Submitted by Charles Vallena of SleepMatters.
Everyone deserves a good night’s sleep. Unfortunately, some life circumstances can make it challenging to fall asleep, let alone get a restful slumber.
If you’d like to avoid sleep medication and treat your sleep issues naturally, one option is to try a high-quality magnesium supplement.
Here are 10 reasons why magnesium helps with sleep.
1. Magnesium Relaxes the Body
One of the essential requirements for good sleep is body relaxation. The more your muscles are relaxed, the better are your chances of a good night’s sleep.
Magnesium is a natural antagonist of calcium. Muscles contract because of calcium binding to muscle proteins. With supplementation, you replace calcium with magnesium at the muscle protein binding sites. The result is muscle relaxation.
That is why magnesium is also given to people who experience muscle pain. If the essential element can address muscle spasms and cramps, it should have no problem relaxing your muscles and getting you ready for bed.
2. Calms the Mind
Not only is magnesium useful in relaxing the muscles. It can also relax the brain. There are two ways magnesium does this.
First, it activates the nervous system’s parasympathetic branch. Parasympathetic activation leads to a reduction in the intensity and frequency of brain activity, so you wind down mentally.
Second, magnesium regulates certain brain neurotransmitters, mainly Gamma-aminobutyric Acid. It binds to GABA receptors to reduce nerve activity frequency and intensity, so you can fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
3. Helps Promote a Healthy Sleep-Wake Cycle
You may already have heard about the positive relationship between the sleep-wake cycle and melatonin. Melatonin is released in darkness, at night, and is regulated by the body’s circadian oscillator. The substance signals to the body when it needs to sleep and when it needs to stay awake.
Some studies suggest that magnesium can play a role in more efficient melatonin regulation. The mineral improves melatonin’s psycholeptic sedative effects, especially in a darkened environment.
Not only do you relax your muscles and calm your mind when you take magnesium supplements. You also improve melatonin function.
4. It’s the Anti-Stress Mineral
Stress comes in many forms. Physical stress can make sleep more difficult. Mental stress can increase brain activity. We already know that we need a calm mind and a relaxed body to sleep.
Studies prove that magnesium can be a great stress-buster. It lowers heart rate variability by exerting its calcium antagonistic effects. Magnesium also improves sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system regulation.
If you can fight stress using magnesium, there is a greater chance of sleeping a lot better at night.
5. Magnesium Helps Alleviate Anxiety
Most people think that stress and anxiety are interchangeable. While similar, they differ in their origins.
Stress is always due to an external cause, while anxiety can be caused by internal factors. In many cases, a person’s reaction to stress is anxiety.
You already know magnesium’s effects on nerve activity while relaxing the muscles. Magnesium’s effects on the brain can help alleviate anxiety and make you sleep better.
6. Improves Symptoms of Depression
For some, insomnia can be a result of depression. You may also feel more depressed if you aren’t sleeping well.
Scientists still do not understand how magnesium helps with depression. However, there is clinical evidence that shows a substantial improvement in depression symptoms.
Magnesium can make you feel better, so you sleep better.
7. Improves Sleep Quality
The combination of muscle relaxation and mental calmness not only make sleeping easier. It can also improve overall sleep quality.
If you sleep light, you may be easily awakened by even the slightest stimuli, changes in circadian rhythm, environmental, and nutritional changes.
Magnesium improves both sleep duration and depth. It improves melatonin function that aids in the return of near-normal sleep-wake cycles.
8. Reduces Insomnia Severity
In a study among the elderly, magnesium was shown to be effective in improving primary insomnia. With supplementation, older people showed longer sleep, better sleep efficiency, and improved melatonin levels. At the same time, they also showed lower levels of stress hormones, mainly cortisol.
Magnesium is not only helpful for insomnia among seniors. It’s effective at appropriate doses for ages from preschool and up.
9. Improves Restless Leg Syndrome
Are you having difficulty falling and maintaining sleep because of the odd feeling of pins and needles pricking your legs? You might also have a very strong, uncontrollable urge to move your lower limbs, especially when you are already on your bed.
You are not alone. One in ten people complain of ‘restless leg syndrome.’ The condition is most severe when you are inactive or resting, such as when you are sleeping. The uncontrollable urge to move will keep you awake at night, preventing you from getting a much-deserved sleep.
Treating restless leg syndrome involves addressing the root cause. While magnesium supplementation is not a treatment, it can improve the symptoms. The Mayo Clinic advised on the use of magnesium as a natural remedy for RLS symptomatic management.
If you have this disorder, taking magnesium can improve your symptoms and help you get better sleep.
10. Enhances Gut Health
A hyperactive gut or a grumbling stomach can also make it difficult to sleep. You feel the pain, making you toss and turn in your bed. The symptoms are all manifestations of poor digestion and gut problems.
Magnesium can improve gut health by enhancing gut microbiota diversity and population. It leads to substantial improvements in both nervous and immune system functioning. A healthy nervous system is essential to getting good-quality sleep.
Taking magnesium not only improves gut health and digestion. It also helps you sleep better because of the benefits it provides to your nervous system.
These are just ten reasons demonstrating why magnesium is an essential mineral for sleep. If you’re looking for a natural solution to get a good night’s sleep, try Natural Calm magnesium.
About the Author
Charles is the managing editor at Sleep Matters, where he helps people sleep better at night by providing in-depth reviews on mattresses and beddings.
When not working, you’ll often see him listening to relaxing music for stress relief on Spotify.