Perhaps you have trouble drifting off to sleep at night. Or maybe you wake up and can’t return to sleep. Either way, there’s nothing more frustrating than hearing that alarm clock ring when you’ve hardly slept at all. Can vitamins help? Experts say yes, but where do you start when there are so many supplements to choose from? We polled professionals to get their recommendations. Read on to learn more.
Lynell Ross, Founder and managing editor of Zivadream, an education advocacy website dedicated to helping people improve their lives. She is also a psychology trained Certified Health and Wellness Coach and Nutritionist.
Magnesium is essential
People who are deficient in magnesium can experience nausea, weakness, stress and anxiety, and because magnesium is one of the 24 essential vitamins and minerals our body needs, low levels can throw our whole system off. We need magnesium for better sleep, to stabilize our heart, improve our mood and reduce stress.
Our body does not produce magnesium, so it is an essential mineral that we must get from food or supplements. It is one of the key influencers over our body systems to regulate our heart and our physical and mental well-being. Magnesium regulates the flow and balance of calcium, potassium and other minerals to help our muscles and nerves function properly and maintain our heart rhythm.
Without the proper balance of these minerals, we wake up in the night with muscle cramps and can lose sleep because of our body's stress response to the day's events. Insomnia is a symptom of a magnesium deficiency, as we need it not only to fall asleep, but to maintain a deep restful night's sleep as well.
Dr. Len Lopez
Dr. Len Lopez is a health and fitness expert who teaches how to Eat Right and Train Smart so you can reach your health and fitness goals.
Magnesium, that’s the Good. It signals your body and mind to relax and calm down.
It is a precursor to your inhibitory hormones and brain messengers (neurotransmitters) to help your body and mind relax. We have to remember, it is calcium that signals your muscles to contract. Magnesium signals them to relax and signals your arteries and airways to dilate and open up to move more blood and oxygen through your body to help with blood pressure and asthma.
The BAD thing about magnesium is that some types of magnesium work better than others. Magnesium oxide is the most used form of magnesium in supplements. Unfortunately it is poorly absorbed, and it is the form of magnesium that also helps with constipation. Magnesium glycinate, malate, citrate and lactate are your better absorbed forms of magnesium. You will pay a little more, but it is definitely worth it.
The UGLY has a lot to do with manufacturers NOT telling you which form of magnesium they are using. Most of the general population don’t realize there is a difference, and, therefore, don’t bother to look or ask what form of magnesium is in their product.
A good magnesium supplement taken in the evening will help you calm and relax both your body and mind. Don’t forget a good night’s sleep is also dependent on keeping your blood sugar stable throughout the night. Otherwise, you will wake up in the middle of the night and can’t fall back asleep for a couple of hours.
Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD
Trista Best is a Registered Dietitian at Balance One Supplements, Environmental Health Specialist, and Adjunct Nutrition Professor.
Supplements that support immune system
Magnesium is a rarely considered mineral that plays many roles in the body, over 600 functions at the cellular level. While it is a small nutrient, a deficiency has significant implications. Along with fighting depression and lowering blood pressure, magnesium is linked to better sleep in both quality and quantity. (Magnesium deficiencies almost always lead to or exacerbate insomnia.) Magnesium works by regulating and activating parasympathetic hormones and neurotransmitters that help the brain to enter a state of relaxation, which is better prepared for rest. Magnesium also helps to control the symptoms of some conditions that interrupt sleep, like digestive disorders.
Mackenzie Bailey launched Steeped Content, a marketing company, creating value where her three passions overlap -tea, marketing, and entrepreneurship.
Matcha in the morning
Everyone's heard that chamomile tea helps you sleep. But, not everyone knows that matcha green tea is even better. Matcha is rich in vitamins and minerals and has potent amounts of L-theanine, an amino acid. L-theanine helps your brain make GABA, a powerful neurotransmitter. One of the things GABA does is help regulate your sleep cycle. Drinking matcha in the morning is a healthy habit that can improve your sleep quality.
Dr. Lina Velikova MD, Ph.D.,
Dr. Lina Velikova’ MD, Ph.D., Clinical Immunologist, medical advisor at Supplements101.net. Her journey into the world of medicine started in 2004. After her graduation, she became motivated to become an immunologist. She has extensive experience as a scientist and author of scientific papers.
Vitamins that play a role in sleep
When talking about vitamins that are good for sleep, it’s best to point to vitamin deficiencies that accompany sleep-related problems. Making sure to increase the levels of such vitamins may reduce the symptoms and improve sleep. Here are some vitamins that play a role in sleep.
Vitamin D deficiency has been linked with short night sleep duration. A study has confirmed a strong link between patients with sleep apnea and vitamin D deficiency. There has also been evidence of the link between vitamin D deficiency and lack of sleep because the vitamin regulates our internal clock - the circadian rhythm that we follow in relation to light and darkness.
