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Magnesium vs Melatonin for Sleep: Which Is the Better Sleep Aid?

Posted on December 11 2022


  • Magnesium and melatonin are both used to promote better sleep. Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate the body's natural sleep/wake cycles. At the same time, magnesium is essential for several bodily functions, including sleep. 
  • Magnesium can also help relax muscles, while melatonin can help reset the body's circadian rhythm.
  • It isn't so much a case of melatonin vs magnesium. Which will be more effective for you depends entirely on the origin of your sleep issues.
  • The choice is easy if you have either melatonin or magnesium deficiency. However, experimentation and deeper investigation may be required if your sleeplessness has a different origin. Both supplements can be taken together for maximum effectiveness as they have no known interactions.


If you have a history of sleep issues, you've probably tried various tips, tricks, and likely some sleep aids. Perhaps you’ve given camomile tea or other natural sleep aids such as valerian root a go. Or maybe you've taken a conventional sleep aid over the counter at your local pharmacy. If you're still struggling to get a good night's sleep, it might mean you've overlooked magnesium and melatonin.

Using magnesium and melatonin for sleep can be a great way to improve the quality of your rest. Magnesium is involved in hundreds of processes that influence sleep, such as stimulating gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that helps promote relaxation. Meanwhile, melatonin is a hormone naturally produced in the brain that helps regulate sleep and wake cycles.

However, when looking at magnesium vs melatonin for sleep, it's essential to consider the different effects that each one has. Equally, it's important to ask whether you can take magnesium and melatonin together.

Alternatively, you could try a sleep app like Pzizz. Scientifically backed by psychoacoustic principles, the Pzizz app is designed to help you fall asleep quickly-and stay asleep. Check out the app on the Apple App Store or Google Play.

In this article, we'll talk about all those things and much more. We'll dive into magnesium, its benefits, and the dangers of deficiency before doing the same with melatonin. We'll look at which is better for you as a sleep aid, pitting magnesium vs melatonin. Then, we'll investigate the safety profiles of magnesium and melatonin for sleep and how you can increase both levels. Let's get started!

What Is Magnesium?

Magnesium is an essential mineral involved in hundreds of processes throughout the body. It's so important that even a slight deficiency can cause fatigue and sleep problems. Magnesium helps to promote relaxation by stimulating GABA, assisting in the production of serotonin and melatonin, allowing your muscles to relax, and reducing inflammation.

Magnesium is found in many foods, including dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, fish, whole grains, and beans.

The Benefits of Magnesium for Sleep

Magnesium is a mineral that is essential for sleep. Taking supplements or increasing the levels in your system naturally can work as a great sleep aid if you are suffering from restless nights. For example: 

  • Because magnesium is involved in the production of serotonin and melatonin, it helps regulate your sleep/wake cycle.
  • Magnesium helps promote relaxation by stimulating GABA and reducing inflammation.
  • Magnesium helps to reduce muscle tension, which can be beneficial in helping you to relax before sleep.

However, there are other benefits to magnesium beyond your sleep process. Magnesium is also involved with muscle contraction, nerve function, and energy production. As such, increasing your magnesium intake through dietary sources or supplements can positively impact your health beyond sleep.

Some of the primary benefits of magnesium include:

  • Reduced muscle tension and improved muscular relaxation
  • Improved sleep quality and duration
  • Reduced stress, irritability, and anxiety levels
  • Improved brain function
  • Reduced inflammation throughout the body

Magnesium is generally considered safe and well-tolerated, although there are reports of some mild side effects. These include nausea, abdominal cramping, and diarrhea. If you do experience any of these symptoms, try lowering your dosage or discontinuing use. 

What is Magnesium Deficiency?

Magnesium deficiency is a condition that occurs when your levels of magnesium fall below what is considered to be the average range. This can occur due to dietary deficiencies, certain medications, or underlying health issues.

Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include:

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Muscle cramps and spasms
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Insomnia or difficulty sleeping
  • Poor concentration 
  • Decreased brain function

Some health issues that can cause magnesium deficiency include diabetes, digestive disorders, chronic alcoholism, and kidney disease.

You should speak with your doctor if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms. They may recommend increasing your magnesium intake through dietary sources or supplements and provide further advice on managing your condition.

What Is Melatonin?

Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland that helps to regulate your sleep/wake cycle. It's naturally released after darkness falls, and its production decreases when exposed to light.

