Home / Blog October 06, 2023

7 min read

What is the Best Supplement for Sleep: Magnesium or Melatonin?

There are two natural allies to your search for restorative sleep: magnesium and melatonin. Read to find out how you can combine these supplements as a safe and effective pathway for the best relaxation and sleep.

What is the Best Supplement for Sleep: Magnesium or Melatonin?


Magnesium and melatonin work harmoniously with the body's natural sleep processes, providing a safe and effective solution for sleep troubles.

Both magnesium and melatonin supplements are considered safe and less likely to lead to dependency or tolerance compared to sleeping pills.

Whether taken separately or together, these supplements offer a personalized approach to sleep improvement for a holistic and tailored solution to better sleep. 

Did you know?
Magnesium is a crucial component in chlorophyll, the green pigment responsible for photosynthesis in plants!

Have you ever stared at the ceiling counting sheep, when a restful night’s sleep eluded you? If so, you're not alone. Millions of people around the world grapple with sleepless nights and the resulting fatigue that can disrupt their daily lives.

Fortunately, nature offers two potential allies in the battle for better sleep: magnesium and melatonin. In this exploration of sleep-enhancing supplements, we'll delve into the individual benefits of magnesium and melatonin, uncover the differences between them, and ultimately answer a common question: can you take magnesium and melatonin together to unlock the full potential of a peaceful night's rest?

The Benefits of Magnesium for Sleep

First, let's dive into the marvelous world of magnesium and its sleep-enhancing properties. One of the several electrolytes in the body, magnesium is like the unsung hero of the mineral world, often overlooked but immensely vital for your overall health.

When it comes to sleep, magnesium plays a starring role. This is because magnesium is essential for processes throughout the body, such as communication between cells in the nervous system.

Picture this: Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxant. Its presence in your body helps ease tension and calm those restless muscles that might be keeping you up at night. Ever experienced leg cramps or muscle twitches during sleep? Magnesium can help alleviate these nocturnal disruptions.

Moreover, magnesium is a key player in the regulation of your body's internal clock, also known as the circadian rhythm. This rhythm dictates when you feel awake and when you feel sleepy. Magnesium helps keep this rhythm in sync, ensuring you drift off into slumber when the time is right.

If that's not enough, magnesium also works behind the scenes to control stress hormones like cortisol, which, when elevated, can sabotage your peaceful night's rest. In essence, magnesium is your personal sleep superhero, aiding muscle relaxation, regulating your internal sleep clock, and taming those stress-induced sleep-wreckers. Adding a magnesium supplement to your bedtime routine could be your ticket to dreamland.

sleeping with bearaby weighted blanket

The Benefits of Melatonin for Sleep

Now, let's talk about melatonin, the sleep hormone that is the key to your body’s sleep-wake cycle. Chances are, if you've ever battled jet lag or struggled to fall asleep due to a disrupted sleep schedule, you might have tried taking melatonin supplements.

Melatonin is like the conductor of your sleep orchestra. This hormone is naturally produced by your pineal gland when the day transitions into night, signaling to your body that it's time to wind down and prepare for sleep. If your internal melatonin production isn't in sync with your desired sleep schedule, melatonin supplements can come to the rescue. It's like a gentle nudge to your body, guiding it back into harmony with your sleep needs.

Taking melatonin can help reset your internal clock, making it particularly useful for those dealing with jet lag. Jet lag can occur when a person travels across multiple time zones, such as on an intercontinental flight, because their body’s internal clock becomes misaligned with the local day-night cycle; melatonin supplements can potentially help to reset the circadian rhythm.

Melatonin supplements can also help for conditions like delayed sleep phase disorder, a circadian rhythm disorder in which a person’s sleep schedule is shifted later, often by a matter of hours. Low doses of melatonin taken before the desired bedtime can help people with delayed sleep-wake phase disorder adjust their sleep cycle forward.

But here's a crucial point to remember: melatonin isn't a sedative. It won't knock you out like a sleeping pill. Instead, it helps initiate the sleep process, allowing you to fall asleep more easily and naturally. So, if you're seeking a sleep aid that works with your body's sleep-wake cycle, melatonin could be your bedtime buddy.

Melatonin vs Magnesium for Sleep

Now that we've explored the unique sleep-promoting qualities of magnesium and melatonin, you might be wondering which one is right for you. Well, the fantastic news is that it's not an "either-or" situation; these sleep aids can complement each other brilliantly.

Think of magnesium as the foundation for good sleep. It helps relax your muscles, regulates your circadian rhythm, and manages stress hormones. In contrast, melatonin serves as the gentle conductor that starts the sleep symphony. It nudges your body into its natural sleep mode. Magnesium and melatonin taken together can form a powerful duo for a restful night's sleep.

Taking Magnesium and Melatonin Together

So, can you take magnesium and melatonin together? The answer is yes. Magnesium lays the groundwork for relaxation, while melatonin guides you into dreamland. It's like having a full sleep support team by your side.

On the practical side, how can you take both magnesium and melatonin together? You can start by looking for combination supplements that include both magnesium and melatonin, or taking them separately. You can choose the method that works best for you, but taking them separately allows you to tailor the dosage of each supplement to your specific needs.

If you decide to take magnesium and melatonin together for sleep, it is best to start with a small dose of each before gradually increasing the amount over time, especially if you are new to these supplements. For magnesium, a common starting point is around 200-400 milligrams (mg); for melatonin, 1-3 mg is often sufficient. Keep in mind that individual responses vary, so you may need to adjust your dosage over time.

Both supplements should be taken about 30 minutes to an hour before your intended bedtime, so that they can kick in when you’re ready to sleep. Be consistent with your timing to help regulate your circadian rhythm effectively.

