Sleep Better by Boosting Your Body’s Magnesium Levels.

A wellness guru who works with Fortune 100 CEOs and their companies says many people need more magnesium to help increase energy and improve productivity.

“We're talking about health and performance and energy and stamina,” says Chris Johnson, a nationally recognized speaker and author who helps implement health programs for companies and has led more than 20,000 personal training sessions.

Magnesium helps keep your body healthy and regulates blood sugar levels, blood pressure and muscle and nerve function, according to the National Institutes of Health. Doctors have warned, however, that a growing number of people have magnesium deficiencies.

Johnson, the founder and CEO of On Target Living, says you can boost your magnesium level by soaking in Epsom salt, which is actually magnesium sulfate and can be absorbed through the skin. He also recommends eating foods rich in magnesium, such as greens, nuts, seeds and cacao nibs.

Here are a few of his specific tips:

Add three cups of Epsom salt to your bath and soak once or twice a week for 10 minutes. For busy people or frequent travelers, he suggests adding 3 cups of Epsom salt to a foot soak or even creating a way to soak feet while showering. He says he does this when staying in hotels by adding Epsom salt to the shower and either putting in the stopper or draping a wash cloth over the drain.

“All I want them to do is start thinking of Epsom salt,” Johnson says. “People try it, and they say, ‘It's magical.’ They're sleeping through the night for the first time in 15 years. Their muscles feel better, they sleep better. That's because they're getting magnesium in their body. And it's pretty inexpensive.”

The reason Epsom salt helps you sleep is because magnesium is an “anti-stress mineral” that relaxes your muscles, improves your digestion, balances your blood pressure and gives you more energy, according to Carolyn Dean, M.D. N.D., one of the nation's top natural physicians and a member of the nonprofit Nutritional Magnesium Association's medical advisory board.

Johnson also recommends choosing food that's a good source of magnesium. That includes:

  • Eating greens that are high in chlorophyll, including kale, spinach, broccoli and wheatgrass
  • Adding a tablespoon of cacao nibs to oatmeal
  • Snacking on raisins or white figs
  • Mixing flaxseed with organic pomegranate juice or add it to a smoothie

Too often, people in pain take medicine, treating symptoms instead of the source of discomfort, Johnson says.

“Before you take medicine, maybe you ought to get some more magnesium in your body and see if that helps,” Johnson says. “There are sources of magnesium that are so simple and easy to find, and people don't know about them.”

Note: For human use, the Epsom Salt Council recommends only Epsom salt with the USP designation.