If you can’t sleep, you’re not alone. About 30 percent of American adults report having issues with insomnia, according to the American Sleep Association. A quick Google search for the phrase “trouble sleeping” yields nearly 7 million results. With quality sleep evading so many, we’re often searching for new ideas that can help.
Taking magnesium supplements, which have earned a reputation as a natural sleeping aid, is one suggestion gaining attention. But can magnesium actually help you sleep?
To start, magnesium is a mineral crucial to regulating the body’s natural processes, including steadying hearth rhythm and keeping blood pressure normal. Magnesium is found in a wide variety of foods, including leafy greens, vegetables, fish and chicken. It’s rare for healthy adults to have a magnesium deficiency, but when they do, it’s often linked to higher rates of anxiety and stress, which prevents restful sleep.
One study tested 50 older adults who reported difficulty sleeping. Half the participants received magnesium supplements and the other half did not. Researchers found that the group who received magnesium supplements fell asleep faster but did not sleep longer. This evidence is not enough to link magnesium supplements to better sleep.
Bottom line: Magnesium may help you sleep because it has a relaxing effect. But before you begin using a supplement, talk to your doctor. The mineral can interact poorly with medicine or cause intestinal issues when consumed in large amounts. To start, incorporate more magnesium-rich foods in your diet. It’ll be a healthy decision overall.