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Magnesium for Hot Flashes and Night Sweats: Does It Really Help?

Magnesium may help with night sweats, hot flashes, and other menopause symptoms and sleep problems, but more research is needed to know for sure.
Published
2024-06-07
Updated
12 MINS
Written by
Jeff Kahn, M.S., Rise Science Co-Founder
Reviewed by
Chester Wu, MD, Rise Science Medical Reviewer
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We bring sleep research out of the lab and into your life. Every post begins with peer-reviewed studies — not third-party sources — to make sure we only share advice that can be defended to a room full of sleep scientists.
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Updated Regularly
We regularly update our articles to explain the latest research and shifts in scientific consensus in a simple and actionable way.
Woman experiencing hot flashes and fanning herself with hand fan

Quick Summary

  • Magnesium may help with night sweats, but more research is needed. There aren’t any studies looking at magnesium and night sweats specifically in the general population.
  • Some studies suggest magnesium supplements can reduce menopausal hot flashes in women with breast cancer. But other studies show magnesium doesn’t make a difference to hot flashes.
  • There isn’t any research showing that taking magnesium supplements can cause night sweats, and it’s not a listed side effect of taking magnesium or taking too much magnesium. If you’re sweating at night, it may have other causes including a warm bedroom, stress and anxiety, or menopause.
  • The RISE app can help you get better sleep whether you decide to take magnesium or not. RISE guides you through 20+ sleep hygiene habits proven to help you fall asleep faster and wake up less often in the night.

Whether it’s from menopause or medication, sweating and hot flashes are never fun. But they’re even more stressful when they happen at night and stop you from getting the sleep you need. 

Magnesium supplements may help with night sweats, but more research is needed — much more research.

Below, we dive into the science behind magnesium and night sweats to find out if they can help keep you cool. Plus, we share how the RISE app can help you fall and stay asleep more easily as you look into treating your night sweats.

Advice From a Sleep Doctor

Advice From a Sleep Doctor

“Magnesium supplements may help with night sweats, but much more research is needed to confirm,” says Dr. Chester Wu, Rise Science sleep advisor, medical reviewer, and double board-certified doctor in psychiatry and sleep medicine.

“Beyond magnesium, you can improve night sweats by cutting down on triggers like alcohol and caffeine, keeping your bedroom cool, and trying hormone replacement therapy if you’re going through menopause.”

Does Magnesium Help With Night Sweats? 

Magnesium may help with night sweats, but more research is needed. There aren’t many studies on magnesium and night sweats or many on the general population. And some studies show magnesium can improve hot flashes — sudden feelings of warmth — while others show it can’t. 

Did you know? If you experience them, you likely know the difference, but night sweats aren’t the same as hot flashes. There’s no clear definition of night sweats, but some experts describe it as sweating so much at night that you have to change your bedding. Other definitions include sweating even though your bedroom isn’t warm.


Hot flashes are defined as temporary feelings of heat, sweating, and flushing that last one to five minutes. You might also feel anxiety and chills. Hot flashes can happen at night.

It’s unclear how magnesium could help night sweats and hot flashes, though. 

Hot flashes may be caused by an imbalance of the chemicals serotonin and norepinephrine in your brain. Medications that increase your serotonin levels can reduce hot flashes.

Magnesium can affect your nervous system, blood vessels, and serotonin, so it may help reduce night sweats this way. But that’s just a theory. 

Another theory is that magnesium balance in your cells is linked to the hormones progesterone and estrogen. Declining progesterone and estrogen levels during menopause can cause hot flashes and magnesium may play a role here. But again, it’s just a theory and more research is needed.  

Magnesium may not improve night sweats for everyone. Whether magnesium helps with your night sweats may depend on:

  • What’s causing your night sweats  
  • If you have a health condition or sleep disorder 
  • If you have a magnesium deficiency (although a link hasn’t been found between magnesium deficiency and night sweats)
  • How much magnesium you take
  • Which form of magnesium you take

Studies on Magnesium and Hot Flashes 

There isn’t a lot of research out there, but we do have a few studies to go off.

Mixed Magnesium Supplements May Help Night Sweats 

A 2006 study found that taking a mixed supplement — which included magnesium, soy isoflavones, calcium, and vitamin D3 — for 24 weeks helped reduce night sweats. But it’s unclear whether magnesium can take the credit, if it’s something else in the supplement, or if it’s the combination of everything in the supplement. 

Magnesium May Reduce Hot Flashes in Breast Cancer Patients

A 2011 study looked at breast cancer patients experiencing menopausal hot flashes. Participants took 400 milligrams (mg) of magnesium oxide for four weeks, increasing to 800 mg if needed. 

