According to a new survey from Consumer Reports1, Americans aren't getting a good night’s rest. Based off the results, about 27% of adults are experiencing trouble either falling asleep or staying asleep. Meanwhile, 68% of Americans experience sleep trouble at least once a week – that is roughly 164 million Americans!
Of course, the constant hustle and bustle of our modern world means that we need our sleep more than ever. This constant stress keeps us from achieving the rest we so desperately need. So, what can we do to improve our sleep? It really comes down to diet, but getting all the vitamins and nutrients you need can be difficult. That's why taking supplements to fill in any gaps that you may be missing can help you catch some zzz's.
Here are the 7 best vitamins and supplements for a good night of sleep in no particular order:
1. Vitamin C
When most people think Vitamin C, they relate it to the wonderful immunity-boosting properties that it's famous for. But some studies suggest2 that people with low levels of Vitamin C may actually have increased risks of experiencing sleep problems. Those that have less Vitamin C can wake up more frequently throughout the night, leading to less restful sleep.
2. Vitamin D
While Vitamin D might come from sunlight, it is surprisingly important in helping us get our nighttime zzz’s. The vitamin has been linked3 to the maintenance of good sleep, which is why it's so important to supplement for it during the winter months. Vitamin D deficiency can inhibit the duration of your sleep as well as increase your risk of sleep disturbances. Some studies have associated certain sleep disorders4, like obstructive sleep apnea and insomnia, with Vitamin D deficiency.
Melatonin is perhaps best known as the hormone that helps regulate the body’s circadian rhythm. Studies suggest5 that melatonin supplements can aid your body in getting a more restful night of sleep.
Magnesium helps your body produce melatonin, yet many Americans are getting enough of it. According to the Nutritional Magnesium Association6, over 75% of all Americans aren’t hitting their daily recommended dose of magnesium.
While is best known as an oxygen transporter, if you’re not getting enough iron you can actually feel lethargic and fatigued. You would think this means that it should help with sleep, however, an iron deficiency will cause your sleep to be disrupted by symptoms like restless leg syndrome7.
The latest research shows8 that calcium could play a part in how you dream. As a recent study found, a calcium deficiency can result in a REM sleep disturbance. Rapid Eye Movement is the deepest state of sleep and when dreams occur9. In addition to your diet, you can also use supplements to boost your body’s calcium levels.
There are multiple vitamins within a B-Complex supplement that can have an impact on your sleep. Vitamin B6 in particular has shown to help you remember your dreams. Overall, vitamin B6 has multiple functions in the body – those mostly related to your cognitive functions and development.
Additionally, Vitamin B12 can also have a major impact on the quality of your sleep. Studies have linked low levels of the vitamin with insomnia and can help to regulate your sleep-wake cycles.
1. Consumer Reports: Why Americans Can't Sleep, January 14, 2016
3. The Association between Vitamin D Deficiency and Sleep Disorders: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis, 2018 Oct; 10(10): 1395
5. Effect of inducing nocturnal serum melatonin concentrations in daytime on sleep, mood, body temperature, and performance., 1994 Mar 1; 91(5): 1824–1828
6. Magnesium Association of America, 2018 Oct; 10(10): 1395
9. Sleep Symptoms Associated with Intake of Specific Dietary Nutrients, 2014 Feb; 23(1): 22–34.
10. Want to remember your dreams? Try taking vitamin B6, APRIL 27, 2018