How Vitamin D Affects Your Sleep

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How Vitamin D affects your sleep plays an important role towards your happiness.

Why is Vitamin D + Sleep so important for my happiness?

When was the last time you had to stay up late on a big project, or had to get up super early to catch that flight. I bet your mood the next morning wasn’t all that great. We all have those instances where we don’t get the best sleep. Some of us may feel that we never get the sleep that we need. Getting good quality sleep every night is very important to our overall happiness and well-being. Why is sleep so important to happiness and how is sleep affected by your levels of vitamin D (the sunshine vitamin)?

Short Term Effects:

Not getting that great night of sleep can have a number of short term effects. Feeling fatigued, poor concentration and memory loss are the most noticeable. Due to our brains not functioning on an optimum level, we can anticipate our productivity to suffer. Mood would be affected as well, causing more irritability, mood swings and poor judgement (1).  

Long Term Effects:

While these short term effects can hinder our happiness, not getting enough quality sleep can also have long term effects that go beyond just irritability.  Some of these effects to name a few are depression, anxiety and a lowered immune system (2, 3). 

It is not just the amount of sleep we get during the night either. The quality of sleep is just as important. 

Our story:

This photo was approved by Ben!

Pre-COVID, my husband Ben would nap on the bus on his commute to and from Chicago. He was sleeping a total of 8 hours a day, but 2 of these hours were poor quality sleep. His time sleeping on the bus did not allow for his brain to get that all important REM sleep that we hear so much about (4). Much like Ben, you may find that you are going to bed early but are having trouble falling asleep or waking multiple times during the night. 

Now that Ben is working from home, he has seen great improvements in his sleep schedule and diet. He now feels much more rested during the day and finds he is not nearly as irritable and able to perform better at work. 

A Change:

While some of this can be explained by his uninterrupted sleep, his diet is also playing a key role. We have both worked hard to increase our daily intake of important vitamins and minerals and have tried everything from meditation to drinking calcium-magnesium drinks just before bed. However, the biggest improvement we saw was when we increased our vitamin D levels.  

Read our newsletters:

In our last newsletter, we share ways of upping our daily intake of vitamin D and the benefits of taking vitamin D in the morning (a fat-soluble vitamin) and also the importance of taking it with food (food synergy) for optimal performance in our body (5). We now understand that other than sunshine the best way to absorb vitamin D supplements is in combination with food as indicated here.

How Does Vitamin D Improve Our Sleep and Happiness?

There are a number of ways that vitamin D can help us get a better night’s rest.

Sleep quality+sleep duration:

A recent study reported on how the happiness of a person correlates to sleep quality and sleep duration (6). Vitamin D supplements are linked to better moods and happiness (7). We can assume that increasing our vitamin D levels and being happier during the day can increase our quality of sleep. This is why the combination of vitamin D as well as getting 7+ hours of sleep each night is so important. Once we obtain optimal levels of vitamin D, not only will we be happier, but we will also get an increase in our happiness through better sleep.

Vitamin D deficiency+sleeping disorders:

In another analysis, a relationship between vitamin D deficiency and sleep disorders was found. People who were labeled as deficient in vitamin D (or less than 20 ng/mL of vitamin D in the blood) were found to be more likely to experience some type of sleeping disorder. When the right amount of vitamin D per person was found (each person requires a different amount of vitamin D) the sleeping disorders started to trail off (8). 

Finally, experimental studies have identified that vitamin D receptors aid the central nervous system and are found in parts of the brain that play an important role in sleep regulation (9). These vitamin D receptors also notice when our bones deteriorate which could cause chronic pain. Individuals with chronic pain are at risk for poor sleep quality and shorter sleep duration (10). Vitamin D receptors also regulate the actions around wakefulness that are commonly related to sleep disorders like insomnia and sluggishness (11). Based on these studies, while there still are some inconclusive answers, there is definitely a correlation between long-term low levels of vitamin D and sleep disorders. 

The bottom line:

Bottom line, to achieve happiness, our bodies must achieve optimal levels of vitamin D to get the most out of the way we sleep. That includes the quality of sleep that we get (deep sleep and REM), the duration of sleep (over 7+ hours), and how we feel during the day (sluggishness). While we can’t guarantee that taking the optimal levels of vitamin D will cure your insomnia or tiredness during the day, it will be a huge step in the right direction to higher performance levels, stopping irritability and unnecessarily waking up in the middle of the night. Which can eventually lead to a happier you.

Actions:

  • This weeks Challenge: Get 3 nights of 7+ hours of sleep this week. 
  • Comment below! We would love to hear from you. Let us know your thoughts on this weeks newsletter.
  • For recipes with Vitamin D, click below.

Salmon Teriyaki Bowl

Salmon Burgers

 Jalapeno Deviled Eggs

Elena

Elena

I'm Elena, the driving spirit behind Savor Paradise, where the Culinary Travel Lifestyle meets unique Airbnb experiences. Join me in a flavorful journey, discovering exceptional recipes and hidden Airbnb gems, as we embrace the adventure of culinary travel.

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