What is Magnesium?

Magnesium is a mineral, like copper or zinc.  Our bodies need a full array of vitamins and minerals to function optimally.  The role of magnesium in the body is to help regulate blood pressure, transmit signals through our nerves, and control our moods.  It also helps us sleep.  Because magnesium is a part of so many different metabolic processes, a deficiency can result in a wide array of disorders.  Magnesium is found naturally in many of the foods we eat, such as leafy green vegetables, legumes, whole grains, seeds and nuts.  Because many of us are faced with menu choices that aren’t composed of whole foods, we find ourselves having to supplement our diets, and fortunately, magnesium is an easy mineral to add to your daily routine.

What is Magnesium good for?

It’s important to note that elemental magnesium is difficult to absorb into the body.  The best way to maximize the absorption of magnesium is to “chelate” it by binding it to an amino acid.  Magnesium can be successfully bound to lysine, citrine, taurine, glycine, or threonine to allow it to be absorbed in the digestive tract.

One of the benefits of chelated magnesium is to relieve constipation.  The mechanism for this is as a muscle relaxant, allowing the digestive system to stop constricting.  Many find that relief occurs overnight while they sleep.  The muscle relaxation effect of magnesium is also how magnesium helps with sleep itself.  Magnesium benefits the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps relieve anxiety and stress, resulting in an easier time falling asleep.

How does Magnesium promote healthy sleep?

Studies have resulted in encouraging findings on the role of magnesium supplements in the treatment of insomnia.  Researchers found that magnesium supplementation helped subjects fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, reduced nighttime awakenings, and increased their levels of naturally circulating melatonin.  Other studies showing promising results have focused on combining magnesium with other supplements such as melatonin and vitamins.

Another area of study related to sleep has been the use of supplemental magnesium to treat Restless Legs Syndrome.  Restless Leg syndrome Syndrome involves an involuntary urge to move the legs, and the resulting involuntary motion interferes with sleep.  While it is not clear exactly what causes this disorder, some researchers have suggested that magnesium deficiency may play a role in the development of the condition during pregnancy or while receiving dialysis.

Who should not take Magnesium?

In most cases, magnesium supplements are safe. A dangerously high level of magnesium is rare in otherwise healthy people unless they take a very high dose of magnesium.  Symptoms of excessive magnesium range from mild to extreme and include nausea, headache, low blood pressure, muscle paralysis and cardiac arrest.  The risk for toxicity is higher for people who have impaired kidney function, and those who have colitis, gastritis, or gastric ulcer disease.

As a dietary supplement, it may be a useful addition to a medical treatment plan, taken under a doctor’s supervision and with their approval.

Tree of Life Botanicals Products with Magnesium:

TOLB Immunity

TOLB Sleep


1 Oral magnesium supplementation for insomnia in older adults: A systematic review & meta-analysis; BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies, 21(1), 1-11, Mah, J., & Pitre, T. (2021).

2 The effects of magnesium–melatonin-vit B complex supplementation in treatment of insomnia; Open Access Macedonian Journal of Medical Sciences, 7(18), 3101, Djokic, G., Vojvodić, P., Korcok, D., Agic, A., Rankovic, A., Djordjevic, V., Vojvodic A.,Vlaskovic-Jovicevic, T., Peric-Hajzler, Z.,Matovic, D., Vojvodic, J., Sijan, G., Wollina, W., Van Thuong, N., Fioranelli, M., & Lotti, T. (2019)

3 Zinc and magnesium levels of pregnant women with restless leg syndrome and their relationship with anxiety: A case-control study; Biological Trace Element Research, 199(5), 1674-1685, Yıldırım, E., & Apaydın, H. (2021)

4 Association between predialysis hypermagnesaemia and morbidity of uraemic restless legs syndrome in maintenance haemodialysis patients: A retrospective observational study in Zhejiang, China; BMJ open, 9(7), e027970, Yang, Y., Ye, H., He, Q., Zhang, X., Yu, B., Yang, J., & Chen, J. (2019)

5 Baik, H. M., Kim, K. H., & Joh, E. H. (2018). The effect of Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) extract on sleep, anxiety-related behaviors, and memory in rats. Journal of medicinal food, 21(11), 1000-10014.

6  Hypermagnesemia: Causes, symptoms, and treatment. In M. Emmett & R. H. Sterns (Eds.); Yu, A. S. (2022, May 19)

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