Cheryl promotes vitamins to help with sleep on Instagram
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Are you always feeling tired? If a good night’s sleep doesn’t leave you feeling refreshed, you may be losing precious energy due to a vitamin deficiency. These are four vitamin deficiencies known to cause lethargy, and what you can eat to give your energy levels a much-needed boost.
Feeling tired, no matter how much you rest, can be a sign of an underlying illness or health condition.
The NHS defines fatigue as “when the tiredness is often overwhelming and isn’t relieved by sleep and rest”.
However, many health conditions including vitamin deficiencies can leave you feeling knackered.
If you’re struggling with fatigue, make sure to speak to your GP to rule out any serious health conditions, they may also ask you about your diet to assess whether a vitamin deficiency could be leaving you feeling lethargic.
Here are four common vitamin deficiencies that could be causing you to feel sleepy.
Iron deficiency anaemia
Iron deficiency anaemia is one of the most common medical reasons for feeling run down, according to the NHS.
Other symptoms for having low iron levels include feeling short of breath, having heart palpitations and very pale skin.
To diagnose you with an iron deficiency, your GP will need to take a blood test.
You might then be prescribed an iron tablet to boost your iron levels, and will be advised to eat more iron-rich foods.
High-iron foods include dark green leafy vegetables, cereals with added iron, meat and pulses, such as lentils.
Vitamin D deficiency
Your body naturally creates vitamin D from sunlight, however if you live in Britain during the winter months, you may have noticed sunshine is in short supply.
The NHS recommended everyone in the UK over the age of four to take a vitamin D supplement between October and March, as the daylight isn’t strong enough for our bodies to create enough vitamin D on their own.
If your vitamin D levels are low, you might notice symptoms including feeling extremely tired, and even experiencing changes in your mood, such as feeling depressed.
Vitamin D deficiency can also make your bones weaker over time, and the deficiency is commonly associated with developing rickets in children.
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Folate deficiency anaemia
Vitamin B12 deficiency, also known as folate deficiency anaemia, is another common culprit for people struggling with extreme tiredness.
If you think deficiencies in your diet could be leaving you feeling knackered, talk to your doctor about introducing a supplement into your routine.
B12 is found naturally in meat and dairy products, including meat, fish, dairy products and eggs.
If you follow a plant-based diet, you can seek out foods fortified with B12 such as some cereals, but it may be more convenient to take a B12 supplement.
Vitamin C deficiency
Some of the earliest signs of low vitamin C levels are tiredness and low mood.
These warning signs can come before you’ve developed a full-on vitamin C deficiency, so you shouldn’t ignore them as you can prevent more severe symptoms by catching it early.
The NHS said you should be able to get all the necessary vitamin C from your diet, as long as you’re getting an adequate amount of fruit and vegetables.
Good sources of vitamin C include citrus fruit, peppers, strawberries, blackcurrants, broccoli, brussels sprouts and potatoes.
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