Vitamins are involved in almost all biological processes in our body and can also have a decisive influence on our sleep. Here we explain why an adequate supply of vitamins can improve our sleep and which vitamins are particularly important for a restful night.
Table of Contents
- What are vitamins?
- Vitamin deficiency & sleep
- The most important vitamins for a good night's sleep
- B vitamins
- vitamin C
- vitamin D
- Does it make sense to take vitamin supplements?
What are vitamins?
Vitamins are vital substances that are significantly involved in almost all processes in our organism and are therefore essential for the normal functioning of our body. In order for us to remain healthy and productive and for all biological processes in our body to run smoothly, an adequate supply of vitamins is of great importance. With a few exceptions, vitamins cannot be produced by our body itself and must therefore be ingested through daily food to prevent a deficiency. With a healthy and balanced diet, our body is usually supplied with sufficient vitamins. However, the daily requirement can increase, especially under stress, during pregnancy or as a result of health problems, and it can make sense to also take vitamins from food supplements in order to provide the body with the optimal amount of the important substances. The total of 13 vitamins are basically divided into two groups:
Fat-soluble vitamins: vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K
Water-soluble vitamins: All B vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B1), vitamin C
Vitamin deficiency & sleep
A vitamin deficiency has a negative effect on health and well-being in the short term, but especially in the long term. Deficiency symptoms include a wide variety of mental and physical impairments that significantly impair numerous bodily functions and especially the metabolism, energy balance, nervous system and also our sleep.
Our sleep is the most important basis for health and performance in everyday life, because numerous essential repair and regeneration processes take place here, the metabolism runs at full speed and the brain processes the information of the day. Especially at night, our body is dependent on an adequate supply of nutrients in order to recover optimally. Some vitamins are involved in precisely those bodily functions that regulate our sleep patterns, our sleep-wake cycle and sleep quality. A deficiency or an undersupply of certain vitamins and nutrients can impair sleep and have a negative impact on falling asleep, sleep quality and sleep duration. And lack of sleep itself increases the daily need for vital substances. So here we explain which vitamins are particularly important for a restful night.
The most important vitamins for a good night's sleep
Since an all-round healthy organism forms a good basis for restful sleep, you should of course pay attention to an overall balanced diet and vitamin supply. Scientific studies show that the group of B vitamins in particular, as well as vitamin C and vitamin D, can promote sleep and influence those processes that are crucial for a healthy sleep-wake cycle.This applies, for example, to the conversion of the amino acid L-tryptophan to serotonin and further to melatonin - the famous sleep hormone
Vitamin B1 (thiamine)
Effect: Vitamin B1 is particularly important for energy metabolism, the nervous system and heart health. Thiamine not only controls the production of energy from carbohydrates and the protein metabolism, but is also significantly involved in various functions of the nervous system and the metabolism of important messenger substances such as serotonin or adrenaline. Serotonin, known as the "happiness hormone", has a calming effect on the organism and is crucial for a healthy sleep-wake cycle. A lack of vitamin B, which is also known as the “nerve vitamin”, can also lower the serotonin level in our brain and thus negatively affect sleep.
Important functions: nervous system & carbohydrate metabolism
Occurrence in food: meat, potatoes, whole grain products, legumes
Vitamin B3 (niacin)
Effect: Niacin can be formed in the body from the amino acid tryptophan, among other things, and plays a key role in the formation and breakdown of cells, carbohydrates, amino acids and fatty acids in our body . It is also involved in the transmission of stimuli and signals in our brain and nerve cells and is therefore an important regulator in maintaining a healthy nervous system. A lack of vitamin B3 disrupts the transmission of stimuli in the nerves and thus prevents the body and mind from relaxing sufficiently and we sleep well.
Important functions: cellular respiration, healthy nerve function
Occurrence in food: fish & meat, eggs, peanuts, peas
Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)
Effect: Vitamin B5 plays a central role in the energy metabolism of the human organism and is important for the synthesis of amino acids, proteins, fatty acids or steroid hormones. A lack of vitamin B5 inhibits the production of many essential nutrients and messenger substances and also disrupts the transmission of nerve impulses. This throws the metabolism out of balance and prevents the nervous system from functioning properly, making it more difficult to relax and fall asleep in the evening and to reduce regeneration during sleep.