Vitamin C and E
As antioxidants, vitamins C and E have been studied and concluded to help reduce sleep apnea episodes. Antioxidants promote cardiovascular health, which can take an impact from poor sleep. People who don’t sleep well or have sleep apnea often suffer from high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems. Antioxidants like vitamin C and E provide support to cardiovascular health and promote better sleep.
Vitamin B6 has a vital role in the production of melatonin (the sleep hormone) and serotonin (the happy hormone), which affect our sleep cycle and even our ability to remember dreams. Vitamin B6 deficiency has been linked to depression and insomnia, and an increase in B6 intake reduces the risk of depression.
Vitamin B12 is an essential regulator of the sleep-wake cycle - the circadian rhythm. Even though the direct link between vitamin B12 and sleep is yet to be confirmed by research, it has been linked to the circadian rhythm, which, when disrupted, can cause a variety of health problems, including depression.
Vitamins are best taken from the food you eat. Supplements can help, but more research is needed to confirm how effective they are - or how successfully they can resorb in our bodies. It’s essential to learn which foods are a good source of vitamins we want to increase, and to include such food in our diet.
Dr. Waqas Ahmad
Dr. Waqas Ahmad, Physician at Insurecast. He is a Family Medicine Physician with around 14 years of experience in managing all types of [conditions] like hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and other common diseases of children and adults.
The role of vitamins in sleep is very important. The deficiency of certain vitamins disturbs normal sleep. The vitamins that play an important role in sleep are:
This is the most important vitamin regulating the sleep-wake cycle through synchronization of the circadian rhythm. The deficiency of vitamin B12 is associated with insomnia, and it may also lead to depression. Vitamin B12 is found in animal protein sources like meat, eggs, fish, and dairy products, etc.
It also helps with sleep and dream recall. Its deficiency also leads to insomnia. Its sources are cheese, milk, eggs, fish, and whole grains, etc.
In addition to Vitamin D’s role in immunity and bone health, it also aids in the improvement of sleep duration and improves the condition of sleep apnea. Deficiency leads to a short duration of sleep and worsened sleep apnea. Sunlight is its major source while food sources include fish oil, cod liver oil, dairy products, and egg yolk.
Vitamin improves the function of the brain, and it protects memory loss associated with sleep deprivation. It has antioxidant properties. It improves the quality of sleep in persons having sleep apnea. Main food sources include seeds and nuts, including almonds, peanuts, corn, soybean oil, sunflower seeds, and spinach, etc.
This vitamin also has a very important role in immunity. It is a powerful antioxidant. This vitamin also improves sleep apnea and regulates sleep. It prevents memory loss linked with a shortage of sleep. Its deficiency also leads to a shorter duration of sleep and sleep disturbances. It is present in citrus fruits like oranges, cauliflower, chiles, and spinach, etc.
Building a healthy sleep pattern is a critical component of preventative health. Almost every system within the body can be affected by poor sleep. Many of the essential vitamins are either directly involved or secondarily involved in outcomes related to sleep. Strengthening the necessary foundational vitamins required for a restful sleep is a great way to improve overall sleep quality and long term health.
Melatonin is a great supplement for improving sleep, especially for those who suffer from insomnia. Your body typically produces melatonin, so a less-is-more strategy is the best approach when starting out. 1-3 mg per day 2 hours before bedtime can help start the metabolic processes that occur during a restful night’s sleep. Another helpful trick to activate the natural process is turning down the lights 2 hours prior to bedtime.
More than 94% of the American population is deficient in vitamin D, but it is an essential vitamin for appropriate sleep cycles. Studies have shown vitamin D receptors in the brain in areas that regulate the sleep cycle. It’s likely that adding vitamin D to your daily regimen will also help improve your sleep quality and make a big impact on immune, skin, and mental health.
The B vitamins included in the complex that is required to stimulate appropriate sleep include B3, B6, B9, and B12. These vitamins are necessary for tryptophan production. Tryptophan is used by the body to produce melatonin. The absence of these vitamins could be causal for the difficulty in achieving optimal sleep.
Though vitamin intake is personal and may vary for each person, including these 3 supplements in a daily regimen will be helpful in getting a healthy night’s rest.
Alicia Hough is a Corporate Wellness Expert at The Product Analyst. A specialist, she mans and develops programs that drive motivation and provide corporate businesses with tools to create awareness for employees and their well being.
Apart from melatonin, there are numerous vitamins which are best for a good sleep.
Vitamin B - Common as a vitamin to support brain function, vitamin B also helps in cell metabolism, making it a good supplement for better sleep. The lack of vitamin B may cause repeatedly waking up in the evening and worse, insomnia.
Vitamin E - Apart from its characteristic to help with skincare, it's also proven to be an effective vitamin in sleeping. It also helps prevent hot flashes and night sweats.
This is a crowdsourced article. Contributors are not necessarily affiliated with this website and their statements do not necessarily reflect the opinion of this website, other people, businesses, or other contributors.
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