Sleep is no longer underrated and rightfully so – in fact, it is now seen as crucial to our physical and mental wellbeing. James Dixon makes it his mission to find the best magnesium supplements for sleep as he goes on a quest for the perfect night’s sleep.
Magnesium is an incredibly important mineral, a micro-nutrient that our bodies need to optimally perform a variety of tasks. However, it is often lacking in our diets. Though it’s naturally abundant in many different foods, and many other foods are fortified with it, supplementation may often be the answer. It will keep you happy, healthy, and well.
When it comes to getting a good night’s sleep, magnesium is also crucial – and so if you’re lookin for a good sleep supplement, finding one with magnesium included is a good idea.
But there are plenty of magnesium supplements out there. It can be hard to choose the right one. We’ve done the hard work for you by testing and analyzing some of the best magnesium supplements – and then going one further and testing a couple of magnesium supplements that are specifically designed to promote better sleep.
Quick Verdict: Magnesium For Sleep
There is now a growing bed of research that supports not only the importance for sleep, but how nutrition impacts it. Magnesium is a crucial mineral in promoting healthy sleep patterns and a simple magnesium supplement will help with sleep.
However, NooCube Sleep Upgrade goes one further. Not only does it contain 300mg of the highly bio-available magnesium citrate, it includes 4 other key botanicals and vitamins to promote high quality sleep.
Our top magnesium supplements For Sleep
We’ve shortlisted 6 magnesium supplements for sleep. Two of them are specifically designed to improve sleep, whereas 4 of them are just pure magnesium supplements that will offer all the benefits that come with magnesium supplementation.
NooCube Sleep Upgrade
NooCube is one of my favorite supplements. To see a sleep upgrade that you can add on top of their first-class nootropic base compound is fantastic. You will often see magnesium included in sleep aid supplements – it’s one of the key areas that magnesium levels most visibly affect.
It helps to diminish overactive brain signals, effectively helping you to shut off a little better. It’s been linked with a reduction in time spent falling asleep and an improvement in sleep quality and time.
As such, NooCube’s Sleep Upgrade promises to help you get to sleep more quickly, go into a deeper, more restful sleep, and stay there, slumbering away, for longer. You should wake up feeling supercharged and ready for the day ahead. Given how important sleep is in maintaining good health across pretty much every area going, I can think of few more profound ways to ringfence your overall wellbeing.
Sleep Upgrade is a great blend of botanicals and micronutrients, all proven to help you get a better quality of sleep. The list includes the likes of lemon balm leaf powder, a member of the mint family with long, clinically proven usage in reducing stress and anxiety levels, and lavender extract, a distant relative of lemon balm.
You also get vitamin D3, a lack of which has been linked with poor sleep quality. Vitamin D helps to raise melatonin levels and better regulate your circadian rhythms. NooCube source it from algae.
Then there are the two minerals, calcium and, of course, magnesium. The calcium is here as calcium carbonate, an increased intake of which has been linked with an ability to better fall asleep (hence that warm glass of milk our mothers gave us to help us sleep). Indeed, low calcium intake has been linked with insomnia.
And magnesium, supplemented here as magnesium citrate. As we have seen, citrate is one of the most bioavailable magnesium forms going, meaning that your body will be able to absorb it very effectively. You get 300 mg of the stuff, a perfect amount for supplementation.
Performance Lab Sleep
Then there is Performance Lab Sleep, another incredibly high-quality sleep aid that gives you a plentiful magnesium kick. Again, you should experience longer, deeper sleep, waking up in the morning feeling fresh with no thick headedness. Performance Lab Sleep is also designed for improved athletic performance, hence its name, and so aims to optimise nightly mind-body cell renewal.
A lot of sleep aids give you a hefty, all-at-once dose of synthetic melatonin. This is pretty much a one-trick kind of affair, not supporting the underlying factors that sit behind good quality sleep and rest.
Like NooCube Sleep Upgrade, Performance Lab Sleep takes a different approach.
It gives you a mild dose of natural melatonin from Montmorency tart cherry, the connoisseur’s choice. Montmorency tart cherry, included here as CherryPURE®, gives you a large dose of antioxidants, which will be responsible in large part for the post-training fatigue lift that your muscles will experience.
This is, of course, paired with magnesium – three distinct forms of it, for good bioavailability. As we have seen, magnesium should go a long way to improving your sleep quality and duration, working in conjunction with CherryPURE® to boost melatonin and serotonin levels whilst helping you to rest and recuperate. Simply take 2 to 4 capsules a half hour before bedtime and you should be good to go.
It’s all very high quality, too, with a design which really does sit at the forefront of modern supplement technology. You get incredibly high-grade ingredients for nutritional excellence, served in NutriCaps®, Performance Lab’s patented, signature release mechanisms, all optimized for efficacy.
