Vitamins as Sleep Aids – Tackling Your Options

A person who is under stress may undergo with several physiological changes such as high blood pressure, increased heartbeat, and an increase in adrenaline and muscle tension. Stress also affects digestion, cholesterol and blood composition. Additionally, stress enhances the formation of free radicals and a prolonged stress can lead to more serious illnesses. The remedy of this is to eat foods that contain certain vitamins and take supplements which helps counteract the damage that stress cause on the body.

About Stress

Stress is a normal part of our everyday life as there are several stressors and special events that can elicit stressful feelings. People with stress usually experience irritability, memory loss, fatigue, insomnia, shallow breathing, appetite changes and many more. Phyllis and James Balch mentioned in “Prescription for Natural Healing” that anxiety, panic attacks and post-traumatic stress disorder represent the cumulative results of stress.Vitamins as Sleep Aids

Vitamins for Stress

According to the Stress Focus website, the following vitamins are recommended for stress. Vitamin A is good for immunity and acts as an antioxidant against free radicals and is found in fruits, liver, milk, butter and eggs. Vitamin B-complex contributes to the metabolic reactions in the body. B-3 (Niacin) is important for tryptophan metabolism which leads to serotonin which is a calming neurotransmitter. Vitamin B-6 (Pyrodoxine) and vitamin B-12 are essential for nerve integrity. Vitamin B-5 along with folic acid, vitamin C and pantothenic acid is vital to the normal functioning of the adrenal glands. Pantothenic acid eliminates toxins from the body and is necessary in chemical reactions to release energy. This cannot be stored so it must be replenished by taking supplement or by eating poultry, fish, lean meats, whole grains, peas and beans.

Vitamin C plays an important role for synthesizing cortisol, the adrenal stress hormone and enhances tyrosine production. Tyrosine is important in the production of adrenaline, nonadrenaline and dopamine and is found in citrus fruits, berries, tomatoes and cabbage. Vitamin E is also an antioxidant and is present in green leafy vegetables, nuts and oils.

Sleep Aid Supplements

A person who has insufficient amount of vitamins, minerals and other substances will experience sleep disorders. The Holistic Online suggests some supplements that can help improve sleep.

Calcium acts as a sedative and a deficiency of it can cause restlessness and wakefulness thus affect sleep. Magnesium counteracts with nervousness which prevents sleep and is available in supplements with calcium. Good sources of these minerals are leafy green vegetables, dairy products, brewer’s yeast, blackstrap molasses and almonds.

B vitamins possess a calming effect on the nerves thus help achieve a good night sleep. They are found in bananas, peanuts, tuna and whole grains. Tryptophan which is an amino acid and a precursor to serotonin is found in milk and turkey. Another amino acid is phosphatidylserine which is helpful to people with high cortisone levels caused by stress. 5-HTP is also a serotonin precursor and clinical studies proved that it can cause one to sleep easily and lessen the number of awakening. Vitamin B, niacin and magnesium assist 5-HTP convert to serotonin.

Melatonin known as the sleep hormone and is secreted by the pineal gland in the brain has shown to help people with insomnia, jet lag and also those with normal sleep patterns.  The Holistic Online stated that elderly have lower melatonin levels.

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