New research links low folic acid levels to difficulty sleeping, suggesting supplementation may be beneficial to the prevention of insomnia, potentially via a direct impact on the body’s circadian rhythm.
Research is increasingly linking poor sleep to poor nutrition. A study conducted in the United States found that people who get fewer than seven hours of sleep per night on average consume lower amounts of vitamins A, D, B1 and B3, as well as the minerals magnesium, calcium, zinc, and phosphorus.
Omega-3 fatty acids have also been shown to be important, with research showing that people with low levels of these nutrients are more likely to have sleep difficulties. Supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids has been found to improve sleep quality in adults aged over 45.
The possibility that vitamin D deficiency is associated with a higher risk of sleep disorders is supported by several studies. A meta-analysis published in 2018 examined 9 studies involving 9,397 participants and found that serum levels of vitamin D were inversely associated with the risk of sleep problems. Other evidence similarly suggests that low serum levels of the mineral calcium may disrupt sleep-wake control and rest-activity rhythm, even if they are within the normal range. Calcium requires sufficient levels of vitamin D in order to be properly absorbed into the body.
To learn more about the effects of nutrition on sleep and sleep disorders, see this study on the United States National Library of Medicine’s PubMed website.