If you're one of the many people who struggle with getting a good night's sleep, you may have heard of various remedies to help you doze off, including taking vitamin supplements. One such supplement is vitamin B6, which is believed to have multiple health benefits, including promoting healthy sleep. But just how effective is vitamin B6 in improving sleep quality? In this article, we'll explore the scientific evidence behind this claim and provide you with a clear answer.
Vitamin B6: An Overview
Vitamin B6, or pyroxidine, is an essential nutrient for the body.
It is a significant part of many bodily processes and is needed to keep the nervous system healthy.
It is also required for normal immune function.
Some people who suffer from kidney disease can have a vitamin B6 deficiency in the body.
Certain autoimmune disorders, a weakened immune system, and anemia can also cause vitamin B6 deficiency.
Importance of Vitamin B6
- Protein metabolism: Vitamin B6 helps break down proteins into amino acids, which are then used to build and repair body tissues.
- Red blood cell production: Vitamin B6 is involved in the production of hemoglobin, which is the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body.
- Brain function: Vitamin B6 is essential for producing neurotransmitters, which are chemicals that transmit signals in the brain.
- Immune system function: Vitamin B6 helps support the immune system by producing antibodies that help fight off infections.
- Reduction of morning sickness: Some studies show that vitamin B6 can reduce morning sickness during pregnancy.
If you are persistently nauseous, especially in your first trimester, your doctor might prescribe vitamin B6 supplements.
- Sleep quality: Vitamin B6 is said to interact with GABA, an amino acid that suppresses the central nervous system.
It is said to improve the quality of sleep.
- Mood stabilizer: Vitamin B6 also interacts with and influences the production of serotonin and dopamine.
Dopamine, also known as the happy hormone, improves mood.
- Anemia management: Low levels of vitamin B6 in the body are said to cause anemia.
- Premenstrual syndrome management: Some studies showed that vitamin B6 could help manage the premenstrual syndrome.
However, more evidence is needed to back this claim.
RDA Of Vitamin B6
For adults aged 50 or below, the RDA of vitamin B6 is 1.3 milligrams.
After age 50, women are recommended to take 1.5 milligrams, while men must take 1.7 milligrams of vitamin B6.
It is always advisable to consult your doctor before starting any supplement.
How Does Vitamin B6 Help With Sleep?
Vitamin B6 is essential for the synthesis of the amino acid tryptophan.
Tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin, a hormone known for regulating sleep.
Vitamin B6 converts tryptophan to serotonin and niacin, or vitamin B3.
Since vitamin B6 cannot be stored in the body, getting adequate vitamin B6 from your diet is essential.
Tryptophan is also necessary for melatonin production.
Melatonin is a hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle, also called the diurnal rhythm.
Vitamin B6 plays a vital role in the synthesis of GABA.
GABA is an amino acid that depresses the central nervous system and produces a calming effect that reduces sleeplessness.
How Much Vitamin B6 Do You Need For Good Sleep
Pyridoxal 5’ phosphate is the active coenzyme form of vitamin B6.
Studies have shown that P5P deficiency can cause altered mental states, confusion, and depression.
The Mayo Clinic recommends 1.3 to 1.7 mg of P5P daily for adults.
The dosage increases to 1.9 to 2.0 milligrams daily during pregnancy and lactation.*
*The dosages mentioned here are for informational purposes only. Please consult a qualified medical practitioner for advice.
Vitamin B6 Dosage For Sleep: What Research Says
Clinical trials have shown that too much vitamin B6 can cause adverse side effects in the body.
This overdose is rarely due to food sources but from vitamin B6 supplementation.
More than 1000 milligrams of pyridoxine can cause sensory neuropathy, according to studies.
Perceptual and Motor Skills journal conducted a trial with 100 people in 2018.
In this trial, participants who took over 240 mg of vitamin B6 supplementation reported lowered sleep quality.
They further said that they felt more tired upon waking up.
Other Vitamins That Help With Sleep
Besides vitamin B6 or pyridoxine, vitamin B12 plays a role in regulating sleep.
It supports the production of neurotransmitters in the brain that help in sleep.
Vitamin D, also called the sunshine vitamin, helps improve sleep quality.
A study showed that vitamin D, combined with omega-3 fatty acids in fatty fish like salmon, improved sleep in subjects.
Food Sources Of Vitamin B6
- Milk: Milk is considered a complete food rich in nutrients.
Apart from having calcium, milk is also rich in vitamin B6.
One cup of goat or cow’s milk provides 5 percent of the daily requirement of vitamin B6.
- Salmon: This fatty fish has many benefits, from caring for your heart to improving your sleep quality.
It has one of the highest concentrations of vitamin B6 among foods.
The wild varieties of salmon usually have a higher concentration of nutrients than the farmed ones.
- Eggs: Eggs are versatile and pack in lots of different nutrients.
They provide almost 10 percent of the daily recommended dose of vitamin B6.
- Carrots: If you are vegan and looking for a plant-based source of vitamin B6, try including carrots in your diet.
They supply as much vitamin B6 as a glass of milk.
In addition, they are versatile vegetables that can be eaten raw or cooked.
Vitamin B6 is a nutrient that plays a vital role in metabolism.
It helps in the digestion of protein and keeps your adrenal glands healthy.
In addition, it helps protect your nervous system.
Vitamin B6 deficiency can manifest in the body as insomnia, depression, and mental confusion.
Studies found that adequate amounts of vitamin B6 are necessary for good sleep, as too much or too little can disrupt it.
Chicken, fish, milk, and vegetables like carrots and spinach are all rich in vitamin B6.