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Is magnesium the secret to better sleep?

  • Updates

📅 March 04, 2021

⏱️2 min read

Having trouble sleeping? You’re not alone, studies have shown that up to 60% of Americans suffer from insomnia. It may not just be from the stress of the world. We’ve found that magnesium deficiency directly correlates with sleep disturbances, tossing and turning, and lack of deep sleep.

Magnesium deficiency is associated with sleep disturbances, nighttime agitation, and reduced slow-wave sleep, which is the phase of sleep that helps you feel rested and refreshed in the morning. Magnesium deficiency is more common than you may think. While studies vary on how common it is, many studies have found that 30% or more of the US population have subclinical magnesium deficiency.

Data from a study of 1487 adults aged 20 and above, analyzed data on magnesium intake, sleep quality, and daytime energy levels. They divided people into 4 groups organized by highest to lowest magnesium intake. Those in the group with the highest intake (the highest quartile), had longer and more restful sleep and reduced daytime fatigue when compared to people with lower daily magnesium intake.

A recent double-blind randomized clinical trial published in the Journal of Research in Medical Studies found that magnesium supplementation led not only to improvement in how individuals rated their sleep quality, but also to significant increases in objective markers of sleep. Researchers found statistically significant improvements in the ability to fall asleep (sleep onset latency), stay asleep (reduced early morning awakenings), and get enough sleep (improved total sleep time).

In a study of 60 patients diagnosed with insomnia, a combination of treatment with magnesium, melatonin, and vitamin B complex was given 1 hour before sleep. They found this combination of nutrients had a beneficial effect in the treatment of insomnia regardless of what caused it.

In another randomized placebo-controlled crossover study in the journal Pharmacopsychiatry, researchers gave one group of subjects a placebo and the other got magnesium supplementation. For 20 days, they had them sleep in a lab overnight. While sleeping they were measured for magnesium levels and sleep-related hormone levels every 20 minutes. In addition, their brain waves were measured overnight by (EEG) recording of sleep quality, sleep stages, and more. Then they gave people a break for two weeks to “wash out” the higher magnesium levels from their brain. After two weeks they switched the groups, so the placebo group got magnesium and the magnesium group got the placebo. Sure enough, the newly magnesium treated group had a significant increase in deep (slow-wave) sleep, and also seemed to reverse age-related hormone changes in older adults!

Even in newborn babies, those with higher levels of magnesium had better overall sleep quality. This basic science research study in animals found that, restricted magnesium intake was found to increase middle of the night wake-ups by 50% and reduced restorative slow-wave sleep by 24%. When magnesium was added back in, these sleep parameters all improved.

Clearly, magnesium is a key player in the ability to get quality sleep. Tracking your magnesium status with Vessel can give you insight into the amount of magnesium you need each day. You’ll also find a guide for foods high in magnesium and customized supplement recommendations to make it easier to adjust your intake.

New to Vessel? Click here to get started and sign up for a membership!

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