The Benefits of Melatonin for Sleep

Like magnesium, melatonin is crucial to how you sleep in several ways. A deficiency can be behind many issues you have with sleeping, including the following:

  • Because the hormone regulates your sleep/wake cycle, it helps to time your body's release of other hormones needed for sleep.
  • Melatonin helps regulate your cortisol levels, which can be beneficial if you feel anxious or stressed.
  • Melatonin helps to reduce inflammation in the body and improve sleep quality.

 Like magnesium, there are other benefits to taking melatonin beyond your sleep process. These include improved mood, memory, cognitive performance, and reduced risk for various chronic diseases.

What is Melatonin Deficiency?

Melatonin deficiency is a condition that occurs when your levels of melatonin fall below what is considered to be the average range. This can occur due to circadian rhythm disruption, aging, certain medications, or underlying health issues.

Symptoms of melatonin deficiency include the following:

  • Insomnia
  • Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Poor cognitive functioning

The health conditions that can lower your melatonin levels and cause melatonin deficiency include:

  • Diabetes
  • Depression
  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Obesity

Melatonin deficiency can also be caused by lifestyle factors such as jet lag, shift work, or late-night hours.

Melatonin vs Magnesium for Sleep

Both magnesium and melatonin can help improve your sleep process. Magnesium helps regulate muscle relaxation, hormone production, inflammation levels, and energy metabolism, all contributing to better sleep quality. Meanwhile, melatonin helps reset your internal body clock, so you can fall asleep quickly and stay asleep for extended periods.

Which you want to choose depends entirely on the cause of your sleep issues. This means it's essential to get to the root cause of your problem before thinking about taking either as a sleep aid.

Magnesium is best for those with magnesium deficiency, insomnia due to stress or anxiety, or muscle pain and cramping. On the other hand, melatonin is considered best for those who suffer from circadian rhythm disruption, hormonal imbalances, or melatonin deficiency.

Speaking to a doctor can help you determine the best option for your particular sleep issue. Once you have a diagnosis, you can start thinking about your sleep aids and look a little deeper into magnesium and melatonin.

Are Magnesium and Melatonin Safe?

If you're using either magnesium or melatonin as one of your sleep aids, it's essential to consider the safety profiles of these supplements. Generally speaking, both magnesium and melatonin are considered safe when taken in moderation.

When taking magnesium, it's important to be aware of potential side effects, such as nausea or headaches. On the other hand, melatonin can cause dizziness, drowsiness, and headaches. It's also important to note that taking too much melatonin can disrupt your natural sleep processes.

It's best to consult your doctor before taking magnesium and melatonin for sleep. Your doctor can advise you on the appropriate dose and which is best for your particular sleep issue.

Can You Take Magnesium and Melatonin Together?

When it comes to whether you can take both magnesium and melatonin at the same time, the short answer is yes. Since both supplements have different effects on the body, they can be combined for improved sleep quality. However, be careful not to exceed the recommended doses of either supplement.

If you decide to take magnesium and melatonin together, it's best to start with a small dose of each supplement before gradually increasing the amount over time. This way, you can ensure that your body responds positively to the combination without experiencing any adverse effects.

If you experience side effects when taking magnesium and melatonin simultaneously, stop taking both supplements immediately and consult your doctor for further advice.

Natural Ways To Get More Magnesium

If you decide magnesium supplements are not for you, there are still several natural ways to get more of this essential nutrient. 

Here are some tips for getting more magnesium without the need for expensive supplements: 

Eat leafy green vegetables: Spinach, kale, and Swiss chard are all excellent sources of magnesium. Consider including them in your meals and snacks throughout the day. Some recipes you might want to try are sautéed kale, spinach, or even a tasty kale salad.

Include legumes in your diet: Beans, lentils, and other legumes are rich sources of magnesium. Try tasty recipes with beans, such as Indian dal or chickpea curry, to get more magnesium into your diet.

Eat nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds are excellent magnesium sources and can be included in your daily snacks or meals. Try having a handful of almonds as a snack or adding pumpkin seeds to your favorite salad for an extra crunchy touch.

Include bananas into your diet: Bananas are a great source of magnesium and can be included in your breakfast smoothie or added to your oatmeal.

Eat dark chocolate: Dark chocolate contains an impressive amount of magnesium and is also delicious. If you're looking for a snack that will satisfy your craving for something sweet and nutrient-rich, dark chocolate might be the perfect option.

