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    Magnesium and Sleep: Everything You Need to Know

    Posted by: Gillian Day BHSc. Comp Med, Adv Dip Nat, AFMCP Grad

    Magnesium and Sleep: Everything You Need to Know

    The health outcomes of lack of sleep can be shocking. In the short term, a lack of sleep can increase our sugar cravings, weaken our immune system and increase levels of anxiety.

    Over the long term, lack of sleep can increase risk factors for cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes and a whole host of chronic illnesses.

    Whilst our body is primed with all it needs for a good nights’ rest, there’s a high chance at some stage in your life, your sleep routine will need some ‘fine tuning’. The mineral magnesium is the perfect place to start to help you fall asleep deeper and quicker, leaving you recharged for the day ahead.

    How Magnesium helps you sleep

    Magnesium calms the body and mind

    There is so many reasons why magnesium is labelled ‘nature’s tranquiliser’. One of these reasons is magnesium switches on our ‘parasympathetic’ nervous system. This  system is responsible for slowing down our heart rate and relaxing other systems of the body. Helping us feel calm, relaxed and ready for bed.

    Magnesium also supports levels of a neurotransmitter known as GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid). GABA is a chemical messenger in the body; helping to slow down the communication between brain and central nervous system, promoting calm and sleep. Healthy levels of GABA not only help you fall asleep, but assist in more restorative sleep patterns as well.

    Magnesium balances the effects of anxiety and stress

    When we feel anxious or stressed, we activate our sympathetic nervous system. Commonly known as ‘fight or flight’ – when the sympathetic nervous system is activated, we struggle to fall asleep and to stay asleep as we are in a ‘hyper-aroused’ state. Magnesium provides front line support here. Helping to regulate the HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical) axis and calming our sympathetic nervous system, helping our bodies adapt to stress.

    Magnesium relaxes your brain and muscles

    Without magnesium, muscles don’t relax. Muscle cramping or twitching (even eye twitching) is a big clue your body needs this precious mineral.

    Insomnia is a common side effect of low magnesium status. Whilst we need large quantities of this incredible mineral, we don’t produce it by ourselves, so we’ve got to rely on food or supplements. Whilst we always recommend seeing a health practitioner before starting any supplementation, magnesium is quite safe to take. So, if your you’re looking to improve your sleep, consider some of our top pics below.

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