One of my favorite new sleep tips is so ridiculously easy to use that I can’t believe I don’t hear more about it. It’s especially important if you’re struggling with anxiety, depression, bipolar, or insomnia, but useful even if you don’t have any sleep problems or mental health issues right now. It’s easy to use, no side effects, and is inexpensive. It’s using a relaxation inducing magnesium topical spray before bed!
Magnesium is a mineral that plays a huge role in a large number of physical processes, but also get quickly used up by activities like hard thinking and stress. It creates a relaxed state, granting us quicker and higher quality sleep, especially in the critical early part of our sleep cycle. It also helps with leg cramps, restless limbs, reduces pain, and generally helps calm our nervous system.
Unfortunately, it’s also short in our food supply! It used to be that eating healthy vegetables and proteins high in magnesium would have given use adequate amounts of this essential mineral, but with modern industrial food production, it’s likely we’re all deficient in this essential mineral. One expert mentioned it’s possibly the most deficient mineral in the world today.
You can take magnesium orally, but it has the effect of also loosening our bowels. If that’s not something you’re looking for (!), it’s easily absorbed through our skin as a topical spray without that effect. I use a three spritzes or so on my chest (about 600 mg) or neck and quickly rub it in just as I’m getting into bed, and it doesn’t have any side effects, funny odor, or issues that I can detect. I’ve been using it the last 6 months and miss it on nights where I travel or forget to take it. I’ve also been using it for those middle of the night can’t get back to sleep wakings that we all get from time to time.
Best yet, a supply of a 6 months or so can be had for a mere $40. I think it’s worth $80 a year to to improve our sleep quality, especially given how important sleep is to our overall health.
For those of you struggling with depression or anxiety, you’ll find that insomnia is an almost inevitable symptom. If you have bipolar disorder, sleep is a major factor in regulating your mood. Insomnia is also a cause of depression and anxiety; sleep deprivation makes our mood less regulated and our brain less capable of combating stress. It makes us less productive, which adds to the “gloom and doom” thinking pattern our mind gets pulled into when we’re feeling depressed. We need to get moving again and pursue meaningful activities, social connection, and exercise in order to beat depression and anxiety, but it’s hard to do that when we’re exhausted from not being able to sleep.
The magnesium spray I recommend is:
I’ve also found a decent version of it at Whole Foods if you’re not an internet shopper; just ask at their supplement area.
Here’s a great podcast/ video interview that discusses magnesium: