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RSSVitamin D supplement improves sleep

Posted on Thu, 20 Jul 17

Vitamin D supplement improves sleep

The first double-blind clinical trial of vitamin D in people with sleep disturbance has found it significantly helps improve sleep.

Some years ago, a case report showing that treating vitamin D deficiency could resolve hypersomnia in a 28-year old woman was amongst the first indications that treating vitamin D deficiency could help people with sleep disorders [1]. 

Several studies have since supported the notion that vitamin D deficiency could be a treatable cause of sleep problems, yet no rigorous clinical trials had yet assessed vitamin D supplementation in people with sleep disturbance that is not due to sleep-disrupting diseases. Until now, that is. 

In a new clinical study, people with sleep disorders received either vitamin D  (50,000 IU, once a fortnight for 8-weeks) or placebo [2]. Those taking vitamin D, but not placebo, had a significant improvement in measure of sleep including sleep quality, sleep latency, sleep duration. 

Blood vitamin D levels in the people taking supplements also improved, with people moving from a state of deficiency (a mean serum 25 (OH)D level (ng/ml) of 25.00) to sufficiency (37.69).

“Despite few studies on vitamin D and sleep, the findings of those studies verify our study,” commented the study investigators, from the Departments of Nutritional Science, University, Ahvaz, Iran.

“Although real mechanisms and causative relation between sleep period and vitamin D serum level is not yet understood, several mechanisms have been suggested for it.” For example, “[….] there are several special selective bonding places along neurons in the central nervous for vitamin D which are symmetric with sleep induction places.”

If you are vitamin D deficient a 5000 IU daily dose of vitamin D3 for three months will get you back to an optimal range in most cases.


  1. McCarty DE. Resolution of hypersomnia following identification and treatment of vitamin D deficiency. J Clin Sleep Med 2010;6(6):605–8.
  2. Majid MS, Ahmad HS, Bizhan H, et al. The effect of vitamin D supplement on the score and quality of sleep in 20-50 year-old people with sleep disorders compared with control group. Nutr Neurosci. 2017 May 5:1-9. 

Tags: Vitamin D, Sleep, Insomnia

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