All told, you should experience a greater sense of calm, a relieving of muscular fatigue and soreness, and greatly improved sleep duration and quality. All of this should combine to allow you to recover far more optimally after hard training, getting you ready for the next session.
Nature Made’s Extra Strength Magnesium Oxide softgels are our first entry representing a pure magnesium supplement. There is no additional agenda or use, here. They aren’t, for instance, seeking to explicitly improve sleep quality (though they will) or athletic performance (though they likely can).
They are just here to boost your magnesium levels and give you all the benefits you might expect as a result – improved muscular relaxation and nerve health, heart health, bone health, sleep, energy levels… anything in which magnesium plays a role.
You get 400 mg of magnesium oxide per serving, which is a fair serving, perfect for daily supplementation.
There is nothing else added, in a good way. The formula is free from gluten, synthetic dyes, artificial colors, preservatives… it is in as true a way as possible pure, unadulterated magnesium. It is almost perfect for anybody looking to simply bolster their intake where they have a magnesium deficiency.
I say almost perfect. It’s a low-cost solution to magnesium deficiency, at around ten dollars for a supply that should last you a couple of months. This is because the magnesium isn’t premium. It’s magnesium oxide, which as we have seen, is far less bioavailable than forms such as magnesium citrate that you will typically find in higher-end supplements.
This is all well and good. You’re not looking for something miraculous with Nature Made. You’re just looking at a way to boost your baseline intake. Just do be aware that it’s not as much of a bargain as you might think – the magnesium oxide will do less for you than other forms might.
Let’s keep things rolling with Now Magnesium, another pure magnesium supplement aimed solely at bolstering magnesium intake, without any other uses or agendas. It comes from a company I particularly admire, NOW, who are a legacy, family-owned outfit who support Vitamin Angels and maintain a strong commitment to supporting and furthering the natural supplement industry.
They make it something of a mission to bring value in high quality products that really make a difference to peoples’ health and wellbeing. This may sound a little trite or obvious. Surely every supplement company does this? If only… Not all companies do, unfortunately, making NOW a bit of a rare gem.
They’ve actually won an impressive array of awards over their five decades of production, standing testament to their high-quality, sustainable business model, including sustainable sourcing, the transparency with which they conduct their affairs, and their rigorous testing methods.
In fact, they have a coveted NPA A-rated GMP certification. This means that every part of their testing, production and packaging process has been scrutinized by third parties and been found to be of the highest quality.
You get a full 400 mg of magnesium, sourced both as oxide and citrate for a good balance of quality and general utility and cost effectiveness. This comes in a daily capsule, with three months’ worth of product in each bottle. Their ingredients are all kosher and halal, vegan, keto friendly, non-GMO, and free from soy.
I would personally like to see them go a little further and just rely on citrate, rather than having it as what appears to be the minority ingredient. However, for an economical, natural solution for bolstering your overall magnesium intake, NOW’s offering it’s a pretty safe bet.
Our next supplement pretty well identifies the main benefit to be gained from maintaining optimal magnesium levels. Life Extension says it all – magnesium levels can affect you so profoundly that they really can keep you healthier, and alive, for longer!
Life Extension is also another supplement that aims solely at raising your overall magnesium intake, with no fuss, no fanfare, no added extras. To this end, you get a good blend of three different forms of magnesium, as magnesium oxide, magnesium citrate and magnesium succinate.
Again, it would be better to see only highly bioavailable ingredients make the cut. Again, however, it’s a good blend, a good balance, economical, and absolutely should achieve its main objective of raising your overall magnesium intake.
As we have seen, optimizing magnesium levels should lead to improvements across the board, to disparate systems including but far from limited to your cardiovascular health, bone health and strength, metabolism, sleep, and even cognitive performance.
Life Extension sources high-quality ingredients, checking everything for purity and potency, even going as far as providing each customer with a Certificate of Analysis for every one of their products. Their products are organic, gluten-free, and manufactured at home in the US.
They have been going for four decades. This isn’t the longest running company on this list, but it’s still an absolute dinosaur in the modern supplement market (in the best possible way – this kind of pedigree is hard won and seldom encountered today).
Simply take a single capsule every day with food and a glass of water. You get 100 capsules per bottle at a very reasonable price point, so should only be renewing your order a little over every three months. It’s a solid, solid offering.
Nature’s Bounty Magnesium
Finally, let’s look at another of my favorites, with Nature’s Bounty. We’re looking at another semi-centenarian here, with a company who have been in business for over five decades.
They’ve spent that half-century pushing the industry as a whole forwards, blending the best that nature has to offer, validating everything scientifically, and innovating on the natural nutritional benefits to be gained from everyday ingredients.
This means plenty of happy customers thriving, living a healthier life at an affordable price, as their bodies and minds are nourished expertly by Nature’s Bounty’s formulae.
