How Vitamin D Affects Your Sleep

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Research suggests that Vitamin D may play an important role in maintaining healthy sleep. Given that an estimated 30 to 50 percent of the U.S. population has a Vitamin D deficiency, some people could potentially be experiencing bad sleep due to this deficiency without even knowing it.

What is Vitamin D, anyway? In a blog for the Huffington Post, sleep expert Dr. Michael Breus Ph.D. explained: “The body actually produces its own Vitamin D, in response to exposure to sunlight. For this reason, Vitamin D isn’t actually considered a vitamin at all, but rather is classified as a hormone. Besides sun exposure, people also receive Vitamin D from foods — fatty fish and fish oils, egg yolks, as well as fortified foods like dairy and juice — and also from supplements.”

As for the link between low Vitamin D and poor sleep, one study found that “low serum levels of vitamin D [were] independently associated with sleep disturbance” in hemodialysis patients. Another linked Vitamin D deficiency with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS).

And further research shows that raising Vitamin D levels can improve sleep quality, like in one study concluding that Vitamin D helped improve sleep and lower pain levels in veterans suffering from chronic pain.

[Editor’s Note: The information provided should not be considered a substitute for professional advice. Please consult a sleep doctor or other medical expert if you have questions related to your own health.]

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The reason why Vitamin D deficiency may lead to poor sleep quality isn’t exactly clear, but experts say it makes sense. “It seems only logical that the hormone that links us to the sun would also affect sleep, our most circadian of actions,” Dr. Stasha Gominak, a neurologist, told BodyEcology.com.

If you are concerned about your Vitamin D levels or intake, consult your doctor. You can have your Vitamin D levels checked through routine blood work. If your Vitamin D levels are low, there are numerous things you can do to improve them like taking daily supplements and eating plenty of Vitamin D-rich foods like salmon, mushrooms, herring, oysters, cod liver oil, and canned tuna. Another solution is spending more time in the sun. While experts stress that sunlight is important for Vitamin D production, you should always avoid damaging your skin.

Ultimately, a Vitamin D deficiency is just one thing that could be causing poor sleep. If your Vitamin D levels are normal but you are still struggling to get good sleep, consult a specialist about what else could be causing your issues, give acupuncture a try, and above all, try not to stress about it — since, of course, stressing will make your sleep troubles even worse.

[Editor’s Note: The information provided should not be considered a substitute for professional advice. Please consult a sleep doctor or other medical expert if you have questions related to your own health.]

Featured image: RossHelen/Shutterstock

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Joe Auer

Joe Auer is the editor of Mattress Clarity. He mainly focuses on mattress reviews and oversees the content across the site.

He likes things simple and take a straightforward, objective approach to his reviews. Joe has personally tested nearly 250 mattresses and always recommends people do their research before buying a new bed. He has been testing mattresses for over 5 years now, so he knows a thing or two when it comes to mattress selection. He has been cited as an authority in the industry by a number of large publications.

Joe has an undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University and an MBA from Columbia University.