These days, it seems like everyone's having a hard time falling asleep. Melatonin sometimes doesn't feel strong enough, and is generally only considered safe for short periods of time, and sleeping pills are too strong. So how do you find a natural balance that you can use to fall asleep and stay asleep?
When choosing supplements that will help you embrace your bedtime routine more easily, you want to ensure that the ingredients involved are natural, non-toxic, and aren't going to leave you groggy in the morning. Research shows that magnesium is beneficial for sleep — but the key is using the right amount.
What Is Magnesium?
Magnesium is a mineral that is crucial for several bodily functions. It helps with your bone health, supports muscle activity, and can be an incredible way to speed up your metabolism, giving you the brainpower you need to think clearly and remain energized. Not only that, but magnesium can be a powerful and natural way to support your bedtime routine.
What Are Food Sources of Magnesium?
It’s always recommended to try to get nutrients from whole food sources before seeking out supplements.
Foods like almonds, whole grains, leafy greens, dark chocolate, and even pumpkin seeds are bursting with magnesium. If you have access to any of these foods, reach for them first instead of a magnesium supplement.
Magnesium supplements are an option that you can always turn to, but food provides a more well-rounded source of nutrition. Let's highlight the food sources that contain high levels of magnesium.
Almonds are extremely rich in magnesium — just one ounce of almonds contains 19% of the daily recommended intake of magnesium.
There are incredible health benefits from eating nuts in general, but almonds are extremely rich in magnesium as well as protein that will help fuel your body and mind throughout the day. Almonds are a healthful and easy option, perfect for on-the-go days when you need a boost.
Pumpkin seeds are a great source of magnesium, with 168 mg of this essential mineral in just one cup. If you're someone that doesn't have enough magnesium in your diet, consider pumpkin seeds as a snack that you can bring with you to work. They also make a great salad topper!
Whole grains like oats, quinoa, and barley are an incredible source of magnesium. If you're trying to fall asleep at night and you need a little help, having oatmeal or even wheat before bed may help you fall asleep quicker.
If you've been to the doctor a couple of times and have been told that you have a magnesium deficiency, leafy greens can be a helpful food source. Kroma Supergreens Elixir can make getting enough greens easy and delicious. Featuring 75 vitamins, minerals, and high-quality whole-food ingredients, Supergreens Elixir powers your body with plants.
Spinach, arugula, kale, and mustard greens are great for your health, and magnesium is one of the top nutrients in these foods. Leafy greens are incredibly beneficial for reducing anxiety, boosting sleep quality, and helping to support blood pressure regulation.
Leafy greens are incredibly helpful for your mind and body as well as your digestive system. Kale, collard greens, and mustard greens are some of the highest in magnesium count, so if you're eating those, pay attention to recommended serving sizes to avoid loading up with too much magnesium.
If you're having trouble falling asleep, the magnesium in leafy greens can help promote a relaxed state of mind.
Dark chocolate is another rich source of magnesium. As with any food with sugar, it is best to eat dark chocolate in moderation, but this snack may support sleep — while satisfying your sweet tooth.
Be mindful of the fact that chocolate does contain small amounts of caffeine, meaning that eating too much dark chocolate may actually keep you awake and alert.
Before reaching for dark chocolate first, you may want to look to other sources like leafy greens and pumpkin seeds. Just as you want to prioritize whole foods over supplements, choose whole foods and vegetables before foods with sugar.
How Does Magnesium Impact Sleep?
So how, exactly, does magnesium impact your sleep? There are many ways that magnesium takes you from tossing and turning in your bed to supporting a restful bedtime routine.
Helps Soothe the Nervous System and Ease Tension
Magnesium can help relieve tension in your body and mind, making it easier to relax when you're falling asleep. When you are dealing with high stress levels in your daily life, that stress can manifest as muscle tension — think neck stiffness, tight shoulders, and a clenched jaw. This muscle tension, needless to say, can be uncomfortable and may make it difficult to drift to sleep.
Kroma Calming & Repair Magnesium pairs magnesium with l-theanine for the ultimate state of relaxation and restoration.
Supports Sleep Quality
For individuals with difficulty falling asleep, magnesium may promote relaxation and sleepiness when you need it most. Fatigue, drowsiness, and chronic sleep deprivation can result in a decreased mental health state. If you need help tackling barriers to falling asleep, magnesium might be able to support you.