Try out some whole grains: Whole grains like quinoa, oats, and buckwheat are all excellent sources of magnesium. Consider adding them to your meals for an extra boost of nutrients.

Have some avocados: Avocados provide plenty of magnesium. They're also full of other essential vitamins and minerals such as potassium and vitamin C. Try adding some avocados to your breakfast toast or enjoy them as a snack.

Include fish in your diet: Seafood such as salmon and tuna are excellent sources of magnesium.

Eat yogurt: Yogurt is full of probiotics (which can help improve digestion) and is an excellent source of magnesium. Consider having a cup of yogurt with some berries for breakfast or enjoying it as a mid-day snack to boost nutrients.

Tofu: Tofu has long been a staple of the vegetarian diet. Tofu is made by turning soybean milk into soft white curds. Some studies have even suggested that tofu could work as a defense against stomach cancer!

Incorporating some of these magnesium-rich foods into your diet can help your body get the essential nutrients it needs for a decent night’s sleep.

Natural Ways To Increase Your Melatonin Levels

If you're looking for natural ways to increase your melatonin levels, there are also several things that you can try. Here are some tips for improving your melatonin naturally:

Reduce exposure to artificial light: Artificial lights can interfere with melatonin production, so try to reduce your exposure to them as much as possible.

Exercise regularly: Regular exercise not only improves physical health but also helps balance out melatonin levels in the body. Try finding an activity you enjoy and doing it at least three times a week.

Reduce stress: Stress can interfere with melatonin production in the body, so try to minimize it as much as possible. Meditation, yoga, and spending time outside are some ways that you can help reduce stress levels.

Eat melatonin-rich foods: Certain foods are rich in melatonin, such as cherries, goji berries, eggs, milk, fish, and nuts. Try incorporating these into your diet to get more of this essential hormone into your system.

Don't eat late at night: Eating late at night can disrupt your circadian rhythm, which regulates your sleep cycle and melatonin production. Avoid eating food close to bedtime, or opt for lighter snacks such as fruits or yogurt.

Cut down on coffee: Research has shown that drinking coffee can interfere with melatonin production, so try to reduce your intake of it as much as you can.

Consider light therapy: If you have difficulty sleeping due to melatonin deficiency, light therapy may help increase your levels naturally.

Use a sleep aid app to sleep better at night: Sleep aid apps, such as Pzizz, are designed to help you sleep by providing relaxation and calming music. The more you sleep at night, the more you'll be awake during the day and the more melatonin your body produces.

Introducing Pzizz

Did you know that apps can be used as great sleep aids that offer scientifically proven results? If you’re interested in using an app to help you sleep, take a look at Pzizz. While our app will not directly help with your melatonin and magnesium levels, our audio dreamscapes might be the answer to getting a restful night's sleep.

Pzizz uses a combination of sound effects, music, and narration to help you relax your body and mind before bedtime. You can choose from 3 modes-sleep, nap, and focus depending on your needs at any given moment. Our app is central to over 1,000,000 users' bedtime routines and could soon be part of yours. Check us out on the Apple App Store or Google Play to download the app for a free trial!


Both melatonin and magnesium are essential for the body and can help improve sleep quality. There are no known interactions between melatonin and magnesium, meaning they are generally considered safe to take together. However, if you only want to take one and are thinking about the advantages and disadvantages of melatonin vs magnesium, then make sure you find the actual origin of your sleep problems.


What are melatonin and magnesium used for?

Melatonin is commonly used as a supplement to help people sleep better. A doctor can also prescribe melatonin for specific medical conditions like jet lag or insomnia. Magnesium is widely used as a natural remedy to help with relaxation and improve sleep quality, especially in people with low magnesium levels.

What are the benefits of melatonin and magnesium?

The main benefit of melatonin is that it helps to regulate the sleep cycle and may help treat certain medical conditions. Magnesium also has many health benefits, including helping to improve sleep quality, reduce stress and anxiety, as well as helping to reduce inflammation.

Melatonin vs magnesium: Which one is better?

It's not a case of melatonin vs magnesium, as they are different, and both have their benefits. Melatonin is best taken by those who have difficulty sleeping due to a melatonin deficiency. Magnesium may be more beneficial for those with low magnesium levels. Remember to consult with your doctor before taking any supplements and see what works best for you.