Last Updated on February 17, 2019
Did you know vitamin and mineral deficiency can cause long-term sleeplessness and other sleep-related problems? If gadgets and gizmos haven't made you sleep better, perhaps a quality supplement can. But with so many to choose from, how do you decide which ones to pick? To make the task easier, we've outlined some of the best vitamins for sleep below and provide you with relevant information about vitamins and sleep.
- 1 Melatonin
- 2 Magnesium
- 3 Iron
- 4 Potassium
- 5 B6
- 6 B12
- 7 D3
- 8 What Are the Best Vitamins for Sleep?
- 9 What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Vitamins for Sleep?
- 10 How to Choose the Best Vitamins for Sleep
- 11 Reviews of the Best Vitamins for Sleep
- 12 Conclusion
Natrol Melatonin Tablets
KAL Magnesium Glycinate Tablets
MegaFood Iron Supplement Tablets
Country Life Potassium Tablets
Solgar Vitamin B6 Tablets
Jarrow Formulas Methyl B12 Lozenges
NatureWise Vitamin D3 Soft Gels
What Are the Best Vitamins for Sleep?
While there are several types of vitamins that aid sleep, we've identified seven key ones to help get you started:
Melatonin – One of the most studied natural sleep aids, melatonin supplements increase the production of melatonin, the hormone responsible for regulating sleep and wake cycles. As such, it's one of the best supplements to combat insomnia and jet lag (read our detailed article about melatonin here).
Magnesium – If muscle conditions like restless leg syndrome, twitches, and cramps prevent you from sleeping, magnesium may be the answer. Known as a powerful relaxant, magnesium is also one of the best ways to calm the central nervous system when gripped by anxiety or depression (read our detailed article about magnesium here).
Iron – A vital mineral, iron deficiency (anemia) can lead to muscle-related conditions like restless leg syndrome, tingling, and numbness, making sleep a challenge.
Potassium – Do you have difficulty staying asleep through the night? If so, you may be potassium deficient (hypokalemia) in which case a potassium supplement may help. Additionally, this mineral acts as an effective muscle and nerve relaxant. Research also suggests potassium has a direct link to slow-wave sleep — the deepest phase of a normal sleep cycle (source).
Vitamin B6 – This vitamin stimulates the production of serotonin, a brain neurotransmitter known for its calming properties. It also helps increase the cortisol awakening response, making it easier to wake up in the mornings.
Vitamin B12 – If you experience neuropathic symptoms like burning sensations or tingling in the hands and feet especially at night, vitamin B12 may give you a more restful sleep. It also plays an important part in melatonin production, the "sleep hormone" discussed above.
Vitamin D – Do you have trouble sleeping more than five hours per night? If so, you may be vitamin D deficient (hypovitaminosis D) in which case a quality vitamin D supplement may help. Furthermore, vitamin D can help alleviate muscle and bones aches, both of which may affect sleep.
What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Vitamins for Sleep?
Each vitamin and mineral discussed above affect both sleep quantity and quality. From relaxing muscles and alleviating neuropathic pain to calming the mind and regulating sleep cycles, the right combination of vitamins and minerals can make a dramatic, positive impact on sleep. But there are downsides…
Since most supplements aren't regulated by the FDA and don't include warnings about excessive use, customers naturally assume they're harmless. But overloading the body with sleep supplements like melatonin night after night may affect hormonal development and other natural body cycles (source). That's why it's always best to consult your physician first about these matters.
How to Choose the Best Vitamins for Sleep
Look for a seal of approval – When evaluating a supplement, look for credible scientific and medical research backing. While not a deal breaker, it's still a good way to gauge effectiveness and find out the right dosage for your sleep-related issue.
Select a high-quality vitamin and the right form – Vitamin and mineral supplements sometimes come in many forms. For example, magnesium sells as magnesium chloride, sulfate, taurate, citrate, glycinate, and others. Each of these compounds absorbs differently in the body and have different therapeutic purposes. Additionally, vitamins derived from pure and natural sources tend to be more effective than clinically prepared ones. To take out the guesswork, we've included reviews of seven quality sleep supplements below.
Determine the best way to take supplements and understand dosages – With regard to sleep ingredients and dosages, more isn't always better. It's more sensible to go with a lower dose supplement promising higher performance than the other way around. Also, people with digestive problems and/or the inability to swallow pills may have to consider oral sprays, liquid supplements, and topical methods instead.
Check out cost and availability – Ideally, sleep vitamins should be inexpensive and readily available. Watch out for ineffective counterfeits which tend to be cheaper than the original.
Reviews of the Best Vitamins for Sleep
This fast-acting, vegan-friendly product allows you to fall asleep quickly soon after taking it (within 20 minutes or so) and its time-released formula keeps you asleep through the night. Apart from melatonin, it also includes vitamin B6, which enhances the effectiveness of melatonin.
Natrol melatonin tablets are among the best melatonin supplements on the market today, with the majority of consumers clearly satisfied.
KAL Magnesium Glycinate is designed to help relax muscles and ease restlessness, providing you with a better night's sleep. Each tablet contains 400mg of natural magnesium in the form of magnesium glycinate — arguably the best form to induce calm (source). A daily regimen of two tablets per day can prepare you for a restful night.
KAL is a well received brand and their magnesium supplement is no exception.
MegaFood iron supplements are made of FoodState C vitamins, organic oranges from Uncle Matt and beetroot from Stahlbush Island Farms — all fresh and natural blood nourishing ingredients inspected and approved by a team of scientists at the University of New Hampshire. Furthermore, it's mineral-bound yeast formula makes it easy to digest.
If common iron-deficient conditions like restless leg syndrome prevent you from falling asleep, a quality iron supplement like the MegaFood brand may help.
Country Life potassium tablets help boost potassium levels in the body, relaxing muscles and nerves for a restful night's sleep. This vegetarian and gluten-free supplement also aids digestion and circulation for better overall health.
Country Life is a reputable brand with excellent customer reviews across their entire product line, including this potassium supplement.
In addition to helping maintain a healthy metabolism, these all-natural, vegan-friendly vitamin B6 tablets raise serotonin levels, which induces sleepiness. Plus, its high solubility helps the B6 absorb quickly into the bloodstream.
The only noticeable downside of the Solgar Vitamin B6 supplement is tablet size, which may be too large for some people to swallow. Otherwise, this B6 supplement is a solid choice.
Among other benefits, the Jarrow Formula Vitamin B12 lozenges increase and speed up the production of melatonin, the hormone responsible for aiding sleep. It also helps alleviate neuropathy which can cause insomnia and other sleep-related issues.
These chewable lozenges feature several natural flavors including lemon, cherry, and tropical. Its highly soluble nature delivers vitamin B12 efficiently into the bloodstream and works fast.
Naturewise Vitamin D3 is a non-GMO, gluten-free, olive oil-based supplement that helps relieve common sleep disruptors, namely muscle and bone aches. This product can also help those suffering from insufficient sleep due to vitamin D deficiency.
These softgels are easy to swallow and digest with no perceivable aftertaste. Tested and verified by a third party, this supplement is a winner.
While this article discusses several best vitamins for sleep, we recommend limiting yourself to one initially to gauge your body's reaction. Melatonin should be on top of your list as it's most directly linked to sleep and the Natrol Melatonin Tablets are a good place to start. If don't see results after several days, try the KAL Magnesium Glycinate Tablets, followed by the others. Stay persistent and you'll find what works for you!
Now Over to You!
What are your thoughts about using vitamins for sleep? Leave your comments below!