Modern life can be incredibly rewarding both in terms of our careers and multiple opportunities; but there’s also a major downside- this hectic, fast-paced life causes us to live and battle with constant stress. At times we are so busy with our lives that we hardly find any time for ourselves. It makes us anxious, exasperated and incredibly stressed out. And guess what? This crippling stress doesn’t just affect us emotionally; it also affects our physical well being in the form of sleep disorders and migraines.
So isn’t there any way to battle out this stress? Isn’t there any way to sleep peacefully without this persistent anxiousness? Fortunately, there is a way! All you need to do is make some small lifestyle changes and include a couple of essential vitamins in your diet. In case you’re looking to find out more, here’s a complete insight on vitamins to help sleep and stress…
Vitamin D (The Sunshine Vitamin)
Also known as the “sunshine vitamin”, Vitamin D plays a major role in impacting the quality and the quantity of your sleep. According to several studies, the deficiency of Vitamin D is significantly associated with disrupted/less sleep. So if you find yourself tossing and turning in bed, make it a point to add this vitamin in your diet. While a significant amount of Vitamin D penetrates our skin when exposed to sunlight, you can also find it in oily fish, fortified foods and egg yolk.
Vitamin B complex
Vitamin B complex is yet another vitamin that not only helps you sleep better, but also helps you to battle out stress. Very often, low energy and high stress can make you irritable, which in turn, affect your quality of sleep. Due to this reason, it is extremely important for you to add vitamin B complex in your diet. According to clinical studies, Vitamin B complex keeps your energy levels charged up, improves your cognitive performance, cuts down on your stress and helps you sleep better.
As you take these supplements, you’ll experience a visible difference in your life. The impact of personal pain won’t be as intense, and at the same time, you won’t feel depressed in highly stressful situations. I’d particularly recommend this supplement because it infuses me with a sense of calm and stability. So if you’re looking to be more relaxed amid the highly stressful schedule of your life- this is one supplement that’ll definitely work in your favor.
Melatonin is not exactly a vitamin; it is rather a hormone which is produced naturally in our bodies. This hormone is particularly essential as it plays a major role in determining the wake and sleep cycle. The presence of light impacts the production of melatonin; it usually rises after sunset, remains high throughout the night and drops in the early hours of the morning. You can always include melatonin in your diet by feasting on meat, fruits, leafy greens and grains. Each of these foods contains small amounts of this element. In case you’re not looking to include it in the form of food, try adding melatonin supplements in your diet. These supplements are available in drugstores and are predominantly used for treating insomnia and jet lags.
Just like Vitamin B Complex, Magnesium is a mineral that is extremely necessary for the healthy function of your muscles and nerves. Several studies have revealed that magnesium is particularly crucial for a proper and completely uninterrupted session of sleep. According to a 2012 study published in the National institute of health, supplementing magnesium automatically improves your symptoms of insomnia.
As we already know, anxiety, stress and sleep disorders are significantly interlinked. We all know how difficult it is to fall asleep when you’re stressed about something. And this is exactly why you need to consider magnesium. Accordingly to many clinical studies, anxiety is directly linked to the deficiency of magnesium. At the same time, it has also been observed as a veritable treatment for mental ailments including stress and depression.
So if you’re looking to release your tension and simply relax- try adding magnesium to your diet. This mineral is usually found in dark leafy vegetables, seeds, beans, fish oils, whole grains and nuts. When you collectively include these items in your diet, the magnesium in them will cut down on the level of cortisol and help you enjoy a good night’s sleep.
Yes! Iron is also another major mineral that can help you release stress and problems related to insomnia and sleeplessness. When you’re iron deficient, it is likely to cause restless leg syndrome where you constantly feel like you have to move your legs every time you comfortable settle in your bed. This in turn, makes it even more difficult for you to sleep. Women with deficiency in iron experience greater issues while sleeping. You can include iron in your diet by adding iron-rich foods like liver, nuts, beef, pork, lambs, kidney beans, dark chocolates, leafy green veggies and whole grains. In addition, you can also purchase over the counter iron tablets.
Like iron, Vitamin E is yet another antioxidant that helps you deal with the restless leg syndrome, thereby helping you to enjoy better quality sleep. And that’s not all! Optimum doses of vitamin E also plays a vital role in helping you relieve hot flushes, sudden night sweats (usually observed in menopausal women)thereby improving the quality of your sleep. This vitamin is found in several foods like leafy green vegetables, nuts, fruits, fish oil, fish and seeds.
While Bacopa is not exactly a vitamin, it is a vital herb that induces sleep and reduces stress. The herb has been extensively used as a part of Indian Ayurvedic medicine where it has enhanced cognitive performance, boosted memory, improved mood, sharpened focus, reduced stress and induced sleep for several centuries.
