Magnesium – How Can It Help Sleep?
Sleep is incredibly important for our overall health and is beneficial for multiple areas such as learning and memory, energy and mood, stress and immunity. During stressful times like these, we may need a little more help with getting a good night’s sleep, ensuring we can set ourselves up well for the day, help maintain our health and reduce stress and anxiety. Magnesium has many benefits when it comes to a good nights sleep and we have compiled all the information you need around this supplement here in one place!
What is magnesium and what does it do?
Magnesium is a poly-active essential mineral and plays an important role in many bodily functions. It is known as a “helper” molecule as it literally helps in many biochemical reactions including:
- blood sugar regulation
- bone health
- nerve and muscle function
- boosts mood by converting certain amino acids into serotonin, the hormone believed to contribute to a general good feeling
- aids sleep
How does it specifically help sleep?
It helps to calm the nervous system by regulating certain Neurotransmitters.
Neurotransmitters are the bodies chemical messengers and send messages throughout the brain and the nervous system. One such Neurotransmitter that Magnesium regulates is the “GABA” neurotransmitter. This is responsible for muting “wakefulness” and one of the reasons Magnesium is used to treat broken sleep by limiting the effects of the stress hormone cortisol. It helps calm and rest the body and mind before bed and allows for a deeper more replenished sleep. Simply speaking, magnesium helps activate the areas of the brain that enable you to sleep, while inhibiting the areas that keep you awake and conscious.
It also works alongside melatonin, a hormone your body produces naturally, to control your body clock and sleep-wake cycles.
Who needs it – what are the signs of deficiency?
It can be quite difficult to know when your magnesium levels are low and the one of the best ways to confirm it, is a blood test.
The signs of Magnesium deficiency are easy to mistake for other health conditions. But some common signs include poor sleep, fatigue and heart palpitations or an irregular heartbeat.
Most at risk categories
At risk groups include:
- Those with a gastrointestinal disorder such as Crohn’s disease or coeliac disease
- Those with type 2 diabetes
- Those who have hyperparathyroidism (when your parathyroid glands produce too much parathyroid hormone, causing the levels of calcium in your blood to rise)
- Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding
- The elderly
- Those who take certain medication, such as antibiotics, proton pump inhibitors for acid reflux
Where can I get it from – most natural sources
- Dark leafy greens like kale, spinach, broccoli
- Legumes, nuts and seeds like almonds, sunflower seeds, cashews, pine nuts, brazil nuts
- Wheat germ
- Fish-salmon, halibut, tuna, mackerel
Consuming a lot of processed fats, refined sugars, salt, synthetic sweetener’s, or caffeine hinders your body’s ability to absorb magnesium.
How much magnesium do I need?
The recommended dose for men aged 19-64 is 300mg per day, and for women in the same age category is 270mg per day. For pregnant women the recommended amount is higher, at 400mg per day. There figures refer to ingested magnesium only; there is no maximum dose for transdermal magnesium (sprays/oils etc). It is recommended to start on a low dose and slowly increase as too much magnesium can result in gastric upset such as diarrhoea.
What forms can you use it in?
Magnesium Supplements come in many different forms including;
Using sprays is a very fast and effective way of getting Magnesium into the system. This is called Transdermal Absorption and goes straight into the blood vessels and avoids the digestive system. Apply the “Better You Magnesium Sleep Body Spray” around 20 to 30 minutes before you go to bed. Spray on to your body and massage into your skin. You can use the sprays on almost any part of your body.
For the best results:
- Apply to clean skin, ideally after a warm shower or bath
- Concentrate on joints, muscles and areas of concern
- Avoid broken or delicate skin
There isn’t an upper limit for transdermal magnesium products. The only risks come when you take magnesium in the form of tablets or powder, as large doses can have a laxative effect. Toxic symptoms from excess magnesium are rare because the body naturally gets rid of any magnesium it doesn’t need.
Some patients may report feeling slight tingling or itching. This usually indicates the body has low levels of Magnesium and the sensation should pass the more you use the sprays and the more Magnesium you have the system. If very uncomfortable or skin becomes red and irritated wash off immediately. You can initially soothe the sensation by towelling your skin after massaging in the magnesium.
Mag365 is a great powder option which comes in a neutral flavour or exotic lemon. 1 level teaspoon has 250mg of Magnesium in it. This is the recommended dosage to start with, and it can be gradually increased to no more than 2 teaspoons per day.4. Flakes:
Magnesium flakes are designed to be used in the bath or in a footbath. The Better You magnesium flakes aid restful sleep as it will be absorbed through the skin. The environment of a bath will also allow the body to relax and unwind for bedtime.
What about children – can they use magnesium?
Yes, children can use the transdermal sprays as long as they adhere to the recommended daily allowance. Both the pure Magnesium Oil Body Spray and Magnesium Oil Sensitive Spray are suitable for young children.