The Role of Magnesium in sleep. 😴
Posted by Your Remedy Naturopathy on Sunday, 26 March 2017
Magnesium – a key nutrient
Magnesium is one most common intracellular mineral that has over 300 biochemical functions in the body including the production of neurotransmitters, muscle contraction – relaxation phase and cellular energy production via the citric acid cycle.
What magnesium does for sleep
- Required to manufacture melatonin. Magnesium is required to take methione to SAMe.
- Makes melatonin last longer – higher magnesium means melatoin will stick around longer. This can be a factor if you wake up early in the morning – a night time dose of magnesium can be beneficial
- Higher magnesium gives a more refreshing sleep.
- Converts amino acid tryptophan to serotonin which is a precursor to melatonin. This is one reason why selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants can make you feel sleepy.
- Production of the neurotransmitter, GABA. Magnesium also binds to GABA receptors improving length and quality of slow wave or refreshing sleep
- Relaxes tight muscles
- Help keeps cortisol in check. Magnesium helps cortisol breakdown.
- Regulates insulin and blood sugar
Symptoms of low magnesium
- Loss appetite or sugar cravings
- sleep disturbance – unrefreshed, daytime sleepiness
- PMS – period pain, menorrhagia
- twitching eye
- muscle aches, cramps
- cold hands and feet
You may have increased needs for magnesium in the following circumstances:
- Moderate to high consumption of alcohol
- More than 200mg of caffeine per day
- High refined carbohydrate diet/fructose
- Prolonged stress. Your body dumps magnesium to heighten the stress response
- Prolonged diarrhoea and vomiting
- Digestive issues
- Medications – metformin, oral contraceptive pill & hormone replacement therapy, certain diuretics and corticosteroids
Food sources of magnesium
The amount of magnesium in foods depends on the mineral content of the soil it is grown in.
- leafy greens
- almonds and cashews
- whole grains
Magnesium is generally considered to be safe with a daily adult dose of 200-400mg. If you have a health condition, are pregnant or breastfeeding please check with your health professional before starting any supplementation.
Norelle Hentschel is a degree qualified Naturopath and operates a clinic in Crows Nest, North Sydney. She enjoys helping people feel better and can assist with a broad range of health conditions or general health maintenance.
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