Having troubles falling asleep? Sleep troubles may indicate deeper troubles with your nutrient status.
Typically, when we’re seeking “better sleep,” we’re not looking for “better than optimal” sleep but rather...
…well, just simply getting enough sleep.
- getting more than enough sleep doesn’t exactly compute to a healthier, more fulfilling lifestyle.
- many of us are getting suboptimal sleep, as is.
On average, adults aged 18 to 60 need around 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night.
And, yet, on a global scale, sleep deprivation is widespread enough to be considered a public health epidemic.
In fact, one report links insufficient sleep to 7 of the 15 leading causes of death in the United States.
Likewise, despite over two-thirds of the U.S. population being overweight or obese, malnutrition remains a key problem in many areas.
Research has found that many popular health diet trends actually may actually exacerbate, not improve, the dieter’s risk of micronutrient deficiency.
However, sleep deprivation and malnutrition tend to go hand-in-hand, meaning that improving one tends to also improve the other.
Optimizing nutrient status may help optimize sleep patterns—and vice versa.
In this guide, we cover the relationship between nutrients and sleep quality, including a list of the Best Vitamins for Insomnia and Sleep Deprivation.
All you need to do is keep reading!
The Complete Beginner’s Guide on How to Get Better Sleep with Vitamins and Minerals
Roughly speaking, supplementing vitamins and minerals may help reduce insomnia, thereby reducing the incidence and impact of sleep deprivation.
But to understand the relationship between nutrients and sleep quality, let’s first unpack the relationship between insomnia and sleep deprivation...
- Insomnia pertains to persistent problems with falling and staying asleep, especially when making a concerted effort to get better sleep.
- Sleep Deprivation is a health condition that occurs when you fail to get enough sleep—in other words, sleep deprivation is a consequence of insomnia.
Of course, sleep deprivation varies from mild, such as after one anomalously bad night of sleep, to severe, typically as a consequence of severe insomnia.
Ongoing insomnia may contribute to a severe state of sleep deprivation that negatively affects not only your daytime performance but underlying health systems as well.
It’s one thing to get one night of bad sleep and feel tired and irritable throughout the following day.
It’s another thing entirely to consistently get bad sleep, all the while accruing a large amount of sleep debt that eventually you’ll have to pay with long-lasting health conditions or fatigue syndromes.
Insomnia may be a reflection of any number of underlying physiological and/or psychological problems.
However, one particularly common contributor to poor sleep quality is malnutrition, or, more specifically, a lack of essential vitamins and minerals.
How Vitamins and Minerals Affect Sleep Quality
Is it possible to get better sleep simply by taking vitamins and minerals?
Sure, supplementing an effective multivitamin supplement may go a long way in helping you get more Zzz’s at night, the association between poor nutrient status and poor sleep quality.
But how do micronutrients affect sleep quality?
Isn’t it enough to simply lay down at night to fall asleep?
Involved in hundreds of metabolic pathways, vitamins and minerals cofacilitate many brain and body bio-activities required for sleep, relaxation, and recovery.
Though B-vitamins in particular are specifically advanced as effective supplements against insomnia, based on research that links B6-deficiency to distress and sleep disturbance, the direct link between vitamins in general and insomnia is less clear.
Each vitamin and mineral interacts with a wide range of specific bio-pathways and general health systems that directly and indirectly overlap with sleep quality.
Some vitamins work better at improving sleep quality, whereas others may have no impact on sleep at all.
With that in mind, supplementing an effective, natural multivitamin supplement still seems the best sleep support option over mixing and matching standalone vitamin and mineral supplements.
By replenishing the micronutrients associated with sleep quality (and then some), a multivitamin supplement may improve sleep by:
- Regulating production of sleep-related neurotransmitters
- Downregulating excitatory brain activity
- Inhibiting neuromuscular “muscle firing” activities
- Reducing blood pressure prior to sleep
- Modulating the HPA axis (stress response system)
- Improving mood and emotional stability.
