Vitamin C Before Bed

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Vitamins are essential nutrients for our body to function properly and maintain optimal health. However, our body cannot produce most of the vitamins, and thus it is vital to supplement them in our diet. There are two groups of vitamins: water-soluble (C and B complexes) and fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K).1

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid/ascorbate) can be found in citrus fruits, green and red peppers, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, brussels sprouts, turnips, Indian gooseberry, and other leafy vegetables.1,2 

Vitamin C can also be found in animal sources, but the amount of vitamin C is much lower in animal sources than in plant sources.1 Since vitamin C is water soluble, it dissolves in water upon entering the body. Thus, we cannot store excess amounts of vitamin C for later use.

Vitamin C has a beneficial impact on our body, including providing a vital role in our beauty sleep. Hence, this article will specifically review the effects of taking vitamin C before bed. 

Role of vitamin C

Vitamin C is essential for humans. Unlike most animals, we cannot produce vitamin C on our own, and we need it from our daily diet for many different body functions. Therefore, the lack of vitamin C is mainly due to inadequate dietary intake.3 

Signs that mean you need vitamin C supplements

Lack of vitamin C is when the serum concentration of vitamin C is less than 11.4umol/L.3 Vitamin C supplementation is one of the ways for you to compensate for the vitamin C deficiency.4 

Signs of vitamin C deficiency might appear gradually after 8 to 12 weeks of inadequate intake. There are signs that indicate you might need vitamin C supplements.3

  1. Scurvy
  2. Irritability
  3. Anorexia
  4. Poor wound healing
  5. Gingival swelling with loss of teeth
  6. Mucocutaneous petechiae
  7. Ecchymosis
  8. Hyperkeratosis
  9. Dry eyes
  10. Subconjunctival haemorrhage
  11. Scleral icterus
  12. Alopecia

Recommended dose

Adults need 70 to 150 mg doses of vitamin C every day.5 If you are a smoker, you have to add 35mg to these values to calculate your total daily recommended amount. Meanwhile, if scurvy is present, increase the dose to 300 mg to 1g daily per day.5

Does taking vitamin C benefit sleep?

Several studies have shown that people take dietary supplements for wellness and wellness-related reasons such as disease prevention, improving the immune system, energy, memory, and concentration, but also enhancing sleep health.6 

Sleep is one of the basic requirements for infant, child, and adolescent health and development.7 Apart from exercise and nutrition, sleep is vital to maintaining physical and mental health.8,9

Many studies established the beneficial impacts of taking vitamin C for our sleep. Ikonte et al.10 investigated the relationship between short sleep and lack of micronutrients based on the National Health and Examination Survey (NHANES 2005-2016). The study found that adults who have short sleep had inadequate amounts of vitamin C in their bodies.10 

Furthermore, another study supports the link between vitamin C and sleep quality. Kanagasabai & Ardern11 discovered that adequate sleepers (7 to 8 hour per night) had an optimal amount of vitamin C and other antioxidants. Meanwhile, sleepers with short (5 to 6 hour per night) and very short (fewer than 4 hour per night) sleep duration had significantly lower vitamin C levels, together with vitamin D and carotenoids.11 

Also, vegetables and fruits are good sources of vitamin C. Noorwali et al.12 demonstrated that participants who sleep 7 to 8 hours per day have a higher intake of fruits and vegetables as well as higher levels of plasma vitamin C than short sleepers (less than 7 hours per day). Therefore, it can be established that taking vitamin C might help you to sleep better. 

Ways in which vitamin C assists with sleep

As mentioned before, vitamin C might help you to sleep better. But what are the ways in which vitamin C assists with sleep? Well, experts have several theories regarding the mechanism underlying vitamin C in providing good sleep.

A study reviews the relationship between vitamin C intake and insomnia.7 Insomnia is a type of sleep disorder, and it can be associated with depression. Depression is one of the signs of various vitamin deficiencies, including vitamin C.7 Vitamin C converts dopamine to noradrenaline which plays a role in regulating and improving mood.7 Vitamin C is also vital in the production of serotonin. 7 Therefore, vitamin C might relieve insomnia by producing antidepressant effects and improving our mood. 7

Furthermore, a study investigates the association between vitamin C and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Few experts argued that OSA might be due to oxidative stress, where there is an excess production of free radicals.7 Also, decreased antioxidant status also contributes to OSA.7 Researchers demonstrated that vitamin C, an antioxidant agent, is beneficial and effective in treating OSA.7 Antioxidants in vitamin C help eliminate oxidative stress's damaging effects, decreasing symptoms of OSA.7 Another study also suggested the same theory that vitamin C treatment might lower the production of free radicals, which can prevent sleep deprivation.13

Other benefits of taking vitamin C

The benefits of taking vitamin C are not limited to only your beauty sleep. It is also good for your skin. Vitamin C promotes the formation of collagen, which is vital to maintaining healthy skin. 14 Besides, vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that helps neutralise oxidants found in environmental pollutants and after exposure to ultraviolet radiation.14 In other words, vitamin C is effective in reducing oxidative damage to the skin, especially if you use it with vitamin E.14

Vitamin C also plays a vital role in supporting other mechanisms related to bone health.15 Calcium is needed to prevent bone loss, whereas vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption.15 Vitamin C can help boost calcium absorption, building stronger bones.15

Besides, vitamin C plays an essential role in activating vitamin B and folic acid.1 It is also used to treat many diseases and disorders.1 Other than that, vitamin C can improve your immune system, reduce the severity of your allergic reactions, as well as help fight off infections.1 In other words, vitamin C has various beneficial impacts on us. 


