On June 29th, I started an experiment with Vitamin D and my messed up sleep.
As with most things, I found the information rather serendipitously through a comment on one of Hypnagogia’s blog pages - a post made some months ago, but was commented on only recently (since erased). This led me to Seth Roberts, and a series of posts he had made about Vitamin D and sleep.
The assertions were interesting, to say the least.
I was deeply interested in what Seth, and the comments on his blog, had said. Some examples:
A new study of a quarter million Copenhagen residents found that those with Vitamin D blood levels of 40-70 nmol/L [16-28 ng/ml] had the lowest death rate. People with lower and higher amounts had higher death rates, in other words. The death rate versus blood level function has a reverse-J shape, i.e., too little is worse than too much. About 1% of the sample had levels above 140 nmol/L [56 ng/ml], for practical purposes a “high” level.
Jim Breed has been taking large amounts of Vitamin D3 (5000-10000 IU/day) since 2008. Yet when he switched to taking it in the morning, his sleep quickly improved. Here’s what happened:
Mainstream Vitamin D research is all messed up. Via self-measurement I confirmed Tara Grant’s conclusion that taking Vitamin D3 in the morning (rather than later) improved her sleep. It improved my sleep, too. When I had taken it at other times of day I had noticed nothing. Apparently the timing of Vitamin D — the time of day that you take it — matters enormously. Take it at the right time in the morning: obvious good effect. Take it late in the evening: obvious bad effect. Vitamin D researchers haven’t realized this. They have neither controlled when Vitamin D is taken (in experiments) nor measured when it is taken (in surveys). Because timing matters so much it is as if they have done their research failing to control or measure dose. If you fail to control/measure dose, whatever conclusion you reach (good/no effect/bad) depends entirely on what dose your subjects happened to take. And you have no idea what dose that is.
Other Vitamin D Stories
I did some additional research and found all kinds of conflicting information about Vitamin D and sleep.
Almost all of it was anecdotal, with a couple of controlled experiments thrown in for good measure (population of one, so not very applicable). But there is a lot of Vitamin D stuff out there, so I thought to give it a try. I found that timing of Vitamin D (take it in the morning, not the evening) was a thread that I kept reading. Seems that people have experienced taking it at night affects their sleep negatively, while if you take it in the morning it enhances it.
The amounts taken by these people were quite a bit higher than I had ever heard recommended before.
Vitamin D3 Dosage and Timing
I started to take 4000IU of Vitamin D3 on the morning of June 29, 2012. I’ve done that for a month, and it’s now August 2nd. My sample size of one isn’t scientific at all. But for me – Vitamin D, regardless of the time it’s taken, has no measurable affect on my sleep.
I’m sleeping no better, and no worse.
The unrelated side-story to this is that I am going to continue with a higher dose of Vitamin D than I was taking. It turns out that people in the higher latitudes (Vancouver is 49 degrees North) are almost always deficient. It’s probably a smart thing to do to get your Vitamin D levels up anyways!
I was at 1000IU/day in the winter, and 1000IU every second day in the summer (lots more sunshine). I now think I’ll go to 2000IU/day year round, and pay special attention to the amount of time spent outdoors, in direct sunlight, every day.
Thanks for listening!
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