Can Vitamins Help me Sleep Better? The Best Vitamins and Minerals for Sleep

More than 50% of Americans are deficient in vitamin A, vitamin C, and magnesium with over 50% not getting enough sunshine vitamin (vitamin D). Supplementing your diet with additional vitamins and minerals can boost your energy, brainpower, and combat sleep disturbances. If you’re struggling to get good quality sleep, you could be low in certain vitamins.   

Iron deficient symptoms can include low energy, restless leg syndrome, cold hands and feet

Symptoms of Vitamin & Mineral Deficiency

  • Chronic mouth ulcers or cracks in corners of the mouth (low iron and B vitamins)
  • Bleeding gums (low vitamin C)
  • Brittle hair and nails (low Biotin - B7)
  • Poor night vision (low vitamin A)
  • Dandruff (low zinc and B vitamins)
  • Restless leg syndrome (low iron/B vitamins/and or vitamin C)
  • Sleep disorders
  • *Consult your doctor to check your levels of vitamins before you start supplementation

Iron

Iron deficient symptoms can include low energy, restless leg syndrome, cold hands and feet, headache, fast heart rate, and sleep deprivation. Low levels of iron can exacerbate feelings of stress and anxiety.  

Iron-rich foods:

  • Red meat
  • Liver (avoid during pregnancy) 
  • Red kidney beans, edamame beans, chickpeas
  • Spinach
  • *vitamin C helps iron absorption        

Vitamin D

Vitamin d deficiency can be supplemented by spending more time in the sun and eating fatty fish. If you find that you are constantly sick with colds and flu, you feel exhausted and depressed. You could be low in vitamin D.  

Vitamin D rich foods:

  • Salmon 
  • Sardines 
  • Cod liver oil 
  • Egg yolks 
  • Fortified dairy products: cow’s milk and soy milk

B Vitamins

Vitamin b12 deficiency is linked to insomnia and B-Complex vitamin supplements are advised to combat feelings of lethargy and anxiety. B12 helps your body to create energy and improves the health of blood cells, brain function, metabolism, and energy. 

B vitamin-rich foods:

  • Leafy greens 
  • Organ meats
  • Salmon 
  • Beef 
  • Oysters, muscles, clams 

Vitamin C

Studies have shown that intravenous vitamin C supplements can help patients with obstructive sleep apnea to sleep better. Vitamin C is crucial to maintaining a healthy immune system and can help ease symptoms of colds and flu.    

Vitamin C rich foods:

  • Oranges 
  • Broccoli 
  • Strawberries
  • Pineapple
  • Bell peppers 

Calcium and Magnesium 

Calcium is essential to melatonin production (the hormone that regulate the body for sleep). Your teeth and bones will be grateful too. Calcium and magnesium can aid nighttime relaxation to help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.   

Calcium and Magnesium-rich foods:

  • Dairy products 
  • Sardines
  • Beans and lentils 
  • Almonds 
  • Dark leafy greens 

Melatonin

Your circadian rhythm works in tandem with melatonin, a naturally occurring hormone that alerts your brain to sleep. Your level of melatonin will be higher in the evening as your body prepares for sleep, and drops in the morning. Shift workers can use a natural melatonin supplement to adjust their sleep cycles or those suffering from sleep disorders.  

Valerian Root  

Valerian root is a native herb to Asia and Europe. It is recommended for the treatment of menopause, depression, and anxiety. For greater restful sleep, take 300-900 mg of valerian root in the evening coupled with meditation techniques, valerian is a good natural remedy for sleep disorders.  

What Vitamins Should I Take for Sleep?

All vitamins and minerals are essential to maintaining good physical health and mental wellbeing. A multivitamin could be a good starting point but it is advisable to ask your doctor for a blood test to determine exactly what vitamins you are deficient in. A healthy body will feel at ease and help you sleep better at night. A lack of essential vitamins can lead to sleep disorders and restless leg syndrome

What Time of day Should I Take Vitamins?

The earlier in the day the better for vitamin absorption and release. Preferably taken with breakfast than on an empty stomach. But, depending on your lifestyle and preference, you could take your vitamin supplement at any time of day. Preferably with food if you have a sensitive stomach. 

Your sleep wake cycles can be stabilized by adding nutritious food and vitamin supplements to your diet

What Food Should I Eat for Better Sleep?

  • Leafy greens 
  • Almonds 
  • Turkey 
  • Fatty fish 
  • Walnuts
  • Oatmeal 
  • Bananas 

What Exercise Will Help me Sleep Better?

  • Running 
  • Strength training 
  • Walking 
  • Swimming 
  • Team sports 
  • *3-5 times per week

Conclusion

Your sleep wake cycles can be stabilized by adding nutritious food and vitamin supplements to your diet to help your body produce the sleep hormone, melatonin. Sleep disorders, restless leg syndrome, and obstructive sleep apnea could be alleviated by topping up on missing vitamins and minerals. A simple blood test can determine what you are lacking, it is advisable to speak with your doctor before adding supplements to your diet. Healthy nutritious food, exercise, fresh air, and water are essential components to a healthy mind, body, and circadian rhythm.