Did you give melatonin to try, hoping it would help you get to sleep better? We talk about it a lot on this site, how wonderful it is and what it can do for you.
But what if it doesn't work?
In some cases, melatonin might not be right for you. While it does work for most people, if you don't have the right nutrients to utilize the melatonin or there's other factors going on in your life, you want to take a look at some alternatives.
Why Your Melatonin Might Not Work
If you've used this supplement and found it doesn't work, there might be several reasons for that.
First, be sure to use a quality supplement. Low-quality supplements flooded the market and may not contain the correct dosage.
If you are using a quality supplement, you may need to step up the dosage. Do not go more than 5mg, but three might not be enough.
Next, take a look at what you're eating and drinking in the afternoon and evening. Are you eating or drinking any foods that contain caffeine or large amounts of sugar? Are you eating snacks after dinner? Are you keeping your dinner meal light and vegetable-rich?
Caffeine, sugar, eating late, and eating a lot of food can throw off the hormone balance in the body, making melatonin less effective in your body. Too much caffeine or sugar can keep you too awake and energized to want to fall asleep. And meals that are too large and late snacking can keep your digestive system running and distract you from sleep.
It could be that you're taking another medication that could interfere with sleep. In that case, talking to your doctor to determine if you're taking your medicine at the wrong time or switching to another type can resolve the issue.
It could also be you might not have enough magnesium in your system to effectively use melatonin or other hormones effectively. This is common in women, especially those experiencing adrenal fatigue.
How Magnesium Affects Your Body
Magnesium is used in over 300 processes of the body. It's particularly effective as a catalyst and helper co-nutrient for many hormones. It's essential for the neurotransmitters in your brain, muscle contraction, heart health, diabetes control, blood help, bone strength, and many more functions.
Most women are deficient in magnesium. It can be felt acutely in energy production and mental clarity. Sometimes, taking a magnesium supplement can help relieve symptoms of fatigue.
So how does magnesium affect sleep? Let's find out!
Why Magnesium Is Great For Sleep
Most of the research out there knows magnesium is important for sleep because the deficiency causes poor sleep. They know supplementing helps. But, they don't know why.
It also seems combining magnesium, melatonin, and B vitamins helps the best. That leads researchers to believe it's a neurotransmitter or metabolism issue that disrupts sleep.
But, mostly, it helps you relax, as it's a primary component in vasodilation and muscle relaxation. So if you're tense, magnesium may help.
Magnesium Side Effects
As great as magnesium is, it's not perfect. You don't have to worry about taking too much, because scientists have not found an upper-level that has proved toxic to most. But, it can do other inconvenient things.
They have found that some people are very sensitive to magnesium in their digestive system. For some people, a regular dose of magnesium can cause a laxative effect. And other people, it takes several doses, while in others, it has no effect at all.
We do recommend starting your supplementation at a very low dose, usually half the recommended amount to see how your body reacts. Then, slowly increase and gauge how your body responds to it.
Most of the time, taking magnesium earlier in the day does not provide the sleepy benefits it does when taking it in the evening. The body utilizes the magnesium differently.
Some medications may interact with the magnesium, such as pain medication and blood thinners. Also, people who use digestive medications should double-check with their doctor before taking magnesium.
How Should You Use Magnesium?
Magnesium is a supplement, something used to help your body get more nutrients. Experts recommend 300 to 420 milligrams of magnesium daily, something you can get from a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
It should not be used to replace medication, be relied upon to help you sleep, or fix any problem. It can be beneficial for helping you to be healthy when used correctly.
Be sure to go slow, building up and finding an ideal level for your needs. When used to help you sleep, it can be a powerful, natural ally to give your body rest. And, when combined with a good, healthy diet filled with fruits and vegetables, magnesium can really help you feel good.