Sleep Nutrients – Are they really vital?

health lifestyle sleep Feb 05, 2018
Dr Cheryl Kam - Blog - Functional medicine coach - Singapore - Sleep Nutrients – Are they really vital?

When was the last time you had a good night's sleep? Proper sleep is vital in our health. Here are nutrients that will improve your sleep health.


Sleep is an important factor for our health and survival. 

Even if you don't eat extremely well, you can still hope to live around 75 years.

But in the case of sleep, the Guinness World Record for the sleep deprivation is only 11 days.

In my years of practice, we will reach a road block if we optimize everything but don't address the causes of bad sleep.  Quantity and quality count.  





Increased Productivity


Sleep deprivation has been shown to effect brain functioning while good sleep can enhance memory and problem-solving skills. 


Lower Risk of Heart Disease


Increased risk of heart diseases and stroke is linked with less than 7-8 hours of sleeping. 


Improved Immune System


Regularly having 8 hours of good sleep improves immune function and reduces incidences of the common cold.

Restore and heal body functions


Human Growth hormone is released during deep sleep and this helps the body recover from injuries such as sore muscles or wounds.  




Among various reasons of not being able to get enough sleep, one of the primary reason is nutrient deficiency (such as magnesium). Main sleeping problems linked with lack of nutrients include:


Insomnia- Magnesium or calcium deficiency can cause trouble in getting enough sleep as it leads to anxiety and nervousness making it hard to sleep.

Fatigue & Lethargy- Being torpid or tired during the day has been found to be link with vitamin D deficiency. 

Sleeping Too Much- Deficiency of iron, folic acid or Vitamin B12 could result is expanded sleeping hours.  This is because anemia causes extreme fatigue, muscle weakness and wooziness. 




Right nutritional requirements must be fulfilled in order to get good night’s sleep.

The nutrients that can help you sleep better include:

Magnesium- Low level of magnesium is found to be linked with sleeping disorders. It is an important nutrient of human body, involved in many physiological functions such as muscle relaxation and energy production. It is a vital component of many biochemical enzymes as well. Major sources of magnesium are green leafy vegetable, beans and nuts.

Valerian- The root of this herb has been used for centuries and proven itself highly effective towards treating insomia and anxiety. It achieves this by raising Gamma Amino Butyric Acid (GABA) in the brain.  GABa is the neurotransmitter which signals the brain to calm down, helping the body to get sleepy naturally.

L-theanine- This amino acid is found most abundantly in teas, especially green tea. It is able to down regulate anxiety in the brain, thus promoting relaxation; aiding in falling asleep quicker and also, lengthening the duration of a deep sleep.

Melatonin- A natural hormone best known for regulating sleep and wake cycles in the body. Optimally, melatonin levels rise after sunset to help fall asleep, and drops when the sun rise to prepare the body to wake. However, stress, artificial lighting, jet lag or late activities forces our body to defy its own internal sleeping clock.  Short term use of Melatonin is key to resetting this internal clock back to its natural sleep cycle.

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