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Your Multivitamin May Be The Reason You Can't Fall (Or Stay) Asleep

Morgan Chamberlain
Author:
December 26, 2022
Morgan Chamberlain
mbg Supplement Editor
By Morgan Chamberlain
mbg Supplement Editor
Morgan Chamberlain is a supplement editor at mindbodygreen. She graduated from Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Science degree in magazine journalism and a minor in nutrition.
Young sad woman lying on a bed with eyes opened
Image by Danil Nevsky / Stocksy
December 26, 2022

Approximately one-third of American adults1 take a multivitamin every day, according to a 2018 study from Nutrients. It is, by far, the most popular dietary supplement.

And yet, most people don't know much about how each multi ingredient impacts their day-to-day life and whole-body health. While the benefits of multivitamins are vast, they can also have an undesirable effect on your sleep (depending on the time of day you take them and your individual biology). 

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Why your multivitamin might be keeping you up at night.

It's true, your multi may be impacting your ability to fall (or stay) asleep if you take it too close to your bedtime. This is due to the inclusion of essential minerals (think iron, magnesium, etc.) and vitamins, especially vitamin C and B vitamins. This latter family of water-soluble nutrients, B vitamins, can have an energizing effect on your brain and nervous system (especially if you're lacking B's in your diet).*

As one happy customer put it after taking mbg's ultimate multivitamin+, "I felt a change in my energy. I felt the difference right away and absolutely look forward to taking this vitamin every day to fuel me at 55. And when I read the ingredients I am so impressed with all the good stuff."* mbg customer Carrie W.

So for those who find their multi to be energizing, be sure to take it with breakfast or lunch to make sure you're able to wind down for sleep later in the evening.

And if you're considering choosing a multivitamin that omits B vitamins altogether, we highly recommend against that. In addition to being required for cellular energy production (i.e., creating ATP energy from the foods we eat), all eight B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, B6, biotin, folate, and B12) are critical for a number of brain functions—including neurotransmitter production, brain cell function, mood support, and even sleep support (when taken at the right time).* Leaving them out of a multi is…well, just silly. 

It's also worth noting that while B vitamins are water-soluble (along with vitamin C), other essential vitamins you'll find in a multivitamin—i.e., vitamins A, D, E, and K—are fat-soluble. This means they're best absorbed when taken with a meal that contains a little bit of fat. Consider adding avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, or another healthy fat to your breakfast or lunch to ensure all the nutrients in your multi are bioavailable and ready for your body to use. 

As for form, bioactive Bs are the best kind to take, as they're more bioavailable and support healthy methylation, especially for individuals with MTHFR gene variations (i.e., about half of the population—more on that here).*

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The takeaway.

Taking a multivitamin is an easy way to ensure you're getting all the vitamins (including bioactive Bs) and minerals you need on a daily basis to support whole-body health.* If your multi includes B vitamins (and it should!), just be sure to take it by the afternoon to avoid a potential energy lift right before bed.

Some multivitamins are even tailored to deliver targeted health benefits: For example, in addition to a high-potency B complex, mindbodygreen's ultimate multivitamin+ includes six bonus botanicals (glutathione, resveratrol, lycopene, piperine, lutein, and zeaxanthin) that have been clinically shown to help promote longevity.* (You can read more about the longevity benefits of our multi formula here.)

If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking medications, consult with your doctor before starting a supplement routine. It is always optimal to consult with a health care provider when considering what supplements are right for you.
Morgan Chamberlain
Morgan Chamberlain
mbg Supplement Editor

Morgan Chamberlain is a supplement editor at mindbodygreen. She graduated from Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Science degree in magazine journalism and a minor in nutrition. Chamberlain believes in taking small steps to improve your well-being—whether that means eating more plant-based foods, checking in with a therapist weekly, or spending quality time with your closest friends. When she isn’t typing away furiously at her keyboard, you can find her cooking in the kitchen, hanging outside, or doing a vinyasa flow.