For Natural Insomnia Relief, Try Vitamin B Complex

Many people who have trouble sleeping at night turn to melatonin pills as a natural solution for insomnia, but instead of taking the hormone, why not boost your body’s ability to naturally produce it?

Vitamin B12 plays a crucial role in melatonin production. Melatonin, the body’s “sleep hormone,” helps you fall asleep at night and enjoy deep rest straight through until morning. As we get older, it often becomes more and more difficult to enjoy a good night’s sleep, mainly because the body’s production of melatonin declines with age. Furthermore, doctors have recently observed that a significant percentage of Americans over age 60—as many as one in four—suffer from a B12 deficiency. Without B12, the body can’t produce the melatonin it requires to give you the sleep you need.

Doctors have prescribed B12 to treat insomnia in many patients. Two small clinical trials, published in Sleep, 1990 and Jpn J Psychiatr Neurol, 1991 showed that people suffering from insomnia experienced an improvement after receiving supplemental B12.~Furthermore, folic acid (B9), another essential vitamin for healthy sleep cycles, improves in effectiveness when taken alongside B12. B12 also helps folic acid regulate the formation of red blood cells and absorption of iron, a key component in sleep health.

For many people, restless leg syndrome (RLS) can be a barrier to a healthy night’s sleep. Research has shown that RLS is related to a folate deficiency, and that taking supplemental folic acid (B9) can reduce RLS, allowing for an uninterrupted night of deep rest. Taking B12 alongside B9 is recommended in these cases, both for absorption and also to ensure folic acid doesn’t mask a B12 deficiency.

If you suffer from a B12 deficiency—and a surprising number of people these days do—taking the vitamin will not only improve your sleep at night, but boost your energy levels during the day, increase your ability to focus, and promote digestive, cardiac, and immune health as well.