When it comes to poor sleep, there are many reasons why you are left tossing and turning. Stress, diet, underlying medical conditions, and even lack of comfort can all play a role in a poor night’s sleep. But did you know that vitamin deficiencies can also be a culprit?
Your body needs a wide variety of vitamins and minerals in order to be healthy and even to help you sleep. Therefore, if you lack some vitamins and minerals, you could be left wide awake at night. This is because vitamins and minerals play a significant role in all the bodies processes, including sleep.
Vitamin deficiencies can easily be detected through blood work, so if you suspect that they are the cause of your poor sleep, simply request blood work from your doctor.
Here are four common vitamin deficiencies that can trigger poor sleep.
Vitamin D: This time of year, when the sun isn’t out as long, vitamin D deficiencies become more common. A 2013 study found that too little, and too much, vitamin D can trigger sleep problems. Excess vitamin D led to daytime sleepiness which disrupts nighttime sleep. Other studies found that vitamin D deficiency is associated with less than five hours of sleep among men.
Vitamin B12: There is some evidence to suggest that supplementing with small doses of vitamin B12 may improve sleep, but this research is still preliminary. The belief that vitamin B12 may aid in sleep stems from its ability to help reduce depressive symptoms. Generally, vitamin B12 is associated with improving mood.
Magnesium: Magnesium plays an important role in enzyme production, particularly in relation to the neurotransmitter GABA, which controls sleepiness. Magnesium deficiency has also been linked to insomnia. Magnesium-rich foods include peas, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, whole grains, and oily fish. Obtaining magnesium from food is far more useful than through supplements.
Iron: Lack of iron – known as anemia – can trigger restless leg syndrome, which occurs during the night and can keep you awake. Studies have found lower levels of iron can increase your risk of restless leg syndrome.
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