Sleep disorders are a common problem in today’s society. And it cannot be shelved, because unhealthy sleep accelerates the aging process of the body and leads to various dangerous diseases. Among the many causes of insomnia and restless sleep is malnutrition, due to which the human body is deficient in vitamins and trace elements. Which of the nutrients are especially important for falling asleep?
Healthy sleep and nutrition
According to sleep experts, those who:
- 85% of total sleep time is spent in bed
- falls asleep in 30 minutes or less
- Wakes no more than once during the night and can fall asleep immediately (within 20 minutes or less).
If it is difficult for a person to fulfill such conditions, it means that he has certain problems with sleep and the process of falling asleep. The most common culprits for sleep disorders are excessive anxiety, depression, stress, and other psychological problems. But it often happens the other way around: poor sleep causes increased anxiety and depression, since sleep and mental health are closely related.
In addition to external factors, an unhealthy diet can also affect the internal state of a person. If the daily diet is not balanced and does not contain important vitamins and minerals, then the risks of getting psychological disorders increase markedly. It is desirable that the diet includes all useful substances. But there is a list of vitamins and minerals that are especially important for increased anxiety, depression and sleep disorders.
Glory to the sunshine vitamin!
It is produced by the human body when exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D can positively influence the quality and duration of sleep. With a lack of this vitamin, there are often difficulties with falling asleep, sleep apnea and various sleep disorders develop. In addition to sunlight, which leads to the formation of the vitamin, it is useful for its balance in the body to include egg yolks, fish oil and fortified milk in the diet.
Powerful antioxidant and female vitamin
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps prevent and slow down the first signs of aging. But another of his merit is the fight against “restless legs syndrome”, which is one of the main causes of sleep problems. Most people who have had disturbed sleep patterns suffer from this syndrome. The disease is aggravated by a lack of vitamin E in the body. When dosed correctly, it can actually help with healing and improve sleep.
Research also proves that vitamin E is effective in relieving menopausal symptoms. Especially such as night sweats and hot flashes, which cause sleep disturbances of moderate to severe severity. Women in the perimenopausal phase benefit from taking this vitamin to reduce the stress and anxiety caused by early menopausal symptoms. In addition to quality sleep, this therapy will reduce the mood swings and irritability that are closely associated with a woman’s hormonal changes. Vitamin E can be obtained from nuts, green leafy vegetables and fruits. It is advisable to coordinate the use of supplements with tocopherol with a doctor. Another bonus of the vitamin is a beneficial effect on the condition of the skin, nails and hair.
Vitamins for stress and anxiety
Experts say that vitamins B3, B5, B6, B9 and B12 are wonderful in the fight against insomnia and stress. Poor sleep is often caused by a lack of these nutrients. They promote fast falling asleep, provide energy balance, reduce anxiety, as they are responsible for regulating the level of the amino acid tryptophan in the body. It produces melatonin, which induces sleep.
Thus, controlling the level of tryptophan in the body is extremely important in order to sleep better, be less nervous and not succumb to psychological disorders. In addition, the B vitamins work together to stimulate the normal functioning of the nervous system, which is necessary for the health and vitality of the body. This greatly alleviates the symptoms of stress and depression that cause sleep problems. While there are many B vitamins, they can also be found in animal products such as meat, fish, dairy products, liver, nuts, and eggs. Some cereals, whole grains, and legumes are also fortified with B‑vitamins.
The most popular and loved by many, vitamin C can also be considered as one of the beneficial ingredients for restful sleep and anxiety reduction. It enhances immunity and resistance to common diseases. A healthy immune system promotes better health and a stronger body, which in turn can help fight sleep disorders.
One important reason why vitamin C needs to be regularly introduced into the diet is that the body cannot produce it on its own. There have been over a hundred studies on the importance of vitamin C in the body. And each of them confirms its significance and advantages. Excellent sources of ascorbic acid are oranges, lemons, grapefruits, green vegetables, bell peppers, berries, papaya, pineapple and others.
Magnesium and calcium for healthy sleep
These two trace elements are dependent on each other. With a lack of magnesium, calcium is poorly absorbed. They are both good at calming the nerves and play a vital role in relaxing the muscles. Both of these functions are essential to relieve anxiety symptoms and help relieve body tension. So, both minerals have a beneficial effect on healthy sleep. With increased muscle tone and tension, it is difficult for a person to fall asleep. He needs to first relax and calm down in order to fall asleep soundly. Some people find it difficult to achieve this balance. In this case, magnesium is simply necessary. Its known sources are whole wheat, almonds, beans and spinach.
Calcium is better known to the general public as a bone-strengthening vitamin. But experts often call it a natural tranquilizer that helps reduce stress, anxiety and tension, and relaxes the mind and body before bed. A sufficient level of calcium in the body contributes to rapid falling asleep and deep, undisturbed sleep. Excellent sources of this mineral are: milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, cheese, soy, sesame, spinach and salmon.
Green tea secret
Theanine is an amino acid commonly found in green tea. It is believed to stimulate the production of hormones in the brain responsible for calming the nervous system and the production of several important neurotransmitters. Green tea is also useful for its pronounced antioxidant properties, which allow you to cope with free radicals that tend to disrupt the normal functioning of the body. In addition to having theanine, green tea has other properties that are equally beneficial. It calms the nerves, activates metabolism even during sleep and helps maintain a healthy weight.