And many other direct and indirect bio-pathways. The physiological range of all essential vitamins and minerals is complex and far-ranging.
The Mutual Relationship Between Diet and Sleep
A poor, nutrient-deficient diet contributes to poor sleep, and poor sleep contributes to a poor, nutrient-deficient diet.
The relationship between diet and sleep is mutual.
Part of the reason for this is that both food and sleep play important roles in maintaining the body’s energy balance, or metabolic homeostasis.
By temporarily lowering the body’s metabolic energy demands, deep sleep grants the body time to repair damaged tissues, combat oxidative stress, and build muscle tissue.
A lack of sleep prevents the much-needed “rest and repair” time required for metabolic homeostasis, contributing to a quick depletion of the body’s energy reserves.
In response to an altered metabolism, the sleep-deprived body increases dietary “energy” intake.
One study even observed increased hunger, food cravings, food reward, and portion sizes after only one night of modest sleep deprivation among non-obese participants.
And, yet, as another study observed, though many clinical studies have observed a link between diet and sleep, causality between the two has yet to be determined.
Does nutrient deficiency have a greater impact on sleep quality or vice versa?
Whichever way you spin it, the relationship between diet and sleep seems to significantly cut both ways.
And, pragmatically speaking, it’s perhaps easiest to start a healthier diet-sleep routine by keeping your micronutrient levels in check with a multivitamin supplement than by trying to fight through insomnia in a nutrient-deficient state.
What are the Best Vitamins for Insomnia and Sleep Deprivation?
When looking for an effective multivitamin, there are a few sleep-supportive vitamins and minerals worth specific consideration.
Though, again, the best practice for optimizing your sleep-related micronutrients involves taking a comprehensive multivitamin stack, the following micronutrients encompass some of the Best Vitamins and Minerals for Insomnia and Sleep Deprivation:
Involved in 300+ metabolic pathways, magnesium is particularly important to sleep for this mineral’s relaxing effects on the central nervous system (CNS) and the neuromuscular junction.
By calming excitable neural activity and twitchy muscle fibers, magnesium helps the mind relax prior to sleep and stay asleep through the night.
However, due to loss of magnesium via sweating, athletes and exercisers are at particular risk of magnesium deficiency. Likewise, as we age, our risk of magnesium deficiency naturally increasing.
Despite magnesium’s central importance to sleep quality, many of us are failing to get enough of this sleep-supportive mineral in our diets.
Not only are today’s highly processed foods deficient in magnesium and many other micronutrients, but even our agrarian soil is not as mineral-rich as it used to be, resulting in magnesium-deficient crops and vegetables across the board.
This perhaps explains why approximately half of the U.S. population consumes less than the required amount of magnesium, which is arguably recommended on the lower end, as is.
With that in mind, magnesium easily tops the list of the most important micronutrients for combatting insomnia and sleep deprivation.
Magnesium Case Study
One double-blind, placebo-controlled study on the effects of magnesium supplementation on insomnia among elderly participants observed significant improvements on various sleep measures impaired by insomnia.
This led the researchers to the conclusion that “magnesium appears to improve subjective measures of insomnia such as [insomnia severity index] score, sleep efficiency, sleep time and sleep onset latency, early morning awakening, and likewise, objective measures such as concentration of serum renin, melatonin, and serum cortisol, in elderly people.”
As the only nutrient our skin synthesizes when exposed to sunlight, Vitamin D, or cholecalciferol, makes for a reasonable excuse to skip school or work during a beautiful, sunny day.
Though dietary vitamin D is important to a healthy, whole-food diet, vitamin D derived from sunlight is more influential to our overall vitamin D status.
From cognition to immunity, bone health to testosterone activity, vitamin D is associated with a wide range of bio-pathways and health benefits, including, yes, sleep quality. And, yet, many of us aren’t getting enough vitamin D in our lives.
The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005 to 2006 data reported that the overall prevalence rate of vitamin D deficiency in the U.S. was 41.6%.
