“Sleep is the best meditation.” All of us need to have uninterrupted sleep. Some vitamins and Minerals are essential for sleep. In this article, we will talk about some of the best vitamins and minerals that can help us sleep better.
Important Vitamins That Help Sleep Better:
A case report that was published in the year 2019 in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, has examined, “a severe deficiency of vitamin B12 as an unusual and a rare cause of hypersomnia.” Obstructive sleep apnea, side effects of medication, circadian rhythm sleep disorders, and sleep deprivation are some other common causes of hypersomnia.
We find Vitamin B12 naturally in animal products like fish, meat, eggs, poultry, milk, and various other dairy products. It is a point to note that several studies and reviews have found that vegetarians and vegans might be at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency.
One of the best vitamins for sleep is Vitamin C. This vitamin helps our immune system and also prevent various cardiovascular diseases. A few studies have also pointed out that vitamin C has power in soothing the symptoms of some sleep disorders.
A study of 2011 published in the Journal of Gorgan University of Medical Sciences found Intravenous supplements of Vitamin C helped patients with hemodialysis to get better sleep during the night. This study has examined 2 months of treatment in an experimental group that received the supplement of vitamin C and a control group that received only normal saline.
In a study conducted in 2009 and published by the Department of Physiology and the University of Delhi, 20 men participants with obstructive sleep apnea were given vitamin C supplements along with supplements of Vitamin E, orally for 45 days, one group had no CPAP therapy and the other group with CPAP therapy for 2 nights before. It was found that the subjects slept better and they were spending more time in the deeper sleep stages.(1)
One earlier study which was published in the year 2006 also suggests that vitamin C can help in easing obstructive sleep apnea, though this study used injections of vitamin C instead of oral supplements of the vitamin.(2)
When we talk about vitamin C, fruits like oranges, strawberries, pineapple, lychees, kiwi, and vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, kale, bell peppers, and brussel sprouts can be consumed, since they are good sources of vitamin C.
Vitamin D is one of the best vitamins for sleep. Vitamin D is believed to impact the amount of sleep and also the sleep quality that you get.
Receptors for this vitamin have been even found in the parts of the brain that are known to regulate sleep.
A review was published in the year 2018 by the University of Naples Federico II in Naples from Italy. This review showed a link between vitamin D and sleep quality. (3) A highlight of this review was that low levels of Vitamin D correlate with disturbed sleep patterns and also getting poor rest during the night.
One earlier study, which was published in February 2017, has found some evidence of a link between deficiency of vitamin D and poor sleep quality in hemodialysis patients. (4) The abstract of this study concludes this. However, more experimentation and studies are essential to confirm this.
The best way you can get your daily dose of Vitamin D is through sun exposure or with a vitamin D supplement. Foods that offer small quantities of vitamin D are egg yolks, fatty fish like sardines and salmon, beef liver, and fortified foods and beverages.
Important Minerals That Help Sleep Better:
Apart from the above vitamins that we mentioned, there are also some minerals for sleep. Let us take a look at some of these.
The main purpose of iron in our body is to help oxygen move from the lungs to our tissues. The amount of iron in our body directly impacts our quality of sleep, how sleepy we might feel during the day, and if we feel depressed or fatigued.
It has been found by The John Hopkins University that there is an association between iron deficiency and restless legs syndrome. This condition of restless leg syndrome is where your legs have an irresistible urge to move after a long period of inactivity. This can make it quite difficult to fall asleep.
The John Hopkins University suggests that an insufficient amount of iron in our body is the strongest environmental risk factor that is linked with Restless Leg Syndrome.(5)
Foods that are loaded with iron are ham, beef, fish, poultry, and shellfish. Iron is also present in broccoli, quinoa, tofu, dark chocolate, legumes, and various seeds like flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds.
Most of us know that calcium is good for our bones and teeth, but very few of us know that this mineral is also good for our sleep as well.
Calcium helps our body to use the Tryptophan amino acid for making melatonin hormone that helps us fall and stay asleep.
A study published first in the year 2013 has found that calcium is associated with less trouble falling asleep and having a restful sleep.(6)
Another earlier study that was published in the European Neurology Journal has found that our levels of calcium are higher in some of our deeper sleep cycles, like during REM sleep. The study had concluded that lower levels of calcium might cause sleep disruptions.
You can find calcium in various dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt. However, calcium is also present in broccoli, citrus fruits, and fish.
There are many vitamins for sleep that you can add to your diet. However, it is always a good idea to consult with your doctor or dietician before adding any vitamin supplements to your diet. It might be harmful if you take an overdose of these supplements including all the vitamins and the minerals supplements. Doctors will be able to aid you in determining the right type of supplements and the right dose of the supplements.
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