Vitamin D Deficiency and Sleep Disorder: Are They Related?
The lack of vitamin D in your body could be related to the occurrence of several diseases like psoriasis, chronic kidney disease, diabetes mellitus, asthma, depression, and cancer. In fact, some recent studies have also suggested that our levels of Vitamin D may have an impact on the quality of sleep we get each night.
This could be one reason for your daytime tiredness, sleep disruptions and in certain cases a major factor leading to obstructive sleep apnea. Here’s a look at how vitamin D may help you sleep better, and how you can boost vitamin D levels in your body.
Does Vitamin D Help You Sleep?
To understand how Vitamin D helps you sleep better, you need to first know what Vitamin D actually is. You might be surprised to discover, but Vitamin D is not really a vitamin! Rather, it’s a group of fat-soluble hormones produced within your skin when it’s exposed to natural sunlight. Apart from sunlight, it is also found in a few foods such as salmon and tuna, beef liver, cooked egg yolks and some mushrooms.
The main function of vitamin D is absorbing calcium in our bodies. And their deficiency can lead you to have weaker bones. But according to recent studies, vitamin D may also influence your sleep quality as well as quantity. And, among the people with sleeping disorders, most of them are found to be vitamin D deficient.
Lack of Vitamin D in your body may cause anxiety and increase heart rate and blood pressure, ultimately affecting your sleep schedule. Other studies that have analysed the relationship between sleep patterns and Vitamin D levels found that Vitamin D deficiency is associated with sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, as well as disrupted sleep and less sleep overall.
How to Boost up Vitamin D Level in your Body?
Now the next obvious question is how to boost up your Vitamin D levels, here are a few ways to do so:
Expose yourself to direct sunlight
It is the best way to get vitamin D into your body. When you expose yourself to direct sunlight, your body automatically starts producing vitamin D from cholesterol. The more time you spend under the sun; the more vitamin D your body is going to get. However, this also depends upon factors like time of day, clothing, sunscreen, weather, and the pigmentation of your skin.
According to the experts, a period of 5-10 minutes in mild sunshine is enough to fulfill your vitamin D needs. Again, the suggested period could vary according to seasons, time of day, and weather conditions. In winter, you might consider spending a little more time under the sun. But, always keep this thing in mind that excessive exposure can be harmful to your skin. It can cause you several skin-related diseases—including skin cancer.
Have a nutritious diet
Another good way of boosting vitamin D is to increase the intake of vitamin D rich food in your meals. Salmon, tuna, sardines, and swordfish provide an excellent amount of vitamin D to our bodies. Egg yolks and mushrooms are also reliable, good sources of vitamin D. Consider eating dairy products—such as milk and curd, citrus juice as well as some cereals, as they can help boost your vitamin D levels.
You can easily find vitamin D enriched supplements at chemist shops or pharmacy stores. They are very effective in dealing with the deficiency. But make sure you consult your doctor first, as they might cause side effects.
So if you can’t sleep at night, there is a huge possibility that your body has a vitamin D deficiency. Get yourself tested, and follow the above mentioned suggestions to boost your vitamin D levels. Additionally, you can take a simple sleep quiz to know if you are getting quality sleep. Or take the Home Sleep Test to know if you have a sleep disorder.