How to Use Magnesium for Sleep and Anxiety

The human body is an amazingly complex biochemical machine. Our body needs minerals for proper functioning and magnesium is one of the several minerals along with calcium, sodium, and potassium. A problem with one body organ can affect several other organs as a result. For example, if you’re experiencing stress and anxiety, this two can affect how well you sleep. And lack of sleep makes you more stressed and anxious as well. Whenever you find yourself in such a situation, finding out the cause is the first step to take. Magnesium deficiency is the number one cause of higher anxiety and poor sleep quality. Below we will learn how to use magnesium for sleep and anxiety.

How To Use Magnesium For Sleep

Magnesium is what you need to stay healthy. Large amounts of magnesium levels are necessary for a good night’s sleep. It helps the mind and body to achieve deep, restorative sleep. Studies show that magnesium levels below the optimal level lead to poor quality sleep. It’s difficult to recommend a specific daily dose of magnesium. However, one study where older adults received 414 mg of magnesium oxide twice a day (500 mg of actual magnesium total per day) had better quality sleep as opposed to adults who received a placebo. That being said, taking 500 mg of magnesium daily can improve your sleep quality.

How To Use Magnesium For Anxiety

The Office of Dietary Supplements says that many people aren’t getting enough magnesium from their diets leading to magnesium deficiency. Therefore, the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for adults is between 310 and 420 mg. Additionally, the exact RDA will differ depending on your age and gender. Plus, if you’re pregnant, you need more magnesium, because pregnancy affects how the body absorbs certain vitamins and minerals. To attain the required magnesium levels in your body, eat food rich in magnesium like leafy greens, avocado, dark chocolate, legumes, whole grains, seeds, and nuts. For magnesium supplements, you must talk to a doctor before taking them to know the correct dose.

Types of Magnesium Supplements

  • Magnesium glycinate. This supplement is absorbed in different areas of the intestine, compared to other forms. Therefore, it has a relatively good absorption rate with less of a laxative effect.
  • Magnesium gluconate. It comes from magnesium salt of gluconic acid. According to rats’ study, this supplement has the highest absorption rate among all other types of magnesium supplements.
  • Magnesium oxide. This supplement has the highest amount of elemental (or actual) magnesium per weight. Unfortunately, it’s poorly absorbed. Magnesium oxide is insoluble in water, making the absorption rate low.
  • Magnesium Citrate. It’s a combination of magnesium in salt form with citric acid. Magnesium citrate is highly soluble in water; thus, it’s absorbed relatively well by the body. You can acquire it in pill form but also commonly used as a saline laxative before major surgery or colonoscopy.
  • Magnesium chloride. Like magnesium gluconate and citrate, magnesium chloride is found to be well absorbed by the body. It’s also found as an oil which can be applied topically, however, further studies are required to show how magnesium in this form is absorbed through the skin.
  • Magnesium hydroxide. This form is also known as milk of magnesia and is commonly used as a laxative to treat constipation and heartburn.
  • Magnesium aspartame. This is another kind of magnesium supplement that is highly absorbable by the body.

Possible Side Effects of Magnesium Supplementation

The U.S based National Academy of Medicine advices not to exceed 350 mg of magnesium supplement per day. In case you’re taking a daily magnesium supplement that provides more than 350 mg, it’s recommended you speak to your doctor first. Although magnesium toxicity is rare, high intake of certain magnesium supplements may cause diarrhea, accompanied by nausea and abdominal cramping. Magnesium supplements can also interact with medications including antibiotics and diuretics.


Magnesium is essential for many functions in the body including energy metabolism and protein synthesis. Also, it contributes to proper brain function, bone health and heart, and muscle activity. The RDA for magnesium is 310 -420 mg for adults. If you require a supplement, the dosage will vary depending on your needs such as sleep and anxiety. For people with sleep and anxiety disorders, they find the supplements effective for daily doses of 125 – 2500 mg. However, this is only consumed after a consultation with your doctor. For very small children, magnesium spray is the recommended type of supplement because it will be easily absorbed by the body.

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