Hacking your sleep with Vitamin D

Vitamin D is crucial for our overall health and well-being. It helps to build strong bones, regulate our immune and neuromuscular systems and even plays a major role in the life cycle of our cells. A vitamin D deficiency can lead to health issues but it also causes sleep disorders. So, if you are looking to improve your sleep, it’s not only very important to make sure you have a sufficient intake but also that you are taking the supplement at the right time.

So, how much vitamin D should you be taking? The best way to find your optimal levels is with a blood test but the Vitamin D Council recommends 1000 IU (International Units) per 25lbs of body weight each day. Amounts are going to vary depending on a variety of factors such as age, weight, skin color, etc., but normally, a healthy human’s body will utilize 3000-5000 IU of vitamin D each day. Adversely, you will want to make sure you aren’t taking too much. Too much vitamin D can cause higher levels of calcium in your blood which can cause confusion, nausea and irregular heart rhythm.

The amount of vitamin D you are taking is important but in order to make sure you are improving your sleep, you’ll want to make sure you are taking it at the right time of day. Melatonin, our sleep hormone, is inversely related to vitamin D so if you were to take it at nighttime, there’s a chance you will be disrupting your sleep. Tests have shown that taking the supplement in the morning resulted in REM and deep sleep and the number of hours slept increased.

If you’re wondering if you are vitamin D deficient (spoiler alert: more than half the world is), there are several ways you can test your levels. Seeing your doctor is a good way to start upgrading your sleep!