include glycinate, taurate, citrate, and chelates while the least absorbable forms include oxide, sulfate and glutamate. For sensitive stomachs, magnesium glycinate and chelated magnesium are best to start out with.
Best Practices for Use
Once you've made your selection, you have the option to take the supplement right before bedtime, or in the morning together with breakfast. Supplements where you're expected to consume multiple tablets per day can be divided between morning and evening. But for best results, try mixing up your schedule over several weeks to see what times work best for you.
A Word of Caution
- Don't exceed the daily amount of magnesium required for optimal health, which works out to be around 300mg per day for women and 400mg per day for men.
- If you take antibiotics, consult your doctor while taking a magnesium supplement as the magnesium can bind to the antibiotic molecules and decrease the effectiveness of the antibiotic (source).
- You'll also want to consult your physician if you suffer from a kidney ailment. Since magnesium passes through the kidneys when excreted from the body, the mineral might place too much of a burden on an already taxed organ (source).
Reviews of the Best Magnesium for Sleep Supplements
Magnesium Form: Chelated
This supplement is a chelated form of magnesium, whereby its ions and molecules are bonded together during manufacturing. This process makes the magnesium easier to digest and absorb into the bloodstream. With 240 tablets per bottle, consumers will only need a few bottles to last the year.
Magnesium Form: Glycinate
Packing 400mg of magnesium into each tablet, this formula pairs magnesium with glycine molecules, which is thought to hasten both absorption and retention better than magnesium forms like oxide and sulfate. This handy bottle contains a full three-month supply of tablets if taken daily.
Magnesium Form: Citrate
With purity of product as its biggest selling point, Thorne Research is a citrate form of magnesium — a process that entails pairing the magnesium with citric acid to form a magnesium salt molecule. While effective in this form, it may cause loose stools as a side effect in some individuals and act as a laxative in higher doses. These medium sized tablets are easier to swallow than other brands on our list.
Magnesium Form: Natural food ingredients, not synthetically-based
MegaFood works with scientists and family-owned farms to create the perfect blend of nutrient-rich, vegetable-based supplements, including this easily digestible form of magnesium. These tablets are easy to swallow and one tablet is enough for most individuals to suffice per day. If you're looking for an exceptional organic solution, MegaFood doesn't disappoint.
Magnesium Form: Glycinate
This simple and straightforward source of magnesium comes in 200mg tablets, ideal for those wishing to start at a lower dosage level. This magnesium is paired with glycine molecules for efficient absorption into the bloodstream and dosing can be split between mornings and evenings, depending on your preference. Metagenics is a highly reputable brand and this magnesium supplement is another example of a stellar product.
Conclusion: What Is the Best Magnesium for Sleep?
While each of these magnesium supplements does a good job at preparing you for a restful night of sleep, our top choice goes to Doctor's Best High Absorption Magnesium Tablets. Among other reasons, its chelated form is arguably the easiest on the stomach and thus preferable to other brands on our list. After all, who wants to fall asleep to a gurgling stomach, let alone wake up to one, right?
Now Over to You!
What are your thoughts about using magnesium for sleep? Leave your comments below!