Supports Sleep Duration
Magnesium is believed to contribute to sleep regulation, meaning that it may help you get longer periods of high-quality sleep. Magnesium can also support melatonin production, reduce cortisol levels, and reduce early morning awakenings.
Magnesium can be a natural way to support your body’s sleep cycle so you can get the restful zzz’s you deserve.
What Are the Other Benefits of Magnesium?
Aside from helping you develop a more relaxing bedtime routine, magnesium contains a number of other benefits which range from supporting your digesting to supporting your muscles.
Magnesium may offer digestive support such as support for bowel regularity. However, it’s important to note that too much magnesium can impact your body in a negative way. If your magnesium intake is too high, you run the risk of nausea and diarrhea.
The ideal balance of magnesium helps with the daily emptying of your bowels fully, which is also supported by a well-balanced diet, hydration, and other healthy functions. Be mindful of how much magnesium you are consuming, and take a break from your supplement if you experience side effects.
Magnesium is also great as a source of energy support that can boost alertness and enhance your focus. If you need an energy boost to tackle the day ahead, magnesium may be the support you are looking for.
Magnesium can also be highly effective in bringing support to your muscles because it relieves tension and stress in your muscles, allowing you to move freely without stiffness. Its important to note that these benefits will not necessarily happen overnight. It takes time for your body’s magnesium levels to build up, and patience is key.
Though it may take some time before you begin to notice these benefits of magnesium, you can rest assured that you are supporting your body by working to increase your levels of this essential nutrient.
How Much Magnesium Should I Take for Sleep?
You can take magnesium supplements alongside dinner, following the suggested instructions. Consulting with a registered dietician can be helpful if you have uncertainties regarding your supplements, and prioritizing balance is crucial when it comes to taking magnesium. Always read the instructions on the supplement label and be careful to avoid taking too much.
When Should I Take Magnesium?
When it comes to your bedtime routine, the recommended amount of magnesium is between 300-400 mg. However, the right amount depends on the severity of your difficulty in falling asleep.
As long as you follow the guidelines, you likely won’t feel super groggy the morning after taking magnesium, but if you do experience side effects, this may indicate that your dosage is too high.
If you’re looking for superfood-packed magnesium that goes above and beyond, you’ll love the Calming + Repair Magnesium from Kroma Wellness. With cranberry flavors and prebiotics, this powdered magnesium can boost your sleep and support more regulated bowel movements.
Is It Safe To Take Magnesium Every Day?
While there are some associated side effects with magnesium, including soft stools (if you take too much), or an upset stomach, it is safe to take magnesium daily. Just be sure to follow instructions to avoid taking too much.
How Long Does It Take for Magnesium To Work?
It can take up to a couple of hours for magnesium to kick in, but it really depends on your body type and age.
While magnesium may not seem to work the first time you take it, be mindful of taking too much to counteract the fact that you don't yet feel a difference. If you generally follow a high magnesium diet, your body has become accustomed to processing large amounts of magnesium. Thus, the effects of a supplement may not be as profound.
Consult your doctor before taking more magnesium, and do not exceed the recommended dose without advice from a healthcare professional.
Are Magnesium Supplements Safe?
Magnesium supplements are generally very safe, you just need to ensure you do not take too much. Do not exceed 400 mg of magnesium every day if you are a male under the age of 30, or under the age of 70 if you're a woman. Men need a bit more magnesium than women, but in general, it is best not to go above 400 mg daily.
How Else Can I Get More Magnesium?
Plenty of foods contain magnesium. Soy products, brown rice, and yogurt all contain high levels of magnesium. Peas and beans are also powerful sources of magnesium and can support a well-balanced diet as nutritious whole foods and plant proteins.
This 24K Bone Broth by Kroma is flavorful, packed with nutrients, and includes magnesium as part of its star-studded ingredient list.
The Bottom Line
Magnesium can help you fall asleep, stay asleep and also wake up refreshed in the morning. Magnesium is naturally occurring in several whole foods like leafy greens, soy products, as well as in supplements and powders.
Prioritize whole food options before a supplement to ensure a well-balanced diet, though a supplement like Kroma’s Calming + Restore Magnesium may be recommended if you have particularly low magnesium levels.
If you struggle with your bedtime routine or have symptoms like migraine headaches and muscle cramps, magnesium can be incorporated into your lifestyle to hone in on those problem areas, and boost your sleep cycle.