According to a study conducted in 2011, Bacopa enhances the length of an individual’s brain nerves, which in turn enhances the communication among the nerve cells. The final result is lesser stress and better sleep. Modern research primarily focuses on the herb’s impeccable ability in relieving stress, which it achieves by reducing the level of cortisol in our blood stream. As you already know, cortisol is an infamous hormone that stimulates stress. So when you have Bacopa based supplements you’re able to relax better and sleep faster.
If you thought Calcium was only useful in strengthening teeth and bones, think again, because this mineral comes with many other added benefits. Calcium helps your brain use up an amino acid called tryptophan for producing melatonin. And as you already know, melatonin induces your sleep. This is the reason why your parents asked you to drink that glass of milk right before going to sleep! Dairy items contain both calcium and tryptophan which collectively assist you in falling asleep.
This might sound something right out of HBO’s TV series Game of Thrones, but valerian is indeed one of the best herbs for inducing sleep. This plant is extensively found in Europe and it has been used for treating anxiousness, stress and sleep issues right from the 2nd Century AD. There has been a lot of evidence suggesting the impact of Valerian root in treating and reducing anxiety.
In addition to stress, the root is also used for treating insomnia and sleep disturbances. This is primarily because of its sedative and calming effect. And guess what? This root doesn’t even have the adverse effects of prescription medication which is usually used for treating sleeplessness. Unlike these medicines that often lead to dependence and sluggishness, valerian root doesn’t have any unpleasant impact on your body.
In case you’re looking to make the most from this root, try using it before going to sleep. This can act as a powerful, low-side effect medication for de-stressing and calming you. As of now, it is very difficult to physically obtain Valerian roots. However, you can always buy Valyrian root based supplements for better and tad more sound sleep.
Ashwagandha is not really a modern innovation. It has a rich history and has been used as an Ayurvedic medication for several decades. The complete plant, starting from its roots to the seeds comes with several beneficial properties. This is even more pertinent when it comes to reducing stress. According to a study conducted in 2017, it was revealed that around 44% of the individuals who took Ashwagandha experienced a 5.5% decrease in their stress levels. A 2012 study yielded similar results, where the herb was shown to reduce stress in as less as 60 days. As we all know stress, anxiety and sleep issues are interconnected. So when you start taking Ashwagandha supplements, there is a high possibility that you’ll enjoy better and longer hours of sleep.
5 HTP: Usually known for enhancing mood and reducing appetite; 5 HTP stands as a primary precursor to serotonin; which is neurotransmitter best known for its sleep inducing properties. According to a study, conducted in the year 2009, individuals who took a combination of 5 HTP and GABA took lesser time in falling asleep. And that’s not all! They also slept for longer hours, and the quality of their sleep was pretty good.
P.S- Although 5-HTP does not come with any major side effects, we’d recommend you to avoid this if you are already taking antidepressants.
Chamomile and Theanine
Both chamomile and theanine are herbs that are used with tea (particularly green tea) for inducing sleep and reducing the level of stress and anxiety. Theanine is an amino acid and it is predominantly present in green tea. According to several studies, Theanine, significantly improves the quality of sleep with its calming effect. Both chamomile and theanines are not sedatives, and do not lead to any side effects.
According to many studies, optimal levels of B vitamins including vitamin B3, B5, B6, B9 and B12 helps in inducing sleep by regulating the level of tryptophan (an amino acid) in your body. Like we previously discussed, this amino acid helps your body in producing melatonin, which causes it to relax and fall asleep. B vitamins are found in several fortified foods. However, you can also take them in the form of supplements.
Found in the arctic regions of Asia and Europe, Rhodiola, also known as golden root, comes with a rich history in medical usage. Its usage dates back to 77 CE when this plat was predominantly used for enhancing energy, improving mood, reducing stress and inducing sleep.
According to a 2009 study, Rhodiola plays a major role in reducing stress and increasing alertness among doctors who work on their night shifts. At the same time, when taken in optimal amounts, it assists people who are looking to fall asleep. Several individuals have experienced positive results after taking this wonderful supplement.
Rhodiola is particularly popular because it helps people in dealing with fatigue and stress. As exhaustion is a major contributor to sleeplessness, anything that reduces exhaustion will help you win the battle against sleep disorders. Like many of the herbs listed here, Rhodiola too can be availed as supplements from the regular over the counter stores.
If you’ve lately been under a lot of stress and are going through sudden changes that are not letting you sleep- Holy basil can be your answer. This is perfect for people who tend to suddenly wake up at night due to restlessness and hot flushes. It has been extensively used as a part of Ayurvedic medicines, and is best known for its calming effect on your system. Holy basil leaves are hard to obtain and it is usually available as an over-the-counter supplement. Ideally, you should take 500 mg holy basil supplements twice after your meals for best results.
Now that you have a complete idea about the vitamins that induce sleep, what are you waiting for? Grab these supplements or include these vitamin rich foods in your diet to enjoy a good night’s sleep! In addition to taking these supplements, meditate and follow a healthy lifestyle for best results.