Lack of Sleep May Be Caused by B12 Deficiency

Those who can’t get to sleep at night may need vitamin B12

Studies show that B12 causes an earlier release of melatonin at night which resets the sleep-wake cycle. (Melatonin has been called “the sleep hormone” because of its effects on sleep). B12 acts directly on the pineal gland to provoke a faster release of melatonin. At the tail end, B12 causes melatonin to drop off faster. B12 helps you get to sleep earlier, and may help you wake up earlier if you leave a curtain open to the morning sun. B12 sensitizes you to morning light, which helps you wake up. Very serious sleep-wake disorders have been successfully treated with vitamin B12 in the methylcobalamin form, although it may not work for everyone. Unfortunately, the vitamin doesn’t help people who want to cut down on their sleep time altogether.

During the 1950s, B12 was frequently given to heart patients. The vitamin fell out of vogue as drugs took over the therapeutic picture. New findings on the connection between homocysteine and vascular disease, plus the failure of drugs to have an impact on the number of heart attacks and strokes, have shifted the focus back to B12 and other homocysteine-lowering vitamins. The notion that B12 must be injected to be effective has been disproven in recent studies. Swedish experience shows that oral B12 is effective for the treatment of pernicious anemia.

B12 has many benefits, including the reduction of homocysteine, restoration of normal sleep patterns, and mood effects. B12 deficiency is a fairly common deficiency in elderly people who frequently have disrupted digestion. It can cause symptoms that look exactly like Alzheimer’s disease, and it’s crucial for the retention of folate in cells.