Many individuals take dietary supplements, such as vitamins and minerals, to fill nutritional gaps in their diet. However, there is not enough evidence to suggest that vitamins are the cause of insomnia. Some research has identified a relationship between vitamins and an increase or decrease in the quality of a person's sleep. Tryptophan is an essential dietary amino acid that the body uses to produce serotonin, a chemical that helps regulate sleep, and melatonin.
This nutrient can be found in protein-rich foods such as nuts and seeds like sunflower, chia, sesame and pumpkin. Cheese, tofu, red meat, poultry, eggs, beans, and oats are also good sources of tryptophan. The body needs a variety of nutrients to produce melatonin, including the right B vitamins. A study published in the Journal of Research of Medical Science found that adding a supplement to elderly participants improved insomnia symptoms and sleep quality.
Magnesium supplements have been shown to improve sleep in older people and those with restless legs syndrome. Additionally, some studies suggest that 5-HTP supplements made from plant seeds may help you sleep more. Increasing vitamin D levels with supplements can suppress the generation of melatonin and cause sleep disorders. For this reason, it is recommended to take vitamin D supplements in the morning to replicate the way the body synthesizes them from sunlight, rather than taking them at night.
It is best to get most of your vitamins from a healthy, balanced diet instead of supplements. However, if you want to take or are taking certain vitamins or supplements for your sleep problems, be sure to check with your healthcare provider first.