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Magnesium is the key to unlocking a good night’s sleep

From controlling blood pressure to summoning the sandman, magnesium is truly a health powerhouse.

Lying awake restless at night is one of the worst feelings, particularly if you regularly struggle with sleep. Not only does it make our day-to-day lives hard, a lack of sleep is also bad for our overall health in the long-run.

If you can’t chalk your sleeplessness up to an underlying sleep disorder like insomnia or sleep apnoea, then fixing the issue can feel impossibly hard.

You may think that in order to finally get a good night’s rest, you’ll have to start taking a host of drowsy sleep-inducing medications, but that’s not the case.

Magnesium is the all-round health hero that can control blood sugar, your heartbeat, blood pressure and so much more. But, the little-known secret about magnesium is that it’s also great for sleep too.

sleep magnesium
A magnesium deficiency could be to blame for your sleeplessness.

“Magnesium is the primary mineral to relax our muscles,” explains Olivia Arezzolo, Australia’s leading sleep expert. “This means when we have it in abundant amounts, especially before sleep, we naturally feel tired. Note that the brain is also a muscle – so it helps us feel more relaxed mentally too.”

Signs of a magnesium deficiency

Magnesium is an essential mineral in our bodies, and for some of us, we may be deficient in it which can in turn cause a host of health problems – including poor sleep. Whilst only a blood test can conclusively tell you if you have a magnesium deficiency, there are also signs our bodies give out that can tell us too. These include:

  • Muscle cramps or spasms
  • Fatigue
  • Poor sleep
  • High blood pressure
  • Loss of appetite

How does magnesium promote better sleep?

Magnesium can be found in foods like wheat, spinach, quinoa, nuts and avocado. You can also up your intake through dedicated over-the-counter supplements. Whilst the mineral has a range of health benefits, it also works to give you a better night’s sleep through things like:

  • Muscle relaxation – Muscle relaxation is deeply important to a deep and restorative sleep. Magnesium naturally eases muscular tension by balancing calcium levels in the body which makes it easier to fall asleep.
  • Regulating GABA – If you don’t get enough magnesium in your diet, your GABA regulation may be affected. GABA (which stands for gamma-aminobutyric acid) is a neuro-transmitter that promotes calmness when the brain’s neurons are tense, anxious and stressed. Magnesium supplements can help regulate the GABA function, ensuring you get a good night’s sleep.
  • Regulating melatonin – Magnesium also ensures that your body is producing ample amounts of melatonin, a chemical that is released by our brains at night to stimulate sleep.
Magnesium can be found in foods, or in dedicated supplements.

When should you take magnesium?

Unlike dedicated sleep aids like sedatives and melatonin supplements, magnesium doesn’t need to be taken right before bed – or any particular time for that matter, as long as it’s being taken consistently.

Not only can you take magnesium at any time of day, but you can also use it long-term. Contrary to sleep supplements, magnesium is a vital mineral for our bodies and can be incorporated into your daily routine.

“Magnesium can in fact be used long-term, like you can take a greens supplement long term,” Olivia explains.

The bottom line is that not only is magnesium the quiet all-round health hero that balances blood sugar, steadies the heartbeat and lowers blood pressure it’s also a small but mighty tool to unlock a refreshing sleep.

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