Magnesium Glycinate is TikTok’s new favorite sleep aid

esometimes it seems like a lot of people on TikTok are dizzy and nervous. The app-dominating generations—Generation Z and Millennials—are also the most prolific surrounded by anxiety, closely related to sleep disorders. Therefore, it is not surprising that what is said to aid sleep—such as sour cherry juice, brown noise, melatoninAnd downtown—is a constant fixture on a social media platform.

Now, the app’s wellness community has taken on the newest supplement touted to heal both insomnia and anxiety: magnesium glycinate, one of nearly a dozen over-the-counter supplements. can be used to increase the amount of magnesium in the body. Content creators stress that it helps them go to bed many hours earlier than usual, reduces insomnia, and helps them relax at the end of the day. A nurse practitioner on the app called her magnesium glycinate “additional holy grail.”

So does it really work?

What is magnesium?

Magnesium, of course, is not new. It’s a mineral that you already have in your body from foods like nuts, seeds, beans, and some vegetables and dairy. It works in the cells of many body systems to keep muscles, nerves and other organs working properly. Someone trying to sell you supplements can tell you that more is better. half of adults in the United States While this is technically true, most of us still have enough to prevent any real impact, says Emily Tarleton, a registered dietitian and researcher at the University of Northern Vermont. any remarkable. Significant magnesium deficiencies are much less common and often accompanied by symptoms such as fatigue, weakness and nausea. However, some researchers have also suggested that there may be a link between mild magnesium deficiency and sleep disturbance.

In nature, magnesium is always found in combination with other elements, meaning there are many ways to get it into the body. Magnesium products and supplements reflect this diversity in form. You can buy capsules (such as magnesium citrate), beverage additives (such as magnesium lactate), or salts, which include magnesium sulfate (also called Epsom salt) and are designed to deliver small amounts of the mineral through the skin. Magnesium glycinate is popular because it is among the most bioavailable in capsule forms, meaning the body can use larger amounts of the mineral.

Do magnesium supplements improve mental health or sleep?

Tarleton is one of the few researchers to have studied the effects of magnesium on depression in a randomized clinical trial, the gold standard for drug studies. In her 2017 learn, she found that people who took 248 mg of elemental magnesium from magnesium chloride tablets daily reported improvements in feelings of depression over six weeks. That same year, a review 18 small studies found that people taking various magnesium supplements reported an improvement in anxiety symptoms. In Tarleton’s study, “one of the other side effects was more sleep,” she says. While she has not studied the direct effects of magnesium supplements on sleep, for her the mineral will act as a sleep aid, especially in its bioavailable forms. such as magnesium glycinate and magnesium chloride. “Magnesium plays a huge role in muscle contraction,” she says. “Athletes will sometimes use it to relieve muscle cramps. So our theory is that the muscle relaxation side effect could help with sleep.”

When sleep quality shows up in magnesium supplement research, it’s usually a side effect. In studies where magnesium was given to people with migraines, Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and some other health conditions, improvement in sleep is sometimes reported but rarely formally monitored.

Several studies have looked at proprietary magnesium supplements as a treatment for insomnia, but all of them have been too small and targeted specific populations to draw conclusions. such one learn 2012 included only elderly participants and had a sample size of only 46. Another more recent one learn from 2019 include magnesium as a treatment for insomnia, but only as part of a supplement containing melatonin and B vitamins. In 2022, the authors of a study review analyzed all the studies on magnesium as a treatment for insomnia concluded that without more and longer-term research no definite link between magnesium and sleep could be drawn. .

Magnesium’s most important role in the health world has long been used to treat migraines; Certain formulations and strengths are available by prescription to people suffering from attacks. Current theories on how magnesium works to alleviate these symptoms mainly suggest that magnesium helps the brain to function normally again, including regulating the release of chemical signals and attraction. healing elements into this area. While there’s no solid evidence that any of these procedures would apply to the sleeping mind, Tarleton says it makes sense.

How to use magnesium safely?

If you want to take magnesium for sleep, relaxation, or any other reason, it’s important to make sure you really know how much you’re taking. And because supplements are not prescribed the same way as pills, magnesium tablets can have other ingredients mixed in. “There are very few magnesium supplements that have been tested and verified for their exact ingredients,” says Tarleton. She recommends always checking the label of the bottle to make sure that the manufacturers have listed the amount of elemental magnesium (essentially, the mass of the mineral itself) contained in the medicine. A healthcare professional is best suited to guide you through a good starting dose — and to consider whether you should take magnesium, as supplements are not without risks. “The major side effects of too much magnesium are diarrhea, abdominal pain, and ultimately nausea and vomiting,” says Tarleton. “Those are the first signs” that you may be taking too much.

Like any sleep aid, Tarleton says, it’s best to use magnesium supplements sparingly, as their effects can wear off over time. And before you start taking supplements, consider improving Sleep hygiene and habits. “It’s much easier to take a supplement than to try to really scrutinize the reason you’re not sleeping well in the first place.”

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