Vitamins and Insomnia
Fix Your Sleeplessness with Vitamin Supplements
There’s a good reason why your mother always wanted you to take your vitamins: when your body is nutritionally imbalanced your biological clock can become altered and that means sleep disruptions, whether temporary or on a more chronic basis. If you suffer occasional bouts of insomnia, you might explore the possibilities for quick and safe remedies with a dose of daily vitamin and mineral supplements.
The regular vitamins, minerals essential to your body’s sleep-wake cycle include the B vitamins, and nutrients iron and magnesium.
B Vitamins and Restfulness
The B vitamins include a battery of essential nutrients, including thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), and folic acid (B6) and many more. The B’s are important building blocks in cellular regeneration and provide essential support for your immune system, as well as your skin and central nervous system, the latter of which monitors many of the chemical processes involved with mood and sleep.
When your body is deficient in any of the major B vitamins common early symptoms could include depression and insomnia. But serious deficiencies can be life-threatening. Some people have reported that insomnia symptoms have diminished noticeably once they begin a regular routine of taking B-complex vitamins, a supplement that packages all the B’s together.
B Vitamins in Your Diet
Nutritionists argue that you should get your full complement of B vitamins in your daily food intake, but truth is most of us don’t eat properly: skipping meals and chowing down on fast food can cut into your necessary dose of diet-available vitamins and minerals. Here’s a list of common foods that contain extra B vitamin punch:
- turkey, also a good natural source for tryptophan
Other Nutrients for Sleeplessness
Other dietary nutrients that could be contributing to poorer sleep quality or wakefulness include copper, iron and magnesium. Copper and iron are often lower in many women and both can create sleep disturbances. Anecdotal evidence indicates that low levels of magnesium could result in poor sleep, an absence of significant deep and light sleep that is indicative of an otherwise healthy sleep-wake cycle. All can be adequately increased with an all-around multi-vitamin.
Treating Chronic Insomnia
Self-treatment for chronic insomnia, though, is a bad idea even though vitamins are considered fairly benign. Here’s the deal: if you suffer from regular bouts of insomnia you likely have other psychological or medical conditions. Rarely is insomnia a standalone problem and it’s not a sleep disorder—it’s a symptom and often secondary to something else. If, in fact, you do have a vitamin deficiency you need to see your doctor, first. He or she will prescribe appropriate measures or advise you on any daily vitamin supplementation that could help relieve your insomnia.
If you’re biggest concern is avoiding strong prescription sleep aids, then talk to your doctor about natural alternatives or behavioral modification. Alternative and holistic insomnia therapies include acupuncture, meditation, hypnosis, and even music therapy.