The lack of sleep plagues most people at some time in their adult lives. This can result in lower performance at work or school, hazy thinking, bad judgment and even serious health issues. Causes of insomnia include noise, uncomfortable temperature, exercising before bedtime, not enough exercise, stress, alcohol, depression and poor nutrition. Magnesium is one of many nutrients needed to keep the body functioning properly and may be an essential nutrient for helping you get a full night's sleep, which is necessary for good health.
What Does Magnesium Do?
Magnesium regulates the absorption of calcium, helps relax muscles, helps the heart work more efficiently, regulates the functions of insulin and works with other nutrients for optimum functioning in all areas of the body. To get the best night's sleep, the ability to relax your muscles is critical.
Foods Rich in Magnesium
Eat a diet rich in magnesium. These foods include legumes, deep green leafy vegetables, blackstrap molasses, whole grains, some meats and many nuts, including almonds.
Signs of Magnesium Deficiency
If you feel tired but can't sleep, experience constipation, suffer from irritability, have leg cramps that get worse at night and suffer from restless leg syndrome, you may have a magnesium deficiency. People with diabetes tend to have lower than normal levels of magnesium. The good news is that you can quickly remedy these symptoms by increasing foods rich in magnesium or taking a daily magnesium supplement.
How Much Magnesium Do You Need?
The daily recommended amount of magnesium is approximately 400 mg from food and supplements. If this doesn't help you sleep, increase that to 500 mg and add 500 mg of calcium. For those with chronic fatigue syndrome, a doctor may choose to inject the needed amount of magnesium.
Other Ways to Help Induce Sleep
In addition to increasing your magnesium, regulate the room temperature in your bedroom at night so it is slightly cooler than the daytime temperature, find ways to eliminate noise by using earplugs or adding white noise (like the whir of a fan), relax before bedtime, don't exercise within 3 hours of bedtime and set a regular schedule. Read or listen to something relaxing to get your mind off the stresses of the day. If you experience pain, and recommended doses of over-the-counter medications don't help, see your doctor.