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The Link Between Magnesium and a Good Night's Sleep

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By Kerri-Ann Jennings

Many people have trouble sleeping, and breaking the cycle of insomnia can be hard.


You can try changing your sleep routine and curbing your caffeine intake, but sometimes these lifestyle interventions fall short.

Supplements are another popular option. One supplement that's gained some attention as a potential sleep aid is magnesium.

This mineral has wide-ranging effects in the body and may influence some of the processes that promote sleep.

Read on to learn the connection between magnesium and a good night's sleep.

What Is Magnesium?

Magnesium is one of the most common minerals on earth and is present in many foods (1, 2, 3).

It's essential for human health and is used in more than 600 cellular reactions throughout your body (3).

In fact, every cell and organ need this mineral to function properly. It contributes to bone health, as well as proper brain, heart and muscle function (3).

Magnesium supplements have been linked to a number of benefits, including fighting inflammation, relieving constipation and lowering blood pressure (4, 5).

In addition, magnesium may help treat sleep problems.

Summary: Magnesium is an important mineral that is necessary for overall health. Benefits of these supplements range from fighting inflammation and lowering blood pressure to possibly improving sleep.

It Can Help Your Body and Brain Relax

In order to fall asleep and stay asleep, your body and brain need to relax.

On a chemical level, magnesium aids this process by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, the system responsible for getting you calm and relaxed (6).

First, magnesium regulates neurotransmitters, which send signals throughout the nervous system and brain.

It also regulates the hormone melatonin, which guides sleep-wake cycles in your body (7).

Second, this mineral binds to gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors. GABA is the neurotransmitter responsible for quieting down nerve activity. It is the same neurotransmitter used by sleep drugs like Ambien (8, 9).

By helping to quiet the nervous system, magnesium may help prepare your body and mind for sleep.

Summary: Magnesium helps activate neurotransmitters that are responsible for calming the body and the mind.

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