The #1 Best Supplement to Take Before Bed, Dietitian Says

If you’re having trouble getting enough sleep at night, you’re not alone. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 35% of Americans regularly get less than seven hours of sleep at night. Unfortunately, it’s not just the morning drowsiness you can look forward to after a night of mediocre sleep — insufficient sleep can leave you prone to everything from high blood pressure to heart disease. However, if you want to improve the quality and duration of your sleep, all you need to do is look to the supplement aisle at your local drugstore.

“In my opinion, the best supplement to take before bedtime is: magnesium,” say Megan Byrd, RD, registered dietitian and founder of The Oregon Dietitian. “It’s a crucial nutrient in many bodily functions and is used in every organ! Magnesium is great for promoting healthy sleep and helping the body relax. It can also help prevent leg cramps at night.”

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In fact, according to a 2012 Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, among a group of 46 elderly subjects, those who received a 500-milligram dose of magnesium over an eight-week period had a significant increase in their sleep time and reduction in the severity of their insomnia compared to those who received a placebo.

Woman looking into distance.

If it happens to be fear, that is keep you awake, magnesium can also help. A 2017 study published in PLOS One found that in a group of 126 adults with mild to moderate depressive symptoms, magnesium supplementation over the course of six weeks improved their self-reported well-being, as well as their symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder.

Even if you don’t like to get your magnesium from a pill, there are also plenty of ways to increase your intake of this essential nutrient in your diet. Byrd notes that, in addition to supplements, magnesium is also readily available through healthy foods “such as leafy greens, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.”

Check out these for more easy ways to enjoy a better night’s sleep 7 Healthy Diet Changes That Help You Sleep, and for the latest health news delivered straight to your inbox, Sign up for our newsletter!

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