Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for our rest.
But what are its benefits and how does it affect our sleep?
What is Vitamin D and what is it for?
Primarily studied in relation to musculoskeletal health, Vitamin D is more correctly defined as a pre-hormone. Its primary role is to control calcium and phosphate levels in our body, which, in turn, keep our bones, teeth, and muscles healthy and strong.
Ideal Vitamin D levels should fall between 30 and 100 ng/ml. Don’t forget that Vitamin D also supports the immune system against illnesses or infections such as seasonal flu and colds.
And there’s even more! Recent studies have investigated the association between Vitamin D and sleep quality. In fact, a proper amount regulates our circadian rhythm. But watch out, an excess of Vitamin D causes the opposite effect, delaying melatonin production and leading to sleepless nights!
What are the sources of Vitamin D?
Since our body synthesizes it mainly through the skin, sunlight is undoubtedly the strongest source of Vitamin D. Just think that nearly 90% of Vitamin D in our body is obtained from the action of sun rays on the skin!
Vitamin D deficiency is often linked to mood disorders such as depression and seasonal affective disorders called SAD or “autumn sickness”.
To compensate the lack of outdoor exposure during the long winter months and maintain an optimal level of Vitamin D, try to spend at least 15 minutes twice a week outside.
Dietary sources of Vitamin D
Although, as we’ve seen, Vitamin D plays a fundamental role in our health, about 50% of the world population gets little sun exposure due to long indoor working hours. If you feel overwhelmed with tiredness, sleep poorly or have muscle or bone pain, our advice is to keep an eye on your diet.
Vitamin D can be mainly found in foods of animal origin rich in fats, but also in some vegetables and fruits. Here are the main ones:
- Salmon, mackerel, and sardines
- Eggs, especially the yolks
- Cod liver oil
Help your health!
It’s true that some factors, just like Vitamin D deficiency, can affect sleep quality. But good sleep habits, including the choice of a proper mattress and pillow, can undoubtedly contribute to our psycho-physical well-being!