Much is made of sleeping issues. Studies show that more than one-third of Americans don’t get seven hours of sleep per night, and around half of seniors report at least some short-term insomnia issues.

Many sleep experts caution against using over-the-counter sleeping aids because they can be habit-forming, but more and more people are turning to natural remedies. This includes melatonin, as supplements taken 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime can help increase the production of this hormone in your body to help you fall asleep faster.

Another supplement that is emerging to help those get a restful night sleep is magnesium. Bannister Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing has a look at how this can improve both the quality and quantity of your sleep.

Backed by Science

A study from 2012 found that among elderly test subjects, those who took a 500-milligram dose of magnesium over a period of eight weeks reported fewer symptoms of insomnia and slept longer as well. Those with generalized anxiety disorder also found that taking magnesium daily for six weeks helped reduce symptoms of both depression and anxiety.

Further Health Benefits

Magnesium can also help relax muscles and nerves. If muscle twitches or leg cramps are keeping you up at night or preventing you from falling asleep, magnesium may be the answer.

Natural Ways to Add Magnesium to Your Diet

If you’re not keen on taking supplements, magnesium is present in many common foods. The highest are pumpkin seeds (168 milligrams per 1 ounce), dry, unsalted almonds (80 milligrams per 1 ounce), and boiled spinach (78 milligrams per ½ cup). Additional sources include pretty much any nut, seed, whole grain, legume, or leafy green.


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