Last Updated on October 9, 2022 by theworldofsleepstaff
Have you ever been in bed at night, trying to sleep, but found yourself wide awake? It’s frustrating, especially when you have to be up early for work in the morning.
There are many possible causes of insomnia, but one often-overlooked culprit is taking specific vitamins too close to bedtime.
While vitamins are important for overall health, some can keep you awake at night if they’re taken too close to bedtime. This article will cover which vitamins you should avoid taking before bed and why.
Disclaimer: You must always consult your doctor before including a new supplement or food into your daily routine as only your doctor can explain any pros or cons that are specific to you. Some supplements & foods may interfere with medications and/or cause allergic reactions.
Is It OK To Take Vitamins Before Bed?
Generally, it’s best to take vitamins earlier in the day, so your body has time to process and absorb them. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule.
For example, some people find that vitamin B12 helps them sleep better. Vitamin B12 is known as the “energy vitamin” because it plays a role in converting food into energy. It also produces melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate sleep.
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What Vitamins Should You Not Take Before Bed: The Top 9
Here are some of the most common vitamins to avoid before bed:
1. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin essential for many body functions, including forming collagen, absorbing iron, and boosting immunity.
While taking vitamin C supplements is generally safe, too close to bedtime can cause insomnia. This is because vitamin C is a stimulant and can keep you awake if taken in large doses.
It’s best to take vitamin C earlier in the day, so it doesn’t interfere with your sleep. If you need to take it at night, try a lower dose to reduce the risk of insomnia.
2 Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 is another water-soluble vitamin important for many body functions, including energy metabolism, immune function, and red blood cell formation.
Like vitamin C, vitamin B6 can also be a bit of a stimulant if taken in high doses. Unfortunately, this can keep you awake at night and make it difficult to fall asleep.
If you take vitamin B6 supplements, it’s best to do so earlier in the day.
Iron is a mineral that’s essential for the production of haemoglobin, which carries oxygen in the blood. It’s found in food sources like red meat, dark leafy greens, and beans.
While iron is important for overall health, taking supplements can be problematic if you have trouble sleeping. This is because iron can act as a stimulant and cause insomnia.
Some iron-deficient people may need to take supplements, but it’s best to do so earlier in the day.
Magnesium is a mineral involved in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It’s important for many functions, including energy production, muscle contraction, and nerve function.
Magnesium supplements can be helpful for people who are deficient in this mineral. However, taking too much magnesium can have a laxative effect and cause diarrhoea.
While magnesium diarrhoea is unlikely to keep you awake at night, it can disrupt your sleep if you have to wake up to go to the bathroom.
Taking magnesium earlier or in smaller doses reduces the risk of disrupting your sleep. However magnesium has also been known to help people fall asleep too, so it may depend on the person.
Calcium is a mineral that’s essential for bone health. It’s found in dairy products, leafy green vegetables, and supplements.
While calcium is important for overall health, taking too much can cause constipation. In addition, this can disrupt your sleep if you have to wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.
The fact that calcium can cause constipation is why many people recommend avoiding dairy before bed. However, if you need calcium supplements, it’s best to do so earlier in the day.
6. Vitamins B3, B5, and B9
These water-soluble vitamins are important for many functions in the body, including energy production, metabolism, and cell growth.
While they’re generally safe, taking large doses of these vitamins can cause insomnia. This is because they can act as stimulants and keep you awake at night.
Some doctors believe that taking these vitamins in the morning or afternoon can help reduce the risk of insomnia. However, it’s best to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements, especially if you have trouble sleeping.
7. Some Herbal Supplements
Many people take herbal supplements for their health benefits. While some herbs can be helpful for sleep, others can act as stimulants and keep you awake at night.
Some most common stimulant herbs include caffeine, guarana, and ephedra. Unfortunately, these supplements can interfere with sleep and make it difficult to fall asleep.
Herbal supplements can also interact with other medications you are taking. Therefore, if you take any medications before bed, you must talk to your doctor before taking any herbal supplements.
8. Vitamin B-12
Vitamin B-12 is an important nutrient involved in many of the body’s functions. It can be found in food sources like meat, poultry, and eggs.
Vitamin B-12 can also be taken as a supplement. However, taking too much vitamin B-12 can lead to side effects like anxiety, mania, and hallucinations.
9. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a nutrient that’s involved in bone health. It can be found in food sources like fatty fish, eggs, and fortified milk.
Many people are deficient in vitamin D, so that they may need supplements. However, taking too much vitamin D can lead to side effects like weakness, fatigue, and headache.
Some people who take vitamin D supplements find that they have trouble sleeping. In this regard, it’s best to talk to your doctor before taking vitamin D supplements, especially if you have trouble sleeping.
