Green Tea and Vitamin D for Sleep Disorders

Updated on November 13, 2017
Temirah profile image

I am a nurse and freelance health and wellness writer living a blessed life.

Should I drink green tea before bed? What about vitamin D for sleep?

There are plenty of natural sleep aids around that have been used for thousands of years. Some of them are the answer for some people but not for others, so it’s more trial and error if you’re after a natural cure for your insomnia.

Here, we’re going to look at the information available around green tea, sleep, vitamin D, and other supplements and sleep.

Green Tea and Sleep

Green tea is something that’s also been around for millennia. Recently, it has hit the health headlines as the latest wonder drink, said to prevent problems ranging from dizziness to Parkinson’s to some cancers.

Green Tea and Sleep Apnea

Made from the Camellia sinesis plant, the tea is produced from its leaves. Green tea contains phenols which, in animal studies, have been linked to protection from neurological degeneration. This degeneration can lead to diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

The American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care reports that green tea could help people who have memory problems related to sleep-disordered breathing such as sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea starves the brain of oxygen for short periods frequently throughout the night and can raise oxidative stress in the brain. Oxidative stress is believed to play a part in a lot of diseases and antioxidants are thought to counteract this effect. Green tea’s phenols are antioxidants, so if you like the flavour, suffer from sleep apnea, and have memory problems, there is some evidence that it may be helpful for you.

Try replacing your usual tea with green tea for a few weeks to a month and see if that makes a difference to your memory. Ask those you live/work with if they’ve noticed an improvement. Even if you don’t notice a change, you may be reducing your cholesterol and triglycerides by drinking green tea as this is another benefit attributed to it.

Green Tea and Insomnia

There is less evidence, however, that green tea is helpful for getting you to sleep or helping you stay asleep.

It contains 2-4% caffeine which is a stimulant, and likely to add to your wakefulness if you’re sensitive to it. The amount of caffeine (and antioxidant effect) will depend on the strength of the infusion of the tea, i.e. how long you leave the tea bag in the cup/pot of boiling water before drinking.

Other teas such as chamomile, peppermint (also good if you have an upset stomach that prevents you from sleeping), lemon balm, or passion flower would probably be a better choice.

What About Vitamin D and Sleep?

I found two studies that looked at vitamins and sleep.

One case study presented by "Sleep Doctor" Dr Michael Breus suggests that taking a vitamin D supplement can help with daytime sleepiness. After 4 months of daytime sleepiness, one patient’s symptoms slowly began to improve when she was treated with intravenous vitamin D. She wasn’t suffering from insomnia or any sleep disorder that caused her sleepiness, but did have a low vitamin D level in her blood.

The Sleep Doctor also talked about the following supplements: magnesium 25mg/day with 500mg calcium to help sleep, folic acid, vitamin B6 (helps in the production of the relaxing hormone serotonin), and vitamin B3 which has shown to increase REM sleep and reduce nighttime awakenings.

The second study from the department of psychology at the University of Alabama in the US looked at over 700 people’s use of general vitamin supplements and their sleep patterns. Their conclusions were that people who took these supplements slept less well than those who didn’t. Supplement users woke more in the night, took more sleep meds, and had more insomnia.

The researchers put forward five possible explanations for this:

  • Vitamin use disturbs a person’s sleep in some way, in some individuals.
  • There may not be a single vitamin that causes disturbed sleep but a combination may cause it.
  • People who have disturbed sleep/insomnia are more likely to use vitamins (this idea turns over the concept of vitamins causing sleep problems).
  • There is no link between vitamins and sleeplessness but other factors such as anxiety or depression causing sleeplessness, as people with these conditions are more likely to take vitamins to help their health.
  • Their study results were unreliable and unpredictable—something that can be said of any study.

So, Does Vitamin D Help Sleep?

You can probably see from the information above that scientists don’t know the answer to this. Therefore, there is no clear evidence to lead doctors to recommend vitamins or vitamin D to help you sleep. That doesn’t mean that you (as a non-scientist) shouldn’t try it for yourself.

A lack of vitamin D is a growing global problem, especially north of the equator, in people who are overweight, those with dark skin, those who are elderly, and pregnant and nursing mothers. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to muscle pain, type 2 diabetes, thinning bones, and other health problems.

The body makes its own vitamin D but does need enough sunshine on the skin to do this effectively. In countries where there’s not much sun for large parts of the year or where there’s a lot of sun but we’re constantly covered in sunblock, vitamin D deficiency could be a problem so supplements probably won’t do any harm.

The bottom line is to talk to your doctor about vitamin supplementation and keep a sleep diary. Start it before you start taking vitamin D and during your treatment to see what benefits you might be getting as they may be gradual in their onset.

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • Jackie Lynnley profile image

        Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

        I drink green tea for the antioxidants and have been flu free for years but I didn't know about the other benefits, thanks for sharing!

      • Temirah profile image
        Author

        Temirah 5 years ago

        Thanks for your comment and your votes Peter. It's too easy to pop pills and like you say, they don't give the best results. FInding a natural way (or combination of ways) is better.

      • Peter Geekie profile image

        Peter Geekie 5 years ago from Sittingbourne

        Dear temirah,

        An excellent article on the benefits of using natural products to promote sleep rather than drugged sleep which is rarely restful. Voted up, useful and interesting.

        Kind regards Peter

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, remedygrove.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://remedygrove.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)