MAGNESIUM IS ONE OF THE MOST essential minerals in the human body, with experts indicating that it is present in all organs of the human body.
The adult body contains 24 grams (24000 mg) of magnesium with 50 – 60% residing in the bones. The rest of the magnesium is present in soft tissues, and only 1% of total body magnesium is present in the blood.
Dietary needs for magnesium vary from individual to individual. However, experts have come up with daily magnesium intake values that can help you understand how much magnesium you require. The values are calculated based on your age, gender, and other lifestyle variables.
Aim for the following daily magnesium amounts:
|Infants – 6months||30mgs|
|Babies between 7 – 12months||75mgs|
|Children between 1 – 3 years||80mgs|
|Children between 4 – 8years:||130mgs|
|People between 9 – 13years||240mgs|
|Males between 14 – 18years||410mgs|
|Females between 14 – 18years||360mgs|
|Males between 19 – 30 years||400mgs|
|Females between 19 – 30 years||310mgs|
|Males 31 years and older||420mgs|
|Females 31 years and older||320mgs|
|Pregnant women||350 – 360mgs|
|Breastfeeding women||310 – 320mgs|
In a study of hospitalized patients, 42% were found to have low levels of magnesium (hypomagnesemia). 53% of patients in the Intensive Care Unit had magnesium levels below the lowest normal control.
Science indicates that magnesium is required in more than 360 essential metabolic reactions in the body and numerous physiological processes. Some of the uses of magnesium in the body include:
About 50 to 60 % of your magnesium is stored in the bones. As such, magnesium plays an essential role in bone metabolism. Experts advise that even a slight ongoing magnesium deficiency can cause a huge amount of bone loss.
One of the essential duties of the body’s cells is to produce energy. Energy production involves many chemical reactions, all flowing in a unique sequence.
Within this energy production sequence, magnesium plays a significant role. Many of the chemical reactions required for energy production will not take place unless magnesium is present. As such, low levels of magnesium will cause fatigue.
Receptors are unique molecules in the cell membranes that help chemical messages move through the body’s cells. Among the most critical receptors are the N- Methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors. This receptor is responsible for the site in the brain where drugs and anesthetics affect the brain function.
Magnesium plays a significant role in the activities of NMDA receptors. When your body is low on magnesium, you are at high risk of depression. That is why treatment with magnesium can have anti-depressant effects.
Magnesium has been identified as a cofactor for more than 100 enzymes that are active in the control of blood sugar and glucose metabolism. Consequently, low magnesium has adverse effects on blood sugar control.
Experts indicate that a deficiency in magnesium leads to increased inflammatory process. Although some level of inflammation is necessary for supporting healthy immune function and tissue repair, chronic inflammation magnifies the risks of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Restoring magnesium levels in the body leads to normalization of inflammation.
Studies reveal that 75% of adults are not meeting their recommended magnesium intake while 50% are experiencing magnesium deficiency.
Magnesium deficiency is dubbed the ‘invisible deficiency’ by experts. This is because magnesium deficiency is hard to spot and diagnose, considering that only 1% of the magnesium in your body is present in the blood.
Magnesium is the eighth most abundant element found on the earth’s crust. The bacteria’s in the soil help plants to absorb magnesium. However, many environmental influences can deplete the magnesium in food; from the fertilizers that we are using for farming, to the pesticides that are used to kill off bacteria.
Many studies reveal that clinical magnesium deficiency is found in 30% of alcoholics.
Inadequate magnesium levels are not likely to cause any noticeable symptoms, but a full-blown hypomagnesemia can cause the following symptoms:
Experts indicate that it is difficult to get too much magnesium because kidneys regulate excretion of excess magnesium through the urine. However, people with kidney problems are likely to get an overdose of magnesium.
Symptoms of toxic magnesium levels
Once magnesium levels are in highly excessive amounts in the body, some of the symptoms that you are likely to experience include:
Severe magnesium overdose will lead to breathing problems, irregular heartbeat coma, and even death.
To fall asleep, you need your brain and body to relax. Magnesium facilitates this process by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, the neuron system that is responsible for getting you relaxed. Magnesium also regulates the neurotransmitters which regulate your sleep-wake cycle.
Further, Magnesium blinds to gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) receptors which are responsible for quieting down nerve activity. By calming down the nervous system, magnesium helps to prepare your body for sleep.
Magnesium not only helps you sleep but also assists you to achieve a deep and restful sleep. Lastly, magnesium helps to alleviate anxiety and depression, which are known to have a negative impact on sleep.
If you are having trouble sleeping, consider putting into effect lifestyle interventions, such as cutting back on caffeine. However, magnesium is also useful in helping your mind to relax so that you can achieve the quality of sleep you need.
There are various forms of magnesium supplements. The most important factor to consider before choosing one is the absorption rate.
Magnesium glycinate is the preferred supplement for sleep because:
The dosage of magnesium for sleep depends on how much magnesium you are already getting in your diet. The capsules are typically available in doses from 100mg – 400mg per capsule. So, ensure you choose the supplement that is right for your body’s needs.
How long magnesium takes to induce sleep in your body mainly depends on how depleted of magnesium your body is. If your magnesium levels are low, you will need to take magnesium for some time before you notice any sleep benefits.
If you are taking magnesium because you have chronic insomnia, you can expect your sleep patterns to come back to normal in a few weeks, to a month or two, depending on other factors like how stressed you are. Also, try and take magnesium for sleep about half an hour before bed so that it can prepare your mind and body for sleep.
Experts warn that magnesium can interact with several drugs, for instance, ciprofloxacin and moxifloxacin, and interferes with how the body absorbs the medicine. Magnesium also negatively interacts with some thyroid medication. Besides, magnesium can worsen the side effects of some blood pressure and diabetes medicines.
Considering that supplements may come with their own obstacles, the best source of magnesium is natural food. Some of the foods that are in magnesium include:
Providing you eat a well-balanced diet that includes a variety of these foods, you should get plenty of magnesium and should have no reason to take supplements. The only problem with this is that most of us simply don't get enough of these foods in our diet. This is where finding the best magnesium supplements for sleep becomes very important.
Between ensuring that you get enough fiber in your diet and trying not to skip on iron monitoring, your magnesium levels can fall through the cracks. Remember, this invisible deficiency manifests in different stages, depending on how severe your deficiency is.
Initially, the symptoms will be minor, but eventually, you will have noticeable symptoms in your muscle and nerve function. Do not wait until you experience seizures and abnormal heart rhythms to pay attention to your magnesium levels.
Your best bet when it comes to dealing with magnesium levels is the prevention of the deficiency. Even though supplements will give you a boost, it is best to focus on foods. Amp you consumption of leafy greens, legumes, nuts, fish and whole grains.
Also, bear in mind that with magnesium, it is what you are not eating as well what you are eating that is interfering with your magnesium levels:
Will all leech magnesium from your body.
Thanks for reading this guide on everything you need to know about Magnesium and sleep. Here is more information on different sleep aids.