Vitamins You Should AVOID Before Bed To Sleep Better 💊😴

Finding it difficult to fall asleep? Maybe you’re stressed. Your late evening strolls that ended with a hot cup of coffee could also be the reason you are up till late. Whatever the reason, there’s no denying the truth that you need to sleep well at night to feel fresh and energetic the next day. Experts have suggested several reasons why sleep evades us at night. But one common factor always manages to go undetected. It’s the supplements you take to boost your energy levels and stay healthy. Yes, you heard that right. Your supplement routine could be the biggest roadblock in your path to a healthy sleep schedule. In today’s post, we are going to talk about all the vitamins and minerals you shouldn’t take before bedtime.

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Should you take a Vitamin B complex in the evening? What about vitamin D? We’ll be talking about all of these AND more.

#1 B Vitamins

Do you feel tired all the time? Got numbness or tingling in your hands and feet? Maybe you lack vitamin B, and eating more foods that offer it would help. Or, you could rely on good quality vitamin B supplements. But there’s a catch. If you mess up with the timing of this supplement, it can hinder your good night’s sleep. And no amount of supplements can compensate for the fatigue and irritability you feel when you don't get enough rest at night. And if this keeps happening consistently for a long time, your risk of getting hypertension, diabetes, obesity, depression, and stroke increases. But how does vitamin B interfere with your sleep? And when would be the right time to take its supplements?

Well, experts suggest taking B vitamins in the morning. It would help you feel energetic all through the day, as B vitamins are known to convert food into energy. This means that if you take your B vitamins before bedtime, the boost of energy will keep you up instead of letting you fall asleep. Eating such supplements at night will have a stimulating effect, causing sleep problems. So, does this mean you should avoid such supplements? Not at all! There’s no doubt that B vitamins are very important for the proper functioning of your body. They act as the building blocks of your body and impact your cell metabolism, brain function, and energy levels. Fortunately, there are several food sources from which you can get your daily fix of B vitamins. Milk, cheese, vegetables (especially leafy greens), meat, and fish are all great options to include in your diet.

Though rare, some people still end up with a deficiency of B vitamins. One of the most common causes of this is taking certain types of medication. Following crash diets for a long time or eating junk food every day can also lead to a vitamin B deficiency. If you are older than 50 or pregnant, you need to be even more careful with your vitamin B intake. People with chronic health issues might also need more B vitamins. It makes sense for them to rely on B-vitamin supplements. Just remember to take them in the morning. Wondering if you could be deficient in vitamin B? Especially vitamin B12? You can read our post on the critical signs of vitamin B12 deficiency to learn more about it. Remember, sharing is caring. So, don’t forget to send the post to your friends and family.

#2 Multivitamins

There are so many nutrients your body needs. Vitamin A is good for eyesight, while you need vitamin D for strong bones and joints. Vitamin C plays a key role in boosting your immunity. Vitamins E, K, and B-complex also play vital roles in several bodily functions. In short, your body needs about 13 vitamins and 15 minerals for it to function optimally. You need them to produce hormones and enzymes, which keep all your organs working in perfect condition. If you are able to get all these nutrients from your daily diet, that’s great! If not, you’ll need supplements. But it would be endlessly tiring if you popped a pill for each vitamin. Isn’t it? This is why several brands have come up with high quality multivitamins to meet your daily nutritional needs. The way multivitamins have increased in popularity over the last few decades certainly proves their usefulness. But have you considered at what time you should be taking your multivitamins? Whatever you do, don’t take them at night, especially before going to bed. Most of them contain caffeine and green tea extract, which could keep you awake all night. They would also have B vitamins, which would start your metabolism and stimulate you. As a result, you won’t be able to sleep peacefully.

If you take herbal supplements at night, make sure they are not energy boosting. Asparagus and ginseng are examples of such herbal supplements. If that’s the case, change the time when you take it. Too busy in the morning to remember to take your multivitamin? You can set an alarm. Or, keep the multivitamin bottle on your dining table if that’s where you eat breakfast. Whatever you do, just don’t forget your daily dose. Especially if you want to stay young with a healthy heart! Experts say multivitamins can help reduce the risk of heart disease. Research also shows that taking multivitamins helps slow down the decay of eyesight in people with age-related macular degeneration. 

