A study reported at the annual meeting of the American Society for Nutrition, on June 9 – 11th, 2019 in Baltimore, MD, found an association between decreased intake of several vitamins and minerals and a greater risk of insufficient sleep.
The research is based on data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults. This study enrolled men and women residing in the U.S. Among subjects 19 years of age and older, 37.9% had increased sleep latency (the amount of time it takes to fall asleep) ,47.3% had poor sleep quality, and 9.3% used sleep medications more than five times during the month prior to reporting the data.
Sleeping less than an average of seven hours per night was associated with a lower intake of vitamins A, B1, B3 and D, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc. The study also found a greater number of nutrients were associated with poor sleep in women than in men. This number was reduced if women took dietary supplements, suggesting that supplements can help fill the gaps where a person’s diet is not providing the necessary nutrients.
“This work adds to the body of growing evidence associating specific nutrient intakes with sleep outcomes,” said lead study author Chioma Ikonte, director of nutrition science at Pharmavite, LLC. “Our findings suggest that individuals with short sleep duration might benefit from improving their intake of these nutrients through diet and supplementation.”
“Whether chronic short sleep causes nutrient insufficiency or the nutrient insufficiency causes short sleep still needs to be determined,” Dr Ikonte added. “A clinical study that investigates [impacts of] supplementation with these nutrients on sleep outcomes is needed to demonstrate cause and effect.”