If you have any underlying health conditions or are taking other medication, you should consult a medical professional; they can provide personalized recommendations based on your specific needs. You should be careful not to exceed the recommended dosage so that you don’t suffer from any adverse effects from magnesium and melatonin interaction.

Are Magnesium and Melatonin Safe?

Both magnesium and melatonin are generally considered safe when taken as recommended. However, like any supplement or medication, there are side effects of magnesium and melatonin when they interact with other substances. Here's what you need to know:

Magnesium Side Effects: While magnesium is well-tolerated by most people, high doses can lead to gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea. To avoid this, start with a lower dosage and gradually increase it if needed. If you experience any adverse effects, consult your healthcare provider.

Melatonin Side Effects: Melatonin is known for having minimal side effects, which may include dizziness, headache, or daytime drowsiness, although these are relatively rare. It's essential to take melatonin at the recommended dosage and not exceed it.

Interactions: Both magnesium and melatonin can interact with certain medications or medical conditions. If you're taking any medications or have underlying health concerns, seek guidance from a healthcare professional to ensure there are no adverse interactions.

Cotton Weighted Blanket

  2249 Reviews
Cotton Weighted Blanket cta

Dreamy, buttery softness

Calms body & mind for deeper sleep

Hand-knitted huggable comfort

It's Napper Time
Cotton Weighted Blanket cta

Cocoonable, couchworthy perfection

Sleep tips for restful nights

Unveil the secrets to restful sleep and join the Napperhood for a chance to win our perfect weighted blanket, the Cotton Napper. Get expert tips and insights delivered to your inbox.

Cotton Napper cta

Natural Ways to get Magnesium

1. Leafy Greens: Indulge in a variety of leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and Swiss chard. These greens not only provide magnesium but also offer a host of other essential nutrients.

2. Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds are magnesium-rich snacks. Munch on a handful for a satisfying and nutritious treat.

3. Whole Grains: Opt for whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and whole wheat. These grains not only contain magnesium but also provide a good amount of dietary fiber.

4. Avocado: Creamy and delicious, avocados are not only rich in magnesium but also healthy fats and potassium. Add them to salads or spread on toast for a nutrient boost.

5. Dark Chocolate: Good news for chocolate lovers! Dark chocolate with a high cocoa content is a tasty source of magnesium. Just ensure it's in moderation to keep the sugar intake low.

6. Bananas: Besides being a convenient snack, bananas are a good source of magnesium and potassium, making them excellent for muscle function and relaxation.

7. Fatty Fish: Fish like salmon and mackerel are not only rich in omega-3 fatty acids but also provide a decent amount of magnesium. Enjoy them grilled or baked for a healthy meal.

8. Legumes: Beans, lentils, and peas are not only affordable and versatile but also packed with magnesium. They're a great addition to soups, salads, and stews.

9. Tofu: Tofu, made from soybeans, is a fantastic plant-based source of magnesium. Incorporate it into stir-fries or use it as a meat substitute in various dishes.

Natural Ways to get Melatonin

1. Cherries: Cherries are one of the few natural food sources of melatonin. They contain a reasonable amount of melatonin, making them a delicious and healthy bedtime snack.

2. Tomatoes: Tomatoes and products made from them, like tomato juice and ketchup, contain melatonin. Incorporating tomatoes into your evening meal might contribute to your melatonin intake.

3. Grapes: Grapes, especially red grapes, contain melatonin. A handful of grapes or a glass of natural grape juice could be a tasty way to boost melatonin levels.

4. Nuts: Certain nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, and sunflower seeds, contain melatonin. Snacking on a handful of these nuts in the evening can provide a melatonin boost.

5. Fatty Fish: Fish like salmon and tuna contain melatonin, as well as being rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Including these fish in your dinner can provide a double benefit for sleep.

6. Bananas: Bananas contain a small amount of melatonin. They are also a good source of magnesium, making them a well-rounded choice for a bedtime snack.

7. Herbs: Herbs like fenugreek, mustard seed, and fennel seed contain melatonin. While you might not consume them in large quantities, they are sometimes used in cooking and can contribute to your overall melatonin intake.

8. Oats: Oats contain melatonin, making a warm bowl of oatmeal a comforting and potentially sleep-inducing choice before bed.

wrapping up with bearaby napper

Why Not Sleeping Pills as Sleep Aid?

Let's touch on an essential point: the difference between natural sleep aids like magnesium and melatonin and prescription or over-the-counter sleeping pills. Sleeping pills can be effective in the short term, but come with potential risks, including dependency, tolerance, and side effects.

In contrast, research showed that magnesium and melatonin are considered safer and less likely to lead to dependency or tolerance. They work in harmony with your body's natural sleep processes, helping you fall asleep more naturally.

Addressing the root causes of sleep issues, such as stress or poor sleep hygiene, is crucial for long-term sleep improvement. Natural sleep aids like magnesium and melatonin can be part of a holistic approach to better sleep.

The Best Supplement for Sleep

In the world of supplements for sleep, it's not a competition between finding the better one magnesium and melatonin; it's about finding the right balance for your unique sleep needs. Some individuals benefit from both, while others find relief with one or the other.

The best approach is to start with one supplement at a time, monitor your sleep quality, and make adjustments as needed. Remember that improving your sleep often involves a combination of lifestyle changes, sleep hygiene practices, and, if necessary, the support of natural sleep aids like magnesium and melatonin.


In the quest for a good night’s sleep, if you have wondered what vitamins should I take at night? You should consider magnesium and melatonin as one of the best vitamins for sleep, for they are natural, safe, and effective options. While magnesium sets the stage by promoting muscle relaxation and regulating your body's internal clock, melatonin steps in as the conductor, guiding you into restful slumber. Together, they create a harmonious sleep environment that can provide restorative sleep for you.