“Numerous factors can contribute to poor sleep, including vitamin and mineral deficiencies.” ~ Dr. Joseph Mercola
Combined, vitamins and minerals – also known as essential nutrients – are responsible for hundreds of functions in the body. They are absolutely critical to good health – and are often the reason for not-so-good health. In fact, long-term vitamin and mineral deficiencies can lead to the development of potentially life-threatening diseases and illnesses.
Though vitamins and minerals are often grouped together, there are some significant differences between the two:
– Minerals are non-organic and maintain their chemical structure. They are found in soil and water; thus are introduced into the body through the animals, fish, fluids, and plants that we eat.
– Vitamins are organic, and are broken down by air, acid, and heat. Since vitamins are so fragile, they are more difficult to absorb.
Why is this distinction important? Because both internal and external influences (body, environment, stress, insomnia, etc.) can lead to malnutrition; mainly through a shortage of vitamins within the body, but also through a lack of minerals. Further, the chemical makeup of vitamins necessitates additional dosing under certain conditions, such as those mentioned above.
Vitamins, Nutrients, and Sleep
“Sleep is important.” We’ve heard these three words – or some variation of them – over and over again. Yet, despite the mass of knowledge available explaining the essential nature of sleep, many of us shrug it off.
When we see a doctor about our sleep troubles, they are all-too-eager to prescribe a “knock-me-out pill.” (See: “Valium, Xanax, usage.”) It’s more time-consuming to evaluate things like diet and exercise and how they may be affecting our shut-eye.
It goes without saying that both diet and exercise profoundly influence sleep quality. Relatedly, both have various effects on the absorption and activity of vitamins and minerals.
Very quickly, here is a list of vital tasks that both minerals and vitamins perform – most of which directly affect sleep: