Magnesium is an indispensable trace element for the brain, but magnesium may be the most severely missing nutrient among all the vitamins and minerals that the human body needs. In fact, no matter which country, the nutrient reference or recommended intake (RNI or RDA) is extremely low. All the magnesium in the human body adds up to about 25g, of which 60% is in the bones and the remaining 39% is in the muscle tissue. Magnesium in the blood accounts for only 1% of the human body.
Magnesium is an important auxiliary substance in the process of conversion of Tryptophan to serotonin and then to Melatonin. Lack of magnesium will face obstacles to the production of serotonin and automelatonin. Melatonin is a key hormone for our circadian rhythm. The reduction of melatonin not only affects the time we spend falling asleep, but also may cause other health problems in the body.
Magnesium stimulates the release of GABA by stimulating the receptors of GABA neurons. GABA is the main inhibitory neurotransmitter of the central nervous system. GABA produced by the central nervous system continuously suppresses a variety of arousal neurotransmitters in the brain during our sleep. GABA is the key to maintaining our sleep without being awakened. Without magnesium, the amount and effect of GABA release will be reduced, which may shorten our sleep time and affect the depth of our sleep. Magnesium also reduces the release of another arousal neurotransmitter glutamate by inhibiting glutamate neurons.
Too much cortisol not only makes it difficult for us to fall asleep, but also causes us to wake up prematurely. Magnesium can help reduce the secretion of cortisol by affecting the HPA part of the brain that produces cortisol. Studies have shown that taking magnesium supplements increases the concentration of magnesium in the blood and improves sleep. The study also found that after magnesium supplementation, the concentration of cortisol in the blood also decreased. In helping sleep, magnesium also assists in the production of melatonin, strengthens the relaxing effect of GABA on the brain and reduces the release of cortisol. So supplementing magnesium, especially supplementing magnesium before going to bed, is one of the most effective ways to help solve insomnia.
Magnesium helps sleep. Doctors who are clinically experienced with magnesium believe that if taking magnesium does not help sleep, the most likely reason is that the dose taken is too small. In a 2012 double-blind control clinical study, 46 elders were divided into intervention group and control group. The intervention group took 500 mg of magnesium a day for 8 consecutive weeks. The result was either the subject’s conscious insomnia or objective blood test. , It has been shown that magnesium supplementation can increase the concentration of melatonin in the blood, prolong sleep time, improve sleep quality, shorten the time from waking to falling asleep, and reduce cortisol in the blood. The conclusion of the study is that magnesium supplementation can improve sleep.