On the list with melatonin, magnesium has been looked at as a possible supplement to help promote sleep. Magnesium is a mineral found naturally in foods and is a substance our bodies use for various functions such as muscle movement, nerve conduction, and metabolism. With that, it’s important to have an adequate amount of magnesium in our diet. This is easy enough since this mineral can be found in all sorts of meats, vegetables, and diary. While most Americans are not getting the recommended amount set by the USDA deficiencies are rare.
One theory explaining why magnesium might help with sleep is that deficiencies impeded proper nerve conductions which inhibit sleep inducing hormones such as melatonin causing less sleep and poorer quality of sleep. However, the evidence supporting the positive effects of magnesium on sleep is spotty. One study in 2012 suggested that magnesium helped adults with insomnia improve their experiences around sleep such as falling asleep faster or waking up less in the middle of the night; however, it did not affect the total time in which they slept. There are plenty of other studies that showed no improvement with magnesium supplementation.
So should you try it? Taking magnesium is relatively harmless so it might not hurt to try if you think it’s something that might help you. You can get magnesium over the counter, but it is recommended to purchase from well-established brands to ensure quality. Make sure to follow the recommended directions on the back of the bottle since taking too much can cause vomiting and dietary indiscretion. As always, consult a doctor first.
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