Sleep

Sleep

 For some, it’s an elusive dream to get a good night of sleep.

Hello my friends, I hope you are having a wonderful weekend! We are here at Simply Great Vitamins!

I wanted to go over a new topic with you. I am going to cover another topic of wide interest. I have talked about stress and anxiety, now I’ll talk about sleep.

For some, it’s an elusive dream to get a good night of sleep. But this should not be the case. There are many studies and opinions on the web as to what can help. Obviously there are drugs, but for us here at Simply Great Vitamins, we feel a more natural route leads to a better nights sleep. This data is for you to use in establishing what is best for you.

 As I covered in the previous article, vitamin deficiencies can cause many unwanted symptoms. In this article, we look at vitamins that can improve your sleep!

 There are some basics to know first.

 Caffeine, found in foods and drinks, can keep a person up at night. Look at your diet; are you drinking tea, coffee, eating chocolate or other foods and drinks with caffeine? Even if they are de-caf, there may still be caffeine in it, as the process to decaffeinate something does not eliminate all the caffeine.

 Another thing that can keep a person from getting a good sleep is external noise or light. Eating before bed, working late, exercising later in the night, not getting any exercise at all, drinking alcohol can also make it a bit more difficult to sleep. Alcohol burns up essential B vitamins that can cause restlessness, dreaming and sometimes nightmares.

 These areas can be checked into before diving off into spending money on drugging yourself or loads of different supplements.

 So now that you have eliminated that, let’s take a look at possible supplements or natural remedies.

 First I’ll define antioxidant, as that is what several of these are. Antioxidants protect cells from the damaging effects of free radicals. Free radicals are atoms that contain an unshared electron OR when an atom has an electron on it’s own orbit around that atom. Due to this, the electron tries to pair with another electron so there are two electrons on the same orbit. Free radicals damage cells and possibly contribute to the development cancer, according to some studies.

 Now let’s look at the vitamins!

 

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is found in many foods, not just oranges! Eating broccoli, cauliflower, red and green hot chilies, guavas, bell peppers, dark leafy greens, Brussels sprouts, kiwi, papayas and strawberries can also give you a good amount of vitamin C, usually more than oranges.

Vitamin C is also a good antioxidant that strengthens your immune system. It also protects your body from harmful free radicals that can interrupt normal sleep patterns, according to Robert Anderson, author of the book “Clinician’s Guide to Holistic Medicine.” He also says Vitamin C can help regulate sleep patterns, lessens the effects of caffeine and promotes healthy sleep.

Vitamin C has various uses and is vital if you are taking B vitamins. As a note, you will know you are taking too much vitamin C if you start getting a rumbley in your tummy and find yourself running to the bathroom often. Recommended allowance is 1,000mg daily, but depending on your deficiency at the time, you can take almost 10 times that. I wouldn’t recommend that on the first day, but I have found it varies, especially when a person is sick. The tolerance of the body seems to be higher then.

 

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is also known as the sunshine vitamin. This is because your body gets the vitamin from direct exposure to sunlight. This puts many people at risk for vitamin D deficiency as in this day and age, we work indoors and cover–up against the sun. So if you’d rather go au naturel, you can go outside without sunscreen for 15-20 minutes to get your dose of vitamin D.

Vitamin D is considered responsible for enhancing absorption of calcium. Calcium and magnesium promote better sleep so this is how vitamin D contributes to fitful sleep.

 

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an antioxidant said to boost the immune system function and protects your body from infections, viruses, toxins and diseases that can trigger or worsen insomnia.

Michael Zimmermann, author of the book “Burgerstein’s Handbook of Nutrition: Micronutrients in the Prevention and Therapy of Disease,” explains that vitamin E can regulate brain activity, prevent cellular damage by free radicals, supports a healthy nervous system, relaxes your body and encourages sound sleep through the night.

Foods in which you can find vitamin E include: various nuts and seeds, spinach, tomatoes, broccoli, asparagus, sweet potatoes, carrot juice, mangoes, papayas and turnip greens.

A note on vitamin E, you should consult with a doctor before taking it if you are on medications. Some medications react with vitamin E.


Vitamin B-12

Vitamin B-12, we covered this briefly in our article “Anti Stress Supplements: What to look for.”

Vitamin B 12 deficiency symptoms include tiredness and weakness. These are by no means the only symptoms, but are the ones we will focus on in this article.

By taking vitamin B12, usually early in the day due to the possibility of it keeping you awake, you increase your energy through the day and it can improve deep sleep and regulation of sleep cycle as well as having a calming effect by reducing anxiety.

Vegans and vegetarians have a higher risk of deficiency as this vitamin comes from animal meats.

 

Other Natural Remedies for Sleep

Melatonin is a hormone made by a gland in your brain. It is thought to help regulate the body’s internal clock by increasing and decreasing based on the time you are supposed to be awake.

According to Web MD, light affects how much melatonin your body produces. Also, at different times of day, the amount of melatonin produced varies. The levels rise toward evening and remain high until early morning.

There is also data indicating that older adults produce less. I don’t know about you, but I have noticed people twice my age seem to get up with the sun.

Melatonin has helped many people naturally regulate their sleep. It doesn’t work on everyone, but it’s worth a shot!


Calcium and Magnesium

Ok, mom used to tell us to drink our milk, unless you were lactose intolerant, and for a good reason, calcium. Now, we know milk is not the best source of calcium, usually veggies are.

Calcium is important to the body for more reasons than strong bones. Calcium also helps in blood clotting and heart function. It relaxes the nervous system and together with magnesium helps people with sleep problems.

Using a ratio of 2:1, calcium and magnesium (also sometimes referred to as cal-mag) relaxes muscles and calms nervous system functions, like your brain going a mile a minute. Vitamin B1 deficiency can also be a culprit of an over active mind and can be burned up with coffee or alcohol.

A good combination would include calcium, magnesium and vitamin D. Magnesium is needed to absorb the calcium and D helps in the absorption of both minerals.

 

So if you are having sleep trouble, experiment a bit with the various vitamins and minerals or see a nutritionist to find your deficiencies. Also, find which vitamins and minerals work best together for absorption. Good luck and good night. 😉