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Magnesium and Melatonin for Sleep

Sleep is essential for overall health and well-being. Yet, many people struggle with getting adequate and restful sleep. 1 in 3 adults do not regularly get the uninterrupted sleep they need to safeguard their health. While many turn to lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise, supplements such as magnesium and melatonin have gained popularity for their potential to improve sleep quality and duration.

We’ll explore the benefits of using magnesium and melatonin supplements for sleep improvement, with a focus on magnesium glycinate and its health effects compared to other forms of magnesium. As healthcare professionals, understanding the science behind these supplements and their potential benefits can help us better support our patients in achieving healthy and restful sleep.

Magnesium and Sleep

Although magnesium isn’t as synonymous with sleep as melatonin is, many studies have demonstrated a link between sleep quality and sleep duration. Magnesium is an essential mineral and electrolyte (a type of mineral) that plays a primary role in many bodily functions, including muscle and nerve function, energy production, maintaining blood pressure, and bone health.

There are several different forms of magnesium supplements on the market, each with different properties and purposes. For example, magnesium citrate is known for its laxative properties, making it useful for constipation relief. On the other hand, magnesium oxide is less absorbed by the body and is often used for treating heartburn and indigestion.

The most bioavailable and well-tolerated form of magnesium is magnesium glycinate. Not only is it absorbed more efficiently and has a lower risk of causing digestive issues, but it has also been shown to have unique health benefits, particularly for sleep improvement.

A study published in the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences found that magnesium supplementation improved sleep quality in elderly individuals with insomnia. Nearly 50% of older adults have insomnia, and magnesium supplementation can work to improve subjective and objective measures.

Magnesium also has the potential to provide relief for anxiety, which is strongly connected to issues with sleep. Supplementation may stimulate the nervous system’s calming mechanisms to promote healthy and restful sleep.

Melatonin and Sleep

The use of melatonin more than quintupled between 1999 and 2018 in the United States. Melatonin is a hormone naturally produced by the body in response to darkness, and it serves to regulate the sleep-wake cycle. People commonly take melatonin supplements to help people fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer, particularly those with sleep disorders such as insomnia and jet lag.

A systematic review found that melatonin had a significant effect on sleep quality for those with metabolic disorders, respiratory diseases, and sleep disorders. Even for children and adolescents, it is shown to be effective in the short-term treatment of sleep onset insomnia.

The Synergistic Effects of Magnesium and Melatonin in Promoting Sleep

Combining magnesium and melatonin supplements may have synergistic effects on promoting healthy sleep. Magnesium can help regulate the body’s circadian rhythm and promote relaxation, while melatonin plays a crucial role in regulating the sleep-wake cycle. 

When taken together, these supplements may work together to improve sleep quality and duration. As a general guideline, magnesium glycinate supplementation of 270-400 mg daily and melatonin supplementation of 1-5 mg daily are recommended.

Conclusion

As healthcare providers, promoting healthy and restful sleep is key to our patients’ overall well-being. Magnesium and melatonin supplements are two promising options for improving sleep and may have synergistic effects when taken together. 

While supplements can be helpful, it’s always important to consider a holistic approach to sleep health that addresses lifestyle factors and any underlying health conditions.

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