Homemade Sublingual Magnesium Spray and Topical Magnesium Oil

My sleep regimen includes some unusual homemade magnesium preparations, and I thought other people with myalgic encephalomyelitis might like to know how to make them.

Dr. Cheney was a big believer in magnesium – for energy production, for brain function, for sleep. He favored magnesium sulfate/taurine injections. He believed that absorption of magnesium from the GI tract was insufficient to benefit people with myalgic encephalomyelitis.

With a trial under his care, I found that injected and topical magnesium sulfate both caused tachycardia in me. As a substitute, he suggested I try other forms of magnesium, focusing on sublingual and topical approaches.

My regimen includes a commercially prepared magnesium threonate that I use sublingually, and three homemade magnesium preparations: a sublingual magnesium gluconate spray and magnesium gluconate and chloride “oils.”

I know the amount of magnesium I absorb sublingually and topically is probably slight, but I have found that it’s enough to help shift me back to sleep when nighttime awakenings occur.

Sublingual Magnesium Gluconate Spray

Dr. Cheney tested a sublingual magnesium gluconate spray on me during a 2011 echocardiogram and reported a positive response. Back at home, I found it helped me get back to sleep at night. For many years I bought the commercially prepared product he’d tested; the manufacturer stopped making it during the pandemic; there was one other manufacturer out there, but it didn’t work to get me back down. That spray is vital to my sleep regimen, so we figured out a homebrew version.

We based our version on the ingredient list of my usual commercial version and came up with a workable one after some experimentation. All of the ingredients appear to be important. I can’t conclusively say why, but we have tried versions without the alcohol and without the glycerin and they don’t seem to work. Though I can’t drink alcohol, the small amount in this spray doesn’t seem to be seriously deleterious. I have no explanation for this, but the brand of glycerin we use has mattered for me, at least; I currently use Wildly Organic. I found that the same recipe made with NOW brand glycerin didn’t get me back to sleep. This may not matter to others whose insomnia is not as severe.

This gets put in a 2 oz. spray bottle. I buy glass bottoms and spray tops separately because I prefer to minimize contact between the alcohol and plastic.


13g magnesium gluconate
60g glycerin
375 ml 120 proof alcohol
315 ml water


Mix all ingredients together. Decant into a 2 oz. spray bottle. Take six sprays below the tongue and six along the gums on retiring, and the same at any awakening.

Magnesium Oils

We make two kinds of this: A magnesium chloride one and a magnesium gluconate one. There are commercially-prepared magnesium chloride oils out there, but I haven’t met with a magnesium gluconate one.

If you’ve not used magnesium oil in the past, there’s actually no oil in it; it’s that the magnesium gives it a slick, oily feel. It is quite drying; you may want to follow it with a heavy moisturizer, especially when the humidity is low. If you use true soap, I know these oils will coagulate its lather on contact, so it’s best to rinse and rub any place you’ve applied it before attempting to use soap there.

I keep these oils at hand in travel-size shampoo bottles with rocker tops – the small blue and green ones in the photo above. That makes it easy to dispense a few drops at a time into my palm. I rub it into my arms, the tops of my thighs, and the backs of my calves on retiring, and I do my arms with my second round of sleep meds but don’t bother doing my legs again.

Magnesium Chloride Oil


magnesium chloride flakes


  1. Fill a 24-oz glass jar with magnesium chloride flakes. Fill it all the way to the top with water.  Yes, ALL the way to the top.
  2. A little bit will dissolve almost immediately.  Put the lid on; shake it a bit. Wait a few hours; the rest will dissolve.
  3. Shake it each time before you pour it out. Decant into a smaller bottle if preferred.
  4. To use, apply to skin and rub in as desired.

Magnesium Gluconate Oil


magnesium chloride powder


  1. Place ¼ cup magnesium gluconate powder in a 24-oz. glass jar.
  2. Add water to an inch from the top. Shake well; leave it for an hour.
  3. Add two more tablespoons of magnesium gluconate. Shake well, leave it for an hour.
  4. Repeat the add & shake step until you see a very little bit of solid material left at the bottom even after a couple hours.
  5. Now add enough water to fill the jar completely, shake it up.
  6. Shake it each time before you pour it out. Decant into a smaller bottle if preferred.

If a little bit of solid remains even after a thorough shaking, don’t worry.  You’re trying to saturate the solution, so a little extra just means you’ve done that.  It doesn’t do you any harm to have that little bit left over.

To use, apply to skin and rub in as desired.

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3 Responses to Homemade Sublingual Magnesium Spray and Topical Magnesium Oil

  1. Inge says:

    Thank you for that, I also found that the topical magnesium preparations are drying out the skin. My sleep medication regime contains 100 mg pregabalin and I realized that magnesium at night made it work less well, but when I wake up too early to take a mg supplement together with Glycine and Pharmagaba helps me get back to sleep. Well, not all the time, but at least half of the times. But it needs that combination. I will try and see if your suggestion works for the other half.

  2. I can vouch that these work! @nopostergirl was kind enough to send me a trial of these when my sleep fell off dramatically and I was on 7 days of very little sleep. I don’t have to use these everyday, but it’s great having them when I do need them!

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