Steph Coelho is a freelance writer with a passion for storytelling and a talent for turning complex information into compelling content. With nearly a decade of experience in writing and editing, Steph has a diverse portfolio of work that spans across multiple industries, including health and wellness. When she's not writing, Steph can be found out hiking or trying out new recipes in the kitchen.

Stress comes at us from all angles, and some of it is out of our control. What you can control, though, is how well your body can cope with stress.

Your stress response happens on a cellular level, and Magnesium plays a crucial role in maintaining your body’s cellular balance and function. Cellular balance means your body is better equipped to handle everyday stressors and primed for sleep and calm.

But evidence suggests that most people aren’t getting enough of this critical mineral.

Here’s how to use Magnesium for relaxation and how to make sure you’re getting enough.


How Magnesium Influences Brain Chemistry

Magnesium is an essential mineral that helps regulate brain chemistry in the nervous system, along with an impressive 300+ other bodily processes.

There are also a few magnesium brain benefits. Without Magnesium, your brain can’t properly regulate neurotransmitters, the chemical messengers important for healthy cognitive function. Magnesium specifically regulates the release of the following neurotransmitters:

  • Glutamate. It plays an essential role in learning and memory, and too much of it can cause cell death and even result in brain damage.
  • Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). A brain-slowing neurotransmitter that can leave you feeling wired if levels are too low. Low levels are also associated with mental health conditions like anxiety disorders.

Additionally, Magnesium acts on serotonin receptors to regulate this important mood-related hormone. Abnormal serotonin levels — either too high or too low — can negatively impact your overall mental health.

The mineral also helps control cortisol production, also known as the stress hormone. Too much cortisol can impact your mood,Excess levels can also make it tough to sleep.

Magnesium also plays a vital role in regulating the memory and learning receptor N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA), a glutamate receptor of glutamate that helps form new neuron connections. Researchers believe that problems with this process may lead to oxidative stress and cell death.


The Link Between Magnesium and Relaxation

So, does taking Magnesium for relaxing actually work? Some research suggests that Magnesium may help with everyday stress. That’s because 

Magnesium regulates the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis, the part of your brain responsible for your body’s stress response, which can help prevent anxious feelings and promote a state of natural calm and relaxation.

There’s also evidence that certain stressors may influence how much Magnesium is in your blood, impacting your ability to cope. And chronic stress can make it more difficult to relax — and sleep. Taking supplemental Magnesium before bed can improve sleep in those who suffer from sleep problems because of stress. 

Getting enough Magnesium and learning ways to cope with stressors may help keep your body in balance and support a relaxed state of mind. In fact, Magnesium is one of the best natural remedies for stress relief

Raising low magnesium levels isn't just beneficial for stress relief and better sleep quality. Besides balancing brain chemistry in the nervous system, Magnesium is also involved in regulating muscle contractions, which hints at another reason it may be beneficial for promoting relaxation.

And there’s a link between Magnesium and blood pressure. It’s possible that because Magnesium promotes a sense of natural calm, that may lead to lower blood pressure readings over time.

Alongside taking magnesium for relaxation, it also regulates melatonin, the hormone that dictates your sleep-wake cycle, so getting enough is essential for achieving quality restful sleep. A deficiency in Magnesium might even lead to sleep problems

And thus starts the vicious cycle. Not enough Magnesium means poor sleep, which, in turn, can lead to problems coping with stress, leading to, and further contributing to challenges with sleep starting the cycle all over again.


Different Ways to Increase Magnesium Intake

One way to manage magnesium deficiency is through diet. Magnesium-rich foods may be able to help balance stress levels and promote muscle relaxation by increasing your intake of the mineral. Many foods are rich in Magnesium, including:

  • Legumes
  • Whole grains
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Leafy greens
  • Avocado
  • Dark chocolate

But it can be tough to meet the daily recommended Magnesium intake from food alone.

The reality is that modern agricultural practices, like the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and monocropping, have stripped important nutrients from the soil — Magnesium, included. That means there are a lot fewer minerals like Magnesium in our food.

And the body isn’t great at synthesizing Magnesium, so supplementing with a daily Magnesium supplement can help fill in the gaps to ensure you’re getting an adequate daily dose of this essential mineral.

But not all supplements are created equal. Look for a Magnesium supplement containing bioavailable types of Magnesium to ensure your body can adequately absorb it and put all of Magnesium’s benefits to use.

Magnesi-Om® contains 3 bioavailable forms of Magnesium plus L-Theanine to help restore cellular balance for relaxation, better sleep quality, brain health, and regularity.* Chelated Magnesium Gluconate and Acetyl Taurinate support muscle relaxation and cognitive function, while Magnesium Citrate supports regular bowel movements.* L-Theanine promotes alpha‑wave activity in the brain, shown to encourage a focused calm.*


Potential Side Effects of Magnesium

While raising low magnesium levels is important, it's just as important to avoid high magnesium intake. You can’t really get too much Magnesium through food sources because your kidneys are great at flushing out any excess your body doesn’t need. But it’s possible to take too much supplemental Magnesium.

Experts recommend not taking more than 350 mg of Magnesium supplements per day. Taking more of this dietary supplement might lead to the following symptoms, which indicate a possible overdose:

  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Low blood pressure

In severe cases, overdoing it on Magnesium supplements can lead to heart problems and cardiac arrest. Always check product labels for dosage and serving size info. More isn’t always better.

And, if in doubt, talk with a doctor about when to take Magnesium and its dosage requirements.