Magnesium & Sleep: Huberman’s Insights

Read on to discover what the science says about the different forms of magnesium, the validity of its reputation as a sleep aid, and the nuances that recent research suggests could change the way we view this vital nutrient.


Huberman unveiled the various types of magnesium: citrate, malate, biglycinate, and threonate. Each has its own role. For instance, magnesium citrate, often used as a laxative, is quite different from malate. 

Research suggests malate can ease muscle soreness without making you drowsy. Meanwhile, biglycinate and threonate may penetrate the brain’s defenses, offering calming effects that could aid sleep.

Mathew Walker was upfront. He doesn’t use magnesium himself but finds threonate captivating for its potential brain benefits. 

Nevertheless, he emphasized a crucial point: there’s scant evidence showing that magnesium can enhance sleep in those already balanced in the mineral.

The idea that magnesium helps sleep originated from a simple observation. People short on magnesium had trouble sleeping

Once they took supplements, their sleep patterns improved. But this led to a widespread and unproven belief that even those with enough magnesium could get better sleep with extra doses.

Dr. Walker mentioned an interesting twist. There is a glimmer of hope for magnesium – but mainly in older adults with insomnia, particularly women low in the mineral.

Huberman suggested we’re just skimming the surface. Magnesium is a key player in countless cell functions, so more research is needed, especially on threonate and biglycinate. 

The benefits for sleep might be there, but so faint they escape notice in broad studies. Sharper, more precise research could unveil these nuances.

The brain and sleep’s relationship with magnesium is still a mystery. Investigating threonate’s journey across the brain’s barriers could finally illuminate how this mineral affects our slumber and wellbeing.

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