If you suffer from iron deficiency or iron deficiency anemia, you know that iron supplements are the best way to increase your iron levels and reduce the symptoms while improving your health.
Iron pills are very easy to take. But if you want to make sure they’re as effective as they can possibly be, there are rules you should follow. For example, you should take your iron pills with food and avoid drinking milk around the time of taking them.
But what about the time of day you take your iron pills? Does it matter?
For instance, should you be taking your iron pills at night? Or is taking them in the morning a better idea?
- Iron pills need to be properly digested to be well absorbed by your body. At night, digestion slows down. As a result, taking iron pills at night makes them less effective, which means they won’t help treat iron deficiency anemia as efficiently.
- What’s more, iron pills can cause indigestion, upset stomach, nausea, and constipation.
- So, if you take them at night, right before lying down, you can experience these symptoms more severely.
- Because of that, it’s a good idea to avoid taking iron pills at night, especially if you can help it.
What happens when you take iron pills before bed?
Generally, there’s nothing wrong with taking iron pills before bed. So, if you have no other choice, you can take them at night.
But there are some downsides to taking these supplements before bed.
First of all, digestion slows down at night since we’re not eating, so our digestive systems are less efficient at digesting and metabolizing foods.
Because of that, iron pills are also absorbed less effectively at night.
Another thing that happens when you take iron pills at night is that you may experience stomach issues, such as stomach cramps, constipation, and nausea.
What’s more, these symptoms can be exacerbated if you lie down in bed.
Plus, if you take iron pills on a full stomach, you might decrease the absorption of this mineral. This is because there’s a higher chance that you’ve eaten or drunk something that negatively impacts how well your body absorbs iron.
Is it better to take iron supplements in the morning or at night?
Most experts agree that it’s best to take iron supplements on an empty stomach. This means that the best time to take these supplements is in the morning, right after waking up.
You can definitely have some food with your iron pills or a glass of orange juice. But iron is best absorbed when you haven’t eaten large meals for a couple of hours before taking the pills.
On the other hand, some people experience stomach issues after taking iron pills. In this case, experts say it might be beneficial to take iron supplements with a meal to ensure that your digestive tract is working effectively and digests the pills faster.
Another reason why it’s best to take iron supplements in the morning and on an empty stomach is that lots of foods and beverages can negatively impact the absorption of iron.
For example, coffee, tea, milk, calcium-rich foods, and dairy are all foods and beverages that inhibit the absorption of iron.
So, if you take iron on an empty stomach, you avoid decreasing the amounts of iron absorbed.
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Can iron supplements affect sleep?
Iron deficiency anemia makes you tired easily, increases the feelings of exhaustion, and makes you more fatigued. Iron pills help balance your iron levels, treating iron deficiency anemia.
Because of that, you might experience higher energy levels, which means your sleep will improve too.
What’s more, studies show that taking iron supplements significantly improves various issues, such as restless leg syndrome, which affect sleep quality.
You may also reduce the frequency of your headaches, heart palpitations, and other iron deficiency-related problems.
In that sense, taking iron supplements has lots of positive effects on how well you sleep. So, iron supplements shouldn’t negatively impact your sleep.
On the other hand, some people report stomach issues, such as constipation, stomach cramps, and nausea.
If that’s the case for you, iron pills might, in fact, negatively affect how well you sleep if you take them before sleeping.
These stomach issues make it much harder to fall and stay asleep. This can also make you much more fatigued, especially if you already suffer from iron deficiency or iron deficiency anemia.
As a result, it might be best to avoid taking iron pills right before heading to bed.
Can taking iron pills at night keep you awake?
As mentioned above, iron pills are very unlikely to directly affect your sleep in any way. But some people still worry that taking these supplements might make them lose some sleep.
Luckily, there’s no research that shows a close link between taking iron pills at night and insomnia.
In fact, taking iron supplements to treat iron deficiency or iron deficiency anemia can help address some sleep issues.
Research shows that low iron levels decrease your sleep quality, making you lethargic and fatigued throughout the day.
So, taking iron supplements may actually make you sleep better and contribute to a healthy circadian rhythm.
In the same way, iron supplements don’t make you sleepy either. So, the pill itself doesn’t really have a direct effect on how easily you can fall and stay asleep.
Can you lie down after taking iron supplements?
Overall, there’s no rule that says you shouldn’t lie down after taking iron supplements, whether they’re in pill or liquid form.
But some people experience stomach irritation after taking pills and capsules, especially iron supplements.
So, if you lay down right after taking them, you may exacerbate how severe these symptoms will be.
To make these symptoms less severe, you can take iron pills with a glass of water or orange juice.
This can help ensure that iron pills don’t irritate your digestive tract too much. Still, avoid taking your iron pills with a large amount of food, as it can make it tough for your stomach.
Still, laying down after taking any supplement can make you feel rather nauseous. So, you may want to avoid laying down right after taking iron supplements.
Does taking iron pills at night make them less effective?
There are several things that impact how well supplements are absorbed, and the time of the day is one of the factors.
Taking iron pills at night means that you’re ingesting them on a full stomach after a whole day of eating.
This increases the chances that you’ve eaten something that negatively impacts how well iron is absorbed.
Additionally, your stomach doesn’t work as effectively at night as it does during the day. Digestion is slowed down, which means that iron is not absorbed as well as it would have been otherwise.
So, taking iron at night might make your pills less effective at increasing your iron levels.
On the other hand, if for some reason you can’t take iron pills in the morning, you can still take them at night.
If you do that, though, be sure to avoid eating calcium-rich foods, milk, dairy, coffee, or tea for about two to three hours before taking the pills.
What’s more, try taking these supplements with a glass of orange juice since it increases the absorption of iron.
Plus, try not to lay down for about 10 minutes after taking iron pills at night.
Can you take iron supplements in liquid form at night?
Iron supplements come in many forms, including pills, liquid, and chewable tablets. All of these forms are effective, but many people choose different forms depending on their needs and preferences.
For example, iron supplements in liquid form might be better for people who have trouble with taking hard pills and capsules.
What’s more, this form of an iron supplement can also be better for people who prefer to take their vitamins and supplements at night.
This is because liquid supplements don’t tend to cause digestive system problems, such as stomach cramps, nausea, and indigestion.
These symptoms make falling asleep harder. So, by taking liquid iron supplements, you can avoid these issues and make sleeping easier.
Additionally, some research shows that liquid supplements might be absorbed faster by your digestive tract, even when digestion is slowed down like at night, for example.
So, if you’re one of the people who prefer or have to take your iron supplements at night, opting for liquid supplements is a better choice.
There’s a lot of research that suggests taking iron supplements in the morning brings you the largest number of benefits.
On the other hand, taking iron pills at night can cause stomach issues and reduce the absorption of this mineral.
So, if you’re taking iron supplements to treat iron deficiency anemia, you’re better off taking your iron pills in the morning on an empty stomach.
That way, you can ensure that your body absorbs as much iron as possible.