If you're looking to use magnesium supplements as a sleep aid, it's best to take them 1 to 2 hours before bedtime. Eating a balanced diet should provide you with enough magnesium, but if you're looking for an extra boost, magnesium supplements may be the answer. However, it's important to note that magnesium supplements are not a substitute for a good sleep routine. Melatonin is a better option for directly affecting your sleep, while magnesium can help you relax before bed.
Studies have suggested that magnesium supplements may be beneficial for better sleep, but the best time to take them and whether they are the right solution for your sleep problems is more complex than it seems. People with a magnesium deficiency may experience muscle contractions and cramps that could disrupt their sleep, so correcting the deficiency should help. Researchers recognize that magnesium plays an important role in regulating sleep, but they don't fully understand the effect of magnesium on sleep behaviors. There are many different forms of magnesium supplements on the market, with oxide, citrate and magnesium chloride being among the most common.
Although excess magnesium from food sources does not pose a health risk to healthy people, high doses of magnesium supplements do carry potential health risks. Some studies have found that people with low magnesium levels may see improved mood and reduced anxiety when they start taking supplements or consuming more dietary sources of magnesium. However, it's important to check with your doctor before taking magnesium supplements, as certain medications may interfere with them. You can take magnesium in the hours before bedtime, as recommended for melatonin, or during the day.
Although you can get magnesium naturally by eating nuts, beans, fish, leafy greens, and whole grains, many people are deficient in magnesium. Magnesium supplements with low bioavailability, such as magnesium oxide, should be avoided to treat sleep problems as they may produce a laxative effect that does not promote sleep. The better absorption of these supplements helps to increase the intake of the supplement which may allow better results in improving sleep and anxiety symptoms.