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Bulletproof Your Sleep with Vitamin D

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Vitamin D deficiencies lead to sleep disorders. And to correct vitamin D-related sleep disorders, you have to be careful about the amount of vitamin D you take and when you take it.Take 1000 IUs of Vitamin D-3 per 25 pounds of body weight, but not more than 10,000 IU’s.

  • Get a blood test to make sure this amount of vitamin D is sufficient for you.  Just as too little vitamin D is bad, so is too much.
  • Take it in the morning. Vitamin D temporarily pauses the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone, so don’t take it at night.
  • Sufficient vitamin D can also help reduce pain and control inflammation, among an assortment of other health benefits.

Although subtle, more than half of the world population is vitamin D deficient! (1)

This is a big problem because sleep disorders are an epidemic due to vitamin D deficiency. (2) This hurts the amount of sleep you get, the quality of your sleep, and your mood upon waking up.

We have this deficiency because of the way we live. We work inside, wear clothes, and use sunscreen. These are all realities of modern life, and they all take away from our vitamin D synthesis.

This is important to note, because you do not soak up D from the sun, per se. Rather, the interaction with UVB light and a cholesterol derivative in the skin causes D to be synthesized in the body.

While many of us wish we could quit our jobs and move to the Bahamas to soak in the rays we need, that is not realistic for most. As biohackers, it is our job to find a solution.

Eating foods rich in vitamin D, and supplementing with D3 is a necessary part of life to maintain adequate D levels. D3 supplements can be found here or here.

However, simply taking a ton of vitamin D is not the complete answer in the long run for preventing vitamin D deficiency. Too much or too little can have side effects, including reducing the quality of your sleep. The amount of International Units (IU) you take and time of day are important aspects in upgrading the amount and quality of your sleep.

Your Daily Dosage of Vitamin D

According to the Vitamin D Council, 1000 IU’s per 25lbs are recommended each day, although using a blood test is the best way to know your ideal dose. A healthy human body utilizes about 3000-5000 IU of vitamin D per day. (6)

These amounts are adjusted according to your age, weight, absorption, skin color and normal sun exposure. So when you are outside with adequate sun exposure, use no sunscreen but put on a shirt or a hat if you start to get burned, and leave the Vitamin D supplements at home. More is not always better.

Too much vitamin D can cause headaches and inflammation in the body. The US Government’s upper intake level (UL) for vitamin D is set at 4,000 IU per day.  Other experts disagree, the current consensus states it should be 10,000 IU. (7,8,9) This is the amount your skin would naturally produce from maximum exposure from the sun. (10)  An even better way to figure out what your optimal vitamin D levels are, is through testing your body’s responses.

As more research is being done on D, we are just beginning to find out the importance of the dosage of vitamin D. Additionally with the amount you take, the time you take vitamin D is a crucial factor in upgrading your sleep.

Are You Taking Vitamin D at the Right Time?

Vitamin D is inversely related to melatonin, your sleep hormone, so it makes sense that taking it at night disrupts sleep. I’ve noticed this effect personally. For this reason, there is no reason to take vitamin D at night.

An n=1 experiment done by gwern.net also concludes that taking vitamin D in the morning is best. Using a ZEO, his morning dose of D increased REM, deep sleep, and number of hours increased. He looked at taking the same dosage at night, and his sleep quality plummeted. (11)

My biohacking experiments have similar results.  When I’ve taken D in the morning I had my usual great sleep.  When I’ve taken D at night, I had a restless night.

In our busy worlds, healthy sleep is gold.  If we do not receive the right amounts of vitamin D, sleep suffers. If you live a stressful life, sleep is even more important.

There are other reasons to take it too. In a study with chronic pain patients, vitamin D helped reduce pain, improve quality of life, and increase sleep.(4) Having adequate levels of D may protect against cancer, control inflammationheart diseasepoor mood, and may help regulate the immune system. Most people are vitamin D deficient, and do not know how it can help improve their lives.

Start hacking your performance and life with vitamin D.

