5 Vitamins and Supplements for Sleep and Stress
Constantly stressing is a byproduct of the fast-paced, tumultuous times we live in. While the occasional “fight or flight” response is a natural thing for humans to experience, we should not be feeling it all the time. Constant stress can lead to unwanted health problems, such as migraines1 and sleep disorders. In fact, stress is a contributing factor in the six leading causes of death in America2 – a list that includes big-name health concerns such as heart disease, cancer, and lung disease.
If you’re stuck in this vicious cycle and want to break it, then you may want to try vitamins or supplements to help support a healthy stress response. Some of these natural remedies have been used for thousands of years, appearing in traditional Chinese and Ayurveda medicine.
Ashwagandha is deeply rooted in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. The benefits of Ashwagandha are wide-ranging3, but it is best known for helping people deal with stress. It is said to promote youthful vitality by helping to reduce physical and mental stress and fatigue. A particularly interesting study from 20174 showed that those who took Ashwagandha experienced a 44% stress level reduction, as opposed to the placebo group which just experienced a 5.5% decrease. Another randomized 2012 clinical trial5 showed similarly impressive levels of stress reduction after just 60 days.
Rhodiola is found in the arctic regions of Asia and Europe. The plant has a very long history in medicine, dating all the way back to 77 C.E. Also known as Golden Root, it has been used for energy enhancement, mood improvement, and reducing stress. An interesting 2009 double-blind study6 found that Rhodiola was able to reduce stress and increase alertness in doctors on night shifts.
3. Valerian Root
Native to Europe, valerian root has been used to help with tension, nervousness, and anxiety7. It's most well-known for its ability to support quality sleep8. Valerian root has a pretty calming, relaxing effect on the body and nervous system. Since a lack of sleep can be a trigger of stress, getting a full night’s rest can be an important part of stress management. We use valerian in our natural Sleep Formula.
4. Vitamin B Complex
B vitamins are important for maintaining healthy energy levels and healthy brain and nerve function, which supports your mood and stress reponse. The clinical data suggests that a vitamin B complex supplement may help keep your energy high and stress low9.
Magnesium is an essential mineral for helping to promote healthy nerve function and supporting a calm, relaxed body and mind. A 2012 study published10 by the National Institute of Health demonstrated that taking a magnesium supplement may help to improve sleep quality.
4. Body Weight Management in Adults Under Chronic Stress Through Treatment With Ashwagandha Root Extract: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial., 2017 Jan;22(1):96-106. Epub 2016 Apr 6
5. A Prospective, Randomized Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study of Safety and Efficacy of a High-Concentration Full-Spectrum Extract of Ashwagandha Root in Reducing Stress and Anxiety in Adults, 2012 Jul-Sep; 34(3): 255–262
8. Valerian for sleep: a systematic review and meta-analysis., 2006 Dec;119(12):1005-12