According to a 2020 scientific review from Current Pharmaceutical Design, vitamin D receptors are found in multiple areas of the brain that regulate sleep, suggesting the essential vitamin has an important role in sleep health. Vitamin D has also been found to have a direct impact on melatonin production pathways and an indirect impact on health issues that affect sleep quality.*
When it comes to vitamin D intake, it appears getting enough of the “sunshine vitamin” correlates with getting adequate sleep as well: A 2019 Nutrients cross-sectional analysis reveals that U.S. adult “short-sleepers” (i.e., individuals that get less than seven hours of sleep each night) have an average daily intake of approximately 178 IU of vitamin D.
For the record, that’s 1,822 IU below the amount of vitamin D an adult would need to avoid gross deficiency (i.e., 2,000 IU to avoid a failing vitamin D level of less than 20 ng/ml), and a whopping 4,822 IU less than the necessary daily dosage (5,000 IU) to achieve truly optimal vitamin D levels (50 ng/ml)!
Taking into account the minimum dosage (3,000 IU) required to achieve minimum clinical cutoff for sufficiency (30 ng/ml), this correlation doesn’t seem coincidental.
So, how can we ensure we’re getting enough vitamin D and sufficient sleep? Answer: A daily vitamin D supplement.*