Many Americans get less than the recommended amount of sleep, and many do not consume the recommended amounts of important vitamins and minerals.
In a new study, researchers found that poor sleep is often connected to poor nutrition in the daily diet.
They analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults.
They found that compared with people who got more than 7 hours of sleep per night, people who got fewer than seven hours of sleep per night on average consumed lower amounts of vitamins A, D, and B1, as well as magnesium, niacin, calcium, zinc, and phosphorus.
The result also showed that a greater number of nutrients were linked to poor sleep in women than in men. But this number was reduced if women took dietary supplements.
This suggests that supplements can help fill the gaps where a person’s diet is not providing the necessary nutrients.
Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals that our bodies require but do not produce.
As a result, they must come from our diet. Globally, billions of people suffer from at least one micronutrient deficiency.
Previous studies have shown the important roles for micronutrients in growth and development, disease prevention and healing, and normal bodily functions.
Magnesium, for example, helps the body produce melatonin and other compounds involved in sleep. Some studies suggest zinc plays a role in sleep regulation.
The current findings show that lack of nutrients may play a role in sleep disorders, poor sleep quality and trouble falling asleep.
The team says that people with short sleep at night may benefit from improving their nutrient intake via diet and supplementation.
Future work needs to test the cause and effect because of nutrient deficiency and sleep problems.
The lead author of the study is Chioma Ikonte, director of nutrition science at Pharmavite, LLC.
The study was presented at Nutrition 2019, the American Society for Nutrition annual meeting.
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