Vitamin B6 Promotes Healthy Brain Function
An increase in homocysteine levels can also speed up cognitive decline, says Wong. This uptick can lead to an increased risk of neurological conditions such as dementia.
In addition to regulating homocysteine levels, B6 plays a role in the synthesis of important neurotransmitters chemical messengers used by the brain and nervous system. Some of the neurotransmitters B6 helps synthesize include:
- Dopamine: responsible for reward-seeking, motivation, and movement
- Serotonin: stabilizes mood, causes feelings of well-being and happiness.
- Melatonin: plays a role in regulating our circadian rhythm and ability to fall asleep
- Noradrenaline: produces the fight or flight response in our body when we perceive danger
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But First Why Is Sleep So Elusive During Pregnancy
You’re probably already expecting to encounter some sleep deprivation after the birth of your little one, but did you think you’d be dealing with it beforehand?
Most expectant mothers hope to catch plenty of zzzs during pregnancy so that they are well-rested when their darling tot arrives. But as pregnancy progresses, it often gets harder and harder to fall and stay asleep.
Theres pressure from your belly, your bladder feels like its always full, your back aches, and your mind is racing with a combo of excitement and anxiety all the time.
When you’re pregnant, your body undergoes massive changes to help you birth a new life at the end of those nine months. Unfortunately, these changes are likely also the culprits behind your sleep woes.
Take morning sickness, for example this super common pregnancy symptom is most profound during the first trimester, especially because of the following hormonal changes:
- As the placenta forms, your body produces an essential hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin . Although experts aren’t entirely sure why, when hCG levels rise, it often correlates with a peak in morning sickness symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting.
- Estrogen and progesterone levels start to increase in the early days of pregnancy, which can sometimes cause digestive upset and result in heartburn and nausea.
Thankfully, there are quite a few remedies out there that can support both your ever-changing body and a good night’s rest!
Best Melatonin For Insomnia And Sleep Deprivation: Cherrypure
- CherryPURE® supplies natural melatonin in a potent 50:1 concentrate extracted from Montmorency tart cherries.
- Altogether, 500 mg of CherryPURE® supplies the sleep-supportive effects of natural melatonin and cherry antioxidants found in 25 g of Montmorency tart cherries.
- CherryPURE® is the only brand-name Montmorency tart cherry extract ingredient backed by human clinical research.
Of course, not everyone has Montmorency tart cherries on hand. And if youre wondering if you really want to put in the effort to maintain a flowing stock of cherries, worry no more.
CherryPURE® supplies a potent concentrate of tart cherrys sleep-supportive bio-actives in supplement form.
Whats more, CherryPURE® is the only brand-name Montmorency tart cherry extract backed by clinical research for athletic use. In one study on the effects of CherryPURE® on endurance exercise performance, the researchers associated CherryPURE® with attenuated markers of muscle catabolism, reduced immune and inflammatory stress, better maintained redox balance, and increased performance in aerobically trained individuals.
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Performance Lab Sleep + Whole
Insomnia is a complicated condition influenced by a complex of physiological and psychological factors. With that in mind, it wouldnt be out of line to suggest that insomnia is an indication that your entire health system is out of whack.
Especially given the bidirectional relationship between sleep patterns and healthy behaviors, sleep quality and nutrient intake. Daytime performance affects nighttime recovery, and nighttime recovery affects daytime performance.
Even in the face of work-related stress and other stressful life factors, having an effective, natural sleep aid like Performance Lab® Sleep at least grants you greater control over your sleep habits, ensuring that youre at least well-rested enough to tackle whatever problems life throws at you.
And by filling the nutritional voids left by the modern diet, Performance Lab® Whole-Food Multi sets a solid micronutrient foundation for you to better act upon your health goals and fitness ambitionsincluding getting better sleep.
Performance Lab® Whole-Food Multi packs all the best vitamins for insomnia and sleep deprivationand much, much more.
Thanks to Sleep and Whole-Food Multis all-natural, plant-based, eco-friendly formula designs, these supplements are safe to take for daily, long-term use without fear of side effects or of forming adverse habits.
Youll find only the cleanest and greenest vitamins, minerals, and sleep aids here.
To get the best deal on Performance Lab® Sleep,
Are Otc Sleep Aids Safe
Diphenhydramine and doxylamine succinate are antihistamines that are sold over the counter. While theyre sometimes used as sleep aids, thats not their primary use. There is not strong evidence that they work well as sleep aids, and they may cause side effects.
Older adults, especially those with kidney or liver issues, should not use diphenhydramine.
Its best not to take OTC sleep aids regularly, since doing so can lead to dependence. If you do use them, do so only occasionally and for no more than 2 weeks at a time. Be sure to talk with a healthcare professional if youre regularly experiencing trouble sleeping.
