Does vitamin C keep you awake?

No. Vitamin C does not keep you awake. But vitamin C has a relationship with sleep. The studies have shown that individuals with a normal vitamin C concentration in their blood have a sound sleep.

But if your blood vitamin C concentration is considerably low, you will get insomnia and quick wake-ups during your sleep. Therefore, low levels of vitamin C keep you awake. This has several reasons behind it.

Did you know that ⅓ of our lives are spent in sleep? For some individuals, it can be even more than 1/3.

Sleep is an important physiological need that impacts the health of your endocrine and nervous systems. The recommended sleeping hours are 7-9 hours per day.

If your sleep is more or less than the defined time duration, t can cause severe problems with your help. For example, if you sleep more than 9 hours a day, it can cause strokes, diabetes mellitus, obesity, and other cardiovascular diseases.

If you sleep less than 6 hours per day you can come up with neurological disorders and sometimes depression.

Individuals who have sleeping disorders have been observed for low intake of several nutrients such as,

  • Lutein
  • Zeaxanthin
  • Selenium
  • Vitamin C

Insomnia conditions affect mostly the senior citizens above 60 years of age. This can be caused by several physiological reasons happening with their body. But low vitamin C levels have shown sleeping disturbances in them significantly.

Therefore, the fact that vitamin C keeps you awake is not true. The deficiency of vitamin C does.

For example, smokers develop high oxidative stress in their body which causes the high wastage of their antioxidants. In such individuals, the serum vitamin C concentration is low and mostly have sleeping disorders. This is mostly seen among adult males. As a treatment, they are encouraged to get the necessary vitamin C supplements regularly, and also to quit smoking.

Why does vitamin C keep you awake?

Vitamin C deficiency causes a reduction in sleep. There are a few reasons why vitamin C affects your sleep. The antioxidant properties of vitamin C is the mostly recognized reason behind this physiological function.

Vitamin C helps to maintain an undisturbed long sleep.

  • When an individual has low vitamin C concentration in their blood, they get frequent disturbances. Sometimes they can’t fall back to sleep when they wake up abruptly.
  • This issue can cause stress, some neurological disorders and sometimes depression.
  • Therefore, administering enough vitamin C can improve healthy sleeping. Both the length of the sleep and the quality of the sleep can be improved by administering enough vitamin C during your diets.

Relieves the restless leg syndrome

  • This is a disorder commonly occurring in adults. These individuals have a needle pricking sensation in their feet. Therefore, they have to move their legs frequently to get rid of this sensation.
  • But still, they can’t fall asleep fast due to this matter. This problem is uncontrollable for the. The main reason behind this is the deficiency of iron in the body.
  • What does vitamin C have to do with iron levels? Vitamin C is a key factor in iron absorption and metabolism in the body. It increases the iron absorption from the guts and deposition in the necessary places in the body.
  • Therefore, the lack of vitamin C in the body disturbs the iron metabolism in the body which causes iron deficiency disorders too. The restless leg syndrome is only one of them. And it can disturb the sleep.

Helps to reduce sleep apnea.

  • Sleep apnea is a disorder that blocks the airways while in sleep. This can be hereditary. But obstructive sleep apnea is mostly observed among adults.
  • Sleep apnea can disturb sleep too much which makes that individual feel tired and dizzy the next day. And also it has a risk of causing hypertension and heart diseases. These patients are mostly prescribed with an oxygen mask to wear during sleep. But as a chronic sleep apnea treatment, vitamin C is recommended to administer in necessary doses in regular basis.
  • So what is the relationship between vitamin C and sleep apnea? Vitamin C reduces sleep apnea and gives you a healthy sleep.

Vitamin C wakes you up: exactly why?

  • Most sleeping disorders are caused by the formation of free radicals and oxidative stress in the body cells. These disorders are predominantly observed in adult females than in any other age groups.
  • Being an antioxidant, vitamin c reacts with the free radicals and reduce the oxidative stress. The studies have shown that the individuals who consume low vitamin c amounts show high oxidative stress.
  • The duration of sleep also depends on the oxidative stress level, inflammation, and antioxidant profiles. Most of the sleeping disorders are increased with inflammation and oxidative stress.
  • Not only the duration but also the sleep quality is also improved by vitamin c.
  • Therefore, the fact that vitamin C wakes you up is a lie. The deficiency of vitamin c can only lead you to insomnia.
  • The dietary sources of vitamin c such as fruits and vegetables are recommended for inadequate sleepers.

Vitamin C

To have a good sleep you have to get an adequate amount of vitamin C through your daily diet. What is exactly vitamin C? Here’s the answer.

  • Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin which I also called as ascorbic acid. It has weak acidic properties.
  • It shows a rapid and complete bioavailability after administration.
  • Absorbed by both active transportation and simple diffusion.
  • And the protein binding capacity is negligible.
  • The elimination half-life varies according to the plasma vitamin C concentration. When there’s a high concentration, the elimination half-life can be longer.
  • It is excreted through the kidneys.
  • The chemical structure is C6H8O6
  • The molar mass is about 176.124g/mol
  • The density is about 1.694g/cm3
  • The melting point is between 190C to 192C (374F to 378F)
  • The boiling point s 552.7C (1026.9F)

Vitamin C is an over-the-counter medicine, which has been listed as an essential medicine by the world health organization.

