Home / Blog April 03, 2024

8 min read

Which Magnesium Is The Best For Sleep And Anxiety?

In this blog, we discuss five types of magnesium supplements, including which one is the best for improving sleep quality and managing anxiety. We also share potential side effects of magnesium supplementation.

 which magnesium is best for sleep and anxiety


Magnesium glycinate is the best choice for managing anxiety and sleep challenges.

Magnesium helps promote relaxation, therefore supporting healthy sleep patterns.

Supplementing with magnesium can lead to digestive issues and lower blood pressure. 

Did you know?
Magnesium is the eighth most abundant element in the Earth’s crust and the third most abundant element dissolved in seawater. It’s essential for the health of both plants and animals.

Ever wondered if a simple mineral could be the key to unlocking better sleep and relieving anxiety? In this blog, we discuss all-things magnesium and how you can play on the benefits of this nutrient for improved sleep and more relaxed days.

Let’s dive in!

Do Magnesium Supplements Improve Mental Health Or Sleep?

Research shows that magnesium supplements have positive effects on both mental health and sleep. Here’s how:

Mental Health: Magnesium plays a crucial role in regulating neurotransmitters (chemical messengers) involved in mood regulation, such as serotonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Research reported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggests that magnesium deficiency is associated with an increased risk of mood disorders, including anxiety and depression symptoms. Additionally, magnesium has calming effects on the nervous system, helping to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.

Sleep: Magnesium is also involved in the regulation of the sleep-wake cycle and the production of melatonin (the sleep hormone). By supplementing with magnesium, especially forms like magnesium glycinate or magnesium citrate, you can experience improvements in sleep quality, including falling asleep faster, staying asleep longer, and experiencing deeper, more restful sleep.

While magnesium supplements can be beneficial for mental health and sleep, individual responses may vary. Factors such as dosage, form of magnesium, and underlying health conditions influence effectiveness.

So next, let’s examine the different types of magnesium supplements that have been used to tackle sleep challenges.

sleeping with bearaby pink napper

Types of Magnesium Supplements for Sleep Issues

Here are the most commonly recommended forms of magnesium for improving sleep quality:

1. Magnesium Glycinate: This form of magnesium is often preferred for its high bioavailability (how much of a substance your body can actually use after you consume it). Magnesium glycinate is combined with glycine, an amino acid that promotes relaxation, making it particularly beneficial for improving sleep quality and reducing anxiety.

2. Magnesium Citrate: Known for its excellent absorption rate, magnesium citrate can also be helpful for sleep. It has a mild laxative effect, which may be beneficial for people who struggle with constipation as a contributing factor to poor sleep.

3. Magnesium L-Threonate: This form of magnesium has been specifically studied for its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and enhance cognitive function. While research on its effects on sleep is limited, some users report improvements in sleep quality and cognitive function

4. Magnesium Taurate: Magnesium taurate combines magnesium with taurine, an amino acid that supports cardiovascular health and may have calming effects on the nervous system. It’s sometimes recommended for people with heart health concerns who also experience sleep disturbances.

5. Magnesium Oxide: Although magnesium oxide is less bioavailable compared to other forms, it is still commonly used in supplements. It may be more suitable for individuals with adequate stomach acid levels, as it requires acidity for absorption. However, it’s not typically recommended specifically for sleep improvement unless digestive issues are interfering with your ability to fall asleep.

In the next section, we discuss which of these forms of magnesium is the most effective for managing anxiety and sleep-related issues.

Which Magnesium Is The Best For Sleep And Anxiety?

Among different forms of magnesium, magnesium glycinate is often regarded as the best choice for anxiety and sleep. Magnesium glycinate is a chelated form of magnesium combined with glycine, an amino acid known for its calming properties. This combination enhances the absorption of magnesium in the body, allowing it to effectively support relaxation and alleviate anxiety symptoms.

Also, magnesium glycinate has shown promising results in promoting better sleep quality by regulating neurotransmitters involved in the sleep-wake cycle. By supporting healthy levels of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), a neurotransmitter that promotes relaxation, magnesium glycinate can help you achieve deeper and more restful sleep.

Most people wonder whether magnesium glycinate is basically the same as magnesium chelate, so in the next section, let’s compare these two.

Is Magnesium Chelate The Same As Magnesium Glycinate?

Magnesium chelate and magnesium glycinate are not exactly the same, although they are related. Magnesium chelate refers to any form of magnesium that is bound to a chelating agent. Chelation is a chemical process where a metal ion, in this case, magnesium, is bonded to an organic molecule to enhance its absorption in the body.

