Magnesium: The mighty mineral for sleep & stress
With busy schedules and a long to-do list, it can be hard to sink into a healthy, restful sleep each night. But sleep is one of the most important factors that contributes to our overall wellbeing. Good sleep helps our bodies rest and reset, reduces stress, and gives us the energy we need for the day ahead.
Sometimes, the reason behind insufficient sleep is that we’re lacking certain nutrients that help us relax. One mineral that plays a role in supporting all of this is magnesium.
What is magnesium?
Magnesium is one of the many essential minerals our bodies need for maintaining optimal health. It’s involved in over 800 enzymatic reactions in the body and plays a major role as a cofactor or helper molecule in a wide range of biochemical processes that happen inside the body.
This multi-tasking mineral helps convert food into energy, creates and repairs DNA and RNA, helps contract and relax our muscles, and much more. Around 60% of the magnesium within us is found in our bones, with the other 40% in muscles, soft tissues, and fluids, including blood.
Magnesium’s role in reducing stress & fatigue
One of magnesium’s significant roles in the body is to regulate our nervous system and help us sleep more soundly. Chronic stress has been associated with low magnesium levels due to an increased elimination of magnesium from the body. This can result in magnesium deficiency, which leads to elevated levels of stress hormones. It’s sort of a vicious cycle – the body expels more magnesium as a result of stress, and stress hormones are released more readily when there are low stores of magnesium in the body. Frequently experiencing stress can delay the onset of sleep, causing anxious thoughts that prevent us from sleeping at night. And this lack of sleep can in turn cause even more stress.
Magnesium keeps our neurotransmitters in check to help manage the communication between our brain, the nervous system, and the endocrine system. Here are some specific processes magnesium is involved in.
Gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a neurotransmitter involved in motor control, vision, and stress regulation. When we have low levels of GABA, our brain feels constantly switched on and we find it difficult to relax.
Magnesium has been shown to regulate GABA activity in the brain. Magnesium ions bind to GABA receptors and stimulate them, slowing down brain activity and reducing the effects of stress and anxiety.
On top of that, some studies link low magnesium levels to childhood attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD). Magnesium can help reduce hyperexcitability in the central nervous system by regulating calcium, potassium, and sodium levels through ion channels in nerve cells and acting as a cofactor for GABA.
Adrenal fatigue & energy metabolism
Magnesium also serves several functions in our endocrine system, through the thyroid and adrenal glands. While the thyroid gland is located under our voice box and is responsible for regulating metabolism, growth and development, the adrenal glands are located on top of our kidneys and play a role in secreting hormones like cortisol and maintaining energy levels. The thyroid and adrenal glands work together as part of the endocrine system to manage stress levels and regulate our sleeping patterns.
Magnesium helps produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is what powers metabolic activities in every cell in our bodies. Without enough magnesium, your body will have a hard time producing ATP, which means you will feel tired and have less energy to function. Magnesium is involved in combating low energy fatigue by metabolizing glucose into available energy, making us feel more energized.
Magnesium also supports adrenal fatigue by regulating our stress hormones. Adrenal fatigue is a term used to describe a combination of symptoms such as body aches, fatigue, nervousness, sleep irregularities, and digestive issues. The official medical term is known as adrenal insufficiency, where your body is overworked and your adrenal glands have a hard time producing hormones that are essential for your overall wellbeing.
Low magnesium levels can be linked to higher anxiety levels because of magnesium’s role in our nervous systems. Since it helps regulate the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, it controls the glands that are responsible for an individual’s response to stress and helps fight adrenal fatigue.
Sleep & melatonin production
Melatonin is our body’s natural sleep hormone that helps control sleep and wake cycles. It’s released when the circadian rhythm or the body’s internal clock recognizes that you’re approaching bedtime, signalled by decreased daylight.
Magnesium is involved in the production of this important hormone and plays a role in the quality of our sleep. In fact, magnesium has been used as a natural remedy to help support insomnia.
While melatonin regulates sleep patterns, magnesium helps the body relax and wind down, in addition to helping produce melatonin. They both work together to improve your quality of sleep. Magnesium also helps reduce tension in your muscles and is often used as a remedy for restless leg syndrome, a condition that often shows its symptoms at night and can lead to insomnia in some individuals.
Dietary sources of magnesium
If you’re having trouble sleeping or dealing with chronic stress, try including more magnesium-rich foods in your diet to start. There are many foods with high levels of magnesium – almonds, dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, soybeans, peanut butter, and nuts and seeds are some great examples. However, modern foods tend to have less magnesium because of nutrient depletion in the soil that these foods are grown in, making supplementation a more surefire way to get your daily dose.
If you’re looking for a magnesium supplement that’s gentle on the bowels, this supplement offers a potent, therapeutic dose of 200mg of pure elemental magnesium in a form known for its superior absorption. It contains as much as 20% more elemental magnesium than other magnesium supplements.
If you’re struggling to get quality sleep, this formula is specifically designed to help you relax, reset your circadian rhythm or internal biological clock, and get better sleep. It contains 125mg of magnesium bis-glycinate, 100mg of GABA, and 2.5mg of melatonin to act as a natural sleep aid. It also helps reduce the time needed to fall asleep for people with delayed sleep phase disorder.
Magnesium is one powerful mineral that our bodies need to function optimally and stay in great health. Without enough magnesium in our system, we wouldn’t be able to combat stress and get restful sleep. Don’t let low levels of magnesium stop you from being energized and feeling rejuvenated!
- 12 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Magnesium
- Why do we need magnesium?
- Precious metals and other important minerals for health
- How to tell if stress is affecting your sleep
- How does the thyroid gland work?
- 10 Ways Thyroid Patients Can Beat Adrenal Fatigue
- The Benefits of Magnesium for Adrenal Fatigue, Heart Health, and General Wellbeing
- Adrenal fatigue: What causes it?