If you are unsure of where to start, there are a few options.  You might go to your doctor and find out where your vitamin D levels are right now. Better yet, use WellnessFX for testing and advice.  You can search online for other self testing labs.

If your level is below 30 ng/ml then you are vitamin D deficient. Increasing intake will help sleep and other health parameters, including bone health and decreased depression.

Getting a better night’s rest is an upgrade away.

What are some of the ways that you hack your sleep?  Do you have a vitamin D story?  Share it in the comments!

References:

  1. Prentice, A. Vitamin D deficiency: a global perspective. Nutr Rev. 2008 Oct; 66 (10 Suppl 2): S153-64.
  2. Gominak SC, Stumpf WE. The world epidemic of sleep disorders is linked to vitamin D deficiency. Med Hypotheses. 2012 Aug;79(2):132-5. Epub 2012 May 13. PubMed PMID: 22583560.
  3. Relationships among dietary nutrients and subjective sleep, objective sleep, and napping in women. JO Sleep Medicine. VL  – 11. IS  – 2.SP  – 180 184 2010/2// Grandner, Michael A. Kripke, Daniel F. Naidoo, Nirinjini Langer, Robert D. 1389-9457 doi: 0.1016/j.sleep.2009.07.014
  4. Huang W, Shah S, Long Q, Crankshaw AK, Tangpricha V. Improvement of Pain, Sleep, and Quality of Life in Chronic Pain Patients With Vitamin D Supplementation. Clin J Pain. 2012 Jun 13. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 22699141.
  5. http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/#h2
  6. “Vitamin D Council.” Vitamin D Council. N.p., n.d. Web. Aug. 2012. http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/about-vitamin-d/how-to-get-your-vitamin-d/vitamin-d-supplementation/
  7. Heaney, R. P. The Vitamin D requirement in health and disease. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2005 Oct; 97 (1-2): 13-9.
  8. Vieth, R. Critique of the considerations for establishing the tolerable upper intake level for vitamin D: critical need for revision upwards. J Nutr. 2006 Apr; 136 (4): 1117-22.
  9. Vieth, R. Vitamin D supplementation, 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations, and safety. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999 May; 69 (5): 842-56.
  10. Vieth, R. Vitamin D toxicity, policy, and science. J Bone Miner Res. 2007 Dec; 22 Suppl 2V64-8.
  11. Branwen, Gwern. “Zeo Sleep Experiments.” Gwern.net. N.p., n.d. Web. Aug. 2012. <http://www.gwern.net/Zeo>.

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  • pB

    Hi Dave, I’m a shift worker living in an area of NZ that has relatively low sunshine hours, having moved here some years back from the town that had the record highest sunshine hours. This past winter I started taking 2000 IU of D3 4-5 times a week. If I felt particularly run down I’d take an extra 500-1000.

    All in all I’d say it is pretty good, In my case I do take them at night – when I’m working a night shift – I call them my ‘sunshine tabs’ or in the morning before a day shift.

    Sometimes if I have had a hard day (or night) at work I will take a couple of magnesium tablets before bed. I also experimented with eating more seaweed for the iodine.

    • Natedizzle

      I work a lot of nights too, I wonder if taking vitamin D when I first wake up before night shift is the best! Wonder what Dave thinks?

  • Sean

    Dave, how about hypersensitivity to vitamin D3?

    If one sleeps very poorly following a 2kIU or 5kIU dose of various types of D3 supplements, what would you suspect is the problem?

    I sleep poorly following such a morning dose of D3… not only for 1 night, but the next night as well… Unless I take 1mg or so of melatonin at bedtime.

    • crl826

      Hi Sean, I had the same problem 5K IU of D3 was killing my sleep. I posted about it in the forums. Hope it helps. http://forum.bulletproofexec.com/index.php?/topic/775-vitamin-d-and-sleep/

      • josex

        I am curious as to how you got that deep sleep data?

        Also, it seems your ideal deep sleep was when blood levels were around 50ng/mL. That is the goal! The amount of supplement you take depends on many factors and is only a guide. However, it does look suspicious that your blood level varied so much when you went from 4K/day to 5K/day. Like others commenting there, I suspect there is some other piece of missing information.

