Many people in the US, and around the world, have had trouble falling and staying asleep. They may experience many restless nights, lying awake in bed. Their mind seems to be very active at night and thoughts seem to keep them awake.
It is important to note that not every sleep aid, whether through a prescription or over the counter (OTC) will work for everyone the same way. Each person’s body chemistry, though similar, may work differently. After reading this, you may want to give it a try if your sleep issues are interfering with your daily life.
There is a growing number of people who do not like to take prescription medications for sleep. They want a sleep aid to help them get to sleep without being addictive or causing unpleasant side effects. Many prefer to use the natural route, where side effects are lessened, if there are any. Also, natural supplements are often also good for the body. They are antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. So, while helping you to sleep, they are benefiting the body in other ways, as well.
One mineral that many take to help them fall asleep is Magnesium Glycinate. People around the US have found that taking this mineral helps to calm the mind and body allowing it sleep.
Perhaps you never heard of magnesium glycinate before and would like to know if there are benefits if you take it, if there are risks or side effects, and dosages that are safe to take. Keep reading to learn more about magnesium glycinate.
According to some studies, between 70 to 90% of the people in the world are magnesium deficient. That’s a huge number, especially since many of these people think they eat a “balanced diet.” Anyone who is magnesium deficient is missing out on several benefits including the ability to help manage pain, reduce digestive issues, and helping support quality sleep. Since so many people are deficient in magnesium, many physicians are now recommending taking a daily magnesium supplement to ensure they get the recommended daily allowance.
Magnesium glycinate is one of the most often recommended supplements for those with magnesium deficiency. Luckily, it is inexpensive, easy to find, and available in different forms – salts, powder, capsules, and topical oils. Magnesium glycinate has a high absorption rate and includes the amino acid glycine, an amino acid known to have calming qualities.
What is magnesium glycinate used for? Magnesium is essential for many bodily functions to work properly. You may develop several health issues if there is a magnesium deficiency. These include, but are not limited to:
- Blood sugar control issues
- Problems with heartbeat rhythm regulation
- An imbalance of nitric oxide in the body
- Protein synthesis issues
- Nerve, muscle, and tissue function problems
- Restless leg syndrome
- Developing mood swings or behavioral disorders
What are some of the benefits of taking a magnesium glycinate supplement? There are many, but a few of the benefits are improvements in pain, sleep, mood, and digestion. The supplements can be used to treat anxiety, insomnia, migraine headaches, and constipation.
Improve magnesium deficiency. The main benefit of taking a magnesium glycinate supplement is that it helps to reverse magnesium deficiency. Magnesium glycinate is the most bioavailable form of magnesium. When treating magnesium deficiency, you are also affecting other areas of the body since magnesium is connected to vitamin D, vitamin K, and calcium. These four nutrients are important for maintaining good health. If you’re deficient in a combination of them could lead to problems with the heart, bone loss, lower immune function, and more. Low magnesium levels are also believed to lead to migraines, epilepsy, chronic pain, and maybe even Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and stroke.
Improve sleep quality. Several medical studies have determined that magnesium supplements, including magnesium glycinate, can decrease leg cramps and muscle spasms, help muscles relax, can reduce anxiety and tension – all common reasons people can’t sleep. Magnesium glycinate may also help reduce the fatigue felt during the day and help improve focus and learning, as well as help retain information better.
In a 2012 clinical trial using 46 elderly adults with insomnia, it was found that adding a magnesium supplement increased sleep efficiency, sleep time, and improved the concentrations of melatonin and renin, both needed to help induce sleep. Taking 500 mg per day also showed to decrease insomnia scores, serum cortisol concentrations (how stressed someone feels), and sleep onset latency.
Reduce depression and anxiety. Magnesium glycinate is often taken to treat anxiety because both magnesium and glycine have a calming effect. When used together, the effects may be more powerful which is why it is often recommended to people who are tense or can’t sleep. Taking this supplement may decrease symptoms related to stress including restlessness, worsened pain, cravings, depression, and more.
There are other benefits to taking magnesium glycinate like helping to treat migraine headaches, being beneficial for those with blood pressure issues, and reducing the symptoms of PMS.
Risks or Side Effects
There aren’t any known risks or side effects for taking a plain magnesium supplement, however, you may experience the side effects if you are taking magnesium glycinate. These side effects may include digestive upset, cramping, and diarrhea. If you take high doses, you may experience irregular heartbeats, confusion, low blood pressure, and low breathing.
Caution is recommended for people with renal/kidney problems who are taking antibiotics. These people should discuss taking magnesium supplements with their physician before taking them. Having a kidney disease may interfere with how the body regulates magnesium levels. If you take supplements, it could be potentially dangerous.
The table below shows the recommended daily allowance for magnesium. These amounts are safe for those listed:
- Infants–6 months: 30 milligrams
- 7–12 months: 75 milligrams
- 1–3 years: 80 milligrams
- 4–8 years: 130 milligrams
- 9–13 years: 240 milligrams
- 14–18 years: 410 milligrams for men; 360 milligrams for women
- 19–30 years: 400 milligrams for men; 310 milligrams for women
- Adults 31 years and older: 420 milligrams for men; 320 milligrams for women
- Pregnant women: 350–360 milligrams
- Women who are breastfeeding: 310–320 milligrams
Since magnesium glycinate has been a subject of study, many have found that 250 to 350 mg per day are effective for reducing restlessness, headaches, and cramp. Doses of 400 to 500 mg can be safely used to treat those with trouble sleeping or anxiety. Very high doses of about 1000 mg have been taken, but only under the supervision of a physician.
Unless you have a known health issue that makes maintaining magnesium levels difficult (like kidney disease/failure), it should be safe to take magnesium glycinate daily. Sticking with doses of no more than 300-400 mg will help prevent side effects. This dosage should be safe if you don’t experience any symptoms like diarrhea.
Best Time to Take
Many people find that the best time to take any magnesium supplement is right before bed. You may also split them by taking ½ a dose in the morning and the remaining dose at night. This will help with absorption. It is important to note, though, that magnesium supplements, including magnesium glycinate, can be taken at any time of day as long it is convenient and easy for you to remember.