The 1 Essential Mineral That Fights Period Pain and Insomnia

POPSUGAR Photography | Nicole Perry
POPSUGAR Photography | Nicole Perry

Your magnesium intake might not be on the forefront of your priorities these days, but getting an adequate amount of this essential mineral from foods like leafy greens or in a supplement can be a game changer when it comes to your health. If you suffer from terrible period cramps, poor sleep, or lingering depression, magnesium can help.

Combat period pain: If you suffer from major cramps, amping up your magnesium intake may offer relief. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends taking 360 milligrams daily for the three days leading up to your period. And while there's little scientific research, I know a few women who swear that massaging their abdomen with a little magnesium oil mixed with moisturizer helps big time with bad cramps.

Sleep better tonight: Insomnia sufferers or those who wake up lethargic morning after morning may benefit from supplementing their diets with magnesium. In one study, adults who took magnesium for eight weeks experienced a significant increase in sleep time and sleep efficiency. Anyone who is tired of reaching for an antihistamine or prescription sleeping pill night after night should give magnesium a shot.

Fight depression: According to one study, magnesium is one of the most underutilized remedies for major depression and "related mental health illnesses, IQ loss, and addictions." The findings in this research are pretty astonishing — nearly every person studied had a significant mental health shift with magnesium.