#3 Vitamin D

If there’s one vitamin so many people are deficient in, it has to be vitamin D. Your body produces it naturally when exposed to the sun. You also get vitamin D from your diet. Foods such as salmon, sardines, yogurt, and egg yolks are excellent sources of vitamin D. Yet, so many of us don’t get it enough. And without it, so many body functions would go haywire. It helps absorb calcium and phosphorus in your body, makes sure that your immune system is working at its best, and helps fight diseases. This vitamin is so important that when you don’t have enough of it, your chances of getting multiple sclerosis increase. Not to mention how vulnerable you’ll be to infections and autoimmune diseases.

Naturally, after knowing the importance of vitamin D for your health, you’ll be inclined to increase your intake of it. And for so many of us, the easy way out would be vitamin D supplements. But remember to never take it before bedtime! When taken in higher quantities, vitamin D can reduce your body’s production of the sleep hormone melatonin. This could be because the higher amounts of vitamin D suggest to your body that it is daytime. As a result, you won’t be able to sleep properly due to the lack of melatonin. Whether you are taking vitamin D supplements or getting it from your food, try to have it with a meal rich in healthy fats. Since vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, your body can absorb it better when it is combined with fatty foods. Research supports this claim. In one study, participants who had vitamin D with a fatty meal experienced 32% more concentration of it in the blood after 12 hours.

#4 Vitamin C

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is the importance of taking care of our immune system and eating healthy. And when it comes to boosting immunity, vitamin C takes the lead. Vitamin C works as a powerful antioxidant to help your immune system. It fights off free radicals, which are one of the major causes of chronic diseases and a weakened immune system.

Now, you may ask, What are these free radicals? Let me give you a quick overview.

Free radicals are produced in your body either from normal cell metabolism or due to external sources like pollution, cigarette smoke, and medication. When these free radicals accumulate in your body, it causes oxidative stress, which plays a key role in the development of chronic and degenerative illnesses. In short, oxidative stress can be a reason for diseases like cancer, cataracts, and rheumatoid arthritis. Thankfully, your body has figured out a way to fight oxidative stress by producing antioxidants. You either get them from food or they are naturally produced in your body. Research has shown that vitamin C can increase the antioxidant levels in your blood by around 30%. But unlike vitamin D, your body doesn’t have the ability to produce vitamin C. You have to get it from your diet. Experts suggest that women should get at least 75 milligrams of vitamin C every day, while men need around 90 milligrams. If you’re relying on vitamin C supplements, make sure you don’t take them before bedtime because vitamin C can be acidic. When taken on an empty stomach, it can cause issues, especially among people who have acid reflux disease. There are vitamin C supplements that come in non-acidic forms. If you have to take your supplement at night, choosing the non-acidic one would be better. Having said this, you should know that it is not mandatory to take vitamin C supplements. You can get it easily from various fruits and vegetables, such as kale, oranges, and strawberries. Broccoli and bell peppers are also fantastic sources of this immunity boosting vitamin. Whether through diet or supplements, make sure you meet your daily vitamin C requirements if you want to stay healthy and reduce the risk of getting heart disease. A prominent study conducted among more than 293,000 people for 10 years has proven this. It found that people who took a high dose of vitamin C every day were 25% less likely to have heart disease. It’s even more important if you don't want to be anemic. Vitamin C improves your body’s ability to absorb iron from the food you eat. Iron is important for your body as it helps produce more red blood cells and aids in transporting oxygen all through the body.

#5 Calcium

Do you want strong bones and joints? You’ll need to make sure you’re getting enough calcium from your diet. If you don’t, you may end up with life-altering conditions like osteoporosis. You’ll be surprised to know that as much as 98% of the calcium in your body is present in your bones and teeth. Though in small amounts, calcium is also present in your bloodstream, where it does the very important job of sending nerve signals and regulating your muscles. When you are deficient in calcium, your body will take what it needs from your bones and teeth and use it elsewhere. This means your bones and teeth will become weak. Experts suggest that men over 70 and women over 50 should get at least 1200 milligrams of calcium per day. Those below this age should aim for 1000 milligrams daily. But make sure you don’t go overboard. Your daily calcium intake should never cross 2500 milligrams. There are so many of us who rely on calcium supplements to keep our bones strong. But be careful with the timing, especially if you’re taking calcium supplements that also have magnesium. Taking calcium supplements by themselves may not affect your sleep. But when taken together, calcium and magnesium supplements will compete with one another for absorption by your body. Since you need magnesium to sleep well, taking calcium supplements before bedtime can affect your sleep. Another reason not to take calcium supplements near bedtime is because of vitamin D. Your body can absorb calcium better when combined with vitamin D. But vitamin D works only when combined with a full meal. You should also make sure that you don’t take too much calcium in one dose. Instead, break it into two smaller doses. Taking a very high dose of calcium and vitamin D can end up giving you a stroke. If you are a woman, it is even more important to watch your calcium intake, as women have a higher risk of getting osteoporosis.