Their innovation is no surprise to anybody who knows anything about how they operate. The whole show is overseen by Nature’s Bounty’s Scientific Advisory Council, a body comprised of some of the best nutritional minds in the field. Their scientists are all respected in their respective fields and committed to driving Nature’s Bounty’s products based on the most recent expert data.
Their products are also rigorously tested, as you would expect from a company who have so ably stood the test of time. Everything is verifiably pure, potent, and high-quality.
Each capsule gives you a slightly over-the-top dose of 500 mg of magnesium. Realistically, as with much of the content on this list, you can expect a lot of that magnesium to be excreted through the urinary tract – you can expect to pee it out.
Only the first few hundred mg are really going to make that much difference, meaning 300 mg is about as effective as 500 mg. It’s also 100% magnesium oxide, which is a shame. They try to obfuscate this fact on their online literature – I had to search a little to find it out – so they clearly know this is a bit of a no-no.
The company is good. The dosing is excessive. The quality is decent enough, though aimed at a lower price point and thus slightly inferior in its bioavailability. Overall, a solid choice, though far from the top of this list.
So what does top this list?
It’s a tough one, and it kind of depends on what you want.
For example, if you’re after something simple, a magnesium supplement that focuses solely on staying in its lane and giving you a good magnesium boost, then you should discount NooCube’s and Performance Lab’s sleep based offerings. They are superfluous to requirement.
In this case, I would go with NOW’s magnesium supplement. The blend of different magnesium forms leads to good bioavailability without driving the cost up. The dose is above what you will need, so will plug any deficit without overdoing it, and the company themselves are great.
However, I wouldn’t put them at the top of this list. I need to be careful here. I am generally likely to automatically put anything that NooCube have been involved in at the top of any list going as a kneejerk reaction, simply because their base product is so incredibly good.
They top this list. But I need to justify that placement, rather than simply applying bias.
Here’s how. Quality, first and foremost. I trust NooCube completely. They lead the nootropics market for a reason. Their nootropic, basic NooCube, is tremendous. It’s a byword for quality and innovative ingredient blending. Secondly, the magnesium is profoundly good. You get 300 mg of highly bioavailable magnesium citrate, which as we have seen is amongst the most bioavailable magnesium forms going. This is generous and potent before you factor anything else in.
The other ingredients, meanwhile, all serve their role admirably. You will experience better sleep by far simply by taking it in the run up to bed time.
If you’re looking to save money and aren’t fussed about sleep, it’s overkill. It’s pricey overkill. Go with a simple magnesium formula. However, if you want all the benefits offered by the highest quality magnesium alongside better quality of sleep and are able and prepared to invest in your health, NooCube’s Sleep Upgrade is wonderful.
And thus, my gut instinct is happily proven correct.
Need more information on magnesium and how it’s beneficial? Then keep on reading…
What is magnesium?
Magnesium is a mineral that represents a plentiful resource within the body – or, at least, it should do.
A healthy adult human body will contain around 25 g of it. Around half of this, or a little over, will be contained in the bones, with the rest distributed across the body’s soft tissues, with less than one percent in the blood serum (around 0.75 and 0.95 millimoles (mmol) per litre).
Our kidneys control magnesium homeostasis, keeping levels within a healthy range by secreting excess into our urine (at a rate of around 120 mg per day).
Low magnesium is often accompanied by reduced urinary excretion (you pee less).
We can get magnesium from plenty of different foods, medicines, and, of course, supplements. It’s incredibly important to anybody looking to optimize their health and wellbeing. It plays a role in over three hundred enzyme systems operating across a broad array of roles.
These enzyme systems help to regulate many different biochemical reactions within the body, including healthy functioning of nerves and muscles, protein synthesis, maintaining appropriate blood glucose levels, and regulating blood pressure.
Magnesium also plays a central role in energy production, glycolysis, and oxidative phosphorylation, as well as helping to keep our bodies’ structures sound – it helps to maintain healthy bone structure development and is needed at a very basic level for DNA and RNA synthesis.
It’s actually quite rare to experience magnesium deficiency. As above, the kidneys regulate magnesium levels quite well. If your intake is on the lower side, they will simply limit its urinary excretion. On the other hand, if you take in too much, they will raise the amount they excrete through urine. Either way, homeostasis will be easily come by.
However, habitual underconsumption can lead to magnesium deficiency. So too can excessive magnesium excretion due to certain health concerns. Chronic alcoholism and caffeine over-consumption can lead to it, as can certain medications.
Magnesium deficiency can present several symptoms, including nausea and vomiting, excessive fatigue, muscular weakness, and a low appetite. In more severe cases, these can be accompanied by seizures, muscle contractions, and cramps, as well as numbness and/or tingling, mood swings, arrhythmia and/or coronary spasms.
