The Effects of Nutrition and Exercise on Sleep Part 2: Micronutrients and Sleep


As with protein, carbs and fat, sleep may be affected by vitamin and mineral intake or lack of these micronutrients. Some research suggests that B6 vitamin deficiency could promote psychological distress and sleep disturbance and that vitamin B6 treatment could help with insomnia. B12 could shorten the length of the sleep-wake rhythm and affect the circadian aspect of sleep propensity. Other studies suggest vitamin B complex could aid in the treatment of leg cramps.

Iron deficiency could play a role in restless leg syndrome or periodic leg movement disorder and a specific threshold of inadequate iron storage (ferritin) has been identified.

Vitamin D plays an important role in the brainstem control of sleep, and is suggested to have direct central effects on sleep. Vitamin D deficiency is related with several sleep disturbances such as excessive daytime sleepiness, obstructive sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome.

5-HT, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), orexin, melanin-concentrating hormone, cholinergic, galanin, noradrenaline, and histamine are all neurotransmitters related to the sleep-wake cycle and could be used as nutritional interventions that may influence sleep. Magnesium is also discussed.

Main article, AARR, October, 2016.
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