Important functions: energy production, nerve function
Occurrence in food: liver, meat & fish, cabbage, milk, whole grain products
Effect: Like all B vitamins, vitamin B6 is also responsible for the health of the nervous system. In addition, our body uses vitamin B6 for the formation of glucose, which is needed to regulate our blood sugar level. A lack of vitamin B6 can therefore not only lead to psychological stress, but also promote low blood sugar levels, whereupon the body reacts with an increased release of the stimulating messenger substance adrenaline. Then our sleep suffers in particular, we wake up at night or earlier in the morning and cannot sleep restfully. If the body lacks vitamin B6, the muscles can also be impaired, so that the occurrence of twitches or cramps is encouraged and a peaceful sleep is made even more difficult. Finally, vitamin B6 also contributes to the body's own conversion of the amino acid L-tryptophan to serotonin and thus has a direct influence on the hormones that regulate our sleep-wake behavior.
Important functions: nervous and immune system
Occurrence in food: meat & fish, whole grain products, lentils, lettuce, bananas
Vitamin B9/11 (folic acid)
Effect: In our organism, folic acid is essential for the division, new formation and regeneration of cells as well as blood formation and is therefore fundamental for our growth. A sufficient supply of folic acid is particularly important during pregnancy, but also the nocturnal sleep suffers from a deficiency of the vitamin. Because numerous cell division and growth processes take place especially at night, which influence our sleep quality and ensure that we wake up healthy and refreshed the next day.
Important functions: Cell and blood formation
Occurrence in food: Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, cabbage, cucumbers, legumes
Effect: Vitamin B12 supports numerous metabolic processes, is involved together with folic acid in blood and cell formation as well as the body's own detoxification and also has a beneficial effect on the sleep-wake cycle. But especially for the brain and the nervous system, the vital substance is indispensable due to its participation in the formation and regeneration of the nerve fiber sheaths. A vitamin B12 deficiency can also lead to psychological symptoms such as mood swings, psychosis or depression. Damage to or disruption of nerve function and the promotion of psychological stress are decisive in the way of restful sleep. Scientific studies also show that a sufficient or additional intake of vitamin B12 can improve sheep quality and make sleep more restful.
Important functions: Nervous system, metabolism & blood formation
Occurrence in food: Animal products, especially egg yolk, fish, liver, dairy products
Attention! Since vitamin B12 has to be ingested entirely through food and is mainly found in animal foods, you should have a sufficient or additional supply, especially if you are following a vegan or vegetarian diet intake, for example via dietary supplements.
Effect: Vitamin C is particularly well-known for its antioxidant effect and positive influence on the development of cell tissue, bones and teeth. It supports the healthy functioning of the immune system and helps to protect the body's cells from harmful substances. What is less well known, however, is that vitamin C promotes the body's own production of the "happiness hormone" serotonin, which plays an important role in our sleep. On the one hand, serotonin has a calming effect on the organism and is significantly involved in the production of our sleep hormone melatonin, which in turn regulates our sleep-wake cycle and is crucial for restful sleep. Vitamin C has a direct effect on our sheep behavior, protects the organism inside from damage or stress and calms the nervous system, which ultimately creates optimal conditions for a healthy and restful sleep.
Important functions: immune system, development of connective and bone tissue
Occurrence in food: citrus fruits, peppers, tomatoes, black currants, sea buckthorn
Effect: The substance, also known as the "sun vitamin", is a special vitamin because it acts like a hormone in our body and can also be produced under the influence of sunlight.Vitamin D is involved in various important body processes and makes a decisive contribution to energy metabolism, bone structure, the immune system and many other processes. Numerous studies show that a vitamin deficiency can reduce the quality of sleep and lead to tiredness, while an adequate supply of vitamin D improves sleep quality and quantity. In addition to being important for the mechanisms mentioned, vitamin D is also involved in the synthesis of serotonin and ultimately not only has a calming effect, but also has a targeted effect on the sleep-wake cycle.
Important functions: bone structure, metabolism
Occurrence in food: fish, eggs, avocado, mushrooms, margarine
Does it make sense to take vitamin supplements?
Vitamins are crucial for healthy bodily function and contribute significantly to our health and well-being. Under "normal" everyday conditions and with the help of a balanced diet, we can usually provide the body with all the important nutrients in sufficient quantities. However, if we neglect our daily diet and come under physical or mental stress, it is not always easy to ensure an adequate supply of vitamins. It is precisely then that an additional intake of dietary supplements can help to stay healthy and fit. And our sleep also benefits from an adequate supply of vitamins, so that we can regenerate optimally at night and start a new day relaxed and healthy.
Vitamins are vital substances that play a key role in countless body processes and are essential for the healthy functioning of body and mind.
Vitamin deficiency is detrimental to health and well-being and affects not only daily performance but also sleep.
Many B vitamins (especially vitamin B6 and B12), vitamin C and vitamin D can have a decisive influence on sleep and promote sleep quality and quantity.
A sufficient supply of vitamins can usually be ensured through a balanced diet and effectively supported with the help of dietary supplements.
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