The Best Vitamins to Take Before Bedtime: Top Six
Many different vitamins and supplements can be taken before bedtime. However, not all of them are created equal. Some vitamins can disrupt your sleep or cause side effects.
That’s why it’s essential to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements, especially if you have trouble sleeping. With that said, here are some of the best vitamins to take before bedtime.
Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain. It aids in the regulation of sleep-wake cycles throughout the body.
Some people take melatonin supplements to help them fall asleep and stay asleep. Melatonin supplements are generally safe and don’t have many side effects.
However, taking too much melatonin can cause side effects like headaches, nausea, and dizziness.
It’s also important to note that melatonin supplements can interact with certain medications. So talk to your doctor before taking melatonin if you’re taking any medications.
2. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that’s involved in many functions in the body. It’s an antioxidant that can help protect cells from damage.
Vitamin E is also involved in the production of red blood cells and the maintenance of nerve function.
In addition, Vitamin E can help boost the immune system and fight off infections. For these reasons, many people take Vitamin E supplements.
Vitamin E is generally safe to take before bedtime. However, taking large doses of vitamin E can cause side effects like diarrhoea and nausea.
3. Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of healthy fat that’s found in fish, fish oil capsules, nuts, and seeds. They’re often taken as supplements to improve heart health and reduce inflammation.
Omega-3 fatty acids can also help improve sleep. Taking them before bedtime may help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
Zinc is a mineral that’s involved in many different processes in the body. For example, it’s vital for cell growth, wound healing, and the immune system.
Zinc can also help improve fertility in men. For these reasons, many people take zinc supplements.
Zinc supplements are generally safe to take before bedtime. However, taking too much zinc can cause side effects like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea.
It’s also important to note that zinc can interact with certain medications. So talk to your doctor before taking zinc if you take any medications.
Tryptophan is an amino acid in foods like turkey, chicken, and cheese. It’s often touted as a natural sleep aid because it’s a precursor to serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays a role in sleep.
Taking tryptophan supplements before bedtime may help you fall asleep faster and improve the quality of your sleep.
However, taking too much tryptophan can cause side effects like nausea and vomiting. It can also interact with certain medications.
6. Valerian Root Extract
Valerian root is a herb commonly used as a natural sleep aid. It’s thought to work by increasing levels of GABA, a neurotransmitter that promotes sleep.
It also contains valerenic acid, which has been shown to reduce the time it takes to fall asleep.
As well as being taken as a supplement, valerian root can be brewed into a tea. Drinking a cup of valerian root tea before bed may help you fall asleep more quickly and sleep for longer.
What Are The Side Effects Of Taking Vitamins Before Bed?
The most common side effect of taking vitamins before bed is waking up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. This is due to the increased water intake necessary when taking vitamins.
If you experience this side effect, try drinking more water daily and less before bed. You can also try taking your vitamins earlier in the day. If you experience other side effects, stop taking the supplement and talk to your doctor.
Top Tips for Taking Vitamins Before Bed
If you take vitamins before bed, you should keep a few things in mind.
1. Talk to your doctor:
Before taking any vitamins or supplements, you must talk to your doctor. This is especially true if you have any medical conditions or are taking any medications.
Your doctor can tell you if there are any risks associated with taking specific vitamins or supplements. They can also help you determine the proper dosage for your needs.
2. Start with the lowest possible dose:
Starting any new supplement with the lowest possible dose is essential. This will help you avoid any unwanted side effects.
If you don’t experience any side effects, you can gradually increase the dosage until you find the right amount.
3. Avoid taking too many supplements:
While vitamins and supplements can be helpful, avoiding taking too many is essential. Taking too many supplements can lead to side effects and may not be necessary for your health.
Before taking any new supplement, talk to your doctor to see if it’s right for you.
4. Be aware of potential side effects:
While most vitamins and supplements are safe, there are some potential side effects you should be aware of. These include:
If you experience any side effects, stop taking the supplement and talk to your doctor.
5. Choose a reputable brand:
When buying vitamins and supplements, choosing a reputable brand is essential. Many different brands are available, so do your research to find the right one.
Certain brands may use higher quality ingredients than others. They may also be more expensive, but they’re worth the investment.
6. Store vitamins properly:
Vitamins and supplements should be stored properly to maintain their efficacy. Follow the storage instructions on the packaging or talk to your pharmacist for guidance.
7. Don’t take more than you need:
You shouldn’t take more vitamins or supplements than you need. Taking too much of specific vitamins can be harmful to your health.
Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you’re unsure how much to take. They can help you determine the proper dosage for your needs.
8. Consider timing:
Taking vitamins and supplements can be just as important as how much you take. In addition, certain vitamins are best taken at specific times of the day.
For example, vitamin C is best absorbed when taken on an empty stomach. Fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K are best taken with a meal that contains fat.
Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about the best time of day to take your particular vitamin or supplement.