Today’s modern workplace is often a very busy and stressful environment. Nowadays, people are spending more and more time working in front of a computer both at home and the office. The line between work life and home life has become blurred. The result is that people today are getting less sleep than we did a century ago. People often work late in the night forgoing sleep, not realizing how unhealthy this is. After a prolonged period at the computer, many people find it difficult to get to sleep. Prescriptions for sleeping pills have increased by 23 percent between 2006 and 2010 and are now being linked to both cancer and heart disease. Natural sleep aids are often much safer and non addictive.
Natural sleep aids may include vitamin B. When it comes to sleeping, vitamins in the B family can help stimulate the production of melatonin, a hormone that is used to induce sleep. Vitamin B6 in particular can boost the production of melatonin and help a person fall asleep. Hormone imbalances can happen when the hormone secreting glands are not functioning properly. This may cause sleep problems, especially when the adrenal glands are not working well. Vitamin B12 and B3 are also important to the proper functioning of the adrenal glands.
Sleep-related hormones also come from the pineal gland. Vitamin D can help improve the performance of this gland. Sometimes, problem sleep is not the result of hormone imbalances. A disorder known as Restless Leg Syndrome causes the leg to twitch and can prevent a person from easily getting to sleep. Sleeping vitamins like Vitamin E can help with this disorder.
All of these vitamins are available in supplemental form. Even though vitamin and mineral supplements are generally safe, it is best to consult with your doctor prior to taking them Pregnant women in particular should consult their physician before taking any supplements. The vitamins mentioned above can all be found in various food sources. Fresh fruit, soybeans, milk products, and leafy green vegetables are just some possible sources. These can all be part of a healthy diet that can contribute to getting to sleep and staying asleep.
For optimal sleeping, vitamins alone cannot guarantee restful, natural sleep. Instead, follow these steps:
- The most important step you can take is to establish a good sleep strategy that involves getting up and going to bed at the same time every day.
- Avoiding coffee at least 4 hours before bed. And turn off your computer and TV since the flickering lights stimulate the brainwaves making it difficult to fall asleep.
- Try taking a warm (not hot) bath before going to sleep.
Let’s face it: it is not likely that our lives are going to slow down anytime soon. People will still overschedule, multitask, and work late into the night. But when it is time to fall asleep and stay asleep, sleeping vitamins may be just what you need.