This article explains the role of vitamin C, especially in our sleep. Lack of vitamin C can lead to various ill-health conditions. Vitamin C deficiency can be detected through many signs. Thus, it is vital to monitor yourself, ensuring you have adequate vitamin C in your body. Having enough vitamin C is important to maintain your health and ensure good sleep quality. Vitamin C is vital for your skin, bone health, and immune systems. Therefore, remember to always include enough vegetables and fruits in your everyday diet. Or, talk to the healthcare provider if you notice some signs of low levels of vitamin C in yourself or your loved ones. 


  1. Chambial S, Dwivedi S, Shukla KK, John PJ, Sharma P. Vitamin c in disease prevention and cure: an overview. Indian J Clin Biochem [Internet]. 2013 Oct [cited 2022 Aug 22];28(4):314–28. Available from: 
  2. Lykstad J, Sharma S. Biochemistry, water soluble vitamins. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 [cited 2022 Aug 22]. Available from: 
  3. Maxfield L, Crane JS. Vitamin c deficiency. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 [cited 2022 Aug 23]. Available from: 
  4. Lykkesfeldt J. On the effect of vitamin C intake on human health: How to (Mis)interprete the clinical evidence. Redox Biol [Internet]. 2020 May 23 [cited 2022 Aug 23];34:101532. Available from: 
  5. Abdullah M, Jamil RT, Attia FN. Vitamin c(Ascorbic acid). In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 [cited 2022 Aug 24]. Available from: 
  6. Clarke TC, Black LI, Stussman BJ, Barnes PM, Nahin RL. Trends in the use of complementary health approaches among adults: united states, 2002–2012. Natl Health Stat Report [Internet]. 2015 Feb 10 [cited 2022 Aug 24];(79):1–16. Available from: 
  7. Otocka-Kmiecik A, Król A. The role of vitamin c in two distinct physiological states: physical activity and sleep. Nutrients [Internet]. 2020 Dec 21 [cited 2022 Aug 24];12(12):3908. Available from: 
  8. Shechter A, Grandner MA, St-Onge MP. The role of sleep in the control of food intake. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine [Internet]. 2014 Nov [cited 2022 Aug 24];8(6):371–4. Available from: 
  9. Buysse DJ. Sleep health: can we define it? Does it matter? Sleep [Internet]. 2014 Jan 1 [cited 2022 Aug 24];37(1):9–17. Available from: 
  10. Ikonte CJ, Mun JG, Reider CA, Grant RW, Mitmesser SH. Micronutrient inadequacy in short sleep: analysis of the changes 2005–2016. Nutrients [Internet]. 2019 Oct 1 [cited 2022 Aug 24];11(10):2335. Available from: 
  11. Kanagasabai T, Ardern CI. Contribution of inflammation, oxidative stress, and antioxidants to the relationship between sleep duration and cardiometabolic health. Sleep [Internet]. 2015 Dec 1 [cited 2022 Aug 24];38(12):1905–12. Available from: 
  12. Noorwali EA, Cade JE, Burley VJ, Hardie LJ. The relationship between sleep duration and fruit/vegetable intakes in UK adults: a cross-sectional study from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey. BMJ Open [Internet]. 2018 Apr [cited 2022 Aug 24];8(4):e020810. Available from: 
  13. Mhaidat NM, Alzoubi KH, Khabour OF, Tashtoush NH, Banihani SA, Abdul-razzak KK. Exploring the effect of vitamin C on sleep deprivation induced memory impairment. Brain Research Bulletin [Internet]. 2015 Apr [cited 2022 Aug 25];113:41–7. Available from: 
  14. Pullar JM, Carr AC, Vissers MCM. The roles of vitamin c in skin health. Nutrients [Internet]. 2017 Aug 12 [cited 2022 Aug 25];9(8):866. Available from: 
  15. Kim MH, Lee HJ. Osteoporosis, vitamin C intake, and physical activity in Korean adults aged 50 years and over. J Phys Ther Sci [Internet]. 2016 [cited 2022 Aug 25];28(3):725–30. Available from: 

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This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Sentia Racha Keyulong

Bachelor of Science - BSc, Psychology, The University of Edinburgh, Scotland, Scotland

Sentia is an experienced Research Assistant and Medical Writer.

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