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Best vitamins to help with sleep and relaxation

There is nothing worse than struggling to sleep and having a restless night.

Watching the clock as the hours tick by, worrying about how tired you are going to feel the next day and tossing and turning – we have all been there.

Getting enough sleep at night is so important for both your mental and physical health.

When you are asleep, your brain and body slow down and start to recover, helping you to perform better, both physically and mentally, the next day and longer-term.1

From counting sheep to taking a warm bath before bed, there are lots of natural sleep remedies.

Certain vitamins and minerals may also help to support a more restful, quality night’s sleep.

Here is our guide to the best vitamins to help with sleep and relaxation – so if you need some sleep help, read on!


Magnesium is said to be one of the best sleep aids. It helps to increase GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid) levels, which encourage both relaxation and sleep.

Low levels of GABA in the body can make it difficult to relax and switch off.2

Green, leafy vegetables such as spinach as well as legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains are all good sources of magnesium.3

But if you are not getting enough through your diet, you can also take a supplement of magnesium for sleep.

Holland & Barrett Magnesium Tablets contain 250mg of magnesium and are easy to fit into your lifestyle. Simply take one tablet per day with a meal.

Valerian root extract

Valerian root contains compounds which help to support healthy sleep.4

Research has found that valerian inhibits the breakdown of GABA in the brain, which helps to give you feelings of calmness and tranquillity.5

As well as this, valerian root contains the antioxidants hesperidin and linarin, which help to enhance sleep and therefore it is used in lots of sleep remedies.6

Holland & Barrett Valerian Plus Tablets contain valerian root extract and may help with the temporary relief of sleep disturbance due to symptoms of mild anxiety, based on traditional use only.

Vitamin C

Research has shown that vitamin C helps to boost sleep, since individuals with a greater concentration of vitamin C in their bodies have better sleep than those with a reduced concentration.7 Therefore lots of sleep supplements contain vitamin C.

Vitamin C is mostly found in fresh fruits and vegetables such as oranges, lemons, peppers, berries, tomatoes, leafy greens and potatoes.

You can take a supplement if you do not quite hit your five a day.

Holland & Barrett Vitamin C with Wild Rose Hips support the immune system, normal energy-yielding metabolism and help with the reduction of tiredness and fatigue.

Vitamin D

Studies have shown that a lack of vitamin D is associated with less sleep as well as a more disrupted night’s sleep.8

If your vitamin D levels are low, you might have less efficient and less restful sleep.9

We get most of our vitamin D through sunlight, which can be difficult to get during the winter months. And so you can take a supplement to keep your levels of the sunshine vitamin topped up.

Vitamin D Tablets contain 1000 IU of vitamin D, which also contributes to the maintenance of normal bones, muscles function and the immune system.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is used by the body as an antioxidant to help slow damage to cells and may help to ease restless legs.10

Restless legs syndrome is an overwhelming urge to move your legs, which gets worse in the evenings and therefore can cause sleeplessness.11

Sources of vitamin E include plant oils such as rapeseed, sunflower, soya, corn and olive oils as well as nuts and seeds.12 You can also take vitamin E supplements.

Holland & Barrett Vitamin E Softgel Capsules contain 100% natural vitamin E with tocopherols and contribute to the protection of cells from oxidative stress.

Vitamin B12

Research suggests that a good level of vitamin B12 in the body may help to give you a good night’s sleep.

Vitamin B12 helps to regulate the level of the amino acid tryptophan, which helps the body to produce melatonin, which induces sleep.13

Good sources of B12 include meat, fish, milk, cheese and egg as well as some fortified breakfast cereals.14

As most of these are animal products, anyone following a vegan diet can sometimes find it harder to get enough vitamin B12 through their diet.

Holland & Barrett Timed Release Vitamin B12 are not only vegan sleep vitamins but they also help to boost your energy levels, leaving you feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day ahead.

To read more about how to fight fatigue and get the best night’s sleep, check out our article on natural sleep remedies.

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