Can Vitamin D Treat Sleep Disorders?
Keeping Sleep Disorders Away May Be as Simple as Getting Enough Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a lot more crucial than most people realize. In fact, there are some who say that the vast majority of humans suffer from chronic vitamin D deficiencies in the western world. We get vitamin D from a number of different sources, though it is surprisingly difficult to find in foods that are not fortified with it. We get most of our vitamin D from the sun. Our bodies actually synthesize it when the ultraviolet radiation hits our body. But can vitamin D treat sleep disorders?
There are literally hundreds of different sleeping disorders on the books… and modern humans certainly feel the ‘pain’ from many of them when the time comes to lay down and rest. From snoring, to insomnia, to narcolepsy, it is amazing that we get any sleep at all sometimes.
But one certain type of vitamin D may be a surprisingly effective ally in our fight against sleep loss.
Here is what you need to know.
How Can Vitamin D Treat Sleep Disorders?
The first idea for using vitamin D to treat sleep disorders came from some research that showed a correlation between vitamin D deficiency and poor sleep. Researchers from Iran, using this research as a basis, then conducted a study to test it further. The study involved 89 individuals, ranging from 20 to 50 years of age, and was intended to further explore the link between a deficiency of this vital vitamin and poor sleep quality.
The study was pretty clearcut. The participants were separated into two groups, and one was given a placebo while the other was given a vitamin D supplement. Those who took part in the study were asked a series of questions before and after the test. Their diet was assessed, as was their exposure to sunlight and their overall health in general.
At the end of the study, it was shown that the group who took the vitamin D supplement fared much better than the group who took the placebo. They showed significant improvements in their sleeping habits, and seemed to just sleep better than the other group.
Obviously this is not the end of the process. More studies need to be done… but so far, the evidence seems to at least suggest that there is actually something to the ‘myth’ that vitamin D is good for sleep.
How to Get More Vitamin D in Your Diet
There are a lot of foods that are fortified with Vitamin D2… but vitamin D3 is actually the vitamin produced when sunlight hits our skin, and that is the type that we need for better sleep.
You can get more vitamin D3 by spending more time in the sunlight, taking supplements, and eating foods like fatty fish and egg yolks.
But you may also benefit from boosting your vitamin D ‘receptors’ as well. Eating foods that will help you to break down and absorb the vitamin from foods and supplements is also super important. A lot of cruciferous vegetables can help with this, as they contain a compound called sulforaphane. You can also find these receptors in foods like wasabi, arugula, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, and kale.
You can gain vitamin D receptor benefits by eating these vegetables raw… but you can also consume them fermented to achieve the same results, which can sometimes help with the taste if you are not super-into raw vegetables.
Some researchers say that vitamin D2 may actually hurt or further trouble your ability to sleep… so for best results, you may want to stick with D3 and avoid supplementing with D2. This is obviously something that you can test out for yourself, but keep this in mind as you implement the information (if you choose to) to better the quality of your rest.