What is Magnesium?

What is Magnesium?

PreSleep: Intro to Magnesium

Magnesium is a trace mineral that comes from diet and is involved in over 40% of enzymes. It’s one of the main forms of energy in every process of the body.

Magnesium is used in more than 3,000+ different enzymes and proteins, not the 325 processes that’s constantly spewed on the internet. We'll go over these in a more in depth article on magnesium for sleep and other dietary supplements.

These enzymes are critical in preventing inflammation and regulating core processes in the body like sleeping and muscle recovery. 

Sleep experts claim most Americans have a magnesium deficiency due to a poor diet. Some studies estimate up to 60% are not getting enough magnesium due to high grain diets and lack of leafy greens.

Magnesium may be one of the most slept on minerals today pun intended.

High Level Overview on Magnesium

At a very high level, magnesium regulates GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) in the brain.

Gamma-aminobutyric acid is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that helps to reduce the activity in neurons to promote relaxation. This is why magnesium is so good for sleep because it promotes muscle relaxation and reduces anxiety.

Brain functions

Magnesium works hard to help you sleep but also has many other health benefits:

  • Regulates blood pressure
  • Relax muscles
  • Improves insulin sensitivity
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Supports heart health
  • Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Supports muscle and nerve function
  • Reduce anxiety and improves mental health
  • Calms central nervous system

More research is needed on magnesium for health benefits but if you're not getting enough sleep you should try magnesium for sleep.

Best Types of Magnesium

Contrary to advice on the internet all types of magnesium cross the blood-brain barrier. When pure magnesium ions interact with hydrochloric acid in the stomach into magnesium chloride.

Meaning all oral magnesium supplementation can and will pass through the blood-brain barrier. Taking magnesium is important for getting more sleep, relieving stress, and to reduce anxiety.

It's important to take 2 - 6 different types of magnesium to fully support and saturate the body. Ultimately, magnesium chloride is the tissue salt that ALL oral magnesium forms are converted into.

Magnesium Chloride

Magnesium chloride is magnesium salt, which can be administered orally and topically. It's great for muscle relaxation.

It’s most frequently used as a skin cream or a salve to be applied topically for sore muscles. Topical magnesium is great to relax muscles because it can be applied directly to the problem area. Similar to epsom salts (a different form of magnesium).

If you apply the back of the neck and head it can directly carry magnesium into the brain stem and calm the nervous system.

Magnesium Glycinate For Sleep

Magnesium glycinate is formed from the mineral magnesium and the amino acid glycine.

Magnesium glycinate is best used as a sleep aid. This isn't something you should be taking with breakfast to start your day.

Why is magnesium glycinate best used as a sleep aid?

Taking magnesium glycinate helps people fall asleep because it is easily absorbed and has calming properties. Magnesium glycinate helps relax muscles and calm the nervous system, a pretty good combo to fall asleep.

Another cool thing is when paired with l-theanine the combination activates brain waste removal during sleep.

It’s shown to calm the nervous system and help with insomnia. Many people who take magnesium glycinate before bed report vivid dreams in addition to falling and staying asleep.

How does glycine make dreams clearer?

Glycine may enhance the activity of the neurotransmitter responsible for REM sleep.

Magnesium Threonate

Magnesium threonate is heavily marketed as the only type of magnesium that is able to cross the blood-brain barrier but this is false.

Taking magnesium threonate is useful as a nootropic though since it promotes clearer focus during the day time.

Magnesium sulfate

Taking magnesium sulfate is excellent for detox and skin health.

This type of magnesium(epsom salt) should not be consumed, it's best suited for warm baths to promote muscle relaxation and absorption of magnesium.

Magnesium Citrate

Magnesium citrate is similar to magnesium oxide. Not the best but helpful when paired together with another form of magnesium.

Citrate goes into the citric acid cycle or energy production. Lowest bioavailability, best avoided due to magnesium citrate’s negative impact on ceruloplasmin enzyme activity, fatigue relief, anti-constipation

The Worst Magnesium is Magnesium Oxide

Magnesium Oxide is essentially magnesium rust. Rust isn’t something we should consume and absorb into our bodies. Second to lowest on bioavailability but only useful when paired with another form of magnesium. Magnesium oxide works well for sleep if used with other forms of magnesium.

May be a hot take amongst some sleep experts but it is our opinion.

Magnesium Combats Inflammatory Issues

Magnesium is the first line of defense against an inflammatory diet and environment.

Inflammation is a natural process to help prevent our body from harm but when it’s non-stop it can be painful. In general, chronic inflammation is linked to diseases like diabetes, Alzheimer's, high blood pressure, cancer, and heart disease

Studies have shown oral magnesium supplementation can reduce levels in c-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin 6 (IL6), having a shielding effect against inflammation. Especially in older adults.

Why Does reducing CRP and IL6 levels matter? High levels of CRP present an elevated risk of heart disease. Meanwhile, high levels of IL6 show strong risk of cancer. 

