Although it’s your body’s “sleep hormone”, melatonin isn’t the only thing that impacts your sleep.
Sleep is one of many cycles that your body maintains, which requires a balance of healthy habits and nutrients in order to support efficiently. Some vitamin deficiencies have been associated with sleep disorders like sleep apnea and others, which could impact your ability to sleep.
Vitamins can impact your sleep in different ways. Here are five vitamins that can play a positive role in impacting your sleep quality.
As a general warning, most people get enough vitamins through their diet. Please consult your physician if you have concerns about taking certain supplements, including melatonin.
Magnesium is crucial for your overall health, playing a key role in supporting muscle and nerve functions, blood pressure, bone health, and even energy production. Magnesium supplementation may even help alleviate the severity of PMS symptoms.
In one study, magnesium was associated with improvement in overall sleep quality in a study with insomnia patients. Magnesium supplementation had a positive correlation with improved sleep efficiency, sleep time, sleep latency, and early morning awakening.
Another study indicated a beneficial effect with several months supplementation of taking magnesiums for sleep. Taking a magnesium- melatonin-vitamin B complex in the treatment of insomnia had a positive correlation with sleep quality.
- Pumpkin seeds
- Chia seeds
- Dried beans and legumes, such as soybeans and lentils
- Nuts such as almonds and cashews
Risks of taking too much magnesium supplements
Taking large doses of magnesium can be potentially unsafe if it builds up in the body. Taking magnesium supplements in excess can cause side effects such as:
- Irregular heartbeat
- Low blood pressure
Vitamin B6 and B12
Vitamin B6 is essential for your body to use the sugars, fats, and proteins it takes in. It also supports development in your brain, nerves, and other organs. Vitamin B12 is similarly important for brain and nerve function.
In addition to magnesium, the same study indicated a beneficial effect with several months supplementation of a magnesium- melatonin-vitamin B complex in the treatment of insomnia.
A separate study found that vitamin B12 had a responsive effect when used to treat the sleep-wake schedule disorders in two patients.
However another study also correlated B12 supplementation with reduced sleep duration. This may suggest that vitamin B12 for sleep will not impact users in the same way.
- Fish such as salmon and tuna
- Beef liver
- Fish such as salmon and tuna
- Beef liver
Risks of taking too much vitamin B supplements
Taking vitamin B supplements in excess can cause side effects such as:
- Headache or dizziness
Vitamin D is critical for bone health, helping your body absorb calcium and phosphorus to help rebuild bone tissue. More research indicates vitamin D’s importance in managing your overall health, from inflammation to your immune health.
Studies of vitamin D’s effect on sleep have found that vitamin D deficiency has been associated with some sleep disorders, and that vitamin D plays some role in the regulation of sleep.
Another study found that vitamin D supplementation was correlated with improved sleep quality, reduced sleep latency, increased sleep duration in people with sleep disorders.
However it should be noted that other studies have found that higher levels of vitamin D supplementation were possibly associated with lower levels of melatonin, although that study focused on patients with multiple sclerosis.
Few foods have vitamin D unless they have been fortified, but sunlight is a major source of this vitamin. Other sources also include
- Fortified yogurt or dairy
Risks of taking too much vitamin D supplements
Vitamin D makes it easier for your body to absorb calcium. People who are at greater risk of developing kidney stones should ask their physician about taking vitamin D. Taking vitamin D supplements in excess can cause side effects such as:
- Elevated calcium levels
Calcium is essential for building and maintaining strong bones and rebuilding bone tissue. In addition to bone health, calcium also plays a role in supporting heart health and helping your muscles contract and regulating your nerve functions.
- Sesame seeds
- Dairy like cheese and milk
- Collard greens and spinach
Risks of taking too much calcium supplements
Taking calcium supplements in excess can cause side effects such as:
- Increased likelihood of developing kidney stones
Zinc is essential to cell growth and your immune system. Zinc helps with healing, with your thyroid health, and also in building proteins. Zinc supplementation is even associated with antiviral immunity against certain viruses.
Zinc supplementation was found to increase quality of sleep, and it may be involved in the regulation of the sleep-wake cycle.
- Red meat
- Crab and lobster
- Baked beans and chickpeas
Risks of taking too much zinc supplements
Taking zinc supplements in excess can cause side effects such as:
- Stomach pains
- Loss of appetite
Could I take all these vitamins?
While you could take these vitamins for sleep regularly, you might not need to. Most of these vitamins can be found in sufficient amounts through the food we eat. So unless you have a vitamin deficiency, you may not need to take vitamins as supplements for sleep.
Although these vitamins can support your overall health and boost sleep, it is possible to experience negative side effects from taking too much. Consult your physician about discontinuing use if you experience any side effects.