8 Natural Vitamins, Minerals, and Supplements to Help You Sleep Better
Sleep is essential to mental, physical, and emotional health. But sometimes it can be hard to get to sleep or stay asleep. Here are some natural solutions to try if you’re struggling with insomnia and want to start getting enough sleep on a more regular basis.
If you like to drink a glass of warm milk before bed, you now have some science to back up this habit. Insomnia has been linked with low calcium intake, per Robin Foroutan, MS, RDN, a dietitian nutritionist with Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics shared with Bustle. Calcium helps your brain use tryptophan. This, in turn, helps trigger melatonin production.
A deficiency in magnesium is one of the early symptoms associated with chronic insomnia, according to Lifehack contributor Laura Barr. A 2018 study published in the scientific journal Nutrients demonstrated a link between increased magnesium intake and minimized drowsiness during the day.
Your body naturally makes melatonin, a hormone that makes you feel sleepy and signals that it’s time for your body to fall asleep each night. But aspects of modern life, such as dietary choices and blue light exposure, can interfere with your body’s melatonin production. Many doctors and sleep experts recommend trying a melatonin supplement before bedtime to help curb insomnia, as Barr confirms.
Interestingly enough many experts classify vitamin D as a hormone rather than a vitamin. Regardless of which camp you fall in, however, vitamin D plays a key role in sleep quality. According to another 2018 study published in Nutrients, researchers found a correlation between sleep disorders and having low levels of this vitamin. To increase your daily dose of vitamin D, you can take a multi-vitamin that contains it or up your intake of fish, certain dairy products, and mushrooms, as Barr suggests. And expose yourself to as much sunlight as possible during the day, which also helps your body produce this vitamin, as Bustle’s Esther Bell and JR Thorpe confirm.
If you’re a fan of poultry, you’re likely familiar with the soporific effects of tryptophan. This amino acid helps make your body feel drowsy and ready for bed. Per Barr, you can incorporate more tryptophan into your diet by increasing your intake of spinach, eggs, salmon, nuts, seeds, and milk. Though, it also comes in supplement form available at many local pharmacies.
Low iron is a common factor in insomnia. According to Barr, it can also increase anxiety, which can further reduce your quality of sleep. Make sure your diet includes the following foods to help boost your iron supply naturally: whole grains, lean beef, dark leafy vegetables, beans, poultry, cashews, and fortified breakfast cereals.
Vitamin C is another vitamin that has a huge role in fighting insomnia. In 2015, the “Nigerian Journal of Physiological Sciences” published a study that demonstrated vitamin C helps stress tolerance, reduces sleep deprivation, and lowers cortisol levels. Per Bustle’s Bell and Thorpe, foods that contain it include strawberries, broccoli, kale, and peppers.
The University of Colorado Boulder recently published a study in the journal “Scientific Reports,” which suggests a link between having healthy gut bacteria and getting deep sleep. Researchers found that participants on a prebiotic diet spent more time in NREM and REM sleep cycles than those who did not.
Consider adding one or more of these vitamins, minerals, and supplements to your diet to help minimize insomnia symptoms. If you’re struggling with chronic insomnia, however, we recommend seeing a medical professional or sleep doctor so you can get the rest you need to thrive in your daily life.
This article is presented by Zimbrick European.