A number of factors could affect your ability to get a good night’s sleep, including stress, physical activity, and diet. Another lesser-known factor that could impact your sleep schedule is a vitamin deficiency. Which vitamins should you take to sleep well at night? Here’s what you need to know:
Your body naturally produces vitamin D whenever you are exposed to sunlight. But unfortunately, many people do not get regular exposure to sunshine, which means their bodies do not produce enough vitamin D. If your vitamin D levels are low, this could explain why you are having trouble sleeping at night.
Studies have shown that having a low vitamin D level can increase your risk of sleep deprivation. In fact, the participants who had low vitamin D levels often slept less than five hours per night. These participants also took longer to fall asleep and woke up more often than participants with normal vitamin D levels. The results of these studies show how important it is to ensure you have enough vitamin D in your system.
It’s estimated that one in 10 adults in the U.S. suffer from restless leg syndrome. This condition is characterized by the uncomfortable urge to move your legs while you are resting. People who suffer from restless leg syndrome often find it impossible to fall asleep because of the unpleasant sensations in their legs. Fortunately, taking vitamin E supplements could alleviate some of these symptoms so you can finally get the rest you need. If you’re suffering from restless leg syndrome, stock your kitchen full of foods that are rich in vitamin E, including almonds, hazelnuts, avocados, and salmon.
Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania found that people who did not consume enough vitamin C slept an average of five to six hours per night. A separate team of researchers supported this conclusion. These researchers also discovered that participants with low levels of vitamin C were more likely to experience sleep disturbances, such as waking up frequently throughout the night.
If you’re not getting enough vitamin C, this could be the reason you are having trouble sleeping. It’s recommended that women take about 75 milligrams daily, whereas men need up to 90 milligrams per day. Make sure you are consuming enough vitamin C by incorporating plenty of fruits and vegetables into your diet.
There are several different types of vitamin B that could affect the quality of your sleep. Vitamin B6 speeds up the conversion of tryptophan, which is an amino acid, into serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that makes you sleepy. As a result, this vitamin can help you unwind quickly so you can fall asleep at a normal hour.
Vitamin B12 is another B vitamin that your body needs to get a good night’s sleep. This vitamin is responsible for aiding in the production of melatonin, which is a naturally occurring sleep-inducing hormone. People with low levels of vitamin B12 often do not have enough melatonin either. Because the body relies on melatonin to know when it’s time to go to sleep, low levels of this hormone could throw off your sleep schedule. To fix this problem, it’s important to adopt a diet that is rich in vitamin B12.
Vitamins B12 and B6 can make it easier to fall asleep, but it’s vitamin B3 that helps you stay asleep and get high-quality sleep. Research has shown that vitamin B3 can extend the length of REM sleep, which is one of the stages of the sleep cycle. The REM stage of sleep restores and energizes the body, so staying in this stage of the cycle can make you feel more rested.
Vitamin B5, which is also known as pantothenic acid, plays an indirect role in your sleeping schedule. This vitamin is often referred to as the anti-stress vitamin because of its ability to combat stress and anxiety. Since this vitamin reduces stress and anxiety levels, it can make you feel more relaxed and ready for bed. If you are not consuming enough vitamin B5, it could be difficult to fall asleep if you are under a great deal of stress.
Magnesium is technically a mineral, not a vitamin, but it can have a huge impact on your sleep schedule. Magnesium triggers the parasympathetic nervous system to let your body know it’s time to start relaxing. Therefore, this mineral could reduce your stress and anxiety levels, making it easier to fall asleep at night.
Calcium is another mineral that could improve your sleeping problems. Similar to vitamin B6, calcium assists with the conversion of tryptophan to serotonin. If you are not consuming enough calcium, your body could find it difficult to make this conversion, which means it will be harder to fall asleep.
Research has also shown that low levels of calcium could affect your ability to sleep soundly throughout the night. In one particular study, people with low calcium levels were more likely to wake up shortly after falling asleep. These participants were also more likely to spend less time in the REM stage of the sleep cycle. To avoid these problems, it’s best to drink a glass of milk before bed so your body has the calcium it needs to put you to sleep.
Looking at this long list of vitamins and minerals involved in the process of falling asleep can be overwhelming. But, there’s no need to panic. These vitamins and minerals are found in plenty of common foods and beverages that can be easily incorporated into your diet. Making a few small changes to the way you eat could be enough to provide your body with the nutrients you need to sleep well.