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Alaska Sleep Education Center

9 Vitamins and Minerals to Help You Sleep Better

Posted by Guest blogger, Emma Williams on Mar 20, 2019 3:04:00 PM

Sleep is essential to good health, but many of us struggle to slip into the deep slumber we desire. This can be due to a multitude of reasons, both physical and psychological, from stress, anxiety, depression, or poor lifestyle choices leading to insomnia, or underlying medical conditions or obesity causing sleep apnea or other sleep disorders.

Unfortunately, sleep deprivation is related to increased risk of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and depression – so it’s absolutely essential that you try and get forty winks.


But if counting sheep isn't working for you and you require a little extra help to get a good night’s sleep, consider trying the following vitamins and supplements:

1.  Iron

Iron is a major component in our blood that provides oxygen to our cells and tissues. Essentially, oxygen helps to keep us energized – which is why a lack of proper circulation typically wears us out and leaves us feeling tired.

A shortage of iron in the blood can lead to a range of serious health problems, including iron deficiency anemia. And interestingly, iron deficiency is one of the more common causes of the sleep disorder, restless legs syndrome (RLS). Sufferers of RLS feel the irresistible urge to move their legs in the night and it is so distracting they cannot sleep.

 

If you have this sleep disorder, you may simply be low on blood iron levels, and therefore taking iron may be helpful to relieve the deficiency and symptoms and help you get a better – less restless – night’s sleep.

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2.  Magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral that works wonders when it comes to releasing tension and helping you and your muscles to relax. You may have already heard about Magnesium’s healing power for insomnia, as it essentially prepares your body for rest.

 

 

 Photo by Gregory Pappas on Unsplash

Magnesium also helps you produce melatonin, which you’ll find later on this list. Melatonin also helps to get your body ready for sleep. You can get magnesium most naturally from consuming dark, leafy green vegetables, but you’ll also find it in whole grains, fish and beans.

 

3.  Vitamin D

You get Vitamin D from most dairy products and oily fish, as well as through direct sunlight.

 

Though vitamin D is often linked to building bones and sunlight, it has also been proven to affect your sleep schedule. Vitamin D deficiency is linked with disrupted sleep, and less sleep overall, so you should do your best to keep your diet loaded with fish, milk, and eggs, as well as making sure to expose your bare skin to sunlight (in moderation and when wearing sunscreen – of course)!


Photo by Adam Śmigielski on Unsplash

4.  Melatonin

 

v1Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that is key to the human sleep-wake cycle. Essentially, it helps regulates the rhythm of your body based on the light around you, letting your body know that darkness is a cue for night-time behavior, and is known as the ‘N1 Phase’ or ‘light sleep’.  

If you’re not getting enough sunlight during the day or sleep at night, you may need an extra boost of melatonin – but the catch 22 is that the easiest way to increase melatonin levels is to get enough sleep!

 

Melatonin supplements, therefore, may be a good option for those suffering from disrupted sleep or finding it hard to catch some zzz’s. Melatonin pills, however, can often cause strange dreams, so be aware of that.

5.  B vitamins

B vitamins, which include thiamine, riboflavin, Vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and folic acid, to name a few, are vital for supporting brain function, energy levels and cell metabolism. Vitamin B complex also helps prevent infections while promoting the growth of healthy red blood cells.

 

A lack of B5 may cause you to wake up repeatedly in the evenings, while B12 and folic acid, which is vitamin B9, are known to help fight insomnia.

6.  Chamomile

Chamomile is not actually a vitamin or mineral but a herb. Many people have integrated chamomile into their diet via chamomile tea or through diffusing it as an essential oil.

 

Chamomile acts as a relaxant to help relieve anxiety and to calm your nerves as well as your body. There are many “sleepytime” teas which contain chamomile as the main ingredient, making it easy to introduce into your usual routine.

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Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

7.  Calcium

When you think of calcium, you probably think of milk and strong bones and teeth. You can, however, get plenty of the mineral from broccoli too, and it does more than building strong bones.

 

Calcium is actually required to help the brain use the amino acid tryptophan to make melatonin, which as we already know, triggers sleep. So if you are potassium deficient, you may want to pick up some bananas and avocados on your way home. You can also find potassium in leafy green veggies and in fish.

 

The studies for potassium consumption are still in the testing phases but it is thought that there are links between potassium and slow wave, or “deep” sleep. Potassium is believed to help you to stay asleep once you have fallen asleep and fight against the symptoms of insomnia.


Sleep is essential to good health, but many of us struggle to slip into the deep slumber we desire. This can be due to a multitude of reasons, both physical and psychological, from stress, anxiety, depression, or poor lifestyle choices leading to insomnia, or underlying medical conditions or obesity causing sleep apnea or other sleep disorders.

Unfortunately, sleep deprivation is related to increased risk of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and depression – so it’s absolutely essential that you try and get forty winks.

 

But if counting sheep isn't working for you and you require a little extra help to get a good night’s sleep, consider trying the following vitamins and supplements:

 

8.  Vitamin E

Vitamin E is known for being extremely good for skin and nails, but it is also an antioxidant that will help with your sleep. This is an especially good vitamin if you suffer from RLS and cannot sleep due to the sudden, nightly urges to move your limbs.

 

Vitamin E is even said to help prevent hot flashes and night sweats.

9.  Valerian root

While you may have heard little or nothing about valerian root, it is actually a very ancient herb that has been used to fight sleep disorders as well as anxiety for hundreds of years. Valerian root is a more natural option to try when you are struggling to fall asleep.

 

Though there is not a lot of modern research for this herb, valerian root is often added to medicines for sleep disorders and even can help with stress. You can take a valerian root tablet to help ease your mind and your body and rest more easily.

 

 

It’s all well and good taking vitamins and minerals, but to get a good night’s sleep, you have to ensure that your diet and lifestyle choices are healthy too. So as well as making sure you consume foods rich in sleep-friendly nutrients, cut down on your caffeine and alcohol intake, avoid technology immediately before bed, and build up energy to exercise regularly.


9 Vitamins and Minerals to Help You Sleep Better
Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

8.  Vitamin E

Vitamin E is known for being extremely good for skin and nails, but it is also an antioxidant that will help with your sleep. This is an especially good vitamin if you suffer from RLS and cannot sleep due to the sudden, nightly urges to move your limbs.

 

Vitamin E is even said to help prevent hot flashes and night sweats.

9.  Valerian root

While you may have heard little or nothing about valerian root, it is actually a very ancient herb that has been used to fight sleep disorders as well as anxiety for hundreds of years. Valerian root is a more natural option to try when you are struggling to fall asleep.

 

Though there is not a lot of modern research for this herb, valerian root is often added to medicines for sleep disorders and even can help with stress. You can take a valerian root tablet to help ease your mind and your body and rest more easily.

 

 

It’s all well and good taking vitamins and minerals, but to get a good night’s sleep, you have to ensure that your diet and lifestyle choices are healthy too. So as well as making sure you consume foods rich in sleep-friendly nutrients, cut down on your caffeine and alcohol intake, avoid technology immediately before bed, and build up energy to exercise regularly.

Call Alaska Sleep Clinic today if you cannot seem to find out a way to get better sleep for a free sleep assessment. Improve Your Sleep. Improve Your Life.

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