When it comes to getting a good night’s sleep, vitamin supplements can be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Multivitamins and other supplements can actually lead to increased problems sleeping. If you have persistent problems with getting enough sleep, see a local sleep specialist rather than self-medicating with sleeping pills and vitamins.
The wake/sleep cycle tells you when to get sleepy and when to wake up in the morning, assuming your alarm clock does not tell you first. A delicate balance of neurotransmitters, which flush the brain with chemical signals, maintains this cycle. Vitamins and mineral supplements can interfere with the balance, especially when several vitamin supplements are used simultaneously.
Sleep Traits of Vitamin Takers
A 2009 study published in the journal “Sleep Medicine” found that people who regularly use vitamins and multivitamins have worse sleep than those who do not take vitamins. In particular, vitamin takers are more likely to have more disturbed sleep, more incidents of waking up during the night, and a greater rate of insomnia, or persistent problems getting to sleep.
Many people use B vitamins to increase dream vividness or lucid dreaming, according to Thomas Yuschak, author of “Advanced Lucid Dreaming.” However, Vitamins in the B-complex, such as B6, may cause nightmares as well as vivid dreams.
Vitamin B12 actually has been used to treat some sleep disorders by normalizing the sleep-wake cycle. Unfortunately, many incorrectly believe that B vitamins are therefore helpful for other sleep conditions, such as insomnia.
Vitamins are not benign. They are powerful substances and can be taken in excess. Vitamin B6 overdose symptoms include rapid breathing, loss of muscle coordination, clumsiness, pain and temporarily paralysis. If you are having problems sleeping, talk to your medical provider and bring a list of the vitamins and minerals you take on a daily basis.