While you can really take a magnesium supplement at any time of the day, those who are using it for sleep will want to do so in the hours leading up to bedtime.* The exact timing depends on the person, the type of magnesium, and the exact supplement.
“If the magnesium supplement contains other sleep-supporting ingredients, then the entire arc of that formula should be considered for the timing of consumption,”* notes Ferira.
For example, we recommend taking mindbodygreen’s sleep support+ formula–which pairs magnesium bisglycinate (i.e., the magnesium mineral plus two amino acid glycine molecules) with jujube extract and PharmaGABA(R)–30 minutes to two hours before bed. “PharmaGABA(R) would drive the time-to-take discussion and decision making, since its clinical efficacy is shown at 30 minutes to a couple of hours before bedtime,” Ferira explains.*
You’ll also want to consider your own sleep needs: If falling asleep is a challenge for you, taking a supplement on the earlier side will help it kick in by the time you get into bed. If staying asleep is the issue, you could likely take it closer to your snooze.
Finally, the timing will depend on the type of magnesium you’re taking. Since less absorbable forms like magnesium oxide can stimulate the bowels, you definitely won’t want to take those too close to bedtime to save yourself a midnight bathroom run.