Health: Wellness website spoke with experts about how consuming more magnesium may lead to improved sleep quality.

To be clear, prescribing magnesium for better sleep isn’t necessarily standard practice. “A lot of this stuff is kind of peripheral in terms of hardcore science,” Daniel Barone, MD, sleep expert at Weill Cornell Medicine and New York-Presbyterian and author of Let’s Talk about Sleep: A Guide to Understanding and Improving Your Slumber, tells Health. “That being said, the theory is magnesium works by calming down the central nervous system,” Dr. Barone explains.

Cinthya Pena Orbea, MD, sleep specialist at Cleveland Clinic, explains how the theory gained popularity, even though magnesium hasn’t been proven to improve sleep quality. “People sometimes refer to that because there were some studies done earlier, [but] they were not strong,” she explains. Also worth noting: The benefits of taking magnesium for sleep have been observed only in elderly patients, meaning taking magnesium for sleep might not be beneficial to you if you’re younger or middle-aged.

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