May 17, 2020 at 01:04AM
Magnesium plays a role in a laundry list of processes in the body: The mineral supports bone health, nerve function, digestion, and—perhaps most importantly in the throes of a global pandemic—better sleep quality.*
Magnesium glycinate, a combination of magnesium and the amino acid glycine, in particular, has been shown to improve sleep in clinical studies.* The supplement is unique in the way it supports a healthy circadian rhythm and keeps our body’s internal clocks ticking smoothly.* In one small trial, magnesium helped patients manage their insomnia symptoms and fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer across the board.* Preliminary research has also found that the mineral might be helpful in easing the stress that keeps a lot of us up at night.*
Anecdotally, those who have tried mbg’s magnesium+ supplement, which combines magnesium glycinate with other sleep enhancers like jujube and pharmaGABA, note that it is beneficial for both sleep duration and quality.* Integrative medicine doctor Amy Shah, M.D., says that it’s her go-to whenever she needs a deep, restful night of sleep while nutritionist Dana James, M.S. CNS, CDN, says it’s the best supplement she’s ever used for sleep.
mbg’s sleep formula comes in gel capsules that can be easily taken at any time, which raises the question, what time should you be taking them? According to Robert Rountree, M.D., a physician who specializes in nutritional and herbal pharmacology and helped formulate the blend, the answer depends on your sleep patterns and what you’re hoping to get out of the supplement.
The two time windows for taking magnesium+ for sleep.
If falling asleep is your issue, Rountree recommends taking magnesium+ about one hour before bed. This should give the mineral and its supporting players enough time to latch onto the brain’s gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors, which cue the rest of the body to start to relax.
If staying asleep is a problem for you, you’ll want to take magnesium later in the evening. “For those who fall asleep OK but awaken during the night, I recommend taking the magnesium immediately before getting into bed,” Rountree says. This will help it promote a steadier state of relaxation after you’ve already fallen asleep and cut down on tossing and turning.
The bottom line.
While taking a magnesium supplement can’t undo bad habits like drinking too much coffee or looking at screens right before bed, research shows that it can be helpful for two broad categories of sleep issues: Difficulty falling asleep at the desired time and difficulty maintaining sleep. Those who fall into the first category are better off taking the supplement an hour or so before bed. Those who fall into the second should take it right before bedtime. As always, you’ll want to talk to your doctor before introducing any new supplements into your routine.