Magnesium for Insomniacs

Not having enough magnesium in your body could be the reason why you are having such a hard time falling asleep

Worried about not getting a good night’s sleep night after night? It is time you made a few adjustments to your lifestyle and diet. There is a great physiological need for a good night’s sleep. Sleep is important for memory and learning, and for maintaining a good immune system.

Nearly everyone experiences a few nights of tossing and turning some time—and this condition is called transient insomnia. However, if you have trouble falling/ staying asleep most nights and poor quantity of sleep becomes more a norm rather than an exception it is time to take insomnia seriously.

Poor quality of sleep can negatively affect your daytime functioning and self-perceived quality of life. You wake up feeling unrefreshed even after adequate hours spent sleep, and this leads to impaired concentration, impaired memory, and decreased ability to accomplish daily tasks. There is also a greater risk for work-related accidents and road accidents, more sick days, increased use of health care services, and lower perceived quality of life.

Magnesium’s Impact on Sleep

Insomnia is often a symptom of medical conditions like depression, sleep apnea, heart failure, arthritis and chronic pain. Evidence also indicates that predisposition to insomnia may be genetic as well. However, research has also found that chronic deficiency of magnesium can also be a factor leading to insomnia.[1] People who do not have enough magnesium in their system find it hard to enjoy restful sleep.

Magnesium affects your ability to get to sleep in a several ways. Magnesium also has a significant role in reducing muscle tension and nerve stimulation.[2] Magnesium also reduces the release of adrenaline from the cardiac muscle, which allows the central nervous system to relax fully and deep sleep to begin. In the absence of adequate supply of magnesium your body is unable to relax the muscles as a result you end up getting too pumped up by the things around you despite feeling so weak and fatigued all the time. It is also known to cause muscle weakness, abnormal heartbeat, low blood pressure, hyperventilation, mental confusion and possibly eye twitches. Talking during sleep and frequent jerking motions while sleeping are also related to magnesium deficiency. [3]

The inability of the nerves and muscles to settle down also contributes to other sleep-related problems. If you do not get enough magnesium you can develop sleep disorders such as Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS). [4]

Magnesium for Restful Sleep

Studies have shown that supplementing diet with magnesium can help people fall asleep faster and have longer, more satisfying sleep.[5] A trial study even shows that people with Restless Leg Syndrome sleep longer and are roused less by around 75% to 85%.[6]

A recent study conducted in Italy [7] has shown that magnesium also impacts the quality of sleep. The primary goal was to evaluate sleep quality using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. The participants who took food supplement containing magnesium, melatonin and zinc had considerably better overall PSQI scores than placebo. They also exhibited significant improvements in ease of getting to sleep, quality of sleep, hangover on awakening from sleep, and alertness the following morning.

More Magnesium, More Sleep

Magnesium for InsomniacsIf you suffer from insomnia, change your diet to include more magnesium. Include foods rich in magnesium like Bran, dried coriander, squash seeds, pumpkin seeds, watermelon seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame, dark chocolate, flax, Brazil nuts, molasses and roasted soybeans. Lower your consumption of coffee and alcohol as they flush out magnesium, and caffeine in coffee can aggravate your insomnia.

Magnesium supplements are an efficient way to introduce magnesium into the body quickly, conveniently and effectively. These supplements can be easily consumed in three ways: by popping a capsule, mixing a beverage or applying a rub on the skin.

Capsules are the most common method of taking in supplements, with the dosage varying anywhere from 200mg to 420mg but they are only 30% effective. Magnesium supplements like Mag365 come in the form of flavoured beverages. Just mix the recommended amount powder in water and drink.

You can also opt for transdermal magnesium products like Magnesium Rub. In gel or lotion forms, magnesium is a great medium for a pre sleep massage.


  1. Durlach J et al. Magnesium and therapeutics. Magnes Res 7(3/4):313-28, 1994
  2. MIT, “The Role of Magnesium in Fibromyalgia”, accessed 2011-09-23. URL:
  3. Medline Plus, “Magnesium in diet”, accessed 2011-09-15. URL:
  4. Popoviciu L et al. Parasomnias (non-specific nocturnal episodic manifestations) in patients with magnesium deficiency. Rom J Neurol Psychiatry 28(1):19-24, 1990
  5. NCBI, “Magnesium therapy for periodic leg movements-related insomnia and restless leg syndrome: an open pilot study,” accessed 2011-09-23. URL:
  6. Penland J. Effects of trace element nutrition on sleep patterns in adult women. Fed Am Soc Exp Biol J 2:A434, 1988
  7. The Effect of Melatonin, Magnesium, and Zinc on Primary Insomnia in Long-Term Care Facility Residents in Italy: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial. Mariangela Rondanelli et al.
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