Get More Magnesium

The first time I took a magnesium supplement before bed I couldn’t believe it. The sleep was almost too good! I woke up feeling deeply rested and all of my muscles felt wonderfully relaxed. Magnesium doesn’t really put you to sleep – it helps you relax so you can get to sleep more easily. It is one of the most commonly deficient minerals, tied closely with Vitamin D. In fact, Magnesium and Vitamin D are the two supplements doctors recommend most often. It has few negative side effects if you take too much, but the effects of not taking enough are massive. It has a range of benefits that help with anxiety, depression, and most importantly for us, sleep quality.

Which Foods Have Magnesium

Magnesium is found naturally in dark leafy vegetables, beans, seeds, and nuts, as well as many sources of spring water. It’s not found in your tap water. Magnesium is leached from our bodies by things like alcohol, coffee, salt, and sodas. To get the FDA recommended allowance each day, an adult male would have to eat at least 17 cups of raw spinach, or 13 cups for a female. Most of us aren’t eating that many vegetables so it’s not hard to see why the modern homo sapien might be magnesium deficient.

The Best Way To Take Magnesium

A good supplemental dose for Magnesium is 400-500 mg. Magnesium supplements come in a plethora of forms, so the choices can be overwhelming. I like the Natural Calm brand, which you mix with hot water to make a tea before bed. It tastes great and it’s a nice way to wind down in the evening. In fact, it’s an important part of my nightly sleep ritual.

 

The three best magnesium supplements I’ve found:

 

At the health food stores, look for any magnesium that ends in “ate,” which are the most bioavailable. Magnesium Citrate, Magnesium Aspartate, Magnesium Malate, or other similar formulas. Magnesium Citrate is the most common and works great. Many brands are mixed with Calcium, Vitamin D, Potassium and other minerals. This is probably good too – I just don’t know enough about the many permutations to offer any substantial advice.
Finally, Magnesium expert Andrew McVagh notes that not all magnesium supplements are created equally and they wont all work the same way for your body. The best way to find what works for you is to experiment. Natural Calm brand magnesium is well known and very well reviewed, so that’s a good place to start. It’s made of Magnesium Citrate, so after you get through a bottle of Natural Calm, you could try another form like Magnesium Malate or Magnesium Glycinate. Magnesium Oxidate is the least expensive and generally thought to be the hardest to absorb, but some people report great results with it as well.

Make a Change:

Try 400 mg of Natural Calm two hours before bed for two weeks.

References and Additional Resources http://examine.com/supplements/magnesium/ – an exhaustive listing of research behind magnesium http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11425281 – magnesium affects everything! http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6527092 – Magnesium lowers the stress hormone cortisol. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23853635 – We get less sleep as we get older – Magnesium can help http://www.mymagnesiumdeficiency.info/best-magnesium-supplement/ – Good explanation of the varieties of magnesium.
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