Improve your Sleep with Magnesium Supplements.

At some time or another, most of us have problems with sleep. For the lucky ones, it might just be a couple of nights when they struggle to get to sleep or they wake up in the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep. For others though, lack of sleep can be a chronic problem.

magnesium supplements to improve sleep

Many of these chronic sufferers try a variety of techniques to improve the quality of their sleep. They will change diet (which often means reducing caffeine intake), they will modify their lifestyle and attempt to incorporate meditation and relaxation techniques and others will resort to prescribed medications.

However, some health care professionals are suggesting that sleep quality can be significantly improved by taking magnesium supplements.

To understand how insufficient dietary magnesium may impact on sleeping patterns, then it is necessary to look at the brain and the nervous systems and how magnesium may impact on them. Studies have shown that magnesium influences the functionality of the GABA receptors of the brain and nervous system (these receptors respond to the gamma-aminobutyric acid neurotransmitter). Without sufficient GABA we can remain 'switched on' and tense and so lie in bed with our minds racing.

There have been alternative arguments put forward why magnesium can help you get the rest you require. One is that it is a necessary mineral for muscle relaxation. During sleep we are still using our muscles as we stretch and move in preparation for the following day's activities. Magnesium (in conjunction with calcium) aids the muscles contraction and relaxation process (magnesium particularly required for the relaxation phase). If there is insufficient magnesium available, then the muscles may not relax fully and one possible outcome is night cramps.

A different aspect for which magnesium may be important is with respect to the management and control of stress. There have been studies that indicate for some population groups, supplementing with magnesium reduced levels of the so-called 'stress hormone' cortisol. In parallel with this, there is some evidence that elevated stress levels themselves may deplete the body of magnesium.

Now the evidence supporting the use of magnesium supplements to improve sleep patterns is not compelling and there are no guarantees that it will be effective for all individual in all circumstances. It is probably better to investigate lifestyle factors such as caffeine (and/or alcohol) intake, activities you do before bed, bedroom lighting, etc first and try to ensure that these are controlled before going to the expense of taking magnesium supplements.

If you have exhausted these external factors then it is certainly worth considering taking some magnesium (maybe in conjunction with calcium). Talking to a suitable health care professional such as your doctor, a naturopath or nutritionist is a recommended course of action and they can suggest what levels of magnesium may be appropriate for you. Also they should be able to point you the right direction for the chemical form of magnesium that would be most suitable for your individual circumstances (eg magnesium citrate,magnesium ascorbate, etc).