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Myth or reality: Vitamin D and sleep

Myth or reality: Vitamin D and sleep
Apr 19, 2017

People have long debated the correlation between vitamin D and sleep. However, a recent study shows that vitamin D levels may contribute to a sleep quality and quantity.

D’s and Zzz’s: The studies

A study of 3068 men aged 68 and older showed that those with low vitamin D had lower sleep efficiency. [1]

Among participants, 16 per cent had low levels of vitamin D. To identify the possible influence of vitamin D over sleep, researchers controlled for several other factors, including age, season of the year, other health conditions, body-mass index, and both physical and cognitive function.

They found that low levels of vitamin D were linked to several problems with sleep:

  • Low vitamin D increased the likelihood that participants experienced insufficient sleep, sleeping fewer than five hours a night.
  • Low levels of vitamin D were linked to lower sleep efficiency scores, as well as a greater chance of scoring below 70 per cent. A healthy sleep efficiency score is generally considered to be 85 per cent or higher.

Another article claims that vitamin D pauses the production of melatonin (the hormone that helps us sleep). This would mean that if taken at night, it could disrupt our ability to get a good night’s rest.[2] Other studies[3] conclude that every human has a ‘sweet spot,’ a certain amount of vitamin D absorption that will result in a good night’s sleep. This suggests that too much or too little vitamin D could result in a restless night.

Myth or reality?

Studies so far are showing that there could be a relationship between vitamin D and getting that good night sleep, but not enough data exists to suggest that vitamin D may actually be an effective treatment of a low sleep efficiency score. Until we have more concrete data, it is unknown whether or not vitamin D may actually be able to help us catch our ZZZ’s effectively.

Regardless of the many studies done on vitamin D and sleep, it seems that sleep is better when the body is in good health. Vitamin D is a part of maintaining optimal health and therefore could play a role in a good night’s sleep.



About the author:

Natalie Preddie | Blogger

Natalie Preddie captures her growing family’s adventures on her popular blog and through social media. She has been featured in the Toronto Star, Travel & Leisure, TravelPulse Canada, CAA Magazine, Canadian Family and more. She is a regular guest on CHCH Morning Live and CTV News.


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