        I wonder if you increased your intake of vitamin A (final-form, not beta-carotene) since that competes with D for access to cells. Something else you did around the red line might have led to less vitamin d uptake even if you were swallowing a larger dose.

      • josex

        Too much vit d messes up sleep. Too little messes up sleep. See youtube watch?v=qeb3PtkCd_c

  • http://www.facebook.com/garymartins Gary Martins

    just got my blood tested after taking 15k IU daily for about 3 months, previously took 5K/day, came in at 74.2 ng/ml. I haven’t noticed an increase in sleep or mental performance, but the HUGE benefit I got was my eczema that wouldn’t go away (even eating 100% bulletproof / auto-immune paleo) this seems to have solved it

    • josex

      Vitamin D is used by many cells to perform their function (at the DNA level). If the d in the blood is in a good range or if you aren’t sick, you won’t notice physical effects as the levels vary. Where it is noticeable is when you are very deficient and the cells cannot regularly do their work and also when you are nursing some sort of problem and the body gobbles up (or would like to gobble up) vitamin d trying to fight the issue. That has been my experience with my body and agrees with recent online videos/research I have come across. Feed it a lot when you are sick and it really helps. Otherwise, keep the levels safe. Consider going back down to 5K/day and see what happens. 15K might be fine anyway.. I at one point averaged over 70K/day. If you exercise a lot or have other chronic issues, you may prefer the higher dosage.]

      [Side note: I don't think you want to have lots of vitamin d and lots of calcium if you are doing exercise or otherwise have strong bones. The calcium will pain your bones when you pressure them and may start to penetrate soft tissue like muscles. Also, if you have very low blood d and take a large d supplement dosage, you *may* feel sharp nerve pains in the chest area a few times. That disappears as the blood level improves and is preferred to the other types of chest discomfort and other problems (like skipped heart beats) that last longer and exist at low blood d.]

      • nancics

        I take 5k of Vit D oil capsules in the morning. I was deficient in the past so just have kept taking it. And I take 1200 to 200 mg of Calcium Citrate at night with 250mg of magnesium. The calcium because i have no thyroid and take thyroid meds and magnesium because I read it helps with the pain in legs often caused by thyroid issues. I do have pain in my legs/hips when I lay on my side…..pressure pain….it feels very deep…hard to pinpoint and hard to explain…..very weird feeling. So do you think it may be because of taking both high dose of Vit D and high dose of calcium???

        • Dave Asprey

          Get your levels tested with a doctor! If you’re on D and calcium, you MUST look at your K2 levels. K2 keeps the calcium where it belongs. ?

        • RainbowPrincess

          This was my recent Vitamin D count >>>

        • josex

          You have low D. 10 is low. Experts say you should try to get to 40.

        • RainbowPrincess

          Yeah,I know,I’ve been taking a vitamin D +calcium supplement lately,trying to get it up.TY :)

        • josex

          Cheese can help you get K2 (I have cheese if I take calcium pill), especially Gouda. I don’t see much benefit to taking calcium pills ..for me (I get calcium in foods and never felt a need for more). I have tried them but overall don’t notice significant gains; however, I get serious pressure pain if I don’t also eat things like parsley and lots of it. I think it’s to balance blood acidity (alkaline producing foods to balance acid forming foods i eat). Do get K2 and eat foods like [from vega-raw-diet com googled]:

          > Highly Alkaline Forming Foods

          > Lemons, limes, watermelon, Cantaloupe, Baking soda, sea salt, pumpkin seed, sprouted lentils, seaweed, kelp, sea vegetables, onion, taro root, lotus root, sweet potato, nectarine, persimmon, dates, figs, mango, papaya, parsley,raspberry, tangerine, and pineapple, celery, seedless grapes (sweet), watercress. These are the best alkaline foods

  • Robert Palmer

    Do you take your vitamin D with food? I thought that vitamin D needed to be taken in conjunction with fat in order to be absorbed. So are you eating breakfast? Has anyone noticed a difference between taking vitamin D with or without food?

    • Dave Asprey

      With bulletproof coffee!