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Get Your Vitamins With Performance Lab Whole
Performance Lab® Whole-Food Multi combines the best vitamins for insomnia and sleep deprivation in a comprehensive stack of 17+ essential vitamins and minerals. Far outranging sleep quality, the benefits of these vitamins and minerals tackle virtually all aspects of our health. From immunity to cognition, bone and joint support to metabolic and hormone balancePerformance Lab® Whole-Food Multi enhances overall vitality and wellbeing for a healthy, active lifestyle.
This in large part thanks to Whole-Food Multis use of NutriGenesis®, a higher class of micronutrients sourced from a matrix of natural cofactors, including probiotics, fibers, enzymes, and antioxidants. The result: a more bioactive selection of micronutrients that absorb safely and more efficiently than your standard, synthetic multivitamin stack.
You can buy Performance Lab® Whole-Food Multi in separate For Men or For Women formulations, each specifically designed to the nutritional needs of men and women.
To get the best deal on Performance Lab® Whole-Food Multi,
Be More Mindful Mindfulness Meditation For Sleep
Mindfulness is the act of focussing on your breathing to help being your attention to the present not leaving it to dwell on the past or worry about the future.
Several studies have shown that learning mindfulness techniques can dramatically improve sleep quality.30
Try focussing on your breathing and being present throughout the day and before bed to see if this type of sleep meditation can help you.
Can Vitamins Help You Sleep
According to Dr. Umeda, While some natural remedies such as melatonin, valerian, magnesium or chamomile tea may help for some people, theres no definitive evidence from randomized controlled trials these are effective for typical insomnia, he says.
There are, though, some supplements that may help, but you should consult your healthcare provider for more information.
- Melatonin is a hormone thats related to sleep control. While it may be effective for shift work sleep disorder or jet lag, it hasnt been found to aid typical insomnia. It may increase the effect of warfarin , and it should not be used if you are pregnant.
- Valerian is an herb that may help improve sleep quality. It is considered safe if you take in recommended doses, but dont use if you are pregnant.
- Magnesium glycinate or magnesium citrate may also help improve sleep quality by changing the amount of some neurotransmitters that have a calming effect. Taking excessive amounts, however, can cause digestive issues like diarrhea. It can be used while you are pregnant, but please consult your Ob/Gyn.
- Chamomile tea may help you fall asleep and its generally considered safe.
Again, although these may be helpful, there are only a handful of well-designed studies with inconclusive results. More research is definitely needed.
Do This If You Need Help Staying Asleep She Says
If you have no trouble getting to sleep but struggle to stay asleep, Spencer recommends taking an extended-release melatonin formulation. “Immediate release of melatonin will help an individual fall asleep faster, but this can often wear off during the night. An extended-release formulation of melatonin will slowly release melatonin throughout the night, thus promoting a full night’s sleep,” she explains.
Spencer says if your sleep problems don’t seem to improve, you should discontinue your nightly melatonin use after one to two months. “After this time, I would reassess your sleep. Sleep aids are meant to help in the short term, but proper sleep routines, habits and hygiene are going to be your best bet for long-term sleep health,” she explains.
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The Problem With Sleeping Pills
While sleeping pills increase total sleep time and may reduce nighttime awakenings, they disrupt normal sleep architecture. Specifically, many significantly impair the ability to reach the deeper stages of non-REM sleep as well as REM sleep. This effect has been known for a long time and is the main reason these drugs often produce the feeling of a morning “hangover.” In contrast, several natural sleep enhancers appear to actually increase the time spent in the deeper levels of non-REM sleep allowing for the brain and body to get fully recharged.
Both prescription and over-the-counter drugs are associated with significant risks. The prescription drugs are highly addictive and produce side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, and impaired coordination. That is why you should not drive while on these drugs. And alcohol adds fuel to the fire with these side effects.
The most serious side effects of both prescription and over-the-counter sedative drugs relate to their effects on memory and behavior in the short term and an increased risk for depression, cognitive decline, and early death in the long term.1 The link with an increased risk for early death is particularly concerning. As of December 2020, over 24 population-based studies have shown this link. It may mean that the use of sleeping pills is just an indicator of stress, anxiety, insomnia, and depression. All of these factors are also associated with an increased risk for early death.
The Bottom Line On Sleep And Sleep Vitamins
Sleep is vitally important to every aspect of health and wellness. Sleep vitamins, in association with a gut-healthy diet, probiotics and good lifestyle habits, can help to get your sleep habits back on track.
Melatonin is among the best studied sleep supplements and can have a good effect on sleep quality. Other sleep vitamins, including herbals like lemon balm and passionflower may also be helpful.
My book, Healthy Gut, Healthy You, explains more about sleep and how it factors into your gut health and overall health. For more individualized guidance and support, including having an at-home sleep test, or being referred to a reputable myofunctional practitioner, request a consultation at my functional medicine center.