In most animals, vitamin C is produced inside their bodies as a metabolic product. But in humans, it is not produced unfortunately due to the unavailability of the necessary enzyme of the reaction chain.

Therefore, vitamin C is an essential nutrient that humans have to take from external food sources.

Vitamin C physiological benefits

When we are about to catch a cold, we have more vitamin C products to reduce those symptoms as a home remedy. This is because vitamin C has the ability to boost your immunity against a foreign antigen. Even during the global pandemic, Covid’19, many of the health authorities recommended people to administer more fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C.

Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant by donating an electron in enzymatic reactions. This antioxidant activity is taken as an advantage for several cosmetic purposes.

Especially in face creams and whitening products, vitamin C is a prominent component. This is because it provides a lot of benefits in skincare.

Other than antioxidant activity, vitamin C does a lot of physiological activity.

  • Acting as a coenzyme in certain enzyme reactions
  • Fasten the wound healing ability
  • Boosting up the immunity
  • Reduce inflammations
  • Fasten the collagen synthesis
  • Provides a healthy growth of hair and nails
  • Reducing the acne scars and wound scars
  • Skin whitening
  • Providing a fresh and youthful skin
  • Preventing the vitamin C deficiency syndromes such as scurvy.

Vitamin C deficiency

The recommended dietary supplement dosage of vitamin C is 50-65 micromol/L where it becomes saturated in the serum at this level.

But the serum vitamin C levels less than 23 micro mol/L can be too low and adequate to cause sleeping disorders.

But the deficiency of vitamin C is defined when it is less than 11.4mico mol/L. In this condition, the disorders such as scurvy can occur.

If you are wondering what scurvy is, it is a disorder where you get spots and bleeding under your gums and skin.

The wound healing can be abnormally slow. The individual can be pale and depressed mentally. And this may cause lethargy as well.

Vitamin C dosage

To prevent getting scurvy or other deficiency complications you have to include vitamin C dietary sources on regular basis. The recommended doses can be changed according to different conditions of your body. Here are the general dosage levels approved by the world health organization.

Age Daily dose
For children 1-3y.o 15mg/day
Children 4-8y.o 25mg/day
Children 9-13y.o 45mg/day
Girls 14-18y.o 65mg/day
Boys 14-18y.o75mg/day
Adult females75mg/day
Adult males 90mg/day
Pregnant women 85mg/day
Lactatng women 120mg/day

Vitamin C sources

Because humans lack the enzyme L-gluconolactone oxidase, we are unable to produce vitamin C within our bodies. Therefore vitamin C is recommended as an essential medicine. On an industrial scale, vitamin C is produced by two pathways from the precursor glucose.

There are vitamin C tablets in the pharmacies occur where you can buy as OTC. Some of these are, 

  • chewable tablets
  • tablets
  • Capsules
  • Drinking powder packets
  • Multi vitamin formulations

Other than vitamin C tablets there are so many food sources that are rich with vitamin C. mostly vitamin C is available in plant products such as fruits, vegetables, green leaves, seeds, flowers, roots, etc. specially the fruits in citrus family are considered as enriched with vitamin C.

But also in some animal products vitamin C is available. For example, many of the vitamins are included in eggs. Vitamin C is also contained in eggs in minor amounts. Also in airy products, vitamin  C can be included in minor amounts.

If you are an individual that personally doesn’t prefer vegetarian food, but constantly administering eat items, you should be conscious about the vitamin C levels in the body. In such situations make sure to get additional vitamin C supplements on daily basis.

End of the day, try to stick with balanced diets. Eat more veggies. Here are some food sources that are rich in vitamin C.

Food sourceamount (mg/100g)
Kakadu plum1000-5300
Camu Camu2800
Indian gooseberry445
Bell pepper183
Loganberry /brussels sprouts80
Orange, lemon53
Passion fruits30
Raw chicken liver17.9
Fried chicken liver2.7
Cow milk1.0

Vitamin C side effects

Overconsumption of vitamin C can cause several side effects. When you get an occur high amount of dietary vitamin C, they are excreted through urine. Therefore, the side effects are not common. But there are a few factors that can affect the metabolism of vitamin C within your body.

  • Body weight
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Kidney and liver functioning
  • Chronic diseases
  • Nephrotic syndrome
  • Cancers
  • Genetical disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Allergies

According to the above factors, the vitamin C metabolism can differ despite the recommended doses. If you have any kind of chronic disease condition, you may consult the necessary physician before administering vitamin C supplements.

In some cases, vitamin C side effects are observed. These side effects also differently occur according to the body types. They are,

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • headache
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Kidney stones in chronic consumption of high doses of vitamin C

Other than these symptoms, you may get other symptoms such as dizziness, skin rashes, loss of appetite, etc. Any of these bizarre symptoms can be a sign of vitamin C allergy.

In such an emergency situation what should I do?

Stop administering the vitamin C tablet or supplement and see your physician

If the adverse effects seem to increase, please admit to a hospital and get the necessary treatments.

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