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Are You Deficient in Magnesium? Why Magnesium Matters

Photo of woman laying in bed

Magnesium is an essential mineral for many pathways in the human body.

Unfortunately, it is common to find less than optimal levels in people, and estimates in the US show 50% of adults are at risk for magnesium deficiency.

While magnesium is an integral component for a huge range of functions in the body, I want to focus on magnesium and sleep.

Magnesium helps promote restful sleep by keeping levels of the neurotransmitter GABA high.

When magnesium levels are low, people can experience poor quality of sleep and insomnia.

If you’re a tosser, a turner, have restless leg syndrome, or can’t seem to sleep through the night, this is for you.

Increasing and maintaining your magnesium levels can help you find deep and restful sleep.

Some natural food sources of magnesium include:

  • dark green leafy vegetables
  • squash
  • broccoli
  • legumes
  • nuts and seeds
  • meat
  • coffee

I am all for getting nutrients from food, and I also recommend supplements when it just seems like food isn’t enough.

In my practice, I see an overwhelming number of people who just can’t get enough magnesium from their diet.

If you’re going to supplement with magnesium, look for chelated forms.

Magnesium glycinate and/or malate are examples of this, and what I typically recommend for patients.

These “-ate” forms are more bioavailable, meaning they’re easier for your body to absorb.

If you’ve taken magnesium in the past and had undesirable effects (we’re talking diarrhea folks) you were probably taking magnesium oxide – which does not get absorbed easily and draws water into the intestines.

So opt for a chelated form to avoid unfortunate GI side effects, and always look for supplements with GMP or other independent lab verification.

Some of my favorite and most trusted brands are Pure Encapsulations, Klaire Labs and Integrative Therapeutics

Keep in mind that while doses under 350mg are generally safe for most people, side effects can occur with larger doses and you should always start at the lowest possible level.

Always consult your practitioner when you want to start a new supplement!

Do you take magnesium?

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