      Sent from my nobile phone. You understand…
      -Dave

      • mariah

        Dave,
        Please help. I have been taking 10,000IU Vit D3 for a couple of years bc I know I am deficient. Latest tests show I am still deficient (I follow a BPC diet including organ meats). MD has prescribed 1.25 (50,000 Unit) of Vit D2 to help my body absorb the D3.
        What is your opinion?
        Thank you in advance,
        Mariah

        • Lisa T

          Taking vitamin D alone is not advisable due to promoting soft tissue calcification. Rather, I would look into taking a natural sources of vitamin D, such as fermented cod liver oil along with high vitamin butter oil. Also, look into increasing your sulphur intake. Stephanie Seneff has written some great papers about sulphur and vitamin D.

    • Mike Orlando SEO Consulting PP

      I have been on a vitamin D2 regimen of 4000 IU for a week now, was deficient as per lab physical. After just a week, I notice higher engergy level, more alert, more focused, and wayyyyy better sleeping, I cannot even remember turning over in my bed in the last week, it is as if I am in deep sleep for longer time, ven better is that I wake up completely refreshed, it is th eonly thing I have startted to take so…time will tell but i feel better indeed, i know my body real well,….also, was on a prostate supplement because of BPH symptoms, quit taking that since I started the vitamin D and I can tell you…I go like a healthy 20 year old at 46 so definately a BIG difference noticed here

      • Eddie Garza

        Supplement with Vitamin D3 not D2.

        • Janet

          My doc put me on D2 about 2 years ago as my level was a 4 – yeah, i was D-deficient! I just had a holistic doc check my levels and I was at 35. He said I was low and wanted me to go on D3. I told him I was on D2 for 2+ years. So I was wondering if I can take both at the same time. I have a D2 prescription for 50,000 IU once a week and thought about adding 1,000 – 2,000 IU of D3 a day. Is that OK or should I go off the D2 and beef up the D3?

        • Eddie Garza

          I would stop taking the D2 and only take D3. If your levels are low I would take 5000 IU’s daily and get 20 to 30 minutes of sun daily as well. Check your levels in 2-3 months and once you get it between 60-80 ng/mL you are at optimal levels. Like I mentioned before, Vitamin D is a hormone that benefits the body’s hormones. It’s like energy for your hormones. Best of health to you.

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  • Chris

    I heard that it goes to better use when you have it in big doses, so I started taking 45,000 IU every Saturday instead of 5,000 IU every day. I can’t say I’ve noticed a difference. Does anyone know more about this?

  • John Lushefski

    I have actually noticed neutral or even negative effects of vitamin D supplementation (two years ago), but it could be due to a created imbalance. Without supplements, my winter blood level is 50-60ng/ml, so supplements don’t seem necessary. I am testing again this weekend to see how the summer affected it.

    • josex

      Make sure it is D3 (no no D2) and try not to go above 80ng/ml. Your “Winter” range is a good one to have always.

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  • Tyi

    As silly as it sound and as bad for you as it is. When I fry myself in a tanning bed I sleep better at night I keep my self to a every 2-3 session and no more than 2-3 times per week but when I do them I sleep a helluva lot better those night.

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  • Graeme

    Curious what anyone has to say about these result findings. Recommended daily intake in Canada (factoring northern latitude, sun exposure etc). Shows Canadians, on average are not overly Vit-D deficient and the recommended dose is only 600IU per day. http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/nutrition/vitamin/vita-d-eng.php

  • Graeme

    So, how is it you (BPE) can recommend 1000IU per 25p body weight?

    • josex

      Most people (eg, near 150 pounds) would to well around 5K/day. If you are worried, go to 4K, but you may have some ailment that would best be served at 15K/day or more.. for a few weeks to say a year. If you take a lot, have your blood levels checked. Short-term you are probably OK taking a lot. 5K/day is a good level for long term (if you are much heavier, you should take more).

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  • Chris Parsons

    Dave, have you ever tried a full-spectrum light for UVB exposure & “natural” d3 production? I’ve read that these lights can produce the same results as sunlight. What are your thoughts?

