How to choose a magnesium supplement for sleep

If you’ve been struggling to get a good night’s sleep, it could be because you aren’t getting enough magnesium. Although it’s one of the most widely available minerals on Earth, magnesium deficiencies are shockingly common and one of the fallouts is sleep.

| Almost 50% of us are deficient in magnesium and yet no-one is talking about it.

If you’re not getting enough magnesium from food (green leafy veg, nuts & seeds, whole grains, meat and fish), it’s vital to supplement your diet with a high-quality magnesium supplement. 

This article outlines the types of different magnesium and the best forms of magnesium for sleep. 


Why are we deficient in magnesium?

Some of the main reasons why we are deficient in magnesium include:

  • Stress, coffee, alcohol, sugar all depletes our existing magnesium
  • The soil our food is now grown in is depleted of magnesium, so we’re not getting as much from our food. (This wasn’t the case a few decades ago)
  •  As we use more and more pesticides and herbicides, we are also depleting the magnesium in the water.

Signs of magnesium deficiency 

Some symptoms of anxiety deficiency include:

  1. Anxiety
  2. Depression
  3. Fatigue
  4. Heart palpitations
  5. Insomnia
  6. Muscle cramps
  7. Restless leg syndrome
  8. Poor memory or poor cognitive function

How to choose a magnesium for sleep

A lot (wayyy too many) of magnesium supplements out there are not that great. It would really remind you why you need to do your homework before buying any supplement. 


I've summarised my own personal research (I'm not qualified but I dig around in scientific journals & reddit forums)  -  on the best magnesium for you... see table below. 

Magnesium is best absorbed with calcium and vitamin d3. There are many different types but the best forms are ones that are easily absorbed. Always check the ingredients and look out for toxins like titanium dioxide, silica, and magnesium stearate

You can always try magnesium flakes to soak in your bath or magnesium chloride oil to put on your skin. There are lots of conflicting reports on which is better (supplements vs. skin absorption) e.g this study showed no additional advantages from transdermal magnesium but many “experts” claim there is a difference.  Truth is, we don't know but I've read enough to say I'm going to be buying magnesium chloride oil for myself (and my folks!) but I'll probably take a magnesium supplement too 🙈.


Magnesium oxide

Cheap to make, very poorly absorbed - avoid

Magnesium malate

Energising, supports muscles -  good absorption

Magnesium bis-glycinate chelate

Good for stress, anxiety, insomnia - good absorption

Magnesium citrate

Used for constipation -  poor/avg absorption

Magnesium threonate

Brain health, memory, focus, cognition - best absorption

Magnesium taurate

Anxiety, sleep - good absorption

Magnesium chloride

Cheap & toxic - avoid 


How much magnesium for sleep 


We need at a minimum 400mg per day - but we are only getting on average half this. Whats more - stress, coffee, sugar & alcohol all further depletes this. 😬

For sleep, a good dosage recommendation would be around 400mg to ensure you are getting at least getting the minimum dosage of magnesium


When to take magnesium for sleep 

Magnesium supplements are not water-soluble so you do not need to take these with food.

They do pass through our digestive tract so taking these around 1.5 - 2 hours before bedtime.



😴 For sleep, choose a magnesium bi-glycinate chelate or taurate (with calcium and d3 ideally for absorption).

😃 For all other reasons, choose magnesium threonate, it has the best absorption.

🛀 Consider adding magnesium flakes or magnesium chloride spray to your night time routine.