A huge portion of the population have some kind of vitamin deficiency or other. As a result, too many of us get ill regularly, don’t heal rapidly from illnesses, suffer with mood disorders and have a general malaise and lack of energy.
It’s no exaggeration to say that a lot of our problems could probably be solved by getting more vitamins and minerals.
And insomnia is one of the most prominent issues. Insomnia is a serious condition and an inability to sleep well enough or long enough can result in: headaches, poor mood, lack of concentration, slow healing, susceptibility to disease, low energy and more. If you want to get more out of life every day, if you want to get more from your relationships and your work; then you need to focus on your sleep.
The Vitamin You Need
So which vitamin deficiency could be negatively affecting your sleep? There are a few actually but the one we’re going to focus on is vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 is used to create our red blood cells (along with iron) which deliver oxygen around our body and enable our brains to function optimally. It also builds DNA as we sleep.
Moreover though, vitamin B12 works closely with the hormone melatonin and helps our body to regulate its ‘circadian rhythms’ – the sleep/wake cycles that make us tired at the right times and awake at the right times.
We need to consume about 2.4 milligrams of B12 a day receive these benefits, which is something that a great many of us fail to do.
This isn’t actually what causes many of us to have the deficiency though. For a lot of people, that problem is instead due to digestive problems which can occur as a result of antibiotic use for instance. Vegans also suffer from this problem, seeing as most of our B12 comes from meat, fish and dairy.
So what’s the solution? One answer is to try increasing your intake of foods high in B12, which include most meats, fish, eggs and dairy. Vegans would do well to supplement. Meanwhile, make sure you are looking after your stomach fauna by consuming things like yogurt that contain healthy bacteria.
Other Vitamins and Minerals
Many other vitamins and minerals also play a very important role here. Low vitamin D for instance has been linked with insomnia and as many of us are deficient, supplementation is again a good idea. Zinc and magnesium also play a very important role in our sleep and help us to reach those deeper and healthier levels of sleep.
You can even eat foods like cherries which actually contain melatonin and these are able to act almost like sleeping pills.
Foods high in tryptophan such as turkey and eggs are also good for enhancing sleep, as tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin which is the feel good hormone and is closely linked with melatonin.
Low potassium can make it hard for us to stay asleep in the night and cause cramps. The moral of the story? Eat your greens and sleep better!