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How to sleep: Certain vitamin supplements can ‘prepare’ you for a good night’s sleep

It is thought one in three of us will experience sleep problems at least once in our lives. There are a number of factors that can make sleep more difficult, from stress and anxiety to health conditions. Luckily there are also steps we can take to try to get some shut eye.

According to nutrition and wellness operators Made4Vitamins, certain supplements can aid sleep.

They said: “For those struggling to get the required nutrition in their daily diet, regular and tailored vitamin supplements can help improve the quality of your sleep.

“For example, vitamin B12 supports your body’s regular metabolism, which can help properly prepare you for sleep at night.

“Other supplements, like 5-HTP and melatonin, can regulate your mood, appetite and sleep, to ensure a consistent night’s sleep.

READ MORE: Sleep: Washing your sheets infrequently could raise your risk of three ‘deadly’ conditions

“Often, the vitamins that you need to achieve a particular function, such as better-quality sleep or improved gut health, depend on demographic factors such as age, sex and ethnicity, so make sure you do your research.”

Their claim about vitamin B12 was supported by a case report, published in Sleep journal.

The report recounted how two patients, suffering for “many years” from sleep-wake rhythm disorders were given vitamin B12.

It says: “One patient was a 15-year-old blind girl suffering from a free-running sleep-wake rhythm (hypernychthemeral syndrome) with a period of about 25 hours.

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“In spite of repeated trials to entrain her sleep-wake cycle to the environmental 24-hour rhythm, her free-running rhythm persisted for about 13 years.

“When she was 14 years old, administration of vitamin B12 per os was started at the daily dose of 1.5mg three times a day.

“Shortly thereafter, her sleep-wake rhythm was entrained to the environmental 24-h rhythm, and her 24-hour sleep-wake rhythm was maintained while she was on the medication.

“Within two months of the withholding of vitamin B12, her free-running sleep-wake rhythm reappeared.”

The second patient was a 55-year-old man suffering from delayed sleep phase syndrome.

“After administration of vitamin B12 at the daily doses of 1.5mg, his sleep-wake rhythm disorder was improved,” it says.

“The good therapeutic effect lasted for more than six months while he was on the medication.”

What is vitamin B12?

Vitamin B12 is found in lots of animal products such as meat, cheese and eggs.

It has several functions in the body including helping to make DNA and red blood cells.

Without enough B12 the body can’t produce healthy red blood cells, which are needed to carry oxygen around the body.

Therefore, B12 deficiency symptoms include things such as fatigue and weakness.

If you are unable to get enough B12 through diet you can take supplements in tablet form.

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