What’s the best form of Magnesium to help you sleep?

Best form of Magnesium for Sleep

Magnesium is essential for many processes in the body. It is particularly important for that deep, restful and energizing type of sleep you may remember from your childhood. But what’s the best form of magnesium to take?


Magnesium, an abundant and crucial mineral in the body, plays a role in more than 300 biochemical reactions. But not all forms of magnesium will give you the desired effect and result. In this post, we’ll have a look at the best form of magnesium to help you sleep better.

What does it do?

  • Benefits cardiac health and lowers blood pressure
  • Plays a crucial role in regulating the neuromuscular (nerves that affect movement) activity of the heart
  • Maintains normal heart rhythm
  • Converts blood sugar into energy
  • Helps to metabolize calcium and vitamin C properly
  • May help to prevent cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and certain forms of cancer
  • Reduces cholesterol levels
  • Assists in the processing of Vitamin D
  • Relaxes muscles and calms the mind for better sleep quality

Without magnesium, your body simply cannot calm down and relax.

People that sleep poorly report the greatest benefits from taking a magnesium supplement.

Magnesium is an essential mineral and a lot of people don’t get enough in their diet alone. Unlike other vitamins and minerals, there is no single food source that is particularly rich in magnesium. Leafy greens are a good source. Most people don’t eat enough of them.

An estimated 80% of people are deficient in magnesium. The average daily intake is now only between 143 and 266 mg per day. The RDA (recommended daily allowance) for women is 300mg per day and 400mg for men. This is the absolute minimum amount required to prevent symptoms of deficiency. It is not necessarily the amount required for optimum health.

If there is a magnesium deficiency, experts recommend to start with a dose of 400 – 600mg a day. Start on the lower side, because a common side effect of too much magnesium is loose stools. If that happens, cut back on the dose or change the type of magnesium supplement you take. Some have far more of a laxative action than others.

Magnesium in leafy greens

Natural sources of magnesium are:

leafy green vegetables, dairy products, seafood, meat, apples, apricots, avocados, bananas, nuts, and cocoa (a great reason to eat dark chocolate; preferably 85% cocoa or higher and organic).

What happens if you don’t get enough?

A deficiency of magnesium can result in:

  • Calcium depletion
  • Heart spasms
  • Nervousness
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Muscular excitability (trust me, you don’t want that)
  • Kidney stones

A magnesium supplement can be a good idea, but there is a huge choice available. To try and pick the right type can leave you confused.

Each type differs in absorption, bio availability and therapeutic effects. Some types are better to help you get a good night’s sleep than others.

Often recommended and popular with athletes is a trans-dermal source of magnesium, magnesium oil. It penetrates quickly and is easy to apply. The drawback is that some people react with itchy skin. The good part is that it absorbs easily, eases muscle aches and pains, and is difficult to overdose.

Epsom Salts, a good source of magnesium, are inexpensive and offer exceptional trans-dermal absorption. Taking a bath with Epsom Salts is a great way to relax in the evening and increase magnesium levels at the same time.

which is the best form of magnesium for sleep?

So what’s the best form of Magnesium?

There are a lot of different types of Magnesium supplements, each with a slightly different range of effects and efficacy.

For example, there is magnesium oxide, citrate, orotate, glycinate, chelate, chloride, lactate, aspartate, sulphate, carbonate, malate, taurate, threonate, and probably others.

Magnesium oxide tends to be poorly absorbed. It is cheaper but a lot less effective. In other words, there are better returns on investment. It also has a strong laxative effect.

Magnesium sulphate is not found in oral preparations, but is a component in Epsom Salts.

Magnesium citrate is a commonly used form with good bio-availability. It absorbs rapidly in the digestive tract but it can have a laxative effect. It is beneficial for adrenal support and a good general option for increasing magnesium levels in the body.

Magnesium Aspartate has better bio-availability than both oxide and citrate. It’s not a common form of magnesium but it has been used for chronic fatigue syndrome.

Magnesium Glycinate

Glycine is a calming amino acid. The combination of magnesuim with glycine gives it good bio-availability. It is easier on the digestive tract if you don’t want the laxative effect of other forms. Due to the calming and relaxing effect of both glycine and magnesium, this combination has been used successfully for chronic pain and various types of muscle tension.

Magnesium Malate

This lesser known combination has been used for easing pain and fatigue, in particular for fibromyalgia sufferers. Malate is involved in the cellular energy cycle, and helps improve ATP (energy) production.

Magnesium Orotate

A less common chelate combination containing orotic acid. It has good bioavailability and offers benefits for heart health. Orotates can penetrate cell membranes and enable effective delivery of the magnesium ion to the inner layers of the mitochondria. Orotates themselves increase the formation of RNA and DNA which can help heart cells repair and improve their function. This combination can improve heart failure, symptoms of angina and exercise performance in clinical trials.

Magnesium Taurate

Magnesium and taurine, an amino acid, share the ability to improve cardiac function. Both increase insulin sensitivity and have a calming effect on nerves and muscle twitches or spasms. The combination is good for cardio-vascular support. The have similar actions when it comes to cardiovascular health. They both reduce blood pressure, stabilize nerve cells, improve the contraction of the heart muscle and reduce the formation of blood clots.


Very effective for the nervous system. It crosses the blood-brain barrier which makes it the most absorbable form by the brain. It often has an instant effect. This form is of great interest because it can have a potent effect on insomnia. It calms anxiety and racing thoughts. It can also improve both short term and long term memory and brain function significantly compared to magnesium citrate.

Magnesium Pidolate (or picolinate)

This form of magnesium is very inexpensive and it is easy to make into a liquid supplement. The down side is that the pidolate molecule does not have any additional health benefits.

Magnesium chelate is a form of magnesium bound to an amino acid. For example, magensium glycinate is a chelated form of magnesium. Other examples are magnesium orotate and magnesium taurate. The chelated forms of magnesium absorb well. Depending on the amino acid the magnesium is bound to, they can also offer additional benefits.

To sum up:

If you suffer from insomnia, your best bet is to try Magnesium-L-Threonate. 

For example, Life Extension L-Threonate

To increase magnesium levels in your body in general, Magnesium citrate is a good option.

Try  NOW Foods Magnesium Citrate

Magnesium glycinate will help calm the nervous system and has excellent bio-availability.

Try KAL Magnesium glycinate

For a knock out punch and deep, regenerating sleep quality, try combining a magnesium supplement with L-Theanine.

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