Getting enough sleep can often be a challenge, and research has found Britons aren’t getting enough of it.
In September a sleep scientist, Professor Matthew Walker from the University of California, revealed to The Guardian that sleep loss costs the UK economy over £30bn a year in lost revenue.
What’s more, a lack of sleep has been linked to cancer of the bowel, prostate and breast.
But even if we make an effort to get into bed earlier, actually falling asleep can still be a challenge.
Increasing your intake of these three nutrients – whether in your diet or as supplements – could help you drop off faster.
The mineral plays a role in over 300 biochemical reactions within the body, such as muscle function, regulating blood pressure and strong bones.
It is well-known for helping relieve insomnia, and research has found that the nutrient helps decrease cortisol – the ‘stress hormone’ – which can stop you falling asleep.
Additionally, it helps muscles relax and can trigger a calm ‘sleepy’ feeling.
Dietary sources include spinach, dark chocolate and almonds, but you can also get it from supplements.
Just make sure you choose magnesium citrate, rather than magnesium oxide, as it is better absorbed.
Research has shown that vitamins B3, B5, B6, B9 and B12 can all help you sleep.
This is because they help regulate the body’s level of amino acid tryptophan, which helps produce sleep-triggering melatonin.
You can get a variety of B vitamins from poultry, fish, eggs, dairy and pulses like chickpeas.
If you would rather take them as a supplement, you can find them combined in what’s often called a vitamin B complex.
The ‘sunshine vitamin’ helps keep our bones, teeth and muscles healthy, and could also protect against heart disease.
However, it may additionally help promote sleep too.
Scientists looked at the sleep patterns of older men and discovered that deficiency in the vitamin was linked to less sleep overall and also with more disrupted sleep.
Since the sun is our most efficient source, many people in the UK can become deficient during the winter.
Dietary sources include fish, beef liver, cheese and eggs.
The UK government last year advised everyone to take an 10mcg vitamin D supplement daily.