How taking magnesium supplements can be good for sleep

More people are turning to magnesium for sleep, due to its beneficial effects on poor night's rest. This is because magnesium has lots of advantages that help calm and rest the body and mind before and during bedtime.

In this guide to magnesium for sleep, we explain:

  • Why does having low magnesium levels in the body cause sleep problems?
  • How does magnesium for sleep work?
  • What are the benefits of taking magnesium for sleep?
  • When should I take magnesium for sleep?
  • What dosage of magnesium should I take?
  • Does magnesium help children sleep?
  • What are magnesium oil sprays for sleep and how do I use them?

Why does having low magnesium levels in the body cause sleep problems?

Our bodies need minerals to function properly, and magnesium is one of several minerals considered essential to good health. One of its many positive features is magnesium's effect on sleep.

If you have low magnesium in your body, it can disrupt your sleep. Not only can it have a detrimental effect on how your body winds down to fall asleep, but it can stop you falling into a deep sleep, causing you to wake constantly. These are some of the reasons magnesium for sleep is so vital. If you feel you do not have a high enough intake of this essential mineral you can take pill-free magnesium supplements to help.

How does magnesium for sleep work?

Sleep comes about via a very complex process of hormones and neurotransmitters—chemicals that send messages between your nervous system and your brain. Simply speaking, these all work together to activate the areas of the brain that enable you to sleep, while inhibiting the areas that keep you awake and conscious.

Magnesium for sleep helps this process by regulating the neurotransmitters and ultimately calming your nervous system in readiness for sleep. It also works alongside melatonin—a hormone your body produces naturally—to control your body clock and sleep-wake cycles. This is why some people take sleep supplements, including both melatonin and magnesium.

As well as helping you fall asleep, magnesium also allows for deeper, more replenishing sleep, as these 2011 and 2012 studies demonstrated.

What are the benefits of taking magnesium for sleep?

Boosting your magnesium intake will have great benefits for your health. For those who are experiencing magnesium deficiency, you could look into taking a magnesium supplement to boost your intake. Magnesium:

  • is scientifically proven to relieve broken sleep—it helps limit the effects of cortisol, the “stress hormone” that can keep you awake
  • helps muscles relax
  • keeps your mood stable and limits stress

Some added advantages of applying magnesium topically are that it:

  • is simple to apply—and absorbs into your skin easily
  • can be completely natural and free of man-made pollutants, if you choose the pure mined magnesium

When should I take magnesium for sleep?

Prepare your body for restful sleep by using magnesium (as magnesium chloride) around 20–30 minutes before you go to bed. There are a number of ways you can do this, and some of the best forms of magnesium for sleep are set out in the table below:



Suggested products

Applying a magnesium spray to your skin

Read more about magnesium oil sprays below

  • Quick and simple—can be used on the move
  • Can treat almost any part of your body

Taking a warm bath treated with magnesium bath flakes

Having a footbath with added magnesium

  • Ideal for people with sensitive skin

Massaging a magnesium lotion into your skin

  • Absorbs quickly
  • Hydrates and moisturises skin at the same time

What dosage of magnesium should I take?

As with all supplements, there are different recommended doses for adults and children. It is recommended to take the following dosages:


Recommended daily dose of magnesium


300 mg

Pregnant women

400 mg

Children aged 15–18

300 mg

Children aged 11–14

280 mg

Children aged 7–10

200 mg

Children aged 4–6

120 mg

Children aged 1–3

85 mg

Children aged 7–12 months

75 mg

Children aged up to 6 months

30 mg

Note: There is no maximum recommended dose for transdermal magnesium. Maximum dosages are only recommended for products taken orally. This is because they act as a natural relaxant and, in large doses, can have a laxative effect.

Toxic symptoms from increased magnesium intake are rare, as the body naturally eliminates any excess amounts (unless there are serious problems with kidney function).

Does magnesium help children sleep?


Magnesium supplements are completely safe for children, as long as they stick to the recommended daily dosage. One of the best ways for children to supplement their magnesium for sleep, is through topical magnesium. This version of magnesium for sleep for kids is perfect for little ones who don’t like swallowing pills. You’ll never have trouble getting your kids to take their children’s vitamins again.

What are magnesium oil sprays and how do I use them?

BetterYou’s magnesium oil sprays are a simple method of supplementing your magnesium intake for sleep. As the name suggests, you spray it onto your skin as part of your going-to-bed routine and allow it to soak in.

Ten sprays generally provide around half of your recommended daily dose of magnesium. It typically takes around a week to maximize your magnesium levels to the point where you can clearly feel the difference.

Where do I spray it/rub it in?

You can spray it on to whichever part of your body you like, while avoiding areas of sensitive or broken skin. As magnesium spray works to relieve muscle tension as well as aid sleep, it’s best to spray it wherever you feel the most severe aches, pains, strains or cramp.

Can I spray it onto my feet to aid sleep?

Yes. Applying it directly to your feet and massaging it into the skin around 30 minutes before bed will help you get a good night’s sleep as well as provide relief for aching feet.

Is it safe to use magnesium oil sprays on toddlers?

Yes. The pure Magnesium Oil Body Spray is suitable for young children, although we recommend using the specially formulated Magnesium Sleep Lotion Junior, which is suitable for children aged one and above.

Is it safe to use magnesium oil sprays on babies?

Yes—just spray a little of the pure Magnesium Oil Body Spray on your baby’s feet and rub it in. However, we’d highly recommend using the Magnesium Flakes in your baby’s bath before bedtime. It should ease their irritability and help calm them down.

What Makes BetterYou Special?

We are an innovative supplementation brand, developing the first vitamin oral sprays. With a range of energy supplements, vegan supplements, and vitamin D supplements, you can use our products to boost your daily lifestyle and feel your best.

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