While we are used to seeing questions like; Can I take vitamin D alongside multivitamins, this topic seems quite out of the bloom. Yes, the sunshine vitamin is famous for its numerous health benefits, but there's a fascinating effect gaining more ground.
Have you experienced a sudden wave of drowsiness after taking your dose of vitamin D? Not to worry, there are millions of others just like you.
While vitamin D is primarily known for its role in bone health and immunity, its impact on sleep patterns seems to be gaining more ground.
This post draws a line between the fascinating world of vitamin D and sleep. Chewwies seeks to show you the possible reasons this beneficial vitamin induces sleep while shedding light on how it influences our sleep-wake cycle at large.
The relationship between vitamin D and sleep
The relationship between vitamin D and sleep is a not-so-obvious one. While it may not be noticeable in all consumers, a group of health researchers suggests a strong correlation.
They found that vitamin D receptors were present in various regions of the brain. This includes those involved in regulating sleep patterns. Vitamin D fosters the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood and sleep.
An increase in its level spikes a feeling of relaxation and drowsiness. This is why you feel sleepy after your daily dose of vitamin D. Also, a vitamin D deficiency is often seen in sleep anomalies like insomnia and excessive daytime sleepiness.
So beyond bone health and otherwise, it is safe to say vitamin D greatly influences our sleep.
How does vitamin D affect sleep?
Here are some of the reasons vitamin D is called the slumber pill;
Sunlight and melatonin regulation
The number one source of vitamin D is sunlight exposure. Interestingly, sunlight also influences the production of another key sleep hormone - melatonin.
Exposure to natural light, particularly in the morning, helps regulate our internal body clock and promotes the secretion of melatonin in the evening, signalling the onset of sleep.
Vitamin D offers a more restful night by promoting healthy sunlight exposure and regulating melatonin levels.
It's important to note that excessive vitamin D supplementation or sun exposure close to bedtime could disrupt sleep patterns.
Vitamin D and circadian rhythm regulation
The human body operates on a natural rhythm. This rhythm is known as the circadian rhythm. It governs various body processes, including sleep-wake cycles. A research carried out earlier this year suggests that vitamin D play a role in regulating our internal body clock.
Vitamin D helps synchronize our circadian rhythm, ensuring that our biological clock is aligned with the external environment. Anything that affects this rhythm leads to sleep disturbances and feelings of daytime sleepiness.
This explains why vitamin D is beneficial to kids. By supporting circadian rhythm regulation, vitamin D helps improve sleep quality, contributing to staying alert and awake during the day.
However, this is still a new observation and further studies are still needed.
Individual variations and dosage
The relationship between vitamin D and sleepiness varies among different people. While it may be so obvious in some, it is not even noticeable in others. Additionally, the dosage and timing of vitamin D supplementation can also play a role in its sleep-inducing effects.
Taking higher doses of vitamin D close to bedtime might have a more pronounced impact on sleepiness. If you find that vitamin D makes you excessively sleepy, it may be worth adjusting the dosage or timing of supplementation.
Also, you might want to see a healthcare professional, as they can offer personalized guidance based on your specific needs and circumstances.
The connection between vitamin D and sleepiness is a fascinating new area of exploration. While we used to look at this sunshine vitamin for bone health and others, today we can also look to it for a more soothing sleep.
Understanding this relationship can help optimize vitamin D supplementation and promote healthy sleep habits. So, use the sunshine vitamin to unlock the secrets to a restful slumber.