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Vitamin B12 for Sleep


Vitamin B12 for Sleep



DISCLAIMER: This article has been written for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.


In the present day, when life is occupied by busy schedules and full of stressful events, it is difficult to fall asleep quickly. These sleep problems are associated with biological factors like nutrient deficiencies, imbalanced hormones, and changes in neurotransmitter levels. Vitamin B12 is known for its ability to improve sleep quality, boost mood, and increase focus and brain functions.

Getting a sufficient amount of vitamin B12 is essential for red blood cell production, improving sleep quality, boosting brain health, and maintaining a healthy body system. Fortunately, the vast majority get enough vitamin B12 from a daily diet that they do not need to take in supplements, as this micronutrient is found abundantly in many foods. However, you should be aware of how much vitamin b12 you require and the proper time to take it for better absorption.

In this article, we’ll discuss the vitamin B12 association with sleep, whether it helps fall asleep quickly and how to take vitamin supplements for sleep problems. Before we dive deep into sleep-promoting abilities, we need to comprehend what vitamin B12 is?

What Is Vitamin B12?

Cobalamins, commonly known as vitamin B12 is soluble in water and is the essential nutrient the body cannot produce on its own and get from either food or supplements.

It is available in supplements and found abundantly in some foods like organ meat, shellfish, sardines, clams, fortified cereals, nutritional yeasts, eggs, and fortified non-dairy milk. To meet the body’s demand, Vitamin B12 is needed at a dose of 2.4 mcg/day while the reference amount is higher in pregnant and nursing women. A protein called intrinsic factor helps the absorption of cobalamin by the stomach.

Why do we need Vitamin B12?

Vitamin B12 has a significant role in RBC formation, body metabolism, neuronal functions, and DNA synthesis. [1]

Insufficient vitamin intake can lead to a severe deficiency known as megaloblastic anemia causing tiredness, weakness, and decreased neuronal function. Vitamin B12 deficiency occurs either due to reduced intake of this nutrient from diet or improper absorption due to leaky gut or lack of intrinsic factors.

Vitamin B12 Connection with Sleep

There is a lot of research revealing the effects of vitamin B12 on sleep and brain health. It is claimed that cobalamin has a direct or indirect effect on sleep, it calms the nerves, improves brain health, and induces sleep.

Taking vitamin B12 regularly helps people having difficulty falling asleep, and suffering from insomnia. It also helps improve sleep quality in healthy individuals and makes them get restful sleep. But, how does vitamin B12 improve sleep?

Studies have shown that Vitamin B12 has the potential to regulate melatonin levels, a hormone that helps in a good night's sleep. This essential vitamin affects the methionine cycle that helps maintain diurnal rhythm and regulates the mechanism involved in the transformations of indoles in pinealocytes. The methionine cycle provides S-adenosyl methionine, a naturally occurring compound as the end product.

S-adenosyl methionine also known as SMEs provides a methyl group for various chemical and metabolic processes occurring in the body. These SMEs are associated with melatonin production and regulate the enzymes responsible for converting n-acetyl serotonin to melatonin. [2]

Studies demonstrated that melatonin is greatly associated with improved sleep and promoted brain health. It does so by

  • Inducing sleep
  • Helping you fall asleep quickly
  • Increasing your sleep
  • Improving the sleep quality
  • Increasing alertness and concentration
  • Relieving sleep problems like insomnia.

A 24-hour internal clock or sleep-wake cycle influences the production of melatonin, this circadian rhythm that runs in the brain regulates sleep and wakefulness. Vitamin B12 works acts on pineal glands and causes the production of melatonin at night times which helps you fall asleep at night.

Another study published in the journal of Neuropsychopharmacology revealed that vitamin B12 acts on the sleep-wake cycle and promotes alertness and concentration in the daytime. It also improves sleep quality in healthy individuals. [3]

Various studies showed that supplementing with vitamin B12 helps improve excessive sleep known as hypersomnia. Hypersomnia is a sleep problem characterized by excessive sleep during the day or night. [4]

According to a study, a male patient aged 32 years was experiencing hypersomnia for 12 years. Administration of vitamin B12 for 06 months resulted in a significant improvement in sleep problems and there was no recurrence of hypersomnia reported during 17 months of follow-up.

Some studies are showing conflicting results revealing that taking vitamin B12 supplements negatively affects sleep quality. [5]

Other Benefits of Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 plays a significant role in the production of red blood cells, reduces the risk of megaloblastic anemia, and prevents weakness and fatigue.

It helps manage healthy pregnancy, promote fetal growth and prevent neural tube defects. [6]

Vitamin B12 may increase bone mineral density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. [7]

This essential vitamin regulates brain chemicals like serotonin, reduces stress and anxiety, improves mood, and promotes brain health. Vitamin B12 deficiency may cause mental decline, and decreased cognitive abilities leading to memory loss. [8]

Vitamin B12 helps in metabolic processes of the body that produce energy. So, these vitamins indirectly boost energy levels in the body. [9]


When to Take Vitamin B12?

There is no evidence suggesting the best time to take vitamin B12 supplements. It is purported that taking vitamin B12 supplements could disrupt sleep and should be used in the daytime.

Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that requires plenty of water for its absorption. It should be taken on an empty stomach with a glass of water. [10]

Vitamin B12 is involved in various metabolic processes of the body and taking it at night can disturb your sleep.

Bottom Line

Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin necessary for Red blood cells productions, neuronal functions, and overall health. Its deficiency may lead to weakness, fatigue, and anemia. Vitamin B12 increases melatonin secretion, regulates the sleep-wake cycle, and improves sleep quality. This essential vitamin also has the potential to regulate metabolic processes, relieve stress and anxiety, calm the mind and improve brain health. Getting enough vitamin B12 from food or supplements helps improve sleep quality and overall body health.

Here you can check out Vorst’s Melatonin 10mg with vitamin B12 capsules for sleep.