Compound this figure with the well-known decrease in active vitamin D levels during wintertime observed the further one gets away from the equator, then it becomes increasingly obvious the importance of vitamin D supplementation to those who lack exposure to sunlight.
Although the exact biomechanisms of vitamin D related to sleep are generally unknown, research does suggest there to be a significant correlation between vitamin D status and sleep quality.
Vitamin D Case Study
In a meta-analysis designed to clarify the association between vitamin D and risk of sleep disorders, nine studies involving a total of 9,397 participants were analyzed and compared.
Based on the studies’ cumulative results, the researchers found that participants with vitamin D deficiency had a significantly increased risk of sleep disorders. Specifically, vitamin D deficiency was linked to poor sleep quality, short sleep duration, and sleepiness.
As a trace mineral, Zinc is required in little amounts for full healthy function.
Often associated with male health, due to zinc’s direct role in testosterone synthesis, zinc is essential for the full functioning of several health systems, such as immunity, growth and development, and protein synthesis.
One of the more recent discoveries pertaining to zinc’s bio-benefits finds that zinc seems to also be involved in the regulation of sleep.
And, interestingly, the reverse also seems to be true: sleep plays a significant role in the regulation of zinc, the body’s second most abundant trace metal.
The relationship between zinc and sleep is mutual.
- Healthy zinc levels contribute to healthy sleep quality.
- Sleep amount influences zinc serum concentration.
Yet, because the body doesn’t store zinc, dietary zinc must be consumed daily to maintain a healthy zinc-sleep relationship.
What’s worse, many dietary zinc forms fail to sufficiently absorb into the body, thus highlighting the significant advantages of an easy-to-absorb zinc supplement.
While vegans are particularly advised to supplement zinc, anyone engaged in an active, healthy lifestyle may benefit by adding a high-quality source of zinc to their diet.
Zinc Case Study
One study examining the effects of zinc supplementation on the sleep quality of intensive care unit (ICU) nurses demonstrated significant improvements on sleep quality with a month’s worth of zinc supplementation as compared to placebo, suggesting that “zinc supplementation could be associated with better [sleep quality], subjective [sleep quality], and sleep latency in this group of workers.”
Well-known water-soluble vitamins associated with enhanced vitality and elevated mood, B-vitamins involve a complex of eight essential compounds, including:
- B1 – Thiamine
- B2 – Riboflavin
- B3 – Niacin
- B5 – Pantothenic Acid
- B6 – Pyridoxine
- B7 – Biotin
- B9 – Folate
- B12 - Cobalamin
For all-around improvements on metabolism, energy expenditure, cerebral circulation, neurotransmitter production, and neuroprotection, B-vitamin supplements work.
For sleep specifically, one study found the combination of vitamins B1, B2, B6, and B12 particularly useful in improving sleep quality by reducing the frequency, intensity, and duration of nocturnal leg cramps.
Similar to magnesium’s role in relaxing muscle tissue and inhibiting muscle twitches, B-vitamins seem to help the brain relax by calming the body, lowering the risk of sleep-disruptive twitches that may subtly, yet significantly, harm overall sleep quality and nighttime restoration.
Vitamin B6 Case Study
Stress can drastically harm sleep quality, and magnesium deficiency can be drastically stressful on the body.
However, as one study suggests, combining magnesium with vitamin B6 may be superior to supplementing standalone magnesium for stress symptoms.
Under conditions of severe stress, the researchers determined there to be “clinical support for greater benefit of Mg combined with vitamin B6.”
What to Look for in a Natural Sleep Supplement
In addition to the aforementioned micronutrients, namely magnesium (arguably the most effective micronutrient for combating insomnia and sleep deprivation)...
Here are a couple of the best natural sleep aid ingredients, including the best sleep supplement for insomnia and sleep deprivation.
Montmorency Tart Cherry (Melatonin)
A rich, natural source of sleep-supportive melatonin and joint-soothing antioxidants for greater overnight recovery and repair.
