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Does Magnesium Threonate Help With Sleep?

a woman sleeping on a bed with her laptop and coffee beside her, magnesium threonate sleep

Key Takeaways

  • Magnesium L-Threonate may enhance cognitive function and memory.
  • Magnesium L-Threonate could help protect against chronic diseases due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
  • It may alleviate symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress.
  • Magnesium L-Threonate may improve sleep quality by reducing sleep onset latency and aiding in relaxation.
  • Dosage recommendations for magnesium L-Threonate are not yet established, but a healthy diet can provide sufficient magnesium.
  • Magnesium Bisglycinate is an alternative supplement for sleep.
  • Magnesium L-Threonate crosses the blood-brain barrier and supports brain health.
  • Potential side effects include stomach upset and diarrhoea, so start with smaller doses.
  • Consult a doctor if you suspect allergies, kidney disease, or if you're taking other medications.
  • Excessive magnesium intake can lead to severe side effects, including cardiac arrest.

Magnesium threonate for sleep is a topic of growing interest among individuals seeking to improve their sleep quality. Magnesium is one of the most important minerals required for the human body to function optimally.

The mineral is essential to help build proteins, bone, and DNA material. It can also potentially help your nerves and muscles to work correctly, and control your blood sugar and blood pressure levels.

In the absence of magnesium over time, you can develop the risk of more serious and chronic health conditions. Magnesium L-Threonate, a specific form of Magnesium, has been discovered to offer various advantages to the brain, including its potential role in aiding sleep.

In this article, we take a closer look at what magnesium L-threonate is and how it helps improve sleep quality.

What is Magnesium L-Threonate?

Magnesium L-Threonate (MgT), also known as magnesium threonate, is a form of the mineral magnesium. It forms as a salt when magnesium combines with a substance known as threonic acid. Threonic acid is a byproduct of the metabolic breakdown of Vitamin C. 

If you have a magnesium deficiency (low magnesium levels), your doctor may prescribe magnesium threonate because it's a form that's easily absorbed by the body.

Magnesium L-threonate can bypass the brain-blood barrier and get to the central nervous system, where it activates a neurotransmitter (chemical messenger) called GABA or gamma-aminobutyric acid. GABA helps to slow down the mind and calm the brain, creating conditions that aid restful and good-quality sleep.

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General Benefits of Magnesium L-Threonate

Brain-related benefits primarily associated with Magnesium L-Threonate, and a significant portion of the research remains in its early stages. From what we know, magnesium L-threonate may:

  1. Help prevent cell death and preserve memory - Hypoxia, which signifies low oxygen levels, inhibits the absorption of a neurotransmitter called glutamate by the body. Studies have indicated that MgT protects against cell death and maintains memory function, particularly during hypoxic conditions.
  2. Boost cognitive function - Because MgT readily increases magnesium levels in the brain, it has been linked to possible improvements in cognitive functions such as recall, memory, and other cognitive abilities.
  3. Help protect against chronic disease - MgT exhibits anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which means it may help protect against cell damage, early aging, and chronic disease.
  4. Exhibit benefits in depression, anxiety, and stress - Magnesium is an essential component of brain neurochemistry, and its deficiency has been associated with depressive symptoms. Healthcare professionals often recommend it as a complementary therapy alongside antidepressant medication for individuals dealing with this condition. It is also noted for its calming effect, which helps alleviate symptoms of anxiety and stress.

Besides these general benefits, magnesium L-threonate is believed to provide specific advantages for sleep.

Magnesium L-Threonate's Benefits for Sleep

Existing literature suggests that magnesium supplementation may improve insomnia and other sleep-related parameters such as sleep efficiency, sleep duration, sleep onset latency (the time it takes to fall asleep in bed), and early morning awakening.

But, the body does not easily absorb all forms of magnesium. Magnesium L-threonate is one form that the body readily absorbs, resulting in an immediate increase in magnesium levels in the brain. This makes it easier for the mind to relax, slow down, and unwind more easily. Because of its calming effect. it may also help reduce other factors that may be hindering your sleep, such as stress and anxiety.

Also read: NSDR (Non-Sleep Deep Rest) for how to achieve a heightened state of rest using one specific technique.

