How to Pick the Best Magnesium Supplements for Sleep

It’s arguable to say that the early bird catches the worm since we also say that everything comes to those who wait. The position you’ll take will be relative to your previous experience. However, sleep is non-negotiable, and yet 70 million Americans are facing chronic sleep problems

There can be many ways to try and grapple with lack of sleep, and while some will go straight for melatonin supplements, there are other vitamins and minerals—and you guessed that right—magnesium is one of them.

Though there’s a lack of definitive, large, randomized trials that investigate the inner workings of how magnesium helps with sleep, research has found that magnesium can help improve sleep quality and people are reaching for it to help get those much-needed extra hours of sleep 

Today we explore the forms of the best magnesium for sleep as well as help you pick magnesium supplements that will bring you desirable results if, for you, undisturbed sleep is few and far between. 

But first, let’s get to the basics and dive right in.  

Does Magnesium Help With Sleep—Yes or No? 

Magnesium can help you get some restful sleep. According to preliminary research, using this nutrient in the form of a supplement is said to improve sleep quality as well as treat sleep disorders. Not only that, magnesium can reduce sleep latency—the time needed for you to fall asleep. [1

Furthermore, your vitamin and mineral status is essential in maintaining sleep quality. According to a 2020 study examining healthy young women, magnesium is a key player for maintaining restorative sleep, alongside other nutrients such as iron, zinc, copper, and vitamin B2. [2]

Scientists have found that magnesium exerts certain sleep-inducing effects via interacting with certain neurotransmitters on the surface of brain cells which enable it to quiet down brain cell activity. 

And it gets more interesting. Researchers have found magnesium interacts with a specific brain receptor called the benzodiazepine receptor. It’s the same receptor targeted by sleep medication Ambien as well as Valium-type drugs.

To boot, magnesium is widely known to relax muscles and it can help boost levels of melatonin—the hormone responsible for regulating the times when we fall asleep and wake up—or the so-called circadian rhythm. [3

Which Magnesium Is Best for Sleep? 

So, among the amalgam of different magnesium types, how do you know which magnesium is most likely to give you a restful sleep? Magnesium glycinate is touted as the best form of magnesium for sleep, exerting a double effect by relaxing both your nervous system and your muscles.

This form of magnesium is formed from elemental magnesium and the amino acid glycine. Interestingly, the glycine part of the compound is found to have beneficial effects on sleep in and of itself, aside from promoting different neurological functions. [4] In addition, magnesium glycinate also happens to be among the most bioavailable magnesium forms. 

Further on, the Cleveland Clinic cites magnesium glycinate and magnesium citrate as the best types of magnesium for sleep. [5

According to the same source, magnesium oxide is ill-advised and described as a form of magnesium suited for those looking for a stool softener, rather than a treatment for insomnia. 

Other sources suggest looking for combined formulas if you want to get even better effects on your sleeping patterns.  
That said, what specific brands and supplements should you look into? We’ve handpicked a few and here’s a breakdown for you to have at hand. 

A Breakdown of the Best Magnesium Supplement Brands

1. Pure Encapsulations Magnesium Chelate Glycinate

Pure Encapsulations Magnesium Glycinate is a good option for those seeking to get a full night’s sleep and wake up energized and invigorated. As mentioned earlier, magnesium glycinate is touted as the best magnesium supplement for sleep, acting by both calming your nervous system and your muscles. 

This goes to show why magnesium glycinate is so commonly featured in different supplements intended as sleep aids. 

Importantly, magnesium glycinate is a highly bioavailable magnesium chelate and as such works to enhance proper physiological functions as well as aid the utilization of many essential nutrients. These nutrients include calcium, phosphorus, and potassium, among the minerals, and vitamin C, and vitamin E and B-complex vitamins, among the vitamins. 

In addition, magnesium glycinate is less likely to cause loose stools when compared to other forms of magnesium. Pure Encapsulations Magnesium Glycinate box contains 90 vegetarian-friendly gluten-free, non-GMO, hypoallergenic capsules, which make for a month and a half worth of magnesium supplementation. 

Also, this Pure Encapsulations supplement is manufactured using strict quality standards and is registered by NSF International.

2. NutriDyn Magnesium Citrate 

NutriDyn Magnesium Citrate is a go-to magnesium supplement for those seeking to support their overall health and get a good night’s sleep. 

Magnesium supplementation in the chelated citrate form is suitable for those looking to treat magnesium deficiency as magnesium citrate can help restore a healthy magnesium status in adults

As a highly bioavailable magnesium form, magnesium citrate will be better absorbed in your body so you can rake in all the benefits that come from taking magnesium supplementation. 

Choosing a highly bioavailable form will help you support all magnesium-dependent functions in your body. And that’s not all. The calcium citrate will increase the absorption rate even more so you can make use of the magnesium you’re taking through supplementation

Magnesium citrate and calcium citrate put together will enhance your muscle function, improve bone mineralization, and support healthy neurotransmission. 

NutriDyn Magnesium Citrate contains 300 mg of magnesium in one capsule which makes for 71% of the recommended daily magnesium intake and it comes with a reasonable price tag. This supplement comes from a well-established brand that ensures all their supplements have been third-party-tested. 

3. Pharmax Magnesium Malate 

Magnesium Malate from Pharmax is another option if you want to give your body the optimal health support it needs. It’s also worth your consideration if you want to get some extra shuteye as magnesium malate is another magnesium form known for potential sleep-inducing properties. 