Melatonin, the go-to sleep aid for many, is one of the most effective, reliable sleep supplements you can take to get better sleep. And it’s all due to melatonin’s central importance to the circadian rhythm, basically our body’s 24-hour internal clock that regulates our day-and-night physiological processes.
Secreted by the pineal gland, melatonin is a neurotransmitter that triggers sleep onset under healthy circadian conditions. However, because we live in a highly caffeinated, screen-lit age, our brains often fail to secrete enough melatonin during bedtime, resulting in heightened insomnia and sleep deprivation.
As a natural supplier of melatonin, Montmorency tart cherry works as a natural sleep booster, one that helps trigger melatonin’s sleep effects at night without overstaying its welcome come morning time. To combat insomnia and rebalance your circadian rhythm, take melatonin-rich Montmorency tart cherries prior to bedtime every night.
Best Melatonin for Insomnia and Sleep Deprivation: CherryPURE®
- CherryPURE® supplies natural melatonin in a potent 50:1 concentrate extracted from Montmorency tart cherries.
- Altogether, 500 mg of CherryPURE® supplies the sleep-supportive effects of natural melatonin and cherry antioxidants found in 25 g of Montmorency tart cherries.
- CherryPURE® is the only brand-name Montmorency tart cherry extract ingredient backed by human clinical research.
Of course, not everyone has Montmorency tart cherries on hand. And if you’re wondering if you really want to put in the effort to maintain a flowing stock of cherries, worry no more.
CherryPURE® supplies a potent concentrate of tart cherry’s sleep-supportive bio-actives in supplement form.
What’s more, CherryPURE® is the only brand-name Montmorency tart cherry extract backed by clinical research for athletic use. In one study on the effects of CherryPURE® on endurance exercise performance, the researchers associated CherryPURE® with “attenuated markers of muscle catabolism, reduced immune and inflammatory stress, better maintained redox balance, and increased performance in aerobically trained individuals.”
Mood-boosting amino acid that enhances relaxation and stress relief by promoting a class of serotonergic neurochemicals.
Ever heard that eating turkey makes you sleep? This modern myth is due to the observation that turkey meat possesses a significant amount of L-Tryptophan, an amino acid associated with increased sleep and relaxation.
Except while turkey meat doesn’t supply enough L-tryptophan to trigger a sleep response (rather it’s the sheer volume of turkey meat that leaves you yawning and holding your belly), supplementary L-tryptophan can be effective at improving your sleep quality.
L-tryptophan promotes sleep and relaxation by converting to:
- Serotonin – a neurotransmitter famously associated with emotional stability and general wellbeing, that also seems to boost deep sleep.
- Melatonin – the neurochemical responsible for the “sleep” portion of the sleep-wake cycle of our circadian rhythm.
- 5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan) – the metabolic intermediate between L-tryptophan and serotonin, believed to promote mood and appetite control.
By converting to mood-related neurochemicals, L-tryptophan is a particularly useful combatant against stress and anxiety, two significant factors commonly underlying insomnia.
Best L-Tryptophan for Insomnia and Sleep Deprivation: TryptoPure®
- TryptoPure® is a pure, plant-based L-tryptophan form manufactured by Ajinomoto®, the global leader in supplementary amino acid innovation.
- TryptoPure® constructs L-tryptophan via Ferment-A-Pure™, a patented, eco-friendly, fermentation process that extracts clean amino acids from non-GMO vegetables.
- Compared to standard, inferior L-tryptophan supplements, Ajinomoto® TryptoPure® is 99% pure, highly bioavailable, and reliably effective for promoting sleep quality.
Compared to standard L-tryptophan supplements, TryptoPure® is cleaner and far more effective as a sleep booster, thanks in large part to TryptoPure®’s use of Ferment-A-Pure™ technology, a fermentation process that extracts plant-based amino acids.
As such, TryptoPure® supplies a clean, vegan-friendly, eco-friendly source of sleep- and mood-boosting L-tryptophan at a highly potent bioavailability and efficacy. Safe for long-term use. (And with no turkeys harmed whatsoever!)