    • http://www.tannersrights.com/ Goran Olson

      Chris, I saw this post late, and I hope you are still following the comments.

      You are definitely on the right track when it comes to full-spectrum exposure. Just by substituting normal lightning will full spectrum lamps in, e.g. an office, will give a good amount of vitamin D.

      This is however hard to accomplish in today’s UV-scared society.

      That is why vitamin D sunbeds, with relatively strong UV-output might be a better alternative.

      See here: Indoor tanning for Vitamin D

    • josex

      Some researchers feel that it’s best to focus on UVB and get much smaller UVA. This would be consistent with getting vitamin d and avoiding some of the skin cancer risks. However, many people that regularly come out in the sun getting “farmer’s tan” appear to be healthy towards bad skin cancers. UVA in small doses over a prolonged period (and especially in body parts that normally would get sun anyway and likely have extra evolutionary protections) seems to neutralize the skin cancer risks. I’m not sure, but do consider looking into short term tanning with a UVB-focused lamp that matches the sun’s output of UVB as an alternative to “full spectrum”.

  • Lisa

    I take 5000 IU per day…and i feel great.And i use it with my breakfast in the morning.I also use Omega 3 Fish oils,and Borage oil.I get all my supplements including these on iherb.Com ,and you can get $10 discount on your first order when you use coupon code ZQL811 at checkouts,and $5 off for every next order!You can save lots of money!Check it out!

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  • lopkiol

    I do have a vitamin D story. It’s about 4 years I can’t sleep more than 4 hours because of chest pains that wake me in the middle of the night. Last year I was found vitamin D deficient. It’s now about a year I take 1,000 IU/day. I am not deficient anymore but I still sleep the same way and I get the same pains.
    I fear that vitamin D deficiency in my case is only an effect. If you don’t sleep, your body is not producing it in the right amount for some reason. Taking supplements will not solve the issue. You’re just messing up your system even more making it believe that everything is ok while it is not.

    • Mariel Thomson

      Hope you see this. You are magnesium deficient, which can cause angina, sleeplessness, and much more [diabetes, depression, asthma, sudden heart failure, preecampsia, etc.]. D is good BUT it uses up magnesium. Almost everyone already deficient and it’s hard to get enough in your food. Right away take baths with a good amount of Epsom salts [magnesium sulfate] and get magnesium chloride [so called magnesium oil] for a longer acting effect. Read Dr. Sircus on magnesium. You can get the Mg oil cheaper from Swanson. You rub it on skin, let it soak in. You might need an ounce a day to begin restoring your Mg. I
      t happened to me, I increased my sun exposure, then had adrenal exhaustion symptoms which were relieved quickly by Mg.

    • josex

      I became more and more unable to sleep, mostly with chest pains and skipped heart beats but also pains in my head and extra difficulty breathing at times.

      The first time I experienced this was around the time I got a heel injury and it coincided with the end of Winter (March). Only months later did I try vitamin d. That solved my problem, but I used much higher doses than you have been using. A few thousand IU per day initially got rid of the pain, but I also had a foot injury that consumed a huge amount of D whenever I pressed on the bone trying to walk (vs walking less or walking on the forefoot only). It was obvious the walking on the heel drained my body of something that would lead to the chest pains and sleep problems repeatedly until I added enough D to counter it.

      I also note that I had almost completely stopped going out into the high-sun sunlight prior to the first episodes. My work is at night or otherwise at the computer in the house, and I begun almost entirely avoiding the mid day sun.

      Regardless of magnesium, without enough vitamin d, your body cannot heal itself. Vitamin d is used by many cells for DNA action to enable other processes to take place, and it is consumed in the process. It’s like a ticket needed to play. Also, the body has alternative mechanisms that consume less D, but they are inefficient. Also, if you have a sickness or injury, you will need extra beyond 5K/day. If you work at home and don’t venture out much during mid day, especially if you don’t live close to the equator (and I even live in Florida), then you will probably suffer from that as I did. Vitamin D solved it, but you will need a lot more than 1000/day. Also, being as deficient as you are, you will probably feel some short term sharper chest pains early on if you take more than 1000 IU at a time. That pain disappears and I think has to do with the onrush of vitamin d into the chest area after it leaves the gut+liver. Nerves touching both the chest area and other body parts have part of the nerve at very low d and the other part all of a sudden enriched with lots of d. But this effect leaves (along with the chest stuffiness and sleep problems) as your levels rise over days or a few weeks). Also, eat the vitamin d with a large meal to slow down that effect. Or have the D in smaller increments several times a day (but with some food).

