Magnesium supplementation can play a more direct role than just general health, with supplementation also long being associated with sleep and muscle relaxation. Research has started to show how alterations in peripheral and brain magnesium levels can lead to sleep disturbances and insomnia (Chollet, et al 2001). Building on this, clinical trials have also been conducted that help to prove a correlation between magnesium supplementation and improvements in baseline sleep quality and improvement in sleep disorders (Cao, et al 2018).
Magnesium plays a role in an array of critical body functions, such as controlling normal adenosine triphosphate (ATP) function, the metabolism of glucose, and cardiac muscle function, as well as the maintenance of cell membrane function. Low magnesium intake has been associated with a number of chronic diseases including hypertension, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, vascular disease, osteoporosis, and colon cancer. Magnesium deficiency is common in the population; nearly 4% of men and 7% of women have hypomagnesemia (low magnesium blood levels) in the United States (Fulgoni, et al 2011). In addition, hypomagnesemia is seen in approximately 11% of hospitalized patients and 52% of patients in coronary care units (Reinhart & Desbiens, 1985). Approximately half of the population does not reach the recommended daily intake for magnesium from food in the U.S alone, yet magnesium deficiency is often overlooked in a clinical setting.
Diving deeper into its chemistry, bioactive magnesium differs from elemental magnesium (magnesium you find as a metal), because it exists in its ionic state of Mg2+ in the body. This charge allows magnesium to be water soluble, whilst carrying out its various functions, such as metal coordination for proteins. When in supplemented/powdered form magnesium’s charge means it must be bound to another molecule, forming a magnesium salt. There are many different types of magnesium salts, such as magnesium; chloride, citrate, lactate, malate, glycinate, etc. Each of these salts affect magnesiums bioavailability and carry a secondary substance that you will absorb alongside your supplemented magnesium. It is important to choose a type of magnesium which not only has a high bioavailability, but also carries a beneficial secondary supplement. Magnesium glycinate along with other organic magnesium salts have been shown to have superior bioavailability over inorganic salts (Marta, et al 2021).
Glycine is an amino acid, which is vital to the formation of all proteins in the body. The glycine attached to magnesium glycinate can also play an important role in general health and sleep. Glycine acts not only as a building block for proteins, but also as an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system, which is how researchers believe glycine supplementation can have a positive impact on sleep and rest quality. One such study found that glycine supplementation before bed significantly ameliorated subjective sleep quality in individuals with insomniac tendencies. It was also shown that subjects supplementing glycine had a reduced nightly body temperature, which is necessary for a deep healthy sleep (Bannai & Kawai, 2012). Researchers postulated that through supplementation of glycine, higher levels of glycine could accumulate in the plasma and cerebrospinal fluid, helping to better regulate and manage the nervous system.Purchase Here
- Fulgoni, V. L., Keast, D. R., Bailey, R. L., & Dwyer, J. (2011). Foods, fortificants, and supplements: Where do Americans get their nutrients?. The Journal of nutrition, 141(10), 1847–1854. https://doi.org/10.3945/jn.111.142257
- Reinhart, R. A., & Desbiens, N. A. (1985). Hypomagnesemia in patients entering the ICU. Critical care medicine, 13(6), 506–507. https://doi.org/10.1097/00003246-198506000-00015
- Chollet D, Franken P, Raffin Y, Henrotte JG, Widmer J, Malafosse A, Tafti M. Magnesium involvement in sleep: genetic and nutritional models. Behav Genet. 2001 Sep;31(5):413-25. doi: 10.1023/a:1012790321071. PMID: 11777170.
- Cao Y, Zhen S, Taylor AW, Appleton S, Atlantis E, Shi Z. Magnesium Intake and Sleep Disorder Symptoms: Findings from the Jiangsu Nutrition Study of Chinese Adults at Five-Year Follow-Up. Nutrients. 2018; 10(10):1354. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10101354
- Marta R. Pardo, Elena Garicano Vilar, Ismael San Mauro Martín, María Alicia Camina Martín. Bioavailability of magnesium food supplements: A systematic review. Nutrition. 2021; Vol. 89. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nut.2021.111294.
- Bannai, M. & Kawai, N. Glycine Improves the Quality of Sleep. Journal of Pharmacological Sciences. 2012. https://doi.org/10.1254/jphs.11R04FM