Best Natural Sleep Aid:
Performance Lab® Sleep
Performance Lab® Sleep upgrades the traditional sleep aid with an innovative formula powered by natural melatonin.
- CherryPURE® Montmorency Tart Cherry, 500 mg
- TryptoPure® L-Tryptophan, 250 mg
- Magnesium+ Complex: NutriGenesis® Magnesium, Magnesium Taurate, and Magnesium Bisglycinate, 100 mg
Whereas many sleep supplements supply an excessively large dose of synthetic melatonin, Performance Lab® Sleep supplies a modest dose of natural melatonin as CherryPURE®.
No doubt, one of the best ways to get better sleep is to take an over-the-counter melatonin supplement. Cheap and accessible, OTC melatonin supplements are the typical go-to sleep aid for many.
And, yet, although they are effective at helping you fall asleep, OTC melatonin supplements often come with groggy morning side effects and the occasional headache due to a couple of reasons:
- Quality – many sleep aid supplements use synthetic melatonin, a cheap and inferior melatonin form that unpredictably varies in terms of potency.
- Quantity – likewise, many of those same sleep aids supply a way too large amount of melatonin, resulting in quick sleep onset followed by a groggy, drowsy morning.
The combination of poor quality and excess quantity make synthetic melatonin supplements counterproductively inefficient with it comes to daytime performance.
CherryPURE®, on the other hand, provides natural melatonin sourced from Montmorency tart cherries as a 50:1 concentrated extract.
When it comes to melatonin, more isn’t better. By supplying a minimally effective dose of natural melatonin, Performance Lab® Sleep helps you fall asleep and stay asleep without disrupting your morning energy and productivity levels.
What’s more, Performance Lab® Sleep pairs natural melatonin with TryptoPure®, an advanced form of L-tryptophan for next-morning mood boosts, and NutriGenesis® Magnesium, a nature-identical form of this sleep-supportive mineral.
All-in-all, Performance Lab® Sleep promotes nighttime rest and recovery and daytime energy and productivity with a natural sleep aid formula that’s safe for daily, long-term use.
Get Your Vitamins with Performance Lab® Whole-Food Multi
Performance Lab® Whole-Food Multi combines the best vitamins for insomnia and sleep deprivation in a comprehensive stack of 17+ essential vitamins and minerals. Far outranging sleep quality, the benefits of these vitamins and minerals tackle virtually all aspects of our health. From immunity to cognition, bone and joint support to metabolic and hormone balance—Performance Lab® Whole-Food Multi enhances overall vitality and wellbeing for a healthy, active lifestyle.
This in large part thanks to Whole-Food Multi’s use of NutriGenesis®, a higher class of micronutrients sourced from a matrix of natural cofactors, including probiotics, fibers, enzymes, and antioxidants. The result: a more bioactive selection of micronutrients that absorb safely and more efficiently than your standard, synthetic multivitamin stack.
You can buy Performance Lab® Whole-Food Multi in separate “For Men” or “For Women” formulations, each specifically designed to the nutritional needs of men and women.
To get the best deal on Performance Lab® Whole-Food Multi, click here.
Performance Lab® Sleep + Whole-Food Multi Combine Natural Sleep Aids with the Best Vitamins for Insomnia and Sleep Deprivation
Insomnia is a complicated condition influenced by a complex of physiological and psychological factors. With that in mind, it wouldn’t be out of line to suggest that insomnia is an indication that your entire health system is out of whack.
Especially given the bidirectional relationship between sleep patterns and healthy behaviors, sleep quality and nutrient intake. Daytime performance affects nighttime recovery, and nighttime recovery affects daytime performance.
By covering the nutritional aspects of sustaining healthy sleep patterns, Performance Lab® Sleep + Whole-Food drastically simplify the issues pertaining to insomnia and sleep deprivation.
Even in the face of work-related stress and other stressful life factors, having an effective, natural sleep aid like Performance Lab® Sleep at least grants you greater control over your sleep habits, ensuring that you’re at least well-rested enough to tackle whatever problems life throws at you.
