According to the Sleep Health Foundation, an estimated one out of every three people have at least a mild form of insomnia. Besides making you feel tired and cranky, chronic sleep problems can contribute to an array of mental and physical health issues such as depression, obesity, and high blood pressure. If you struggle to get satisfying slumber, a vitamin or mineral deficiency might be to blame.
To function properly, your body needs an assortment of vitamins and minerals. You obtain these beneficial substances from the foods you eat, the environment, and your body’s internal processes. Being deficient in certain vitamins and minerals can cause health problems that have insomnia as a side effect.
If you are having sleep problems it might be because your body is deficient in one or more of these vitamins or minerals. Each of the following six vitamin and mineral deficiencies have all been linked to sleep disturbances.
Also referred to as vitamin B3, Niacin is mostly known for the disease resulting from its deficiency according to Progressive Health. A deficiency in niacin can lead to developing pellagra. Pellagra is a disease complex with serious symptoms including insomnia, diarrhea, dementia, general weakness, and dermatitis. Taking niacin supplements can help treat sleep problems caused from a shortage of niacin.
You produce vitamin D through exposing your skin to ultraviolet B, UVB, light. Therefore, a deficiency in this vitamin is associated with a lack of sunlight. Research studies have revealed that having both too little vitamin D and too much of it can negatively impact your slumber. Too little can cause you to sleep for too few hours at night while too much of it can make you feel sleepy during the daytime. When you’re sleepy during the daytime hours, your nighttime sleep cycle can easily get ruined. Bustle recommends consuming oily fish, taking supplements, and reveling in the sunlight for those who have a vitamin D deficiency.
Magnesium is thought to play a huge role in enzyme production. It might especially affect the neurotransmitter known as GABA. GABA controls how sleepy you are. In addition to insomnia, a magnesium deficiency is linked to other breakdowns in the body.
If your magnesium is inadequate, you might want to forgo taking supplements. Dining on delicious foods rich in this substance may be more effective in helping you to sleep soundly. According to Healthline, some wonderful options to indulge in include decadent dark chocolate, creamy avocados, satisfying nuts, and whole grains.
Potassium is believed to be a natural relaxant. Having too little potassium has been linked to heart irregularities and muscle spasms, both of which can affect sleep. If you have low potassium levels, taking supplements might help.
You should also consider eating more foods loaded with this nutrient. Most people think of bananas as a food packed with potassium. While a banana does contain about 10 percent of your daily recommended amount of potassium, it isn’t the best source. According to Live Science, beans, baked potatoes, and leafy greens are the superior sources.
Iron deficiency, commonly known as anemia, can cause a plethora of symptoms including insomnia. Anemia boosts your likelihood of suffering from restless legs syndrome, RLS. RLS causes your limbs to jerk unconsciously during the night. When your limbs move, your sleep is disrupted. Depending on the cause of your iron deficiency, taking supplements and eating iron rich foods like red meat may help.
Besides helping you get strong bones and healthy teeth, calcium might help you sleep soundly. According to Livestrong, research reveals calcium levels are linked with disturbed sleep patterns, including the absence of the all-important REM sleep phase.
Calcium contains the mineral tryptophan, an amino acid your body utilizes to manufacture melatonin. Melatonin is a natural hormone that aids in the inducement and maintaining of sleep.
If your calcium levels are insufficient, you might wake up soon after falling asleep and encounter difficulties dozing off again. Calcium supplements are available. Foods with a healthy dose of this mineral include milk, cheese, yogurt, and broccoli.
If you’re tired of tossing and turning in your bed at night, think about scheduling an appointment with your general practitioner. A vitamin deficiency can be confirmed with a blood test. If you’re lacking one or more of the aforementioned vitamins and minerals, your doctor can work with you on a treatment plan.