Deficiency of vitamins essential for production of chemicals that promote sleep is one of the common causes of insomnia. Unfortunately, instead of modifying the diet, people prone to insomnia tend to rely on sedatives to fall asleep. Nutritional deficiencies that cause poor sleep can be easily reversed by eating the right type of foods and with vitamin supplements. These vitamins help in balancing the biochemistry of the brain that helps in improving the quality of sleep. Vitamin deficiencies are also associated with health disorders that deprive you of good quality sleep. If you are suffering from sleep disorders, check your diet. You may need additional dosages of vitamins to help stimulate secretion of brain chemicals that control the sleep-wake cycle of the body.
The Following Vitamins Are Best Known For Their Role In Promoting Sleep.
Thiamine, also known as vitamin B1, is essential for keeping the nerves strong and healthy . A healthy nervous system helps in maintaining emotional balance and reducing stress and anxiety, thereby aiding relaxation and improving the quality of sleep. Prolonged deficiency of thiamine reduces your body’s ability to relax and fall asleep. Thiamin occurs naturally in whole grains, pulses and nuts.
You may need extra amount of niacin or vitamin B3 to get rid of your sleeping problems . According to studies, regular intake of 50 to 100 mg of niacin helps in increasing the duration of REM sleep. Niacin is known to help in improving the effectiveness of the amino acid tryptophan, which is converted into melatonin that helps you in falling asleep. Tryptophan is also needed for synthesis of the neurotransmitter serotonin. Hence, it helps in reducing mild depression and insomnia associated with it. Good dietary sources of niacin include meat, poultry, fish, peanuts and mushrooms.
3. Vitamin B6
Your body needs vitamin B6 to convert tryptophan into the neurotransmitter serotonin . Serotonin acts as a natural sedative that helps in relaxation and sleep. Vitamin B6 deficiency, by impairing serotonin production, causes poor sleep. Fish, organic meat, chicken, banana and sweet potato are good sources of vitamin B6. If sufficient amount of vitamin B6 rich food is missing from your diet, you will suffer from vitamin B6 deficiency. As vitamin B6 is involved in detoxification, accumulation of toxins in the body causes rapid depletion of vitamin B6.
4. Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 induces melatonin secretion . In people suffering from delayed sleep phase syndrome, a type of sleep disorder that keeps a person awake at night and causes sleepiness in the early hours of morning, vitamin B12 can help in restoring the normal sleep pattern. The common dietary sources of vitamin B12 are meat, fish and cheese. To fight insomnia, apart from eating foods rich in vitamin B12, supplement may help in improving the circadian cycle.
5. Vitamin C
Studies suggest that people suffering from vitamin C deficiency are more likely to experience poor sleep . Low vitamin C level in the blood causes a person to sleep for less than five hours. They are more likely to wake up in the night. To boost the vitamin C level in your blood, eat citrus fruits, bell peppers, berries, kiwifruit, guava, tomato, papaya and green leafy vegetables.
6. Vitamin D
Vitamin D directly affects the parts of the brain that regulate the sleep-wake cycle . Vitamin D deficiency is associated with poor nighttime sleep and daytime drowsiness. Studies suggest that increasing the vitamin D level in the blood helps in reducing the abnormal sleep pattern. Exposure to sunshine induces natural synthesis of vitamin D. It occurs naturally in a small number of foods such as fish, oysters and mushroom. Supplements and foods fortified with vitamin D are often recommended to boost the body’s vitamin D reserve.