The number of hot flashes a week decreased by about 41% and the severity of hot flashes decreased by about 50%. Beyond improved hot flashes, participants had less fatigue, sweating, and distress. 

But the study was small — only 25 participants! — and it looked at hot flashes in general, not night sweats specifically. Plus, the participants had breast cancer, so we can’t be sure that magnesium supplements would improve night sweats in women who don’t have breast cancer. 

Another small study from 2010 found 400 mg of magnesium oxide for four weeks reduced hot flashes by 50% or completely resolved them in most participants experiencing hot flashes from breast cancer treatment. 

Magnesium May Not Reduce Hot Flashes in Postmenopausal Women with a History of Breast Cancer

A 2015 study found magnesium didn’t help with hot flashes. 

This study looked at almost 300 postmenopausal women with a history of breast cancer and hot flashes. Participants were given either 800 mg or 1200 mg of magnesium oxide a day or a placebo. 

Participants had fewer hot flashes and less severe hot flashes with both doses of magnesium — but similar improvements were also seen in the placebo group. 

The researchers concluded that magnesium oxide may not help women with hot flashes.

FYI, in these studies, it’s unclear if participants had low magnesium levels to begin with.

Speak to a healthcare provider if you’re experiencing night sweats. They can determine the cause and the best treatment — which may or may not include magnesium. 

Other Ways to Treat Night Sweats 

There are other ways to treat night sweats. You can:  

  • Make sure your bedroom is cool — use a fan or set AC to 65 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit and aim for 40% to 60% relative humidity 
  • Wear breathable pajamas and socks, and use a cooling mattress 
  • Reduce stress and anxiety, especially before bed (check out RISE’s relaxation exercises for this) 
  • Avoid triggers like alcohol three to four hours before bed, caffeine about 12 hours before bed, and spicy foods and large meals two to three hours before bed
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) 
  • Supplements like omega-3 fatty acid supplements and fennel-valerian extract
  • Hormone replacement therapy if night sweats are caused by menopause 

We’ve covered more ways to stop night sweats here.

RISE app screenshot showing guided relaxation sessions
RISE can guide you through relaxation exercises.

If magnesium does help, it’s unclear if you need to take supplements or if increasing your dietary intake of magnesium could help.

Magnesium-rich foods include: 

  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Legumes
  • Cashews
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Whole grains like brown rice and quinoa 
  • Fortified cereals 

Expert tip: While trying to treat night sweats, check your sleep debt on RISE to see what’s working. Sleep debt is how much sleep you’ve missed out on recently. If your night sweats improve and you get more sleep, your sleep debt will go down.

To work out your sleep debt, RISE compares how much sleep you get to how much sleep you need. This is a number that’s unique to you. 

For example, when we looked at how much sleep 1.95 million RISE users aged 24 and older need, it ranged from five hours to 11 hours 30 minutes. 

RISE can tell you how much sleep you personally need and how much sleep debt you have each day.

The RISE app can tell you how much sleep you need
How much sleep RISE users need.

RISE users on iOS 1.202 and above can view their sleep need here and view their sleep debt here.

How Much Magnesium Should I Take for Night Sweats?

There isn’t a recommended amount of magnesium to take for night sweats — or for any other sleep or health issue for that matter. 

“I usually recommend 400 to 500 mg of magnesium oxide, 250 to 500 mg of magnesium citrate, or 200 to 400 mg of magnesium glycinate for sleep,” says Dr. Wu. 

Start with a low dose and slowly increase how much magnesium you take if needed.  

Your healthcare provider can let you know how much magnesium is safe for you to take. 

We’ve covered how much magnesium to take for sleep here. 

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Which Type of Magnesium Should I Take for Night Sweats? 

There isn’t a recommended type of magnesium to take for night sweats, or any other health or sleep issue. 

Dr. Wu usually recommends magnesium oxide, magnesium citrate, or magnesium glycinate for sleep in general. 

Speak to your healthcare provider to find out if one type of magnesium would be better for you over another. 

We cover more on the best type of magnesium and when to take magnesium here.

Expert tip: If you decide to take magnesium before bed, use RISE to make it a habit. RISE can send you a reminder when it’s time to start your bedtime routine, which can include taking magnesium. You can customize when you’ll get this reminder and get it on your phone, iPad, or Apple Watch

RISE app screenshot showing how to personalize evening wind-down activities
RISE can remind you to take magnesium before bed.

Does Magnesium Make You Sweat at Night?

While some people say that magnesium makes them sweat at night, there’s no scientific evidence showing that taking magnesium supplements can cause night sweats.

Sweating, night sweats, and hot flashes aren’t listed as common side effects of magnesium supplements and they’re not listed as side effects of taking too much magnesium.

