Your restless nights may be down to your gut.
You likely know that staying out of the sun depletes your vitamin D and you need calcium for strong bones, but the link between vitamin deficiency and poor sleep is usually overlooked. Vitamins and minerals aren't just the building blocks for your health. If you don't get enough of them, you might be tossing and turning all night.
"When it comes to restful, restorative sleep, certain nutrient deficiencies or insufficiencies (low levels, but not enough to be considered an actual deficiency) can play a big role," Robin Foroutan, MS, RDN, a dietitian nutritionist and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, tells Bustle.
Caroline Leaf Ph.D., a neuroscientist and author of Eat and Think Yourself Smart, tells Bustle that being stressed or having other mental health issues can actually prevent the body from absorbing nutrients, which worsens mental health, and creates a vicious feedback loop.
"The mind drives the digestive system," Leaf says. "The effectiveness of how much nutrition we get from food is very much controlled by the state of mind that you’re in."
If you're not already seeing a therapist, sleep issues are a plenty good reason to seek one out. Leaf also recommends adding more whole foods to your meals to help break that gut-brain anxiety cycle. When it comes to mental health and sleep quality, taking vitamins is certainly not a cure-all. (Not to mention vitamins aren't regulated by the FDA.) It is easy to get too much of a certain vitamin, which can actually lead to worse sleep, and vitamins cannot cure underlying mental health conditions.
Here are seven vitamins you may be lacking if you have trouble sleeping, according to experts.
Robin Foroutan MS RDN
Caroline Leaf Ph.D.
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