Can Magnesium Supplements Cause Tiredness?

Curated by Claudia Shannon / Research Scientist / ishonest


Magnesium supplements are thought to have some effect on sleep, according to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF). Small studies have shown that supplements may help elderly people fall asleep faster, so supplements may aid in your quest to become drowsy. But you should check with your doctor before popping pills.

Magnesium Fatigue from Supplements

But Harvard Health states that there's enough evidence to confirm that magnesium supplements help with sleep. The idea of magnesium fatigue or magnesium drowsiness is more complicated. If you feel you don't get enough of this important nutrient from food and you want to try supplements for a better night's sleep, the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) suggests discussing this with your doctor first.

Why Is Magnesium Important?

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Magnesium is an essential mineral. Your cells need it to produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is what gives them energy, according to Consumer Reports. This mineral helps regulate blood pressure, blood sugar levels, heart rate and nerve transmission.

People with migraines may have low levels of magnesium. Small studies have shown that supplements may help with this. But the NIH cautions that taking this mineral for migraines should only be done under a doctor's supervision.

Your body needs magnesium regularly. This mineral is excreted in the sweat, urine and stools and must be replenished daily to keep your body functioning like a well-oiled machine, according to the BMC Medicine review.

Are Magnesium Supplements Recommended?

High-magnesium foods don't seem to induce daytime sleepiness, especially in women, according to the Nutrients review. Therefore, magnesium tiredness is unlikely. But nearly half of all Americans, along with 70 to 80 percent of those over 70 years old, don't meet their daily magnesium needs through diet, according to Consumer Reports.

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MedlinePlus recommends that adult men get 400 to 420 milligrams of magnesium daily, while adult women should get 310 to 320 milligrams of magnesium per day. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should consume slightly more than the recommendations for adult women.

Getting Magnesium From Food

Consumer Reports recommends getting this mineral from food unless your doctor tells you otherwise. According to the Linus Pauling Institute, the average adult consumes about 330 milligrams of magnesium per day from food. That's not bad. It's a little less than what most men need and about what most women need.

Dietary sources are varied. Some of the healthiest magnesium-rich foods include:

  • Fruits (bananas, dried apricots and avocados)
  • Dark green, leafy vegetables
  • Nuts (almonds and cashews)
  • Peas and beans (legumes) and seeds
  • Soy products (soy flour and tofu)
  • Whole grains (brown rice and millet)
  • Milk

Magnesium side effects are rare, according to MedlinePlus, although they may occur from taking too much of this mineral in the form of supplements. There is a risk for diarrhea and impaired kidney function, according to the Linus Pauling Institute. If you continue to overdose on magnesium, you may experience lethargy, confusion, abnormal heart rhythm and kidney failure.

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