Does vitamin C help you sleep more & deal with insomnia?

vitamin C & sleep

Vitamin C is important for sleep. As a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C may improve sleep quality, help increase sleep duration, reduce sleep disturbances, relieve movement disorders, decrease the effects of sleep apnea, and help people with insomnia.

Sleep disorders are dangerous for our health

Eating habits are vital for quality sleep. Nutrients, such as vitamin C, may affect sleep quality, difficulty falling asleep, insomnia, sleep-related breathing disorders, increased daytime sleepiness, restless legs syndrome, and duration of sleep.

Certainly, sleep disorders impair the quality of life. Moreover, they 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]

How many hours of sleep do we need per night?

The National Sleep Foundation guidelines recommends 7-9 h of sleep per night for healthy adults of 26–64 years old. Elderly need only 7-8 h of sleep per night.

Adults who sleep less than 6 h a night and elderly with fewer than 5 h of sleep have insufficient sleep.

On the other hand, more than 9h of sleep is significantly associated with mortality, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, coronary heart disease, and obesity!

Can vitamin C help you sleep more?

Oxidative stress is a common cause of sleep-related disorders! Pollution, sun radiation, lack of exercise, 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!

Besides vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein, zeaxanthin, and selenium are also beneficial antioxidants for better sleep and increased sleep duration.

Scientists found that people who sleep 7-8 h per night have optimal levels of vitamin C, along with other antioxidant compounds. On the contrary, people who sleep fewer than 4 h per night have significantly lower levels of vitamin C!

Vitamin C is necessary for quality sleep

If you’re tired, all the time, maybe you have low-quality sleep. Especially if you feel sleepy in the daytime.

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. Vitamin C which has powerful antioxidant properties is necessary for fighting oxidative stress. Therefore, vitamin C is good against psychological causes of insomnia!

For instance, vitamin C can help people with depression sleep better, as it’s necessary for the production of dopamine and serotonin. These compounds play a key role in good mood. So, chronic vitamin C deficiency may lead to bad mood and depression which are common causes of poor sleep! Moreover, vitamin D is good for depression.

Moreover, high doses of vitamin C may help people with obstructive sleep apnea and decreasing restless legs syndrome. Most noteworthy, vitamin C supplements are pretty safe. People with sleep issues can benefit from taking vitamin C supplements without the adverse 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 supplementation reduced cortisol and glucose levels! Also, vitamin C improved insulin secretion.[2]

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

What’s the recommended daily intake?

The recommended daily intake of vitamin C is 75 mg for women and 90 mg for men.[4] Smokers, pregnant or lactating women need higher doses, though.

How much vitamin C can I take safely?

The upper safe limit for vitamin C is 2,000 mg a day. Certainly, vitamin C supplements are safe. As a rule of thumb, you can take a daily vitamin C dose of 1,000 mg. Besides insomnia and poor sleep, vitamin C helps you lose weight, protects eyes, and boosts the immune system.

Moreover, much higher doses of vitamin C may be beneficial for people with insomnia. For instance, according to many studies, vitamin C can help patients with cancer to sleep. Actually, insomnia and other sleep disturbances are common symptoms related to cancer and cancer therapy. Huge doses of vitamin C improved significantly the quality of life of patients! Doctors gave patients vitamin C doses up to 100g twice a week!

In any case, you should get at least 100 mg of vitamin C from food. That’s 5 servings of fruits and vegetables. Additionally, you may benefit from taking an extra vitamin C dose of 500 mg from supplements.

Above all, you should consult your health care provider before taking any supplement.

Can foods rich in vitamin C help me sleep?

People who sleep 7–8 h per day have the higher levels of plasma vitamin C. Fruits and vegetables are the main dietary sources of vitamin C. Therefore, eating 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day can help you sleep!

Foods high in vitamin C are oranges, lemons, grapefruit, kiwi, strawberries, grapefruit, papaya, pepper, broccoli, cauliflower, mustard greens, and tomatoes. See the whole list here.

The easiest way to boost your daily intake of vitamin C is to drink a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice. It contains about 125 mg of vitamin C! Don’t worry, orange juice won’t make you gain weight, despite being high in sugars.

Can I take vitamin C supplements before sleep?

You can take vitamin C late at night, but you should prefer taking vitamin C in the morning. Moreover, you absorb more vitamin C when you take la couple of lower doses throughout the day, instead of a high dose in the morning.

Can vitamin C make you sleepy?

Vitamin C has low toxicity. Most people can take high doses without any serious adverse effects. Too much vitamin C may cause diarrhea, nausea, or abdominal cramps. But, vitamin C supplements won’t make you sleepy.