All vitamins and minerals play a vital role in your health. With each bringing their own unique benefits to your body. As well as working with each other to ensure the best sleep, body function and over all well being. Vitamin D is one of many daily vitamins that you should make sure you are getting for several mind and body benefits. Not only that, but Vitamin D and sleep surprisingly go hand in hand.
Below we are going to go through not only some of the overall health benefits of Vitamin D, but also how it can help you improve your sleep. You’ll quickly learn that the amazing design of the body is a wonder and that supplying it with the necessary vitamins and minerals is imperative for it to function cohesively.
What is Vitamin D
Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, is a vitamin that your body produces when exposed to sunlight. This amazing process is a response everyone’s body has to sunshine. Creating a fat-soluble vitamin that includes Vitamins D-1, D-2 and D-3. Though you can get Vitamin D through certain foods and supplements, getting direct sunlight exposure is free, easy and beneficial.
What Foods Provide Vitamin D?
The easiest and quickest way to get your daily dose of Vitamin D is with just 15 minutes of direct sunlight. However, many concerned with over doing sun exposure for skin concerns and safety prefer to steer clear of direct sun all together. Which means that finding a supplement to ensure you get Vitamin D is necessary.
Though supplements and capsule vitamins are available, your body doesn’t absorb these forms quite as easily as it does from a natural source. Meaning that even though a vitamin says it has 100% of your daily value, your body many only absorb a small portion of the vitamin provided.
Which is why the next best source, next to the sun, is foods high in Vitamin D. A few of the best foods with high amounts of vitamin D include:
- fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, tuna)
- beef liver
- egg yolk
- fortified foods (cereal, orange juice and some dairy products)
The Importance of Vitamin D
When it comes to the function of Vitamin D in your body there are many benefits. The most important is that it regulates your bodies absorption of calcium and phosphorus. Meaning that in order for your body to fully use and absorb calcium and phosphorus you need Vitamin D to help your body readily use it.
It also helps facilitate a normal functioning immune system and improve resistance to certain diseases. Which means that getting outside and getting quality sunshine means you are less likely to suffer from viruses, like the common cold, flu and COVID. On top of that Vitamin D has also been linked to reducing risk of multiple sclerosis and even helps in reducing your risk for heart disease.
It is also vital for the proper development and growth of bones and teeth. To the point that if you are deficient on vitamin D you are at risk for having bone abnormalities like soft bones (osteomalacia) or fragile bones (osteoporosis).
A few other helpful benefits that Vitamin D provides is reducing depression and anxiety and boosts weight loss. The natural positive energy that the sun provides allows for a boost in mood, with means depression and anxiety are lessened. When it comes to weight loss, studies show that extra calcium and vitamin D have an appetite-suppressing effect.
How Does Vitamin D Help Your Sleep
Now that you know more about the benefits of Vitamin D, how does that translate to better sleep? Well, when you have overall better health you will have overall better sleep.
The body is an intricately designed phenomenon. With so many interlinking works it is similar to that of dominoes and how it only works if they are all working together. This is similar to sleep and vitamin D. You may not see one direct link, however, if you see the chain of how Vitamin D works, you’ll see that it definitely effects your sleep. See how…
If you remember Vitamin D is vital for absorbing calcium. Calcium helps the brain use the amino acid tryptophan to manufacture melatonin. Melatonin is the way your body naturally induces sleep. Though sunlight doesn’t give you a direct route to better sleep, the role it plays in helping your body sleep is evident.
For your body to work in harmony it is important that you give your body all the essential vitamins and minerals it needs. All of these work in conjunction to make sure your body is functioning properly to ensure proper health, better sleep and overall well being. So make sure that you allow your body to get some uninterrupted sunshine at least 5 to 15 minutes a day.
Though your body chemistry may take a few steps to see how vitamin D helps sleep there is anther way sunshine directly effects sleep. The key role sunshine has on your sleep cycle isn’t something to be discounted. The natural rhythm of your sleep coincides with the sun. Though this doesn’t effect your vitamin D levels, it is another way of looking at it.
Is your sleep cycle off track? Learn how to get back on a schedule in our article: How To Fix Your Sleep Schedule.
Sun Savvy Advice
When it comes to getting your fill of Vitamin D we do suggest being sun smart. To get your fill of this amazing vitamin you only need between 5 to 15 minutes of sun exposure. This does mean sun block free to make sure you are able to actually absorb the sun.
However, 5 to 15 minutes is not long at all. So make sure that you are finding shade, covering up or applying sunscreen if you plan on being outside for long stretches of time. We love the warmth and amazing benefits of the sun, but like most anything, you can have too much of a good thing. If anything could make your sleep far worse it’s a bad sunburn. And the long term negative effects of sun damage can be life threatening. So, be smart and don’t overdo it.
With so much summer sunshine you might be having trouble getting your kids into a good sleep routine. No worries! Learn how to create a Kid’s Summer Sleep Schedule.
Vitamin D and Sleep
All in all Vitamin D plays a vital role in your overall health that also translates to your sleep. This completely free vitamin keeps you healthy mind, body and spirit. With so many amazing benefits and correlations with helping other vitamins and minerals work at their best, you better make sure that you are getting your daily dose of the sunshine vitamin.
If you have questions or comments, please contact us. We’d be happy to help.