Your Vitamin D Levels Affect Sleep Health + How A Supplement Can Help

You already know the common factors that may be affecting your ability to get enough shut-eye (room temperature, blue light exposure, caffeine too close to bedtime—the list goes on), but have you considered how nutrition may be playing a role in your sleep health?

As it turns out, your vitamin D status (specifically, getting enough of the essential nutrient) can seriously affect your chances of getting a good night's rest.

Considering 41% of U.S. adults are insufficient in vitamin D, and 29% are straight-up deficient, Americans looking to improve their sleep health would be smart to start by checking if their vitamin D levels are sufficient.

The connection between vitamin D & sleep.

According to a 2020 scientific review from Current Pharmaceutical Design, vitamin D receptors are found in multiple areas of the brain that regulate sleep, suggesting the essential vitamin has an important role in sleep health. Vitamin D has also been found to have a direct impact on melatonin production pathways and an indirect impact on health issues that affect sleep quality.*

When it comes to vitamin D intake, it appears getting enough of the "sunshine vitamin" correlates with getting adequate sleep as well: A 2019 Nutrients cross-sectional analysis reveals that U.S. adult "short-sleepers" (i.e., individuals that get less than seven hours of sleep each night) have an average daily intake of approximately 178 IU of vitamin D. 

For the record, that's 1,822 IU below the amount of vitamin D an adult would need to avoid gross deficiency (i.e., 2,000 IU to avoid a failing vitamin D level of less than 20 ng/ml), and a whopping 4,822 IU less than the necessary daily dosage (5,000 IU) to achieve truly optimal vitamin D levels (50 ng/ml)!

Taking into account the minimum dosage (3,000 IU) required to achieve minimum clinical cutoff for sufficiency (30 ng/ml), this correlation doesn't seem coincidental.