Magnesium deficiency could be why you're not sleeping

We KNEW something was off

magnesium deficiency
(Image credit: Eye Candy/REX/Shutterstock)

We KNEW something was off

It's estimated that as much as 70-80% of us struggle with magnesium deficiency.

Not only does magnesium help strengthen bones, but it's also vital for ensuring your nerves and muscles work properly and it's essential for heart health. A deficiency could impact your ability to function properly and symptoms often include migraines, anxiety, insomnia, lack of concentration and extreme fatigue.

Keep reading to find out the tell-tale signs you could be magnesium deficient...

Magnesium deficiency symptoms

Feeling tired all the time? One of the biggest indicators of magnesium deficiency is struggling to sleep, as it has an overall calming effect on our nervous system and can reduce muscle tension. It also maintains healthy levels of the neurotransmitter that promotes healthy sleep, GABA, and the sleep hormone melatonin.

Another big indicator of deficiency is having a hankering for chocolate all the time.

We're all prone to craving a bar of the sweet stuff every now and then, right? Especially when our period sets in and we can't seem to get enough choco (which is why we were overjoyed to learn a chocolate bar that can cure period cramps had been invented).

On average us Brits eat around three bars of chocolate per week, but craving chocolate could actually be a sign you're suffering from magnesium deficiency.

'Cravings for specific foods could be an indication of a deficiency in a micro or macro nutrient. In particular, a craving for chocolate could highlight a magnesium deficiency,' explains nutritionist Emily Whitehead. So if you find yourself constantly dreaming about dairy milk or fantasising about flakes then it could be a tell-tale sign you're magnesium deficient.

'Magnesium is an essential mineral and is required for over 200 enzyme reactions in the body. So, trying eating a good quality dark chocolate (preferably organic and above 70% cocoa) which is a rich source of magnesium,' she advises. 

Magnesium deficiency treatment

The most obvious way to up your magnesium levels is to consume more magnesium-rich foods, such as avocado, bananas, soy beans and, as already mentioned, dark chocolate. Try popping a magnesium supplement with your breakfast, too.

It's thought that we absorb magnesium better through the skin, than by taking it in supplement form. Try taking an Epsom salt bath to soothe muscles and calm the body to promote a better night's sleep.