Magnesium Can Help Insomnia

Magnesium is vital for the function of GABA receptors, which are found across all areas of the brain and nervous system. GABA is a calming neurotransmitter that the brain requires in order to switch off. Insufficient GABA can leave you feeling tense, with racing thoughts and an inability to quieten your brain.

The main opposing neurotransmitter to GABA is glutamate. GABA calms, whereas glutamate fires the brain into higher states of activity; you use glutamate when solving sudoku puzzles, but you need GABA to be dominant while trying to get to sleep.

Taking 400mg of magnesium at bedtime can help support GABA production so that you’ll get to sleep more easily and stay asleep. Avoid supplements that contain magnesium oxide, as it gives some people diarrhea or loose bowel motions.

Reference: Owens DF, Krieg Stein AR. Is there more to GABA than synaptic inhibition? Nat. Rev. Neurosci 2002;3:715