Calcium, magnesium -- searching for info

jennFebruary 20, 2002

I've decided to add extra calcium and magnesium supplements to my peri-menopause regimen. I'm eating healthier (i.e. good healthy foods, not dieting), less sugar, very little coffee (1 cup VERY early in the morning), plenty of water, 30 min. brisk walking 3-5 times a week in the evenings (not too close to bedtime) and a multivitamin/mineral supplement. Oh, and a little dab of ProGest at bedtime most nights.

But the terrible insomnia (which began several months ago) continues full throttle up.

I'm researching the best type of magnesium/calcium to take, the best dose for me, and the best way to take it. So far, I've read conflicting info: They shouldn't be taken together. They should be taken together in a calcium/magnesium supplement. They should be taken in mini-doses throughout the day. Calcium citrate is best. Etc. etc.

What can you tell me about these supplements, i.e. which form is best, how to take them, how soon to expect relief from insomnia, etc?

Thanks so much...I just want to sleep a full night again...


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I have no qualifications to help so I'll just share my personal experience. The proper ratio of magnesium to calcium is 1/2 part magnesium to 1 part of calcium for best absorbtion. Vitamin D also aids in calcium absorbtion. I like Viactiv - a 20 calorie chewable form of calcium, that includes vitamin D and vitamin K. I take 1 in the morning and 1 at night. Don't try to take your calcium all at once, because the body can only absorb about 500 mg and the rest ends up as waste. I also take Solaray Magnesium Asporotate, 200 mg once in the morning and once at night. Don't forget to take a good multivitamin; Natrol makes good products, but you can find many choices at a health food store. Just avoid One a Day, or other kinds like that. I also take a mixed dry E to as an antioxidant keep my heart healthy and strong in addition to the amount in the multivitamin.

Some women also add Dong Quai at this time. It has no known side effects (unlike many herbal remedies which can and do hurt people!) and is the most often used herbal remedy. I like Dong Quai because it works with calcium to ease my terrible cramps.

I made quite a few changes to help me sleep more soundly. We put a CD player and speakers in the bedroom. Every night I start a CD of a rainstorm and the habit of it lulls me to sleep. If I wake up in the middle of the night, I use the remote to start the CD again. Sounds weird, I know, but it's really comforting to me and my DH. I really limit my caffeine intake and only have diet cokes or decaf coffee in the a.m. Chocolate can be a big problem for people too.

If nothing has helped you, you might want to try resetting your circadian clock. I don't know much about it, but I remember reading about a clinical study showing that staying up all night and not going to bed or napping until the next evening at your normal time really helped end insomnia.

One last thing, I've found that watching t.v. before I go to bed really keeps me awake too late. So, now I keep magazines by my bedside - dry ones like Scientific American and Discover or books by Stephen Jay Gould. I learn a whole heck of a lot from the articles but they aren't particularly stimulating like a good novel would be and so they don't keep me awake. Whatever works, I guess!

Sorry to go on so long! Take care,


    Bookmark   April 13, 2002 at 6:26PM
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I started taking calcium and magnesium from Jigsaw Health and they have worked great for me so far. I noticed that I am sleeping through the night now. I was told it is because of the magnesium.
They also have some great information on their website for chronic conditions such as insomnia, etc.
Here is a link.
Hope this helps!
Take care,

Here is a link that might be useful: Jigsaw Health Magnesium

    Bookmark   May 25, 2006 at 1:23PM
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Good advise Denise!
Just one word Jenn about the caffeine. I have caffeine in the morning too, and I swear it affects my sleep that night. Could you possibly try it without it, and see if that helps? I know how hard it is to give it up!
One other thing I've learned over the years is that if we eat in the evening, it keeps our brains working through the night...which can keep us awake. So try not to eat in the evening too, and hopefully that will help.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2006 at 9:59PM
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I have had trouble sleeping since I was a teenager.... I have taken Dong Quai and think it helped me get to sleep. I take Calcium 3 times a day - about 300 mg (2 at lunch time)...Calcium Citrate with Vit D. I think that has helped me get to sleep too. I don't drink Coffee, but drink a cup of Inst. tea in the sodas. My favorite drink is Chai Tea (not much tea I suspect) and can't tell any of them affect my getting to sleep. Just a busy mind....If all else fails, I take Xanax, the smallest dose. I don't like to take drugs, but sometimes it is necessary!

    Bookmark   May 27, 2006 at 9:53AM
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