The Sunshine Vitamin: Does Vitamin D Help You Sleep?
So you know that you’re probably deficient in some vitamins and minerals because, let’s face it, most people are. What you don’t know is the effect these deficiencies may be having on your body, and whether or not they are issues that you need to address.
One of these common deficiencies is Vitamin D, or the sunshine vitamin. Understandably, Vitamin D has many benefits for our body and its internal processes, but more than half of people are lacking in it.
Further, did you know that your lack of Vitamin D may also be affecting your sleep? How does Vitamin D help you sleep?
Learning more about the powers of Vitamin D can help you improve your waking and sleep states, and work on getting a more restful night’s sleep.
What is Vitamin D Really
Vitamin D, unlike other vitamins, is alternatively also considered a prohormone because the body can produce it on its own when exposed to sunlight.
It is also known by some other names, including calcidiol because it influences the calcium concentration in your blood.
When your skin takes in sunlight, your liver and kidneys begin a process that converts another chemical into the active calcidiol. Then, Vitamin D goes to work to support your immune system and other functions.
The majority of your Vitamin D needs can be absorbed through regular sunlight exposure. Only a small amount of Vitamin D needs to come from other sources, like food.
Secondary sources help to provide a small amount of Vitamin D to fill out your daily needs.
What Vitamin D Promotes
Although inaptly named, Vitamin D assists in proper and efficient absorption of other vitamins and minerals like calcium and phosphorous. As a result, it has been found to be beneficial in promoting bone health and immune system strength.
In short, Vitamin D plays a part in almost every system in the body, so a lack of Vitamin D can have some concerning results that consistently affect your everyday life.
Does Vitamin D Help You Sleep
The short answer, yes. There are some studies that consider Vitamin D to have an effect on sleep quality, as well as how long you are able to sleep, and how tired you are during the day.
There is still much to learn when studying the relationship between Vitamin D and sleep. Given that Vitamin D production is triggered by sunlight exposure, it might be difficult to see the link between this sunshine vitamin and sleep.
Your sleep cycle is controlled by your circadian rhythm, and the hormone production and releases that happen throughout this cycle also happen to be affected by Vitamin D levels.
While the biology of it all is a little complicated, the conclusion remains true. Vitamin D levels and sleep are intrinsically connected. For a sleep-deprived society, this information could be crucial to restoring healthy sleep routines.
Lack of Vitamin D Effects
There are several supposed effects of Vitamin D deficiency on your sleeping habits. Not getting enough Vitamin D may result in more frequent disruptions in your sleep, or waking up more often.
It is also possible to experience insomnia or generally a lower sleep quality. When you wake up still tired, or not feeling as restored from your sleep, Vitamin D may be to blame.
The sunshine vitamin can also affect your mood and existing mental health conditions. As is associated with a lack of sunlight, some forms of depression can be influenced by Vitamin D levels.
A lack thereof can intensify or prolong symptoms of certain mood disorders like depression.
Where to Get Vitamin D
Although most of your Vitamin D production comes from regular sun exposure so that your body can create this hormone, there are also certain food sources that can help.
Food items that are a good source of Vitamin D include fish like salmon or tuna, as well as certain dairy items. Milk, cheese, and also eggs can provide that extra dose of the sunshine vitamin to your diet.
Again, while Vitamin D foods are beneficial for maintaining a well-rounded diet, there is no need to overdo it. You can’t fully supplement your Vitamin D needs through vitamin-rich foods.
Supplementing Vitamin D
With all the supplementing needs and advice circulating the internet, you might be tempted to supplement Vitamin D in order to improve your sleep habits and general well-being.
However, it is crucial that supplementing any vitamin or mineral is done with caution, and after consulting your doctor. While Vitamin D has many benefits, it can also inversely react with melatonin.
Especially if you take a Vitamin D supplement in the evening, it can interact with your melatonin production and have the opposite intended results.
Still, Vitamin D in conjunction with other vitamins can help you sleep, and if you are sure about including it in your supplement routine, make sure it is a quality source. Consider taking it in the morning instead of at night so that your body can digest and absorb it more effectively.
Vitamin D and Better Sleep
Sufficient Vitamin D may be a beneficial step in improving your sleep and feeling more well-rested.
You may have been confused about the initial association between Vitamin D and sleep, and you may have asked yourself, “Does Vitamin D help you sleep?” Now, you know.
Vitamin D has an effect on most of your body’s systems, so regardless of the effect it has on your sleep, it is an imperative necessity for your overall health.
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