3 Things To Look For In A Sleep-Supporting Magnesium Supplement

mbg Senior Sustainability Editor By Emma Loewe
mbg Senior Sustainability Editor
Emma Loewe is the Sustainability Editor at mindbodygreen and the author of "The Spirit Almanac: A Modern Guide To Ancient Self Care."
3 Things To Look For On A Magnesium Supplement To Ensure It'll Help You Sleep

While people have long taken magnesium supplements for immunity and bone health, magnesium is relatively new to the sleep space. Though more human trials still need to be conducted to see exactly how magnesium affects sleep, early research is promising and anecdotal evidence abounds that the mineral supports deeper, more restorative rest when added to a healthy bedtime routine.* If you're curious to try it out yourself (and your doctor is on board), here are three things to look into when choosing a sleep-supporting magnesium supplement:

1. The type.

Many types of magnesium are commonly found in supplement form—each with a different intended purpose and use case. If sleep is what you're after, you'll want to find a product that uses magnesium glycinate—a combination of magnesium and the amino acid glycine, which can help promote sleep by lowering body temperature.* When taken in tandem, magnesium and glycinate seem to help ease insomnia, lengthen sleep time, and regulate the body's internal clock according to preliminary research.*

And while some forms of magnesium are associated with unpleasant side effects like diarrhea, magnesium glycinate is highly absorbable and "has higher bioavailability and is gentle on your stomach, unlike other forms of magnesium," Bindiya Gandhi, M.D., an integrative medicine practitioner, previously told mbg.* The addition of glycine makes it less likely to lead to any digestive discomfort.*

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2. The dose.

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The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends that adults take no more than 350 milligrams of supplemental magnesium per day, in addition to the magnesium that we get from nutrient-dense foods. Staying below this 350-milligram cap can also help avoid any side effects.

mindbodygreen's magnesium+ has 120 milligrams of magnesium glycinate per serving, which we believe is the sweet spot for a pre-sleep supplement.* After conducting four rounds of testing with Thorne, a leading manufacturer of science-backed supplements, this amount was found to hit a sweet spot of promoting rest at night without leaving behind any lingering grogginess the next morning.

3. The ingredients and fillers.

As is the case with food, the fewer additives in a supplement, the better, usually. Check the label to see what kind of binders, fillers, or preservatives the product has, steering clear of potentially harmful adds. While powdered, flavored supplements are the ones that tend to have more wonky ingredients, capsules and tinctures can too. If you see an ingredient on there you're not familiar with, do a quick search online to see its purpose and any potential health risks.

When considering a new supplement, it's also a good idea to look for ones that have gone through multiple rounds of testing and come from a facility that is third-party certified for its quality and testing standards.

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