Magnesium glycinate, on the other hand, is a specific form of magnesium chelate where magnesium is bound to the amino acid glycine. Other common forms of magnesium chelates include magnesium citrate, magnesium malate, and magnesium taurate, just to name a few.

In the next section, we look at the benefits of supplementing with magnesium.

Benefits of Supplementing With Magnesium for Sleep

Here are the advantages of taking magnesium supplements for sleep:

1. Promotes Relaxation: Magnesium plays a crucial role in calming the nervous system by regulating neurotransmitters and inhibiting the release of stress hormones like cortisol. This relaxation effect helps prepare the body and mind for sleep.

2. Supports Healthy Sleep Patterns: Magnesium is involved in the regulation of the sleep-wake cycle and the production of melatonin, the hormone that signals the body to sleep. Supplementing with magnesium can help support the body’s natural circadian rhythms and promote more consistent and restful sleep patterns.

3. Reduces Insomnia Symptoms: Research suggests that magnesium deficiency may contribute to insomnia and other sleep disturbances. By replenishing magnesium levels through supplementation, you may experience improvements in sleep quality, including reduced difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep throughout the night.

4. Enhances Sleep Quality: Magnesium supplementation has been associated with deeper, more restorative sleep. By promoting relaxation of both muscles and the mind, magnesium can facilitate a higher quality of sleep, leading to increased feelings of refreshment and vitality upon waking.

5. Alleviates Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS): Restless Leg Syndrome, characterized by uncomfortable sensations in the legs and an uncontrollable urge to move them, can significantly disrupt sleep. Magnesium supplementation has been shown to alleviate RLS symptoms, allowing for more peaceful and uninterrupted sleep.

Beyond magnesium supplementation, you can also use natural sleep aids as a way to manage anxiety and sleep challenges. Consider a weighted blanket like our Cotton Napper, which is evenly weighted to help you fall asleep faster and feel calmer, naturally. Weighted blankets help with anxiety because they induce the production of serotonin and melatonin while also reducing the production of cortisol, the stress hormone

It is essential to consider natural ways to tackle anxiety because supplementing with magnesium comes with several side effects. Let’s look at some of these in the next section

resting with worlds best weighted blanket

Side Effects From Taking Magnesium for Sleep

Here are potential downsides to be aware of when taking magnesium for sleep: 

1. Digestive Issues: Magnesium supplements can have a laxative effect, particularly magnesium citrate and magnesium oxide. This may cause diarrhea, abdominal cramping, or gastrointestinal discomfort, especially when taken in high doses. Choosing a different form of magnesium, such as magnesium glycinate, may help minimize digestive side effects.

2. Low Blood Pressure: In some cases, magnesium supplementation may cause a drop in blood pressure, especially if you already have low blood pressure or are taking medications to lower blood pressure. Symptoms of low blood pressure include dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting. If you experience these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.

3. Muscle Weakness or Fatigue: While magnesium is essential for muscle function, excessive supplementation can lead to muscle weakness or fatigue. This is more likely to occur with very high doses of magnesium. It’s crucial to follow recommended dosage guidelines and consult with a healthcare professional if you experience muscle-related symptoms.

4. Interaction with Medications: Magnesium supplements may interact with certain medications, including antibiotics, diuretics, and medications for heart conditions. If you are taking any medications, especially on a regular basis, discuss potential interactions with your doctor before starting magnesium supplementation.

5. Allergic Reactions: Although rare, some people may be allergic to magnesium supplements or other ingredients used in their formulation. Allergic reactions include rash, itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing. If you experience any signs of an allergic reaction, discontinue use of the supplement and seek medical attention immediately.

6. Kidney Issues: Individuals with kidney problems or kidney disease may be at risk of magnesium toxicity if their kidneys are unable to excrete excess magnesium effectively. This can lead to symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, weakness, and changes in urine output. People with kidney issues should consult with a healthcare professional before taking any magnesium supplements.

These side effects are relatively uncommon and typically occur with high doses or prolonged use of magnesium supplements.

In the next section, let’s look at the recommended dosage of magnesium supplements for sleep.

Dosage of Magnesium for Sleep

The appropriate dosage of magnesium for sleep varies depending on age, sex, individual needs, and underlying health conditions. However, a common starting dosage range for adults is typically between 200 to 400 milligrams (mg) per day, with the average being around 350 mg.

While magnesium supplementation can be beneficial for sleep, it’s not a cure-all solution for sleep disorders or underlying health conditions. Consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplementation regimen, especially if you have underlying health conditions or are taking medications.

