The more you learn about vitamin D3, the more impressed you should be!
D3 is well known to help build bones, jumping sheep (smaller) modify pain and is an important pro-hormone precursor. Since 2009, researchers have also linked low vitamin D3 levels to issues with sleep. Subsequent studies continue to look at vitamin D3 to assess how low, normal and therapeutic levels influence sleep, improve sleep time and quality.
If you have less than perfect sleep, make sure you observe good sleep habits -- try to go to bed at the same time each night, have a comfy but supportive mattress, a darkened room and maintain an ideal 72 degree temperature. Despite your good intentions, if sleep is still less than ideal, perhaps you'll take one more step. Check your vitamin D3 level with a simple blood test to see if it is a contributing factor to your lack of restorative sleep.
In a very large 2015 study of 3,048 men that those with low vitamin D3 levels had the most disrupted sleep and shorter sleep time overall. Researchers measured blood levels of D3, then measured each participant's sleep using wrist sensors as an objective tool. Previous sleep studies were based on subjective responses from participants as to how well they slept, which were harder to objectively quantify.
From wrist actigraphy, researchers looked at the recorded measurements for total sleep time, as well as wake time after falling asleep. They also assessed sleep efficiency or the time actually spent asleep while in bed. A healthy score is around 85%; participants with low vitamin D3 were likely to score below 70 and sleep less than 5 hours. A low efficiency score indicates troubled sleep, either waking too many times, not falling asleep easily or short sleep time with early wakening.
Having a blood test to measure the amount of vitamin D3 in your blood is the only way to know if you’re getting enough vitamin D3 or not. The blood test you need is called a 25(OH)D blood test. The optimal level is 50 ng/mL according to the Vitamin D Council; not the minimum 30 ng/mL that is considered "normal" by the Institute of Medicine which sets up the guidelines.
Beyond its relationship to sleep and healthy bones, vitamin D3 has been found to play a role in irritable bowel syndrome, weight loss, cancer, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, mood and depression. Low levels are associated with a higher risk of developing any of these. Regulating a D3 level between 60-80 ng/mL helped sleep but also neurological-related symptoms in a study of 1500 patients.
Everyone knows that good sleep is required for good health -- to encourage strong immunity, rest and repair the body, next day cognition, a "reset" of brain chemicals -- well, you get the picture! So if you're counting sheep instead of fast asleep, consider checking your D3 level.
Supplementing is easy with a bioavailable D3. Your dose will depend on how low your D3 actual is. Suggested daily doses may be 2,000 IU up to 5,000 IU. Your doctor can order your blood tests and follow your progress.
Study Source: Sleep. 2015 Feb 1;38(2):251-7
©TyH Publications (M. Squires). For informational purposes only.