One of the most common vitamin deficiencies out there is a magnesium deficiency. It is estimated that around half of the US population is deficient in magnesium. With magnesium being helpful with done density, healthy muscle functions, as well as maintaining healthy sleep, it is frightening that so many are running low. We are going to share with you some of the biggest benefits to having a magnesium rich diet has on your sleep. As well as some tips on how you can increase your magnesium absorption.
What is Magnesium? Why do we need it?
Magnesium is a mineral that our bodies require in order to function properly. It is also often associated with the building and maintaining bones. However, magnesium does a lot more for our body than just maintain healthy bones.
Those who have a magnesium deficiency tend to experience insomnia, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, restless leg syndrome, irregular heartrate, as well as being more common to experience anxiety and depression.
It is a pretty important mineral to have in our bodies system. When we have a deficiency, it can lead to a lot of disfunctions. Studies have shown that even light deficiencies can lead to bouts of insomnia.
How Does Magnesium Benefit Sleep?
In order for our bodies to function properly we need different nutrients in order for our body and mind to perform certain functions. One of those many nutrients is Magnesium.
One of the very first signs of a magnesium deficiency is insomnia. With so many people estimated to be magnesium deficient AND so many people suffering with insomnia these days, it is amazing to us that magnesium deficiency isn’t being talked about more.
Treating a magnesium deficiency can help to find relief from insomnia, as well as maintain a regular sleep schedule. Properly absorbing magnesium can also relieve restless leg syndrome, anxiety, and depression. All of which can disrupt sleep and trigger bouts of insomnia.
Magnesium Rich Diet
One of the first things you should do if you’re magnesium deficient, is to take a look at your diet. If your diet is very limited and does not include a lot of nutrient rich foods, then you may want to consider a change in diet.
Adding in variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, etc. gives you a variety of vitamins and minerals as well. If your diet is limited, you are likely deficient on more than just magnesium. Below is a list of magnesium rich foods.
Foods Rich in Magnesium:
- Nuts (Almonds, cashews, peanuts, etc)
- Leafy Greens (Spinach, collard greens, mustard greens, etc.)
- Black Beans
- Edamame (Soy Beans)
- Cultured Yogurts
- Whole Grains
- Fatty Fish
- Dark Chocolate – Sleep Tip: Typically, dark chocolate contains caffeine. Avoid eating right before bed.
Check out the Best & Worst Foods Before Bed.
Is Eating Magnesium Rich Foods Enough?
The truth of the matter is that it can be difficult to keep up with all of nutrients our bodies need on a regular basis. If we could all get our vitamins and minerals solely out of our diet consistently, then there would not be an aisle of vitamins and supplements in most grocery stores.
Of course, eating a healthy well-balanced diet is goal number one when it comes to giving our bodies the nutrients we need.
However, proper vitamins and supplements can be a great way to ensure that you are getting a proper amount you need consistently. This way when you’re in a pinch, or certain foods are out of season, you are still able to give your body everything it needs to thrive.
How To Maximize Your Magnesium:
You can have more than a sufficient amount of magnesium in your diet and still not experience the positive affects of magnesium due to a lack of other vitamins and minerals. A well-balanced diet is a term often used for a reason. In order to get the most out of your diet, it takes having a good balance of a lot of different nutrients in order for your body to function properly.
Here are a few tips on how you can maximize the effects of magnesium…
Avoid Calcium-rich Foods:
If you are wanting to maximize magnesium absorption, then avoid eating calcium dense foods at least two hours before and after eating magnesium-rich foods.
We suggest doing so because magnesium and calcium influence each other’s absorption into the body. Low magnesium will increase calcium absorption, while high calcium will lower magnesium absorption.
Get an Appropriate Zinc Dosage:
At the correct dosage, zinc can encourage magnesium absorption. While magnesium can also help regulate zinc levels in the body. At the right amount zinc and magnesium work synergistically. However, if your zinc supplements are too high, it can throw off your balance.
Foods High in Magnesium AND Zinc –
- Dark Chocolate
- Seeds & Nuts
- Whole Grains
Eat Raw Vegetables:
Lots of raw fruits and vegetables contain micronutrients especially on the surface of the veggies. Like the “skin” of roots vegetables like carrots. When we peel and cook our vegetables, a lot of that nutrients are taken away before we get to eat them.
By preparing and eating raw vegetables, much more of those nutrients stick around for us to eat and benefit from. Not only magnesium, but many others as well.
Talk to Your Doctor About Food Allergies:
Sometimes different food allergies and sensitivities can cause damage to your guts microvilli. This damage can hinder your bodies ability to absorb just about any nutrient value from your food and supplements.
Celiac disease and gluten intolerance are common causes of microvilli damage. However, there are other situations that can cause the same outcome. It is best to talk to your doctor if you think this is something that might be happening to you.
Stop Smoking Cigarettes:
We all already know that smoking in general is terrible for your health. It is no longer a secret, and frankly every smoker is sick of hearing it. However, it is worth mentioning yet another reason why you should stop smoking cigarettes.
Smokers overall have less retained nutrients in their system from vitamin d, c, b, and magnesium in their system. If you are worried about getting the proper nutrients and taking care of your health, cut out the cigarettes.
Smoking can be bad for your sleep, while quitting can make sleep feel impossible. Learn how to quite smoking for better sleep, health, along with tips on better sleep along the way.
Foods High in Magnesium for Sleep – Final Thoughts:
Your body need proper nutrition in order to do things like, build bones and sleep. If you are wanting to have a regular sleep schedule, then checking to see if you’re magnesium deficient may be a good idea. While there are great number of things that can cause insomnia, having a magnesium deficiency is one of them. Changing your diet or taking supplements can be a great way to get magnesium back into your system. We also hope our tips help you to ensure your body is absorbing the nutrients properly as well! All of this is in hopes that you will be able to get a better nights sleep.
Have questions about the benefits of magnesium for sleep? Let us know by contacting us and we would be happy to help!