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How to Take Magnesium L-Threonate & Dosage

Magnesium L-threonate is available in tablet or capsule form, which you can consume orally. Ideally, consume the supplement with a full glass of water together with a meal to prevent stomach upset.

Dosage: There isn't any consensus at this time on how much magnesium L-threonate you can take for health benefits. However, if you're considering taking magnesium threonate for sleep, you may want to check out Andrew Huberman's Sleep Cocktail, for which he recommends 200 to 400mg of magnesium l-threonate or magnesium glycinate (another form of magnesium, more about this form in the next section!).

In general, the recommended dietary allowance or RDA of elemental magnesium for otherwise healthy adults is 300 to 420mg per day.

In most cases, a healthy and balanced diet allows you to obtain the required amount of magnesium from foods like various green leafy vegetables, beans, lentils, seeds, and nuts. However, because of stress and a harried lifestyle, additional supplementation may offset any deficiencies.

Quick Tip: If you want to understand how much magnesium you're actually getting from your magnesium supplement, look for the amount of "elemental magnesium." While the labelling may promise a certain amount of magnesium L-threonate, you may find that in reality the amount of actual elemental magnesium (present in the ingredients list) that can be used by your body, is a lot lower.

Magnesium Bisglycinate, an Alternative to Magnesium L-Threonate

You can find various types of magnesium for supplementation, but not all of them are as easily absorbed by the brain as magnesium L-threonate or MgT. For instance, while magnesium oxide is an affordable form of magnesium, it is not as easily absorbed. In the absence of MgT, you could also try magnesium biglycinate as an alternative supplement for sleep. This form is what you get when you combine magnesium and an amino acid called glycine.

Also read:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. What does Magnesium L-Threonate help with?

Magnesium L-threonate is able to cross the brain-blood barrier and enter the central nervous system, so it is a great way to deliver magnesium to the brain. Studies have shown that magnesium enhances and preserves cognitive function, eases anxiety and stress, and enhances both the quantity and quality of sleep for individuals who face difficulties falling asleep.

In general, magnesium is one of the key minerals necessary for many vital processes in the body. If you're magnesium deficient, you could be at a higher risk of contracting medical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and osteoporosis.

Q2. What are the side effects of Magnesium L-Threonate?

Magnesium L-threonate may cause minor side effects such as stomach upset and diarrhoea. Take the supplement with a meal and a full glass of water to help prevent and mitigate the side effects. Start with smaller doses to begin with.

Speak to your doctor before taking magnesium if you suspect an allergy or you have kidney disease. Also, discuss with your physician if you're taking other medications, as magnesium may sometimes hinder the complete absorption of these medications.

Very rarely, magnesium L-threonate may cause a serious allergic reaction. It can be identified by symptoms like rashes, itching, swelling (especially of the face, tongue, or throat), severe dizziness, and trouble breathing. Reach out for medical help straight away if this happens.

If you're consuming excess amounts of magnesium, you may experience more severe side effects such as low blood pressure, nausea or vomiting, irregular heartbeat, muscle weakness, and, in rare cases, even cardiac arrest.

Q3. Can You Take Magnesium L-threonate daily?

Most healthy adults consider magnesium supplementation with elemental magnesium in the range of 300 to 420mg per day as safe.

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Concluding Thoughts

Modern living poses a number of different challenges, including stress, which can make it difficult to achieve sound sleep.

Magnesium L-threonate appears to be a promising sleep aid aside from its other uniquely positive effects on cognitive function. The brain easily absorbs it, and it plays a pivotal role in increasing the amount of magnesium in the brain.

Incorporating magnesium L-threonate into your routine could be a solution for achieving more energized and rejuvenating days, fostering a sense of overall well-being.

Darcy Ogdon-Nolan

Holding a Bachelor Of Science (Hons.) combined with close to a decade now in the health food and wellness industry, I believe I'm uniquely positioned to provide a depth of knowledge and first-hand experience on emerging health products, trends and ideas! From greens powders and medicinal mushrooms through to protein powders and workout nutrition - I'm particularly interested in what modern science can uncover about what human cultures have been using to treat ailments for millennia!

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