Insomnia is a disorder that can make it hard to fall asleep, stay asleep, or both. How much sleep is needed per night varies from person to person, but most adults need 7-8 hours of sleep nightly. Causes of insomnia can include: stress, anxiety, depression, certain medications or medial conditions, changes in environment or work schedule, and caffeine, nicotine or alcohol use. Your doctor may recommend blood work to check for medical conditions which may cause insomnia. If the cause of your insomnia is not clear, or if you have signs of other conditions such as sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome, your physician may order a sleep study.
How can vitamins and minerals help insomnia sufferers? Niacin (vitamin B3) increases REM sleep and improves the quality and quantity of sleep. Vitamin B12 helps to normalize the sleep-wake cycle. Folate and vitamin B6 help with the regulation of sleep patterns. Optimal vitamin A levels are needed to regulate non-REM sleep and improve restfulness. Oleic acid (a fatty acid) helps regulate our drive for sleep; it also facilitates vitamin A absorption. Magnesium promotes better quality sleep and helps alleviate symptoms of restless leg syndrome. Finally, optimal levels of zinc and copper help regulate sleep duration.
Dr. Anne Hermann, a holistic internal medicine physician, is pleased to offer comprehensive insomnia evaluation and treatment management options to her patients. Dr. Hermann is also board certified in nutrition. Dr. Hermann maintains offices in Tampa and St. Petersburg Beach, Florida. Please contact the office at (813) 902-9559 for more information or to schedule an appointment.