      And remember, if you have an injury or illness, you may have to take high levels of d for a few weeks (I went over 50K/day for a few weeks). OTOH, if you don’t have other problems, you should be fine with 10K for a few weeks and then drop to 5K afterward.

      At least take the supplement during Winter. I certainly did notice a major difference in my body and it was not with only 1000/day. The research is suggesting harm to people who stay at low levels for a long time.

      • Edwin Medder

        Good reply. I’ve found similar results with my own bio hacking :)

    • LisaG

      Hi There!! Have you been tested for sleep apnea?? You may have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) so I recommend that you get tested to rule that out. If you haven’t had a sleep test before, talk with your physician and have him refer you to a sleep MD. It’s a very underdiagnosed condition ( just like vit. D deficiency is) and it doubles your risk of heart attack and stroke if you have it and don’t treat it.

      • josex

        Nose stuffiness (eg, wake up when stop breathing and have to raise my head/chest.. like many older folks), head aches (sharp pain), and other issues that make it difficult for me to sleep (or feel horrible when I wake up) improve dramatically when I take the D pills (5,000 -10,000). It’s not that bad any longer, but I still “leak” D from a foot injury I suffered. I think many people with sleep apnea are D deficient. I think you fight heart attacks, stroke, and cancer (among other problems) by raising D levels to near 50 ng/mL (125 mmol/L). I feel the difference daily (heart irregularity, stomache aches, etc.. end), so I’m not just talking what I google (which I do). google The-Overlooked-Importance-of-Vitamin-D-Receptors.

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  • Precious1mk

    Omg I found this out the hard way! I took 5,000 ius after dinner and could not fall asleep all night long! Never again. I will either take it at breakfast or not at all. Thank you for this article!

    • josex

      Did you get sharp chest pains also? That would leave eventually. You probably had very low blood d. You can take d and sleep as your blood d reaches a healthy level, but d pill (or even lots of sun)+sleep is a bad combination while your blood d is low.

      • Nick, Ireland

        Oh wow! The chest pain! Now it figures. My terrible insomnia that began two years ago coincided with daytime chest pain. Yet each summer I got more energetic and the sleep improved a bit and the chest pain went. It feels like anxiety pain without the anxiety and occurs randomly throughout the day. Pretty regular benign heart pounding too. Soooo I began messing with D. 1000 one day, 3000 another. I note now that since I started the chest pain is back in the morning and late evening. I have actually hit it with 5000 d3 at a time and for an hour or two the pain goes – as does my sinus allergy. Weird. I guess I am really, really low d3 and I am spiking my serum level with oral doses enough to temporarily cancel the deficiency chest pain. Right now I am 10K a day. I live in N Ireland and our weather is dark in winter. Even the summers can be wet and windy – which is why so many of migrate to our Celtic cousins in France and Spain for a few weeks or months. My test is this Wednesday. I bet my doc I am under 20 and I bet him double he has no patient in the practise

  • Janet

    I learned that vit D has lanolin as one of the ingredients. I am mildly allergic to lanolin but also short on vit D. do you know of any vit D made without lanolin?

  • Searchin4Truth

    My fiancée has asthma, COPD and allergies.

    For 34 years she has had to call an ambulance twice a year, spring and fall, to bring OXYGEN and take her to the hospital with life threatening asthma attacks. She would get sick with flu or bronchitis most winters too. We’d be worried about pneumonia!

    In 2007, I read of Dr. Cannell’s research with vitamin D and we both started on 2,000iu a day. (Now we take 10,000iu a day to get our scores over 60ng/mL with a full meal to increase absorbency.