It's depleted on a daily basis so it's best to have a high protein diet with leafy green vegetables and exercise regularly. If magnesium levels are still low, you may want to consider a magnesium supplement.

Problems with Magnesium Deficiency

If you are magnesium deficient, you may suffer from the following:

  • High blood pressure
  • Elevated risk of cardiac arrest
  • Sleep apnea & other sleep disorders
  • Depression symptoms
  • Poor sleep
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Poor blood sugar
  • Impaired kidney function
  • Problems with cardiovascular system

Being in a magnesium deficit is not good for your sleep cycles and can give you health conditions. Taking magnesium supplements will help you sleep and improve symptoms.

If you are eating green leafy vegetables, exercising regularly, and still having trouble falling asleep, you may want to consider magnesium supplements. Plus eating green leafy vegetables and working out is a great way to mitigate your risk of cardiac arrest and other health conditions.

Can you take too much magnesium?

Yes. Magnesium toxicity does happen but it is rare. It requires you to take excess magnesium daily.

How much magnesium you take is up to your recommended dietary allowance by age group and gender.

Symptoms of taking too much magnesium could result in an upset stomach, diarrhea, and other complications.

Magnesium Supplements: How Much Magnesium Should I Take For Sleep?

Magnesium supplementation is great for those who have low magnesium levels.

To raise magnesium levels, most sleep experts recommend 200-400 mg of magnesium per day as a dietary supplement.

Ideally, we believe 400 mg of magnesium in the morning and 400 mg of magnesium in the evening before bed to maintain optimal magnesium levels.

Benefits of Magnesium Supplementation

We take a more nuanced approach, since magnesium depletion occurs on a daily basis it’s better to be supplemented with excess magnesium.

We hold the belief that excess magnesium is great as long as you're not taking too much magnesium to the point of magnesium toxicity.

What foods are high in magnesium?

magnesium rich foods

It is good to have magnesium in the diet but sometimes magnesium supplements are necessary. Since Americans have too much whole grains in their diets and not enough leafy green vegetables their diet has low magnesium intake.

Unless there is a medical diagnosis of magnesium deficiency, it is not necessary that one seeks supplemental medications.

It's also important to add certain foods into your diet like:

  • Almonds and other nuts
  • Eggs
  • Spinach
  • Beans
  • Peanut butter
  • Avocados
  • Bananas

Taking dietary supplements may help to reduce the need for dairy. If your food is high in sugar and whole grains, you may want to talk to your doctor about taking a magnesium supplement.

Magnesium Helps You Fall Asleep

Woman sleeping

Assuming this article didn’t put you to bed already, magnesium supplementation is more than capable of that too. Magnesium supplementation is capable of insomnia treatment and other sleep disorders, especially in older adults.

Magnesium plays a key role in regulation and production of melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone secreted in the pineal gland, it's responsible for the body’s sleep cycle. Melatonin helps you fall asleep too but is more of a band aid than a long term solution.

Melatonin is available as a pill for sleep medicine but research shows magnesium may be a better candidate in the long run.

Not only does magnesium help with reducing inflammation, it also reduces stress and helps you fall asleep at night.

How long before bed should you take magnesium?

Research shows it's best to take magnesium before bedtime. We've found it's best to consume PreSleep 30 minutes to an hour before bed.

Like most sleep aids, they're a band-aid for the actual underlying health problems. Having magnesium supplements can improve sleep quality but you must have proper sleep habits.

Forming proper sleep habits will help you get more sleep than a sleep supplement or magnesium tablet ever could.

PreSleep: Using Magnesium For Sleep Quality

If you’re looking for a deep interrupted sleep free of sleep disturbances, or magnesium deficiency we recommend our sleep potion PreSleep. Magnesium supplements are great for treating magnesium deficiency.

Presleep being mixed into water

PreSleep, a blend of minerals and amino acids, contains 400mg of magnesium, 3g of glycine, 400 mg of l-theanine, and 30 mg of zinc. Quite similar to Andrew Huberman's sleep cocktail.

PreSleep helps you fall asleep, stay asleep, and calms your nervous system in preparation for sleep. PreSleep gives you all the benefits of a magnesium supplement but it's the other essential minerals and amino acids that maximizes their use for sleep.

Of course, you can take magnesium tablets or other supplements in pill form but we find if you take it in liquid form it’s fast acting compared to swallowing a pill.

Simply put we’re fueling your body with what it needs for sleep and tackling the next day ahead. The best sleep of your life is backed by scientific research.

Medical Disclaimer: None of this is medical advice, for more information check out the national sleep foundation.

We're not doctors, we're passionate about getting you the best sleep we can. Magnesium supplementation is safe when under supervision by a primary physician.

If you're considering using magnesium, dietary supplements, or any other product as sleep aids, please consult a doctor.

Back to blog