Magnesium (Mg) is one of the most abundant and important minerals in the body. We store most of it in our bones so blood tests and plasma levels don’t really show you if you are Mg-deficient. Mg and sleep seem to be related, and many insomniacs have improved sleep duration and quality by increasing Mg levels. It may act in a few different ways. 1) By activating the parasympathetic nervous system and Vagus nerve to calm the body, 2) boosting melatonin levels and 3) by acting on GABA receptors – the same ones that sleep drugs like Ambien also affect.
We seem to have an optimal level, so over-supplementation is not recommended. Boosting Mg-containing foods is your first best attack. Ty increasing green vegetables, nuts, cereals, meat, fish and fruit (surprise… a fresh and varied diet with lots of green veggies!) If that doesn’t work, the optimal level for supplementation for women is 350mg/day (men 450) unless otherwise prescribed by a doctor. Other things to improve sleep include a dark and quiet bedroom, limiting caffeine and screen time before sleep and good amounts of exercise!