Magnesium is an essential element for human health, and chances are that you're not getting enough. It was estimated in 2016 that half of U.S. adults might not get enough magnesium, and that could be having widespread effects on health and wellbeing, from sleep to mental health. Magnesium has been popular lately as a sleep aid. Research does show that magnesium is tied to the function of the body's internal clock, the cycle of chemicals and hormones that controls how much we sleep and when we wake up, and that increasing your levels might influence your sleep patterns. However, it's more complex than just 'add magnesium, get better ZZZs' — and there are other interactions and consequences you should know about, too.
Most of us get our magnesium intake from food; the Food and Drug Association explains that green leafy vegetables — in particular "spinach, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains" — are great for magnesium intake, but also cautions that refined grains often have a lot of magnesium content removed in processing. If you're taking magnesium supplements to boost your natural levels of the mineral, for sleep or some other purpose, you might be making some errors — and these guidelines are here to help you avoid them.