3 reasons why Magnesium is the ‘Relaxation Mineral’

There’s good scientific reason why magnesium is nicknamed the ‘Relaxation Mineral’. 1. Magnesium supports neurotransmitters that calm the body and mind. Magnesium is a pivotal nutrient for the healthy functioning of the parasympathetic nervous system – the part of the nervous system that’s responsible for getting your body into a…

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There’s good scientific reason why magnesium is nicknamed the ‘Relaxation Mineral’.

1. Magnesium supports neurotransmitters that calm the body and mind.

Magnesium is a pivotal nutrient for the healthy functioning of the parasympathetic nervous system – the part of the nervous system that’s responsible for getting your body into a calm and relaxed state, ready for bed.

Magnesium also helps to maintain correct levels of the calming neurotransmitter GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid) – a vital chemical messenger that promotes sleep. Interestingly, the therapeutic aim of many prescription sleeping tablets is to increase levels of GABA; magnesium provides this support naturally.

2. Magnesium balances the effects of stress and anxiety.

When you’re stressed or anxious at night, the brain powers into overdrive, racing with thoughts instead of shutting down. Stress activates the sympathetic nervous system – the opposite side of the nervous system that prepares your body for intense physical activity, or to ‘fight or take flight’. This can have a negative impact on sleep. In this ‘hyper-alert’ state it can be a challenge to fall asleep, stay asleep, and the quality of sleep is often compromised too.

So how does magnesium help with all this? Magnesium is involved in regulating the HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical) axis, which in simple terms means that magnesium helps to balance stress. Under stress, more magnesium is used up and eliminated from your system, so if you’re stressed, you need to up your dietary intake of magnesium to balance the body’s increased needs.

3. Magnesium relaxes your brain and muscles.

‘Nature’s tranquiliser’ not only relaxes the brain but relaxes your muscles too. Without magnesium, muscles can’t relax and cramps and spasms may start to occur, particularly following a workout. Early research even suggests that some cases of restless legs syndrome (RLS), which itself can cause sleep problems, may be caused by a magnesium deficiency and that magnesium supplements may help to reduce RLS symptoms.

Are you getting enough Magnesium?

Magnesium is the relaxation mineral, helping to calm both mind and body before bed. From its involvement in the production of calming neurotransmitters, to balancing the stress response and even acting as a brain and muscle relaxant, it’s difficult to overestimate the potential sleep benefits of magnesium. If you’re regularly ‘not getting enough’ sleep, perhaps it’s time to assess whether you’re ‘getting enough’ magnesium in your diet?

Useful Resources:

Why We Sleep – Matthew Walker

Why Magnesium Helps You Sleep – Rachel Bartholomew