    Since 2007 and our first 2,000iu dosing per day 7 YEARS AGO, my fiancée has not been sick at all and she has not had a severe asthma attack since taking 2,000iu a day. She does not use her nebulizer at ALL and does not need Advair (at over $200 a month) (used to be 24/7/365 and she STILL went to the hospital!) and only uses her rescue inhaler even now (Central Virginia – boonies – high allergens!) occasionally.

    Don’t even hesitate to dose with 4,500iu a day.

    Better yet, get TESTED and dose to get over 60ng/mL (at least).

    At 75-80ng/mL most all cancers, cardiovascular diseases, cognitive decline etc. will be a thing of the past for us.

    Go to VitaminDCouncil.org for up to date medical research on vitamin D and LEF.org for everything else including vitamin D research studies.

    • josex

      Those strong contrasts in health experiences are consistent with what I have read and have experienced personally. Thanks for the “data point”.

  • Aanel

    Excellent article, thanks.

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  • matsab

    My level was 13, and my doc started me off
    on D2, 50,000 IUs once a week. My level seems to be going up, but has not
    helped my sleep. Reading some of the links above, it seems D3 and NOT D2 is the
    way to go. My endocrinologist does not think it makes a difference. Also
    recommended dosage based on my online research is 5000 IUs once a day as
    supposed to the 50,000 once a week. . Any suggestions?

    • Eddie Garza

      Yes, Vitamin D3 (which is not really a vitamin, but a hormone) is the way to go. The body produces and uses D3. Go to youtube and search Dr. Stasha Gominak. She is a neurologist that “thinks outside the bun” if you will. She really is a big proponent of Vitamin D3 and making sure her patients are not deficient.

  • Al Koholic

    if you ever took propecia, you better test your vitamin D and all hormone levels

  • Lala

    This is such a life changer. I am an asthmatic that had severe insomnia and depression. A recent blood test revealed that my levels of vit d was about 30- defeciency. I’m from an island who move to the mountains in north of US and after only 2 days of 2500iu daily; My asthma symptoms have dminished and I sleeping like a baby, falling asleep at the same time and waking up the same time feeling rested…

    • Neha Shah

      do you take D at night or in the day? other posts say it induces sleeplessness if taken bedtime..i awoke every hour when i took at night

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  • WestOzGirl

    I prefer to obtain my vitamin D naturally i.e. from the sun, and before I catch some rays I make sure I have applied some type of oil or fat to my skin – either coconut/olive/tallow. This is to increase the oil content of my skin and encourage maximum synthesis of oil-soluble vitamin D. I also do not wash my skin for a day or so after exposure; only wash my pits, privates and feet every day.The reason for this, it takes a couple of days for vitamin D synthesised in your skin to be absorbed and transported into the body. I also prefer to shower in the mornings so any oils and vitamin D produced during the day is not washed off in the evening. In addition, I like to keep up my levels of sulphur, naturally of course, by eating sulphur-rich foods.

    This is from Dr Mercola –
    “However, the vitamin D3 that is formed is on the surface of your skin
    does not immediately penetrate into your bloodstream. It actually needs
    to be absorbed from the surface of your skin into your bloodstream. The
    critical question then is: how long does it take the vitamin D3 to
    penetrate your skin and reach your bloodstream? If you’re thinking about
    an hour or two, like I did until recently, you’re wrong. Because new
    evidence shows it takes up to 48 hours before you absorb the majority of
    the vitamin D that was generated by exposing your skin to the sun!
    Therefore, if you shower with soap, you will simply wash away much
    of the vitamin D3 your skin generated, and decrease the benefits of your
    sun exposure. So to optimize your vitamin D level, you need to delay
    washing your body with soap for about two full days after sun exposure.
    Now, few are not going to bathe for two full days. However you really
    only need to use soap underneath your arms and your groin area, so this
    is not a major hygiene issue. You’ll just want to avoid soaping up the
    larger areas of your body that were exposed to the sun.”

