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Posts Tagged ‘insomnia and vitamin B12 deficiency’

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Insomnia

Sunday, September 8th, 2013

 

 

Can’t sleep? Often, insomnia stems from vitamin B12 deficiency. Though nearly everyone experiences occasional trouble with falling asleep, chronic insomnia can be part of a range of symptoms attributed to dangerously low vitamin B12. Here are some ways that vitamin B12 and insomnia are related.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Insomnia

Are you spending your nights tossing and turning, unable to get a restful night sleep? Acute insomnia has a short duration, while chronic insomnia will last longer – anywhere from days to months.

If you suffer from a vitamin B12 deficiency and insomnia—and a surprising number of people these days do—then taking extra vitamin B12 may promote good restful sleep at night, and it will also boost your energy during the day, increase your ability to focus, and promote digestive, cardiac, and immune health as well.

Suffering from Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue? B12 to the Rescue!

Please note: Insomnia can result from an underlying medical disorder, in addition to vitamin B12 deficiency. Consult your doctor if you suffer from chronic insomnia.

The vitamin B12-melatonin connection

Vitamin B12 plays an important role in production of melatonin, the body’s “sleep hormone” which helps you fall asleep at night and get deep rest until morning. Melatonin is one of your best defenses against insomnia, but you need healthy amounts of vitamin B12 as well.

Melatonin in the blood rises sharply at sundown, making you feel sleepy, and will usually remain elevated for approximately 12 hours – essentially throughout the night – before the onset of sunrise.

As we get older, and vitamin B12 levels begin to plummet, it becomes more difficult to enjoy a good night’s sleep, due to a reciprocal decrease in melatonin. For that reason many senior citizens struggle with both vitamin B12 deficiency and insomnia.

Doctors have recently observed that a large percentage of Americans over age 60 suffer from a severe vitamin B12 deficiency.  Without vitamin B12, your body cannot produce sufficient melatonin, which is needed to help one sleep.

Many people who suffer from insomnia take melatonin pills to help them get to sleep. However, boosting the body’s ability to produce it by increasing vitamin B12 is a more naturally efficient option.

What is vitamin B12 good for?

Vitamin B-12, or cobalamin, is one of the B complex vitamins. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, Vitamin B-12 is instrumental for maintaining healthy nerve cells, synthesizing DNA and RNA, and regulating blood cells.  A vitamin B-12 deficiency can cause fatigue, irritability, digestive issues, and shortness of breath.

The elderly, vegetarians, and vegans tend to have a higher risk of developing a Vitamin B-12 deficiency.

Vitamin B12 for insomnia

If insomnia is caused by vitamin B12 deficiency, then it’s important to supplement with extra vitamin B12 immediately; untreated, vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to nerve cell deterioration and increased risk for heart attack and stroke. Ask your doctor for a vitamin B12 deficiency blood screening while discussing insomnia, and begin supplementation right away.

Take vitamin B12 with folic acid

Taking folic acid (vitamin B9) along with vitamin B12 is also helpful for insomnia, as vitamin B12 assists folate in building red blood cells and absorption of iron, both key components for good sleep health.

For some people, Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is yet another cause of insomnia. Research has shown that RLS is related to a folic acid deficiency, and that taking more B vitamins can reduce RLS, helping to provide a full night of sleep, even in people with severe insomnia. It is thus recommended to take vitamin B12 along with vitamin B9 for maximum absorption.

Your turn!

What do you do to prevent insomnia? Do you also struggle with vitamin B12 deficiency? Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

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Like this? Read more:

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Image courtesy of photostock/freedigitalphotos


Vitamin B12 for Mental Illness

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

Jonathan E. Prousky, ND, MSC has recently used vitamin B12 to treat a wide range of mental illnesses and neurological conditions in patients who are not deficient in vitamin B12.  He notes that there are many people with blood plasma B12 levels that are on the low end of normal according to accepted medical practice.  Even so, these people are still prone to symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency notwithstanding.

Dr. Prousky has successfully used vitamin B12 injections to treat all of the following neurological symptoms:  anxiety, delusions, depression, hallucinations, fatigue, mood swings, memory problems, muscle weakness, neuropathy and psychoses.  Since vitamin B12 is safe and effective, more doctors should make use of it to treat the mental and physical impairments as mentioned.

There are many studies that support this hypothesis.

In one study, twenty-nine people complaining of fatigue participated in a study.  All of them had seemingly “normal” blood plasma B12 levels.  Still, those who received the vitamin B12 injections reported increased happiness and feeling of well-being.

A second study involved 16 geriatric patients, between 60 and 85 years of age.  All of these patients had dementia, but normal liver function.  Following three months of treatment with vitamin B12, all of the patients had a marked improvement in their condition.

Yet another study evaluated the effects of vitamin B12 on patients with personality problems, as diagnosed using the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI).  The participants had the following diagnoses:  depression (two patients), paranoid schizophrenia (one patient), insomnia (one patient), recurrent duodenal ulcer (one patient), cocaine addiction (one patient), angioneurotic edema (one patient) and others.

All of these patients were at least 16 years old and were not taking medication for their ailments.  Amazingly, even though their serum B12 levels had been within the range of normal, they all benefitted from high doses of vitamin B12 supplementation.

To substantiate these studies, Dr. Prousky has also utilized vitamin B12 to treat his own patients and has concluded that the findings of these studies are true and accurate.  His theory is that high doses of vitamin B12 can alter the chemical reactions in the brain and nervous system.

In conclusion, patients reporting mental and neurological disorders can benefit greatly from high doses of vitamin B12.

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