If you have trouble sleeping, you are not alone. Over 70 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders and night time wakefulness. Today, sleep loss is taking a great toll on your physical and emotional health, and much more on your nation’s highways. Drivers who lack sleep obviously get drowsy behind the wheel and disaster is at the end of the road. Science has comes to the rescue of this predicament and scientists have devoted much time in studying sleep problems and have identified vitamins that help you sleep.
Causes of Sleep Disorder
At some point in your life, you have probably experienced sleep disturbance; this condition can happen at any age. Varied forms of sleep disorders include: (1) the inability to fall asleep; (2) the inability to go back to sleep; and (3) frequent waking up during the night. As a result, you feel fatigues, irritable and tired; and hard time in concentrating during the day.
Some common causes of sleep disturbances are:
Known also as nocturnal enuresis, this is the usual cause of sleep disturbance that happens mostly in children during potty training. By the age of 6 or 7, most children learn how to control their bladder so it disappears.
It is the inability to fall or remain asleep. It is disturbing as it lasts from a few nights to months or years. Some factors are to be blamed are: anxieties, digestive problems, hormones, stress and can be a clue to an on-coming malady or condition.
Its full name is restless leg syndrome that is described as an unreasonable desire to move your legs that are experiencing a tingling sensation.
- Other causes of sleep disturbance
Other factors disturbing sleep are medical issues and so they need medical solutions. It includes: allergies & colds, bruxism, fibromyalgia, frequent urination, nightmare, sleep apnea and snoring.
Benefits of Sleep
Sleep has extensive benefits that improve the quality of life, as well as the length of your life. Therefore, it is vital to prioritize getting ample and consistent sleep.
- Sleep mends your body for it produces extra protein molecules that fortify your body and fight infection so you stay healthy. These molecules boost the immune system and repair your body at a cellular level. When you are stressed or have been exposed to compromising elements, these tiny but potent sentinels fight off infectious bacteria and pollutants.
- Sleep is good for health. It promotes your healthy by keeping a healthy cholesterol levels and blood pressure. High blood pressure is a health risk and its physical effects of stress causes the “wear and tear” on your body’s degrade cells that hasten the aging process. Researchers proved that lack of sleep may lead to type 2 diabetes since it affects how your body processes glucose, the carbohydrate your cells use for fuel.
- Sleep helps weight loss for it regulates the hormones affecting and controlling your appetite. Studies showed that when your body is deprived of sleep, the normal balance of hormone is interrupted and appetite increases. Unfortunately, your body’s craving is not for the healthy food but those that rank high in carbo, calories and fats.
- Sleep reduces anxiety and the occurrence of mood disorders. With insufficient sleep during the night, most people are easily agitated or moody the next morning. When sleep is deprived of long period, it becomes chronic and leads to long-term mood disorders such as depression or anxiety.
- Sleep helps memory. A good night slumber clears and alerts the brain allowing you to focus, learn and remember information, and to become creative. On the other hand, sleep deprivation makes you commit mistakes and are less productive in school and at work.
Vitamins that Make You Fall Asleep and Make You Stay Asleep
There are a few times in your life when sleep consistently eludes you, thankfully there are certain vitamins to help sleep and stay asleep.
- 5-HTP – A well-known vitamins that increase mood and decrease appetite, the product acts a forerunner to serotonin that is a neurotransmitter essential for a good night’s sleep. A study found that those patients who took a combination of 5-HTP and GABA vitamins were able to sleep faster, sleep much longer and gave positive reports of the quality of their sleep.
- B Vitamins – B vitamins ( B3, B5, B6, B9 and B12) keeps the adrenal glands healthy that prevents them from creating adrenaline at night that causes insomnia and sleep interruption.
- Calcium – Do you know that calcium is nature’s tranquilizer? Calcium plays a key role for a healthy bone; but an adequate amount of calcium triggers deep sleep. It is the ideal vitamin to help sleep for it relaxes and slows down the brain.
- Chamomile Tea – Taken from herbs, this supplement is best to take when you find difficulty in sleeping due to stress and anxiety. It takes only a short while after you take a dosage when you relax and fall asleep.
- Kava – This herb has been shown to alleviate anxiety. One review revealed that kava reduced anxiety among patients; it improved sleep in people with stress-related insomnia.
- Magnesium – This vitamin is needed to absorb calcium aside from calming the nerves and relaxing the muscles. These are vitamins for sleep as they relaxed the body and provide better chances of sleeping throughout the night.
- Melatonin – This hormone is found in supplements that help regulate your sleeping cycle. It helps people fall asleep and increases the quality of their sleep.
- Theanine – It is found in green tea and its amino acid is believed to calm the brain by producing GABA and calming the major neurotransmitters
- Tryptophan – It is a natural amino acid found in beans, cheese, eggs, fish, leafy & green veggies, meat, milk and poultry. Tryptophan is one of the elements that make you feel sleepy after a big steak or turkey dinner.
- Valerian – Used since Grecian and Roman times, Valerian functions as sedative and anti-anxiety treatment. If used over an extended period of time, this supplement can actually help you fall asleep faster and improve the quality of your sleep.
- Vitamin D – Inadequate vitamin D affects the ability of the body to operate its body clock or circadian rhythms. When there is something wrong with the body clock, it cannot send appropriate signal to the sleep hormones that are involved in making you fall asleep and wake up.
- Vitamin E – A study published in “American Family Physician” stated that vitamin E is a vitamin that helps you sleep for it helps control restless leg syndrome and assisting patients fall asleep faster and stay asleep throughout the night.
- Zinc – After studying the diet of insomniacs, it was revealed that deficiency in this mineral has been linked to insomnia. Sea food, beef and wheat germ are rich in zinc.
Before you plan to take any vitamin or supplement for better sleep, it is wise to first consult your doctor. After taking the vits, refrain from driving or operating heavy machinery until you are sure how the supplement will affect you.
Hours of Sleep for Good Health
The number of sleeping hours depends upon various factors, especially your age:
- Infants 9-10 hours at night, plus 3 or more hours of naps
- Toddlers 9-10 hours at night, plus 2-3 hours of naps
- School-age children 9-11 hours
- Adults 7-8 hours
Tips to Sleep Better
Tip # 1 – Minimize the amount of noise and light. Use earplugs to keep from noise. Place window blinds or heavy curtains and use an eye mask to keep off lights. It is a good idea to have tiny night lights in your bedroom and bathroom.
Tip # 2 – Heavy meals are a no-no before bedtime. Eat a heavy dinner at least two hours before sleeping. A light snack is fine.
Tip #3 – Caffeine (including tea and soft drinks) are beverages to avoid at least four to six hours before bedtime.
Tip # 4 – A regular exercise, as walking, before sleeping will reduce stress hormones and promotes better sleep better. But do not do strenuous exercise within two hours of bedtime for you will find difficulty in falling asleep.
Tip # 5 –A late afternoon nap will keep you awake at night.
Tip # 6 – An hour before sleepy time, s activity to relax your brain.
Tip # 7 – Emotional issues are taboo topics for discussion before sleeping.
Tip # 8 – If pets bother you, keep them off your bedroom.
Tip # 9 – Keep your bedroom well- ventilated and at a comfortable temperature.
Tip #10 – Learn more about relaxation technique like meditation or progressive relaxation.
Do you want to sleep like a king? A baby? Or a log? Whichever is your choice does not matter as long as you sleep uninterrupted as long as your body demands. Sometimes, sleep does not come easily but with vitamins that help you sleep, you have found a solution! You have the option to choose what fits your needs. But remember to consult your doctor since a sleeping problem is still part of his expertise and he is the best one to help you choose your treatment options.