Minerals and vitamins are responsible for many different functions in your body. Long-term mineral and vitamin deficiencies can contribute to various health problems and even some potentially life-threatening diseases.
Insomnia has recently become a great public health issue. Even though sleep quality is affected by pharmacological, environmental and psycho-physiological factors, nutrient intake and diet can lead to sleep problems, as well. Many studies have shown a correlation between mineral and vitamin deficiencies and sleep disorders.
These 7 Nutrient Deficiencies Are Associated with Sleep Disorders:
– Magnesium deficiency
Magnesium is a mineral that helps relax both your heart and brain through blood flow regulation. This mineral helps your bones remain strong, maintain normal muscle and nerve function, and boost your immune system.
It also helps regulate melatonin, which’s a hormone responsible for promoting good sleep. Melatonin helps control the circadian rhythm, i.e., the sleep-wake cycle of your body.
So, low levels of this mineral in your body may lead to insomnia or prevent you from maintaining good quality sleep throughout the night.
Maintaining adequate magnesium levels through supplements or whole foods helps you remain in a deep sleep.
Foods high in magnesium include dark chocolate, figs, avocado, cashews, almonds, etc.
But, if you want to take a high-quality magnesium supplement, opt for magnesium threonate, because it can penetrate your cell membranes and allow for better absorption.
– Calcium deficiency
Calcium helps soothe your nervous system that speeds up the process of quieting down your mind prior to sleep. When you’re stressed, the levels of calcium in your body are quickly depleted, making it more difficult to fall asleep.
The levels of this mineral in your body are actually highest during the deepest phase of sleep or REM sleep. That’s why calcium deficiency is associated with sleep disturbances.
Foods rich in calcium include organic dairy products, broccoli, seaweed, seeds, nuts, beans, calcium-fortified products, and more.
If want to take a calcium supplement before bedtime, you also need to take vitamin D, because vitamin D increases calcium absorption.
– Zinc deficiency
Zinc plays a great role in wound clotting, improving your thyroid function, boosting your immune system, enhancing your sleep, etc.
Adequate levels of zinc in your body can have a positive effect on your sleep quality and duration. Also, you may be able to recall your dreams.
Foods rich in zinc include beef, chickpeas, lentils, pumpkin seeds, quinoa and shrimp.
If you want to take a zinc supplement, opt for zinc picolinate, since it’s the most easily absorbed by your body.
– Potassium deficiency
Potassium is a mineral that’s used by your body cells to create an electrical conduction system across your cell membrane. It acts as a natural relaxant and helps improve your sleep quality.
Low levels of this mineral in your body can result in muscle spasms, heart irregularities and disturbed sleep.
Foods rich in potassium include yogurt, Swiss shard, potatoes, edamame, salmon, white beans, black beans, beets, watermelon, spinach, etc.
– B-vitamin deficiency
The B vitamins include a few essential nutrients, like vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B6, vitamin B9, vitamin B12, etc. These vitamins are important building blocks in cellular regeneration. They also provide support for your skin, central nervous system and immune system. They affect the chemical processes involved with sleep and mood.
Lack of any of these B vitamins can contribute to insomnia and depression. Serious deficiencies may be life-threatening.
Foods high in B-vitamins include lentils, bananas, potatoes, tuna, turkey, etc.
Or you can take B-complex vitamins, i.e., a supplement that packages all the B vitamins together.
– Iron deficiency
A condition, known as iron deficiency anemia, wherein the blood lacks healthy red blood cells, results in poor sleep quality. Low levels of iron in your body may also contribute to fatigue syndrome, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, and restless leg syndrome.
Foods high in iron include spinach, red meat, liver, turkey, beans, legumes, quinoa, pumpkin seeds, broccoli, etc.
– Vitamin D deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency is associated with poor quality sleep, REM related apnea, sleep apnea, unexplained awakenings to light sleep, insomnia, and inappropriate body movements during sleep. But, optimizing your vitamin D levels can greatly improve your sleep, and lower pain and inflammation in your body.
You can optimize your vitamin D levels by exposing your skin to natural sunlight for fifteen minutes daily, eating foods rich in vitamin D, or taking a high-quality vitamin D3 supplement.
Foods high in vitamin D include tuna, sardine, herring, salmon, cod liver oil, egg yolks, shrimp, oysters, etc.