We discussed vitamins and minerals you should avoid taking before bedtime. So are there nutrients that you should deliberately take at night? Can they help you sleep better? You’re about to find out. Nutrients you can take before bedtime.

#1 Melatonin

We’re kicking things off with one you may not have heard of. Melatonin is a supplement that can help you sleep. But what you may not know is that it’s also found in various foods. The pineal gland in your brain is ideally responsible for producing this nutrient. But when things are off, you have to get it elsewhere. Your body produces melatonin from an amino acid found in your food called tryptophan. You can get it from tomatoes, milk, and oats. Chicken, fish, and egg whites are also excellent sources of tryptophan. Your body is usually able to generate melatonin on its own. But if you feel you need extra help to fall asleep, try getting it from your diet. Research has shown that ingesting melatonin can increase your total sleep time significantly while also improving the efficiency of your sleep. Some of the other foods you can eat to get melatonin include lean meats, grapes, and strawberries. It’s also present in corn, barley, pistachios, and walnuts. Try to eat these foods as an evening-time snack or include them in your dinner to get a boost of melatonin. For example, a strawberry smoothie is a good way to satisfy your late evening cravings. For dinner, you can have a salmon salad. Since both of these foods are rich in melatonin, you’ll definitely sleep better.

#2 Serotonin

Have you ever heard of this hormone? Especially in relation to depression? Experts believe serotonin plays a key role in regulating your mood and anxiety levels. If you have a low amount of serotonin in your body, your mood will decline, which may result in depression. This chemical is also important for regulating your sleep cycle. Serotonin stimulates the areas of your brain responsible for making you fall asleep and waking you up. Depending on the serotonin receptor, you will end up having either a good night’s sleep or a difficult night. Your body produces serotonin on its own. But to make sure it is enough, you also need to eat foods rich in tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid that increases brain serotonin in humans. As we mentioned earlier, you can get this from food sources like fish, eggs, spinach, and turkey.

#3 Magnesium

Do you watch your magnesium intake? Likely not! I know many of us don’t think much about magnesium. It’s not something that we are constantly stressing over. But if you don’t have a healthy sleep schedule, you’re going to want to take this mineral seriously. Let me say it again: Magnesium is important if you want a good night’s rest. One of the bigger impacts of lacking magnesium in your body is mood disorder. This leaves you more vulnerable to things like depression and anxiety. As a result, you get even less sleep, leaving you feeling more irritable and miserable. This forms a vicious cycle that you have to break in order to get better. Getting more magnesium is a way to break this cycle. With more magnesium, you’ll be able to sleep better. And better sleep means a better mood! In a study among older adults, a group of participants were given 500 milligrams of magnesium every day for 8 weeks. Results showed that the group fell asleep faster, by 12 minutes on average. They also slept an extra 36 minutes and woke up a lot less during the night. The placebo group did not see any changes in their sleeping patterns.

So, how do you get enough magnesium? Are supplements the only way? Not at all! You’ll love it when I tell you that dark chocolate is a very rich source of magnesium. Just a 28-gram serving of dark chocolate gives you about 65 milligrams of magnesium, which meets roughly 15% of your daily magnesium requirements. But this doesn’t mean you indulge in eating dark chocolate mindlessly. They can be high in calories due to the addition of sugar by the manufacturer. So eat in moderation. Also, make sure you pick up dark chocolate with a minimum of 70% cocoa content. In fact, the higher the cocoa content, the healthier it is for you. Don’t like dark chocolates? Don’t worry. There are other magnesium rich food sources you can try, like spinach, potatoes, yogurt, and bananas. Maybe start your day with a banana smoothie. Or, have a spinach soup when your evening cravings kick in. Interested in knowing more about vitamins and other nutrients your body needs to stay healthy?

Are you able to sleep well at night? Let us know in the comments below!

The information I provided in this blog is for educational purposes only and does not substitute for professional medical advice. You should never use content in my writing as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or another qualified clinician. Please consult a medical professional or healthcare provider if indicated for medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment. I am not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information in this blog. Thank you.

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