From PMS to anxiety and sleep to metabolism, this mighty mineral has a big impact on your hormonal health.
Magnesium is one busy mineral – we need it to carry out around 300 essential functions in our body, many of which have an impact on our hormones.
How magnesium supports your hormones
It helps with PMS symptoms
If you experience symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) every month, a magnesium supplement could be the answer.
A study published in the Journal of Caring Sciences in 2012 asked women with PMS to complete a menstrual diary while taking either magnesium, vitamin B6 or a placebo.
The scientists found that both vitamin B6 and magnesium significantly improved symptoms like depression, anxiety and water retention.1
It balances our mood
A magnesium deficiency has been linked to depression.
It’s thought magnesium helps maintain the neurotransmitters in our brain related to moods.
American researchers discovered that when people were given 125-300 mg of magnesium with each meal and at bedtime, they reported improved symptoms of major depression in less than seven days.3
Why is magnesium good for sleep?
As well as supporting PMS symptoms and mood, magnesium is well known for its benefits on sleep too! Magnesium reportedly helps with sleep regulation - and a lack of magnesium is linked to poor sleep quality and even insomnia.4,5
Interestingly, studies have shown that low levels of magnesium are also linked with anxiety and depression, both of which can contribute to insomnia.6
There are a range of reasons why magnesium is good for sleep, which we’ll dive into below.
It regulates our body clocks
Research has shown that magnesium helps control how our cells manage the cycle of day and night. 7
This is what keeps our body clock, or circadian rhythm, steady, which consequently benefits sleeping, waking, hormone release, body temperature and other bodily functions.
A study by the University of Edinburgh in 2016 found that magnesium levels in cells rise and fall through the day, regulating our body clock, but also affecting how well nutrients are converted into energy.7
The team say the discovery could help the development of chronotherapy, which is a technique that targets medical treatments to specific times of day to maximise their efficacy.
It improves sleep quality
Nearly 50% of older adults suffer from insomnia, but an Iranian trial discovered that magnesium supplements could help.8
When researching the magnesium insomnia connection, they found that elderly people taking magnesium for eight weeks had ‘statistically significant increases in sleep time, sleep efficiency, and concentration of sleep-regulating hormone melatonin.
They also scored lower on the Insomnia Severity Index, plus the length of time it took them to drop off dropped, as did their stress hormones.
It may help with restless leg syndrome
Although results are mixed, magnesium supplementation has been suggested to help with restless leg syndrome RLS). This is where you experience an overwhelming urge to move your legs, often during times of rest, like when you’re trying to get to sleep at night.9
One small study researched the effects of taking magnesium supplements on patients with RLS. Interestingly, they found that their sleep efficiency improved from 75% to 85% when patients took magnesium for 4 to 6 weeks.10 Although this is an old study so more research is needed to confirm this.
What is the best magnesium supplement for sleep?
Interested in trying some magnesium for sleep?
We can help you choose the best one for you. One of the most important things to do is to choose a supplement that contains a bioavailable form of magnesium – aka, one that is easily absorbed by your body.
- Magnesium glycinate
- Magnesium citrate
- Magnesium malate
- Magnesium L-threonate
Just a heads up, though, magnesium citrate also acts as a laxative - so taking this magnesium at night might not be the best option...11
The final say
Magnesium has a clear positive impact on hormonal health, offering support for things like sleep, mood and premenstrual syndrome.
From regulating your sleep cycle to increasing sleep efficiency, why not discover the benefits of magnesium on sleep for yourself?
Advice is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please consult a doctor or healthcare professional before trying any remedies.
Last updated: 18 October 2022