Vitamin C for a good night’s sleep & insomnia!

A daily vitamin C dose of 250 mg has beneficial effects on sleep quality and duration. It may affect:

  • difficulty of falling asleep
  • insomnia
  • sleep-related breathing disorders
  • daytime sleepiness
  • restless legs syndrome
  • sleep apnea

How many hours of sleep do we need per night?

The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7–9 hours of sleep per night for healthy adults of 26–64 years old. Seniors need only 7–8 hours of sleep per night.

Adults who sleep less than 6 hours and elderly people who sleep less than 5 hours of sleep per night have insufficient sleep.

Sleep disorders are dangerous

Certainly, sleep disorders impair the quality of life, and increase the risk of diseases, such as hypertension, stroke, type 2 diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, mood disorders, and dementia. Additionally, sleep disorders significantly increase the risk of road traffic injuries.[1]

Can insomnia cause vitamin C deficiency?

Oxidative stress is a common cause of sleep-related disorders! Pollution, sun radiation, lack of exercise, smoking, or poor diet can increase free radicals in the body. High amounts of free radicals lead to oxidative stress. Antioxidants, such as vitamin C, neutralize free radicals, helping us sleep!

Scientists found that people who sleep 7–8 hours per night have optimal levels of vitamin C. On the contrary, people who sleep less than 4 hours per night have significantly lower levels of vitamin C!

Actually, vitamin C deficiency has been associated with increased risk of moderate to severe insomnia symptoms! Common causes of insomnia are also depression, anxiety disorders, and psychosocial stress. These are associated with oxidative damage. High dosages of vitamin C are necessary for fighting oxidative stress.

For instance, vitamin C can help people with depression sleep better, as it’s necessary for the production of dopamine and serotonin. These compounds support good mood.

Also, vitamin D has beneficial effects on depression.

Moreover, high doses of vitamin C may help people with obstructive sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome.

You can take high dose of vitamin C either from food or supplements. Even dosages higher than 1,000 mg from supplements are pretty safe.

Actually, people with sleep issues, due to vitamin C deficiency, may benefit from taking vitamin C supplements, without the side effects of other traditional medications.

Vitamin C may reduce side effects of insomnia

Chronic poor sleep can significantly increase cortisol levels and plasma glucose! Vitamin C can reduce high cortisol and glucose levels! Also, vitamin C improves insulin secretion.[2]

Furthermore, chronic poor sleep can impair memory! But, high doses of vitamin C can prevent spatial memory impairment, improving antioxidant defense mechanisms of the hippocampus.[3]

How much vitamin C per day for a good night’s sleep?

The recommended daily intake of vitamin C is 75 mg for women and 90 mg for men. Smokers, pregnant and lactating women, people with diabetes, people who want to lose weight, and athletes need higher doses, though.[4]

In most cases, a daily vitamin C dose of 250-500 mg is more than enough for treating insomnia. You can get 250 mg of vitamin C per day by eating 5 servings of fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C.

In fact, a fruit salad for dinner supports a good night’s sleep. Not only is it high in vitamin C, but also it’s packed with many other vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

If you have to get higher dosages, you might benefit from taking supplements. You can find a wide variety of vitamin C supplements on iHerb.

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