Do you ever find yourself tossing and turning through the night struggling to doze off? It’s no secret that getting a good night’s rest is important and when we don’t get enough sleep our health can really suffer. But, do we actually know how much our diet can impact our sleep quality and if so, is there anything in particular that can help?
If you believe what is written in the media, the mineral magnesium can be of benefit in helping you get some much needed shut-eye, but how true is this and is magnesium really the answer to a good night’s sleep?
The basics: What is magnesium?
Let's go back to basics. Magnesium is a naturally occurring mineral that contributes to normal muscle function and helps maintain normal nerve & psychological functions within the body. Whilst magnesium is not produced by our bodies, it can be taken through consuming a healthy balanced diet to meet and maintain the recommended daily requirements including consumption through foods such as whole grain cereals, leafy green vegetables, nuts and seeds. 1
How much magnesium do I need?
Eating a variety of foods will help you meet and maintain your daily requirements as well as providing you with other essential vitamins and minerals. According to the NHS Website the recommended daily allowance of magnesium is 270mg a day for a woman (19-64 years) & 300mg a day for men (19-64 years). 2 It is important to understand that a healthy balanced diet should provide all the Magnesium you need however, if you sometimes struggle to eat a healthy balanced diet because you lead a busy lifestyle, that’s where a supplement can come in.
What are the benefits of magnesium in the body?
Naturally presented in the many foods we consume, magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It helps to maintain normal nerve function, supports a healthy immune system, keeps the heartbeat steady, and helps bones remain strong. It also helps adjust blood glucose levels and the production of energy and protein. 3
In addition to the key functions that fuels our body's cells, it comes as no surprise that getting your recommended daily intake of magnesium can contribute to many other impressive health benefits such as the health of muscles (including the heart!) and for the transmission of electrical signals throughout the body. 4
What is the link between sleep and magnesium?
Magnesium has previously gained attention from many media sources as having a positive effect on sleep so let's take a look at what the science says! Studies have shown the mineral may effect the parasympathetic nervous system. Ok, so what does this mean in plain English? Well, the parasympathetic nervous system is basically the system responsible for helping the body to become calm and relaxed.
In fact, several further studies have shown certain minerals including magnesium are natural sleep aids. Past research including a 2012 study has found that magnesium can also contribute to helping elderly people fall asleep better and improve their sleep duration.
So, can magnesium really help me sleep or is it a myth?
If you choose to take magnesium to encourage a good night’s sleep, it certainly can’t hurt although, the research that's been done to date still doesn't tell us exactly how Magnesium helps us sleep. What we DO know is getting the daily reference intake contributes to normal energy yielding metabolism AND a reduction in tiredness and fatigue.
We always suggest speaking to your doctor if you are planning on taking any new supplements to support your health and wellbeing. VÖOST Effervescent Magnesium is now available to buy from Superdrug and Boots.