Links & Resources
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Be Ready To Face The Day With Vitamin D
While taking extra vitamin D wont help the average person, those deficient in it might get a much needed boost in sleep quality from it.
Research suggests there may be a link between low levels of vitamin D. and poor sleep quality.
The sunshine vitamin is thought to influence both sleep quality and quantity, and studies have shown that vitamin D deficiency is associated with less sleep overall and with more disrupted sleep.
Make Sure You Get Enough Magnesium
Magnesium is an essential mineral, which has been shown to both help people fall asleep and stay asleep for longer.18
Try taking a supplement or eating foods like tofu, spinach, almonds, avocados and dark chocolate to keep your levels up.
It is important to note that the research was tested out on elderly insomnia patients and so may not be as effective on the general population.
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Using Vitamins To Increase Energy Sharpen Focus And Decrease Tiredness
The vitamins listed above are more than capable of fixing fatigue, boosting energy levels, and promoting overall good health. But using just one of them is probably not going to make much of a difference to your energy on a day-to-day basis. You will not be able to tell which vitamin you are really lacking, and they all have quite small effects in the grand scheme of things.
The best way to use vitamins to increase energy levels is to use a supplement stack which contains several vitamins as well as other natural energy boosters.
This means you will be attacking tiredness on all fronts, which significantly increases your chances of success. Whats more, using multiple vitamins known to boost energy and decrease tiredness at the same time will give you results far greater than you get from the sum of the individual ingredients.
To learn more about the best energy supplements on sale right now, check out our natural energy supplement buying guide: .
To learn more about natural stimulants, see our Adderall alternatives page: .
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Best Supplements For Sleep According To Experts
Sleep, glorious sleep. We could all use more of it. And yetjust one more scroll through your favorite social media app, book chapter, podcast episode, late-night talk show. No more! If you’ve been biding time with nighttime distractions because you’ve been having trouble falling and staying asleep, know that help is on the way.
Turns out, a variety of natural supplements can help you enjoy a better night in dreamland. Below, registered dietitians weigh in on their top picks. As always, talk to your doctor before taking a new supplement. Read on, and for more on healthy eating, don’t miss 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.
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Dont Sleep On A Full Or Empty Stomach
When you eat a heavy meal late at night, your body will be more concerned about digesting your food as you sleep, rather than working on rest and repair.
It is much harder for your body to do this when youre awake, so try and avoid sleeping on a full stomach.
If you get peckish before bed, opt for a healthy light snack and foods to help you sleep like fruit or a small bowl of low-sugar cereal.
Valerian Root For Menopausal Sleep Concerns
Valerian root is another natural supplement thats made from the valerian herb native to Asia and Europe. The herbal supplement has shown promising results in studies centered on menopausal sleep issues with falling and staying asleep. Specifically, respondents noted that sleep quality was improved, and the incidence of sleep disorder symptoms was reduced after taking valerian root. However, the herbal supplement doesnt have enough research to support safe use in pregnant or lactating women.
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Understanding The Many Roles Of Vitamin A
Vitamin A is considered one of the 10 most important nutrients for human health. Its role in maintaining proper bodily function cannot be over-emphasized. Here are some of the key facts about vitamin A that consumers should think about when considering a supplement or wondering about how to restore energy levels:
-Vitamin A is in all kinds of foods, helps maintain good vision, aids in reproduction and is essential for the human immune systems function. For organs to operate as they should, vitamin A is vital, especially for kidneys, lungs, and the heart.
-There are two different kinds of vitamin A, provitamin A and performed. Dairy, fish, meat, and poultry contain preformed A, while provitamin A is found in plant-based foods, fruits, and many vegetables. Beta-carotene, for example, is a typical provitamin A supplement.
-Recommended amounts of vitamin A vary for individuals based on a number of factors, primarily their reproductive status and their age. Gender and body size also play a small role in the daily amount needed.
-Vitamin A supplements include those that contain only the vitamin itself, supplements that contain multiple vitamins, and specialized forms available in health food stores. Consumers can purchase retinol palmitate or retinol acetate, both of which are performed versions of the vitamin. There are many beta-carotene supplements, which are provitamin A versions. Other products on store shelves include combinations of preformed and provitamin A.
What Is Your Body Clock
Known as the circadian rhythm, this internal body clock is controlled by a part of the brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus and its on automatic repeat every 24 hours. It helps regulate our sleep and other functions such as our eating habits and body temperature.
Our body clock resets itself each day by using signals from external timekeepers, such as light and dark.
For example, when it gets dark at night, light-sensitive cells in our eyes send a message to our body clock causing it to inhibit the release of waking hormones cortisol and adrenaline, and increase the production of the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin.
Environmental factors like the amount of sunlight we get and blue light from the technology we use can greatly impact our body clock.
As a nation, we are now sleeping later and less than ever before. To find out exactly how and why our sleep has changed over the past 150 years, have a read of our article on the history of sleep.
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