Are you having trouble sleeping at night? There are many possible causes, but one that is not discussed nearly enough is how a vitamin deficiency can make it difficult to fall asleep at your normal bedtime. Today we are looking at five forms of vitamin deficiency that might explain why you find it so hard to get a full night’s sleep.
Vitamin D Deficiencies
Vitamin D is probably the first vitamin supplement that your physician will recommend that you take as part of your recovery plan. It is also one of the most commonly diagnosed deficiencies. If you are not getting enough vitamin D from your meals or exposure to sunlight, you can feel exhausted throughout the day and still not be able to sleep well. Low vitamin D levels have been associated with insomnia as well as other sleep interruptions by researchers who found the deficiency may double the risk of sleeping less than four hours a night. In addition to supplements, you can increase your vitamin D intake by eating more fresh fish and vitamin-fortified foods.
This fatty acid has been found to be essential for the regulation of hormones associated with feelings of stress as well as helping to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart attacks. Those taking supplements for Omega-3 have reported an average of one more hour of sleep per night, which can make a big difference in how you feel in the morning. You may also be able to get more Omega-3 in your diet by increasing your intake of flax seeds, walnuts, and fortified eggs.
Along with vitamins and fatty acids, minerals can be crucial when you are trying to regulate your sleep cycle. Selenium is one such mineral and its deficiency is one that is common in those practicing a Vegan or Vegetarian diet as they are more likely to lack selenium in their meals. Selenium was found to reduce abnormal sleep patterns in patients that had reported an inability to regularly sleep through the night. Selenium intake can be increased by eating seafood such as oysters, shrimp, and tuna while vegetarians may be able to get a sufficient amount from Brazil nuts and cremini mushrooms.
Vitamin C Deficiency
Vitamin C has been strongly associated with the health of the immune system, but it has many roles in the body and it should come as no surprise that lower levels of vitamin C may affect your health in ways that make sleep difficult. Vitamin C deficiency in the extreme causes a debilitating disease that is known as scurvy, but even lower levels of deficiency have been found to cause uncomfortable symptoms such as painfully swollen joints, anemia, and contribute to mood disorders. Studies have found sleep disorders can be mitigated with a regular vitamin C supplement regimen, but the best dietary sources remain citrus fruits, tomatoes, and broccoli.
Vitamin B6 Deficiency
Vitamin B6 actually affects our subconscious as much as our conscious self by having an impact on how we dream. Without B6, you may well be less likely to recall your dreams; more interestingly still, those who take the recommended dose of B6 may be more likely to lucid dream, a dream state in which you feel conscious of dreaming and are even able to control what happens. This isn’t the only area of sleep that B6 affects, as when it comes to your conscious (and physical) self, B6 is vital for aiding the production of melatonin and serotonin, two hormones that have a proven impact on sleep and mood.
B6 can help to keep depression and insomnia at bay, so it’s worth chowing down on bananas, potatoes, spinach, and carrots, as well as fish and dairy products (though not milk) to help increase your B6 intake.
If you feel like vitamin deficiencies can be affecting your sleep, contact your doctor to check your levels before taking any vitamins.
If you are still having problems getting to sleep at night, feel free to contact us to find out more about how we can help you get a good night’s sleep and wake up ready to face the day.