Here are some general guidelines for magnesium dosage for sleep:

1. Starting Dosage: Begin with a lower dosage, such as 200 mg per day, and gradually increase as needed based on individual response and tolerance.

2. Forms of Magnesium: Consider using forms of magnesium known for their bioavailability and calming effects, such as magnesium glycinate or magnesium citrate. These forms are more easily absorbed by the body and may be more effective for promoting relaxation and improving sleep quality.

3. Timing: Take magnesium supplements in the evening, preferably 1 to 2 hours before bedtime, to take advantage of its calming effects on the nervous system and facilitate relaxation.

4. Individual Response: Pay attention to how your body responds to magnesium supplementation. Some people may experience improvements in sleep quality with lower dosages, while others may require higher doses to achieve desired effects.

In the next section, we discuss which groups are more likely to benefit from magnesium supplementation.

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

Who Needs Magnesium for Sleep?

Certain populations may particularly benefit from magnesium supplementation for sleep, including:

  • Individuals with insomnia
  • People with chronic stress or anxiety
  • Older adults prone to magnesium deficiency
  • Athletes and physically active people
  • People with Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
  • Individuals with fibromyalgia, chronic pain conditions, and mood disorders 

While magnesium supplementation can be beneficial for improving sleep quality in these populations, always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplementation regimen.

So next, let’s look at situations in which you should seek professional medical guidance as you consider supplementing with magnesium.

When To See A Doctor

Here are some signs that indicate it’s time to speak to a doctor about anxiety-related sleep challenges

1. Chronic Insomnia: If you’re consistently struggling to fall asleep, stay asleep, or wake up feeling unrested despite trying various sleep hygiene practices and relaxation techniques.

2. Persistent Anxiety Symptoms: If feelings of anxiety are interfering with your ability to function normally, affecting your relationships, work, or overall well-being.

3. Worsening Symptoms: If your sleep issues or anxiety symptoms are worsening over time, despite attempts to manage them on your own.

4. Presence of Other Health Conditions: If you have underlying health conditions such as depression, chronic pain, or hormonal imbalances that may be contributing to your sleep issues or anxiety.

5. Changes in Mental Health or Behavior: If you notice significant changes in your mental health, mood, or behavior, such as increased irritability, difficulty concentrating, or changes in appetite or weight.

In the next section, let’s look at foods you can add to your diet to improve your magnesium intake if supplementation is not an ideal option for you.

Natural Sources Of Magnesium

These are some natural food sources of magnesium if you want to consider boosting your magnesium levels without taking supplements:

1. Leafy Greens: Spinach, kale, Swiss chard, and other leafy greens are excellent sources of magnesium. Incorporating these into your meals, whether in salads, smoothies, or cooked dishes, can help boost your magnesium intake.

2. Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, cashews, peanuts, and pumpkin seeds are rich in magnesium. Snacking on these nuts and seeds or adding them to your breakfast cereal, yogurt, or salads can provide a significant amount of magnesium.

3. Whole Grains: Whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, oats, and whole wheat are good sources of magnesium. Including these grains in your meals as a side dish, in soups, or as the base of grain bowls can contribute to your magnesium intake.

4. Legumes: Beans, lentils, chickpeas, and other legumes are rich in magnesium. These versatile ingredients can be used in various dishes, including soups, stews, salads, and dips, to increase your magnesium consumption.

5. Avocado: Avocado is not only delicious but also a good source of magnesium. Adding avocado slices to sandwiches, salads, or smoothies can provide a boost of magnesium along with healthy fats and nutrients.

6. Bananas: Bananas contain magnesium along with potassium, making them a nutritious snack option. Enjoying a banana as a quick snack or incorporating it into smoothies or oatmeal can help increase your magnesium intake.

7. Dark Chocolate: Dark chocolate with a high cocoa content is a surprisingly good source of magnesium. Enjoying a small piece of dark chocolate as an occasional treat can contribute to your magnesium intake while satisfying your sweet cravings.

8. Fish: Some types of fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and halibut, are good sources of magnesium. Including fish in your diet a few times a week can provide additional magnesium along with omega-3 fatty acids and other essential nutrients

Incorporating these natural sources of magnesium into your diet can help you meet your daily magnesium needs and support overall health and well-being. Remember to aim for a balanced diet rich in a variety of nutrient-dense foods to optimize your magnesium intake.


Magnesium supplements, particularly forms like magnesium glycinate, offer promising benefits for enhancing sleep quality and managing anxiety. However, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional before starting supplementation. By combining magnesium supplementation with lifestyle changes, you can create a holistic approach of managing anxiety and sleep challenges.