Maximizing Benefits From Your Sleep Vitamins

Jasmine_Maximizing Benefits From Your Sleep VitaminsInsomniacs are those poor souls who either find it difficult to fall asleep or have a hard time staying asleep. So what are people who are sleepy most of the time called? How about serial sleepers? If you fall into either category, you may need sleep vitamins to combat the certain ill-effects of little or no sleep as well as too much sleep.

Did you know that it’s actually your genes that determine how much sleep you need? We have always been told that we should have at least 8 hours of sleep every night. So if a person sleeps only 4 hours — or more than 10 — that’s not necessarily abnormal, it’s just the amount of sleep that is suitable for that person. The problem arises when the sleep pattern that is normal for you, becomes abnormal. First, let’s discuss possible causes then we will explore the benefits of sleep vitamins.

Insomnia and Sleep Apnea

Infants don’t have a “consolidated” kind of sleep because they wake up several times in between sleeping regardless of whether it’s day or at night. As a child grows older, his sleeping pattern stabilizes. Sleep requirements decrease as people age. Plus, sustaining sleep for aging individuals may prove difficult. That’s why older people tend to take “catnaps” and also fall asleep earlier… and wake up earlier as well.

The most common sleeping disorder is called insomnia. There is also restless legs syndrome, a sensation in the legs which can awaken you when you are asleep, and sleep apnea, also known as serious snoring. Insomnia is more prevalent in women during menstruation, pregnancies and menopause.

Hypnotics

Some people experience insomnia for several days within a two or three week period. However, when it becomes chronic, the condition requires evaluation by a doctor or sleep therapy specialist. It could require pharmacological solutions such as prescription-only medications. These medications, called hypnotics, should be taken nightly only on a short-term basis or intermittently on a long-term basis. The doctor prescribes these based on several factors including:

  • Age;
  • Existing health or medical condition;
  • Doctor’s diagnosis of symptoms;
  • Functional need; and
  • Use of other medications and amount of alcohol consumption.

In instances where depression or anxiety is the direct cause for insomnia, a doctor will prescribe an anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medication. Both of these drugs have a sedative effect. Some anti-depressants, however, may cause instead of alleviate insomnia. They might also induce periodic movements of limbs (jerking legs while asleep) and worsen the condition of restless legs syndrome.

Sleep Vitamins — D Deficiency May be the Culprit

According to a study conducted by David E. McCarty, who led a team of researchers from Louisiana State University, decreased levels of vitamin D increased sleeplessness in their study’s subjects. McCarty’s second study showed that osteomaalacic myopathy, a form of musculoskeletal pain as a result of a deficiency in vitamin D, may interfere with sleep, but responds positively to vitamin D supplements when used as treatments.

Vitamin D is also responsible for regulating the body’s inflammation levels. This suggested to the research team that the deficiency in the said sleep vitamin could be the direct cause of irregular bouts of sleepiness. McCarty explained that “more research is needed” before vitamin D deficiency can be defined as contributory to excessive sleepiness experienced by daytime sleepers and to determine if vitamin D supplements can be “a novel method for alleviating it.”

Getting Your Daily Dose of Sleep Vitamins

We’ve got good news! A three to ten minute walk outdoors should give you enough Vitamin D for the day. Don’t put on sunscreen — but do wear a hat.

Problem is, we can’t all live at the beach so we can get a daily dose of sleep vitamins in the form of sunshine. However, we can have vitamin D from consuming foods that contain high levels of it such as:

  • cod liver oil
  • fish
  • oysters
  • soy and soy products
  • eggs
  • mushrooms
  • meats such as ham, sausages and salami
  • dairy products
  • cereals
  • caviar

Vitamin D could actually be one of the most important sleep vitamins. Who knows? The “D” in vitamin D could stand for “dreams,” right?

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About Valerie Springfield

Marketing is my profession. Health and wellness is my passion.