fbpx

Formulated and designed in the UK | Free UK delivery on orders over £25 | Become an Altru Member to save 15%

Please be aware that Royal Mail strikes may affect delivery timescales when they occur.

Feel better with Altruvita.

Our expert team have designed the highest quality combination and single ingredient food supplements, based on the latest scientific evidence.

View the range

What’s the truth about magnesium and sleep?

You may have read in the past that taking a magnesium supplement can help aid a more restful night in the land of nod, but is there any truth in this?

We know that magnesium contributes to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue, and is required for normal psychological function and the normal functioning of the nervous system.* But does it do this by increasing the amount or quality of our sleep? The answer to this may be complex.

You may know that any kind of inflammation is not a good thing, especially when it continues chronically. It involves swollen tissue and the release of inflammatory markers leading to a state called ‘inflammatory stress’. For example, someone who has an inflamed skin condition, or gum disease. One factor that may increase inflammatory stress is disrupted sleep/sleep deprivation. Inadequate sleep duration has been associated with increases in several inflammatory biomarkers including plasma C-reactive protein (CRP). Sleep quality also has been associated with increased morning concentrations of inflammatory biomarkers IL-6 in healthy adults, elderly women and spousal Alzheimer’s caregivers. Higher circulating levels of IL-1β have been seen in women, but not men. Magnesium intake has been found to be inversely related to elevated circulating CRP concentrations, a marker of acute stress to the body. Thus, subclinical magnesium deficiency through exacerbating a low grade inflammation could be a factor in sleep disruption or deprivation. The possibility that magnesium deprivation affects sleep quality is supported by a few human and animal studies:

A study found 27 patients with unusual behaviours of the nervous system during sleep (parasomnias) displayed low blood magnesium, and also had nocturnal EEG abnormalities occurring during slow wave sleep.

In a placebo-controlled, randomised cross-over experiment with 12 older patients (aged 60 to 80 years), magnesium supplementation significantly reversed brainwave electroencephalogram (EEG) changes, including decreased slow wave sleep, that occur during aging.

Magnesium treatment of alcohol-dependent patients (who often have magnesium metabolism disturbances), significantly decreased sleep onset latency and improved subjective sleep quality as assessed by the Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index (PSQI).

In rats, magnesium deficiency significantly increased wakefulness at the expense of slow wave sleep; magnesium supplementation restored sleep organization to its original pattern.

In addition to a chronic inflammatory stress relationship, sleep architecture and magnesium may have a biochemical relationship. It has been suggested than magnesium regulates sleep because it is an N-methyl-D-aspartate antagonist and a γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) agonist. Sleep architecture, especially slow wave sleep, apparently is closely associated with the glutamatergic and GABAergic system.

So how do I improve my own sleep?

If you have a poor diet, high intake of alcohol, or any reason to believe you’re not absorbing food properly, and you have poor sleep, it may be worth a trial of a magnesium supplement. You may want to get your blood levels measured first. The nutrient reference value is 375mg per day for magnesium so you, unless you have a proven deficiency you wouldn’t want to go too much higher than this, or for too long.

* EU REGISTERS ON NUTRITION AND HEALTH CLAIMS

Photo by Krista Mangulsone on Unsplash

Tried and tested.

Like what you’ve heard?

Build your regimen today!

Become an Altru Member!

If you love our products and would like to get 15% off bundles of 3 packs at a time, then the Altru Membership is perfect for you!

  • Free to register
  • Gain access to 15% off packs of 3 products*
  • Get notified of member-only discounts throughout the year

*Packs of 3 of the same product only. Does not include mix and match.

Learn more Register here

Recent Blog Posts

Zinc Deficiency Symptoms

21/11/22

We all know that zinc is something our body needs. But, what are the signs and symptoms of Zinc deficiency? And what does it mean? What does zinc do? Zinc is a mineral that is involved in hundreds of chemical reactions within your cells and you can’t live without it. Amongst a variety of roles, […]

Read more
View all

As seen in:

The Guardian logo The Nutrition Network logo The Natural Dispensary logo BANT logo