Current Research in Medicine

Nutritional Supplements and its Effect on Quality of Life and Sleep

Sara Sarrafi Zadeh and Khyrunnisa Begum

DOI : 10.3844/amjsp.2011.104.110

Current Research in Medicine

Volume 2, Issue 2

Pages 104-110


Problem statement: Inadequate sleep has been recognized as a risk factor for poor health status. Mental stress, body pains, melatonin deficiency, late night awakening disturbing the body clock are triggers for poor quality of sleep and fatigue. Fatigue due to insomnia is a major cause for poor quality of life. Evidences suggest certain nutrients to exert profound influence on quality of sleep which in turn could affect quality of life. In the present study we examine to study the effects of food and nutrients on sleep and quality of life. Approach: 800 subjects were screened for sleep quality and presence of insomnia out of which, 34 subjects of both sexes aged 21-45 years included for the “Nutrition Intervention Study”. Nutrients and food components were assessed by three days Diet Diary Method and Sleep quality was assessed by Sleep Behavior and Insomnia Screening Questionnaire (ISQ) as well as the Pittsburgh sleep quality index. Blood and urine parameters were examined by standard methods. A prepost assessment method was adopted. Subjects were assessed for blood parameters like-serum cortisol, vitamin B12, ferritin, iron and magnesium; urine profile included was pH and Sp.Gr. Intervention period was 15 days and subjects were divided in to three groups depending upon criteria of diagnosis, i.e., Gr.1, subjects (n = 12) with low serum B12 levels, who were given B12 injections. Gr. 2(n = 12) and Gr. 3: (n = 10) subjects respectively were provided with beet root and poppy seeds drinks to be consumed every night (4 h before bed time). Results: Beet root consumption increased the ferritin level. B12 level increased significantly with beet root powder intervention. B12 supplementation effectively increased (from 152.87±23.9-1375.6±804.4 pg mL-1) serum levels of this vitamin and the difference was extremely significant statistically (p<0.01). It was highly encouraging to note a significant reduction in cortisol levels with B12 supplementation within a period of 15 days. Mean value of ferritin increased after poppy seed intervention; this improvement can be attributed to the iron content of poppy seed. A decrease in serum cortisol level was also noted, the mean levels before and after intervention being 16.6±3.4-11.7±2.5 mcg dL-1 affect a mean reduction of 4.9 mcg dL-1, although a striking difference was observed, it was statistically not significant. The maximum improvement in insomnia was found with poppy seed drink (63.6%) followed by beet root drink and B12 supplementation which varied from 54.6 and 33.4% respectively. Improvement of anxiety as a factor affecting insomnia was noted in 20% of subjects in B12 and 66.6% in beetroot drink supplementation groups. It was encouraging to witness a 100% improvement in the group with poppy seed intervention. Significant improvement was noted in the Circadian rhythm disorder in all intervention groups Parasomnia and Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) recovery was seen in all the intervention groups while highest proportion RLS improvement was noted in B12 group. (Please give data) Significant improvement was seen in sleep quality among all the intervention groups administered either vitamin B12, or beet root or poppy seeds. Marked reduction in co-morbid symptoms like fatigue, memory function and improvement in scores for quality of life was observed. Conclusion: Nutritional supplements appear to be effective in improving sleep quality which might influence quality of life.


© 2011 Sara Sarrafi Zadeh and Khyrunnisa Begum. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.