Alaska Sleep Education Center

How Vitamin D Impacts Your Sleep and Overall Health

Posted by Kevin Faber on Feb 9, 2022 9:00:00 AM

Thoughtful young woman with vitamin icons circulating around her head.

Vitamin D is an important nutrient that is necessary for many different processes within the body. However, vitamin D deficiency is more common than some might think. Deficiencies can range from severe to mild and can impact your health in many different ways. Additionally, it can be possible to have a vitamin deficiency without even realizing it. Even if you aren't deficient, there can still be many benefits to understanding what vitamin D does for your body, and finding ways to boost it. If you are looking for a simple way to boost your health and start feeling more energized, here are some things to consider. 


Understanding Vitamin D

If you truly want to feel your best, then you need to understand vitamin D and the role that it plays in your health. Vitamin D is a nutrient that is created in your body when your skin is exposed to sunlight. Often, your body will begin to produce vitamin D with as little as 10 to 15 minutes of exposure. Additionally, vitamin D can also be found in some food sources, like egg yolks, cheese, milk, and fish. 

While obtaining the proper amounts of vitamin D is simple for many, there can be health and lifestyle factors that prevent you from producing and maintaining enough vitamin D in your system. One factor that can impact your D levels in a meaningful way is the diet that you eat. If you are a vegan or a vegetarian, then you might not get as much vitamin D from food sources. This is due to the fact that most foods that contain vitamin D are animal-based.

Along with what you eat, how much time you spend outside can also have a direct impact on your D levels. If you spend little to no time outside, then your body may not have the opportunity to produce enough vitamin D. Where you live can impact this, too. Those who live in the Northern Hemisphere may not be able to get as much sun as those who live closer to the equator.

Beyond diet and sun exposure, there are other factors that can impact your ability to create and absorb vitamin D. Those with darker skin may have more trouble getting the vitamin D that they need, and those who are obese or who have certain conditions that affect the kidneys or digestive tract may also struggle to get enough vitamin D. 


Vitamin D and Sleep

Vitamin D is often called the sunshine vitamin. However, it can have a lot to do with the quality of sleep that you get at night. This vitamin can have a significant impact on sleep regulation. This means that it affects when you fall asleep, and how long you stay asleep. It can also affect how tired you are throughout the day, and how energized you are able to feel.

Part of the reason that your D levels impact how you sleep is that there are vitamin D receptors in your brain, which the vitamin will then bind to. If you don't have enough of the vitamin in your system, then there won't be enough of it to bind to the receptors properly. This can ultimately result in poorer sleep, and in less sleep overall. 

Something else that you need to consider when it comes to sleep and vitamin D is that the vitamin can actually make it harder to fall asleep if you take it too close to your bedtime. This is because vitamin D is typically obtained from sunlight, and when you absorb vitamin D can have a direct impact on your internal clock. By being mindful of when you are taking your vitamin d gummies and trying to take them earlier on in the day if possible, you can help ensure that your dosage times aren't sabotaging your sleep. 


Vitamin D and Mood

Just as vitamin D or the lack of it can have a strong impact on your sleep quality, it can also affect your mood. This is due in part to the fact that getting poor sleep can cause you to have a worsened mood. However, even if you are getting quality sleep, a lack of this vitamin can still impact your mental state negatively. There is some evidence that a lack of vitamin D can result in poor moods or even depression. 

Some who are suffering with vitamin D deficiency may find themselves struggling with lethargy, brain fog, anxiety and forgetfulness, to name a few. These symptoms can mimic many mental health disorders, and make it difficult for you to function in a normal way. In fact, some may even find themselves being misdiagnosed with a mental health issue, when the reality is that they are actually low in vitamin D. If this is the case, then these symptoms will often resolve themselves with proper supplementation. 


Vitamin D and Overall Health

Along with your sleep quality and your mood, vitamin D can have a significant impact on your overall health. From bone health to heart health, vitamin D impacts many different areas of your body. This is due in part to the fact that the body has many vitamin D receptors, and also that vitamin D is used in lots of processes that your body undertakes.

For example, vitamin D helps calcium enter your bones, which means that it can be difficult to maintain strong bones if you aren't getting enough vitamin D. This can be true even if you are getting plenty of calcium, which many associate with bone health. Low levels of vitamin D are also linked to high blood pressure, which can be detrimental on its own, and can also contribute to poor heart health, as well. 


Some Last Thoughts

Improving your health may not always feel like a simple task, especially if you think  that you may have a vitamin deficiency. Not only that, but vitamin D deficiency can have a wide range of symptoms that might not always seem easy to pinpoint. In some cases, this deficiency can easily be misdiagnosed as something else, and the only way to know for sure if you have optimal levels is to get a blood test.

The good news is, though, that finding ways to give yourself a boost can be easy. There can be lots of simple lifestyle changes you can make to ensure that you are getting enough sun and that you are supplementing properly. Beyond that even if you aren't deficient there can still be many health benefits, like more energy and a boosted mood,  to increasing your vitamin D levels. 

It’s all well and good taking vitamins and minerals, but to get a good night’s sleep, you have to ensure that your diet and lifestyle choices are healthy too. So as well as making sure you consume foods rich in sleep-friendly nutrients, cut down on your caffeine and alcohol intake, avoid technology immediately before bed, and build up energy to exercise regularly.

Call Alaska Sleep Clinic today@ 907-357-6700 if you cannot seem to find out a way to get better sleep for a free sleep assessment. Improve Your Sleep. Improve Your Life.

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Topics: alaska sleep clinic, insomnia, vitamins, overall wellness

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