If you’re sweating at night, it may be caused by: 

  • A warm bedroom 
  • Stress and anxiety 
  • Menopause
  • Pregnancy 
  • Alcohol 
  • Medications like antidepressants or painkillers 
  • Medical conditions like low blood sugar or hyperthyroidism
  • Sleep disorders like sleep apnea  

Speak to your healthcare provider to get to the bottom of night sweats. 

We’ve covered why you get so hot when you sleep here and when to be concerned about night sweats here.

Can Magnesium Help With Menopause Symptoms? 

Yes, magnesium may be able to help with other menopause symptoms. But more research is needed as it’s unclear if it’ll only help people with low levels of magnesium or certain health and sleep issues.  

The potential benefits of magnesium include: 

  • Reduced anxiety: Changing hormone levels during menopause can cause anxiety and mood swings. A 2017 systematic review including 18 studies found 47 mg to 600 mg of magnesium may improve anxiety. 
  • Reduced depression: Depression is a common symptom of menopause. A 2023 systematic review and meta-analysis including seven studies found 40 mg to 500 mg of magnesium helped improve depression symptoms. 
  • Better sleep: Many women experience poor sleep during menopause, including trouble falling and staying asleep, sleep apnea, insomnia, restless leg syndrome, daytime tiredness, and, of course, night sweats. Magnesium may help improve insomnia, restless leg syndrome, and maybe night sweats. Plus, it may even give you energy
  • Improved bone health: Falling estrogen levels during menopause can increase your risk of osteoporosis (brittle bones). A 2010 study found 1,830 mg of magnesium citrate a day could suppress bone turnover in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. This might lead to improved bone strength and a lower risk of fractures. 

We’ve covered more on menopause sleep problems here, including how to fix them.

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Does Magnesium Help With Sleep?

Yes, magnesium may help with sleep by promoting muscle relaxation, reducing anxiety, increasing the production of the sleep hormone melatonin, decreasing the stress hormone cortisol, and playing a role in regulating your circadian rhythm — your internal body clock that controls your sleep cycle.

Magnesium supplements may improve sleep disorders and health conditions that disrupt your sleep such as: 

  • Insomnia
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Leg cramps for some
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Night sweats (maybe)

Magnesium can also help reduce migraines, constipation, and high blood pressure, which could improve your sleep.

But here too, more research is needed. It’s unclear if magnesium is just useful for those with low magnesium levels — although nearly 50% of Americans don’t get enough magnesium from their diets. 

Beyond this, many magnesium sleep studies are small, short, low quality, have contradictory findings, or are done on certain populations — like older adults or those with health issues. 

But we may know more soon as more research is done. 

For example, a 2024 study — which is currently undergoing review — found magnesium supplements helped people with nonclinical insomnia symptoms get better sleep. When taking magnesium, metrics measured by questionnaires and an Oura Ring improved, including sleep duration, deep sleep, and sleep efficiency (the percentage of sleep time after going to bed). 

We’ve covered whether magnesium can make you tired here, including whether it can make you sleepy before bed.

If you’re looking to improve your sleep, sleep hygiene is key. 

Sleep hygiene is the name for the daily habits that help you fall and stay asleep. They include: 

  • Getting bright light first thing
  • Avoiding light before bed
  • Avoiding caffeine, alcohol, intense exercise, and large meals close to bedtime
  • Keeping a regular sleep schedule 
  • Winding down before bed 

Sleep hygiene is important for everyone, but it’s even more important if something like night sweats is disrupting your sleep. Good sleep hygiene can help you get the best sleep possible.

To keep on top of it all, RISE can tell you when to do 20+ sleep hygiene habits each day at the time that’ll make them most effective for you.

RISE app screenshot showing sleep hygiene habit reminders
RISE can guide you through sleep hygiene behaviors.

RISE users on iOS 1.202 and above can set up their 20+ in-app habit notifications here

Magnesium and Night Sweats: Final Thoughts 

Magnesium supplements may help with night sweats, but more research is needed as the studies we have so far are mixed. 

Alongside taking oral magnesium supplements— or instead of taking them — you’ll want to improve your sleep hygiene to make sure nothing else disrupts your sleep. Good sleep hygiene also includes cutting down on night-sweat triggers, including caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime. 

RISE can tell you when to do 20+ sleep hygiene habits at the time that’ll make them most effective for you. RISE can also help you lower your sleep debt, so you feel more energy each day. 

Users agree: 

“This is such a helpful app. It’s really good for understanding how to improve your sleep! It’s working too! I have a lot more energy during the day from following the app’s guidance.” Read the review.

And it doesn’t take long — 80% of users get better sleep within five days.

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