The great F. Scott Fitzgerald once said, “The worst thing in the world is to try to sleep and not to.” While Mr. Fitzgerald may be exaggerating that insomnia is the “worst” thing in the world, it truly does feel that way when you lay awake at night stressing about your inability to fall asleep. Greater than 60 million Americans struggle with insomnia, or habitual sleeplessness (NPR, n.d.). We are often tempted to go for the “quick fix” for sleep deprivation and consume sleeping pills. While these pills provide us with a temporary solution to our sleeplessness they often become addictive and have side effects that make us even more tired the next day than lack of sleep. Furthermore, these sleeping pills only take care of the symptom of not being able to sleep and not the underlying factors that are causing us to lay awake at night.
There are multiple factors that impact the ability to fall asleep or stay asleep and they can range anywhere from caffeine or sugar intake, stress levels, light exposure, diet and exercise, sleep environment, alcohol consumption, and much more. For the bariatric community, sleep deprivation is a common issue. Laboratory and epidemiological studies point to short sleep duration as a new risk factor for the development of obesity and its complications (US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, n.d.). One of the less talked about yet vastly important factors that impact sleep is vitamin and mineral malnutrition. For bariatric patients, we know the effects of vitamin and mineral deficiency and the importance of taking a quality multivitamin daily for proper bodily function following surgery. It turns out that many of the vitamins and minerals bariatric patients need for a healthy lifestyle are also very important for sleep.
The following vitamins and minerals play a major role in sleep regulation:
1. Vitamin B- The B vitamins consist of Thiamin (B1), Riboflavin (B2), Niacin (B3), Pantothenic Acid (B5), Pyridoxine (B6), Biotin (B7), Folic Acid (B9), and Cyanocobalamin (B12), all of which play an essential role for bodily function. B vitamins regulate chemical processes in the central nervous system which has a major impact on mood and sleep.
2. Magnesium – Mg relaxes the brain and heart by regulating blood flow, activates the parasympathetic nervous system (responsible for fight-or-flight mode), and regulates the sleep hormone melatonin. Melatonin controls our circadian rhythm and is naturally produced in the body.
3. Iron – Iron deficiency has a multitude of negative health impacts on the body. Specific to sleep, iron deficiency causes a lack of healthy red blood cells which impacts oxygen levels and contributes to poor sleep quality.
4. Potassium – Potassium has been linked to improved sleep quality and duration. While magnesium helps you fall asleep, potassium helps you stay asleep.
5. Calcium – Remember when your mom told you to drink warm milk before bed? It turns out that calcium plays a major role in preventing sleep disturbances. Way to go mom!
(Insomnia.net, n.d.), (Power of Positivity, n.d.)
Vita4Life’s Multi-Plus product offers a complete multivitamin that contains all 5 vitamins and minerals mentioned above that contribute to better sleep. For bariatric patients who are deficient in certain minerals due to difficulties with absorption, Vita4Life offers excellent iron plus B12 and calcium supplements. Vita4Life products never contain fillers and dissolve quickly for maximum absorption. Our supplements are designed specifically for patients of bariatric surgery that depend on the full bioavailability of the vitamins and minerals. We will never cut corners in our manufacturing methods to make sure we are providing the highest quality supplement possible!
Now make sure you are taking a quality multivitamin and start improving your sleep today!
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