And by filling the nutritional voids left by the modern diet, Performance Lab® Whole-Food Multi sets a solid micronutrient foundation for you to better act upon your health goals and fitness ambitions—including getting better sleep.
Performance Lab® Whole-Food Multi packs all the best vitamins for insomnia and sleep deprivation—and much, much more.
Thanks to Sleep and Whole-Food Multi’s all-natural, plant-based, eco-friendly formula designs, these supplements are safe to take for daily, long-term use without fear of side effects or of forming adverse habits.
You’ll find only the cleanest and greenest vitamins, minerals, and sleep aids here.
To get the best deal on Performance Lab® Sleep, click here.
To get the best deal on Performance Lab® Whole-Food Multi, click here.
The Ultimate Day-and-Night Performance Stack
Getting better sleep drastically promotes daytime productivity, indirectly making sleep supplements some of the most effective daytime performance enhancers. However, when paired with daytime health and fitness stacks, sleep supplements may work even better at promoting the “wake” portion of your sleep-wake cycle.
To create the Ultimate Day-and-Night Performance Stack, combine Performance Lab® Sleep with the following daytime performance enhancers:
Performance Lab® Mind
Ultramodern stim-free nootropic stack for a daily boost on focus, memory, mood, attention, motivation, clarity, and more.
In our hypercaffeinated work environments, the appeal of a stim-free cognitive performance enhancer is at an all-time high. Thanks to Performance Lab® Mind’s powerful, stim-free formula design, you need not look any further for that brain booster. With its unique 4-ingredient formula, Mind works as a daily foundation stack for both short- and long-term brain enhancement that works as the perfect daytime complement to Sleep’s nighttime recovery benefits. For a daily boost on focus, attention, memory, mood, motivation, and clarity, add Performance Lab® Mind to your daily health stack.
- Supplement Facts: Cognizin® Citicoline, Sharp-PS® Green, Ajipure® L-Tyrosine, Maritime Pine Bark Extract
To get the best deal on Performance Lab® Mind, click here.
Performance Lab® Stim
The ultimate crash-free caffeine pill that pairs natural caffeine with counterbalancing nootropic vitamins and amino acids.
As a nootropic-enhanced Caffeine 2.0 pill, Performance Lab® Stim offers a portal-view of what the future of caffeine consumption will look like. No doubt, there’s a reason why we enjoy our caffeine: it’s a reliable, effective source of feel-good energy. However, the common downsides of caffeine include jittery side effects and impaired sleep quality. Fortunately, Performance Lab® Stim combats the deleterious aspects of caffeine with stress-relieving L-tyrosine, as Ajipure®, and sleep-supportive L-theanine, as Suntheanine®, for a smoother, sustainable jolt of daytime energy.
- Supplement Facts: NutriGenesis® Caffeine Balance B-Complex: Riboflavin+ (Vitamin B2), Vitamin B6+, Folate+ (Vitamin B9), Vitamin B12+; Natural Caffeine (from Coffea robusta seeds), Suntheanine® L-Theanine, Ajipure® L-Tyrosine
To get the best deal on Performance Lab® Stim, click here.
Performance Lab® MCT
State-of-the-art MCT (medium chain triglyceride) oil for fast-acting mental energy and long-lasting brain health support.
Surprisingly, the brain is a very fat organ. And although many health trends recommend cutting back on fatty foods, supplementing beneficial fats, like MCT oil, may help nourish the brain and significantly improve your cognitive health and performance. Enter: Performance Lab® MCT, a pure, 3X-distilled MCT oil extracted from 100% organic coconuts. Supplying both C8 (caprylic acid), the most keto-active MCT, and C10 (capric acid), an MCT with additional mitochondrial energy benefits, Performance Lab® MCT promotes stim-free cognitive energy by boosting ketone energy brain fuel and protecting brain mitochondria activity.
- Supplement Facts: C8/C10 MCT (Medium Chain Triglycerides) Oil from 100% Organic Coconuts
To get the best deal on Performance Lab® MCT, click here.
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