Magnesium For Sleep and Other Benefits
(Photo: Adobe Stock)
Human Window Staff
By Human Window Staff
Updated on January 30, 2019
Fact Checked This article was fact checked by one of our writers on October 30, 2018.

Magnesium is something called an dietary mineral which your body needs to function properly. It plays a number of important roles in the body and has been associated with improved sleep quality.

This article is going to focus on the basic facts about Magnesium, paying particular attention to the role it could play in helping with sleep.

Magnesium is a very popular ingredient in a lot of health supplements and multivitamins. It’s also regularly used in so-called ‘testosterone booster’ supplements, which are products that have been formulated to help support normal testosterone levels.

So, what do the scientific studies say about Magnesium and its benefits when it comes to sleep and with other processes in the body?

We’re going to focus this article on the following sections:

• What is Magnesium?
• Magnesium For Sleep
• Other Magnesium Benefits
• What’s the Best Dose of Magnesium?
• Anything Else To Consider?
• Conclusion

What is Magnesium?

Magnesium is an essential mineral which is one of the 24 micronutrients that the human body needs to function properly.

Magnesium is found in a wide variety of foods, including green leafy vegetables, nuts, brown rice, fish, meat and dairy foods.

It’s the second most prevalent electrolyte in the human body. Despite its importance as an essential dietary mineral, Magnesium deficiencies are relatively common in developed countries.

One study found that almost 20 per cent of the US population consume less than half the recommended intake of Magnesium.

In the human body, Magnesium is primarily used as electrolyte and a mineral cofactor for enzymes.

Magnesium is a cofactor in more than 300 enzyme systems that regulate many different biochemical reactions in the body.

As well as potentially being able to help with sleep, Magnesium is needed for important bodily processes such as normal protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and blood pressure regulation.

We’ll focus on some of the other benefits of Magnesium later on in this article.

So, it’s clear that getting enough Magnesium from your diet is important to your overall health.

Now it’s time to take a look at the science when it comes to Magnesium potentially helping with sleep.

Magnesium For Sleep

Magnesium is often claimed to help with sleep. It’s sometimes included in nighttime supplements to help with sleep, as well as a whole host of other supplements and multivitamins.

We’ve already clearly deduced that getting enough Magnesium from your diet is important for your overall health.

We’ve also already discovered that many people may not be getting enough Magnesium from their diets.

But what about Magnesium for Sleep? Let’s take a look at what the science says.

Magnesium does seem to have a role in sleep due to sedative-like actions.

One study found that elderly people who supplemented with Magnesium enjoyed an increase in slow-wave sleep, and also benefitted from lower sleeping cortisol levels.

Another study from 2012 found that supplementing with Magnesium seemed to help reduce insomnia, taking into account things such as sleep efficiency, sleep time and sleep onset latency.

Magnesium acts upon the nervous system and contributes to deep, restful sleep, and this effect has been confirmed in a number of studies in older adults.

What’s more, not getting enough Magnesium from your diet could lead to troubled sleep and insomnia.

Clearly, the bottom line here is that as well as playing a critical role in a whole host of bodily processes, Magnesium seems to help to improve sleep, potentially more so in older adults.

Not getting enough Magnesium from your diet – which many people around the world don’t – could potentially also negatively affect your sleep.

Magnesium is found in a wide variety of foods, including green leafy vegetables, nuts, brown rice, fish, meat and dairy foods.
Magnesium is found in a wide variety of foods, including green leafy vegetables, nuts, brown rice, fish, meat and dairy foods (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Other Magnesium Benefits

So, it’s clear that Magnesium plays a crucial role in lots of different bodily processes. But what about its other roles and benefits other than helping with sleep?

We already touched on some of these above, but let’s now look at the some of the important roles Magnesium plays in the human body.

Some of the other bodily processes Magnesium plays a role in by supporting are:

• Normal Protein Synthesis
• The Reduction Of Tiredness And Fatigue
• Normal Cell Division
• Electrolyte Balance
• Normal Energy Release
• Maintenance Of Normal Teeth And Bones
• Normal Muscle Function

As well as the above, there are studies which suggest that Magnesium could help to lower blood pressure.

It is also thought that because Magnesium plays a critical role in brain function and mood, having low levels of it has been linked with an increased risk of depression.

Not getting enough Magnesium has also been linked with an increase in chronic inflammation, which can led to obesity and chronic disease. In other words, Magnesium could have anti-inflammatory benefits.

Magnesium also helps to make sure that the parathyroid glands, which produce hormones important for bone health, are working normally.

What’s the Best Dose of Magnesium?

The standard dose for Magnesium supplementation is 200mg to 400mg, and it should be taken daily, with food.

In the United Kingdom, the Recommended Daily Intake amounts of Magnesium for men and women aged 19 to 64 years old are as follows:

• 300mg a day for Men
• 270mg a day for Women

You can read more about the recommended daily intakes of Magnesium in the UK government’s document on the topic.

Anything Else To Consider?

Clearly, Magnesium plays a key role in a whole host of bodily processes, and many people around the world may not be getting enough from their diets.

That being said, you should be able to get enough Magnesium to match the daily recommended intake if you are following a healthy and balanced diet.

However, if you’re concerned that you’re not getting enough Magnesium from your diet, then taking an oral supplement can be an effective way to combat this problem.

We do always recommend that you’re sticking to a healthy diet, getting plenty of rest and exercising regularly before considering taking any new supplements.


So, here we are at the end of our look at Magnesium for Sleep and its other benefits.

We’ve discovered that Magnesium is an essential mineral that your body needs in order to function properly. It could help to reduce blood pressure and has anti-inflammatory effects.

Many people don’t get enough Magnesium from their diets, which can cause problems.

Being Magnesium deficient could result in an increased risk of depression, and lead to other problems such as chronic inflammation.

As well as playing a key role in a whole host of bodily processes, supplementing with Magnesium seems to be able to improve sleep quality.

Magnesium’s ability to potentially help with sleep has been demonstrated in multiple studies. With that in mind, it may be worth increasing your Magnesium intake through your diet, or via a supplement, if you’re having trouble with your sleep.

That being said, you should always speak to your doctor before thinking about trying any new supplements for the first time.

We hope that you’ve found this guide to Magnesium and Sleep useful.