Mineral homeostasis can be impaired, which in turn can lead to low serum calcium (hypocalcemia) and/or low serum potassium (hypokalemia) levels.
However, full deficiency is rare. The main thing most of us should worry about is inadequate or suboptimal magnesium intake. This occurs when we don’t consume enough to make up our recommended daily intake, but we don’t consume little enough, or excrete enough, to fall into deficiency. If you don’t take enough magnesium in, you may experience magnesium inadequacy, accompanied by diluted forms of the above symptoms.
Certain groups are more at risk of magnesium inadequacy or deficiency than others. These include those with gastrointestinal diseases. For instance, Crohn’s disease is often hallmarked by chronic diarrhea and fat malabsorption, which can lead to magnesium inadequacy.
Celiac disease (or gluten-sensitive enteropathy) and regional enteritis can similarly end with magnesium depletion in the longer-term, as can concerns in the small intestine, especially in the ileum.
Those suffering from type II diabetes may also experience magnesium inadequacy. Insulin resistance can lead to it as urinary magnesium excretion increases due to higher glucose concentrations in the kidney resulting in higher output of urine.
As above, alcoholism can also lead to magnesium inadequacy or deficiency. Alcohol dependence, or chronic alcoholism, is often, though not always, accompanied by poor nutritional intake and dietary practice, leading to deficient magnesium intake. Gastrointestinal problems compound this, including frequent diarrhea, vomiting, and steatorrhea (fatty stools), as do renal dysfunction including excessive urination, and excessive magnesium excretion into the urine, acute alcoholic ketoacidosis, vitamin D deficiency, phosphate depletion, and hyperaldosteronism.
Older adults can also often experience suboptimal magnesium intake compared to their younger counterparts. Gut absorption of magnesium also slows as we age, whilst urinary excretion can increase. Older adults are also more likely to suffer with chronic diseases associated with mineral loss, such as type II diabetes, and are more likely to be on medications that can lead to decreased magnesium levels.
How to increase your magnesium intake
There are a few ways in which to increase your magnesium intake and overall levels (though do bear in mind that most healthy adults experience homeostasis, keeping our magnesium levels balanced).
Firstly, lifestyle practices matter. Specifically, if you need help in overcoming excessive alcohol consumption, or with any other area of your life is seeing your nutrient levels deplete, you should seek it. Speak to your healthcare provider, who will be able to advise you on your next steps. These next steps should see your body achieving homeostasis over time, keeping your health in check.
Secondly, dietary intake is key. It should form the core of your overall intake. There are plenty of foods and drinks that contain it. Good plant sources include leafy greens like spinach and kale, as well as various seeds, legumes, nuts, and whole grains. If something contains a good amount of dietary fibre, it will generally also contain a good amount of magnesium – the two often come hand in hand.
Plenty of breakfast cereals are ‘fortified’, as are several other foodstuffs. This is because overly processed foods often see much of their nutrients stripped. This happens, for example, when you refine grains, which sees the nutrient-rich germ and bran discarded. This nutrient stripping includes magnesium, which then needs to be added back in at the end.
Magnesium is also often part of the mineral content in mineral water. However, brand and location of the water’s source will see magnesium levels vary by quite a large amount.
In all, your body will absorb between 30 to 40 percent of the dietary magnesium that you consume, with the rest making it into your urine as your kidneys achieve homeostasis.
Finally, dietary supplements are a good source of magnesium, as we will see below. They typically contain magnesium in a few different forms, most notably as magnesium citrate, magnesium oxide, and/or magnesium chloride. Your body will absorb these different forms to varying degrees. Generally, your gut will absorb forms more completely that dissolve well in water. To this end, aspartate, lactate, citrate, and chloride magnesium forms tend to absorb better and more completely than oxide and sulphate magnesium forms.
Do note, as well, that certain medications can help to raise your magnesium intake. Magnesium is key for digestive health. As a result, plenty of common laxatives include it as one of their main ingredients. It is also often an ingredient in medicines for heartburn, upset stomachs, and other digestive complaints.
This article was written by: James Dixon – SOMA Analytics PT, Nutritionalist & Published Author
James Dixon is one of the key players in the SOMA Analytics’ team. He is a personal trainer and is educated to Masters level. He is a published author and is a keen advocate of high quality nootropic supplements. James enjoys helping others to reach their peak both physically and mentally and believes that expressing his knowledge through his writing is an effective way to positively impact the wellbeing of others on a larger scale.
James Dixon is one of the key players in the SOMA Analytics’ team. He is a personal trainer and is educated to Masters level in Philosophy. He is a published author and is a keen advocate of high quality nootropic supplements.
James enjoys helping others to reach their peak both physically and mentally and believes that expressing his knowledge through his writing is an effective way to positively impact the wellbeing of others on a larger scale.