Magnesium malate combines magnesium with malic acid, which is known to be involved in cellular energy production. When paired with magnesium’s ability to relieve fatigue and promote muscle relaxation, this function will aid your overall psycho-physical status and support better sleep.

Magnesium malate is also probably one of the best magnesium supplement forms if other magnesium supplements are causing you digestive issues. Alongside magnesium orotate, magnesium malate is a form of magnesium that is gentler on the stomach

Magnesium Malate from Pharmax delivers 125 mg of magnesium in every easy-to-swallow capsule. Pharmax ensures product quality and regulatory compliance through continuous investments in product quality and regular HA inspections.  

4. Nordic Naturals Magnesium Complex 

Nordic Naturals Magnesium Complex is designed to support your cellular and metabolic health, promote normal muscle activity, improve relaxation, and enhance sleep. This blend of highly absorbable magnesium chelates—magnesium glycinate, magnesium aspartate, and magnesium taurinate—allows for maximum absorption and bioavailability. 

Nordic Naturals Magnesium Complex provides you with multiple benefits. Magnesium aspartate can help prevent and treat magnesium deficiency, taurate helps with muscle cramps and recovery and glycinate promotes restful sleep

With 90 highly absorbable capsules containing 225 mg of magnesium, the Nordic Naturals Magnesium Complex will keep your magnesium needs covered for one month. Plus you can be sure you’re getting quality consistency as Nordic Naturals test their supplements with certified laboratories to verify purity, potency, and freshness.

What to Look For In a Good Magnesium Supplement for Sleep?

Having reviewed some possible options in the niche of sleep-friendly magnesium supplements, let’s focus on considerations you need to factor in so you can narrow down your choice.  

So how do you find a magnesium supplement that will truly help you move the needle when it comes to sleep quality? The criteria below will help you single out those supplements that qualify. 

  • Formulation. There are different forms of magnesium available on the market and not all will help you get a good night’s rest. Instead, look for magnesium glycinate, citrate, or malate as these forms are recognized as the best types of magnesium for sleep. 
  • Absorption rate. The more bioavailable a magnesium supplement is the more benefits you can extract from it, including the improved sleep benefit. Chelated forms of magnesium that boast higher bioavailability are also less likely to give you side effects. 
  • Allergens. For those having different dietary restrictions or food allergies, make sure to check the label for products that are gluten-free, vegan, non-GMO etc. 
  • Fillers. Inspect the supplement ingredient label to check for fillers, preservatives, and artificial ingredients.
  • Third-party testing. Opt for companies that make sure their supplements undergo third-party testing. This testing ensures only the best ingredients go into your supplements. In addition, with third-party tested supplements you’ll be rest assured knowing the supplement contains the actual ingredients and doses listed on the label.
  • Certifications. For another level of reassurance, pick supplements that have been certified by organizations like USP or NSF International which ensure high levels of quality control.

FAQs 

What Are the Signs of Low Magnesium?

So, how do you know low magnesium levels may be causing your sleep disturbances? Some of the most typical symptoms of magnesium deficiency include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, weakness, and appetite loss.

More severe magnesium deficiency signs include muscle contractions, muscle cramps, numbness, seizures, and more. For more magnesium deficiency symptoms check the video below and touch base with your doctor to get to the bottom of what’s causing your sleep problems. 

Is It Safe to Take Magnesium Every Day?

It’s generally safe to take magnesium supplements as long as you’re taking dosages that fall within the recommended threshold. Bear in mind that taking more than 350 milligrams daily can give you side effects, such as diarrhea, nausea, and stomach cramps.

To make sure you’re using your magnesium for sleep for best effect, take it about 30 minutes before bedtime. [6] Taken as instructed makes it more likely to promote relaxation and sleep.

If you’re taking prescription drugs, don’t take a magnesium supplement without first consulting your doctor, as magnesium can interact with other drugs. 

The Bottom Line 

Sleep makes for an essential piece of the puzzle that affects your overall health and keeping your magnesium levels in check can help you get closer to a good night’s sleep. 

At the end of the day, choosing the right magnesium supplement will make or break your chances at success, and we hope the content above has nudged you in the right direction.  

Still haven’t found the best magnesium for sleep that will suit your particular needs? Don’t hesitate to touch base with us. Everything we do at Simply Nutrients is centered around customer wellness and satisfaction. We dedicate ourselves to every one of our customers. Drop us a line and we’ll help you make the right choice. 

Want to stay in the know regarding your sleep habits and overall health? Check out our related articles: 

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Resources 

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6212970/

[2] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32682178/

[3] https://academic.oup.com/sleep/article/45/4/zsab276/6432454?login=false

[4] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28337245/

[5] https://health.clevelandclinic.org/does-magnesium-help-you-sleep

[6] https://health.clevelandclinic.org/does-magnesium-help-you-sleep

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Medically reviewed by Dr. Jamy Antoine, D.C. — by Chris Bowman — On February 1, 2024

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Chris Bowman

Chris Bowman is the CEO and Co-Founder of SimplyNutrients.com and has over 15 years of experience in nutritional sciences and wellness. Simply Nutrients is a part of Dr. Jamy Antoine's Select Health Practice in Edina, Minnesota. Chris is passionate about helping people live healthier lives by using the best practices of nature, nutrition, and medicine.