    Another great article I’ve read on this topic by, Stephanie Seneff, PhD –

    http://www.westonaprice.org/vitamins-and-minerals/sulfur-deficiency

    • WestOzGirl

      And if I need to supplement – during winter – it is with fermented cod liver oil.

      • josex

        Keep in mind that vitamin A competes with vitamin d for access to cells. You want to take A probably in 1K/day IU or around there while take D in amounts a few times as large as that.

        • Please God Why

          not really A and D are synergistic not competitive. they need to be taken together. here is a place to start. http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/update-on-vitamins-a-and-d/

        • josex

          I know A is needed, but I suspect that high vit A foods like kale, which at one point I began to eat frequently, require I take more D to get the same effect. And I have seen presentations where it was mentioned that D and A use similar receptors. I’m not sure.

          From an article at needs com:

          > ..there are still a lot of unanswered questions and resulting controversial opinions.

          > Vitamin A & D may compete for absorption; although each has its own receptor in cells, they also share one particular receptor called RXR. Some experts believe that because of this overlapping receptor, taking an excess of one vitamin will impede the uptake of the other one. On the other hand, some experts believe that the body will absorb only what it needs of both vitamin D3 and pro-vitamin A (carotenoids) and creates balance on its own.

  • kremit

    no no no no . If you use provigil, D fights for the same spot as provigil and will cancel each other out. I experienced this when I realized my provigil started becomming a sugar pill. B vitamins is where it’s at. You want some D? Go stand out in the sun for 10 minutes a day.

    • qlad

      Sun? What is this “sun” you speak of?
      The only thing I can ever stand in is rain.

  • Pierre Robert

    hi guys’i have suicidal attempts when my vitamin D3 is low, have SMDD, PTSD, Manic, OCD, Lupus, menieres. Since may 2010 i have been on a daily 10,000 units of D3/5000. but they have me take 1 in am with no food and one in pm. opposite of what you are saying.. i keep bile salt diareah and IBS from morning dose. dont sleep til birds chirp and no sleep meds work but they say sleep disorder. first i have ever heard of not taking at night. i cannot do real sun with my lupus. Bloodwork done ever 2 months. if i am in limit and ever go ever other day on my vitamins i drop out of range, thanks for your ideas. Les Hanna Harper .

  • Tlaxcalli

    Um, my blood test nearly a month ago came back 30 from 30-100 range. I’ve been eating a lot of Vitamin K2 as well as calcium, which supposedly increases need for D3. I’ve also been having a host of ridiculous health problems. I don’t get much sunlight, especially now that it’s getting cold. My doctors seem to think I’m crazy, yesterday I asked my doc if I should take D because I suspected a deficiency based on my experience… though it’s hard to tell with all these overlapping symptoms. But one of the only conditions I found that could explain my extreme bone sensitivity is D deficiency. Doc doesn’t want me to take any supplements unless I’m seriously deficient, but I dunno… that test was before my horrid health problems, and K2 builds up in the system. I’ve started taking a supplement of 10,000IU Vitamin A + 400IU Vitamin D, and then another supplement of Vitamin K2 MK-4 (safer K2) + 1000IU Vitamin D, and I stopped eating cheese and MK-7, and FINALLY was starting to feel better. The first supplement only seemed to help a little bit with bones, if at all, and I was afraid the A was too much and am trying not to take that one. But I am pretty sure I felt better right after taking 2 MK-4 supplements with 1000IU D within a few hours … then today I started feeling worse again for unknown reason, I haven’t taken that supplement today yet… I wonder if the 1000IU just really helped but wasn’t enough. It’s frustrating because doctors I see aren’t experts on these vitamins, and I at first assumed the problem was my iron supplements they told me to take, so now they’re afraid to prescribe me supplements. But I am thinking about going and buying another Vitamin D3 supplement that is just the D3 by itself because I seem to be feeling a little worse than I did before I took the D3. Now I’m not sure but it seems like eating calcium/cheese makes me feel worse, so I will try more of taking the D3 with calcium-rich meals, but avoid eating a ton of calcium. I did notice mouth felt more gross today than the last 2-3 days, and I don’t know why… did my D3 just get depleted even more?! How much do I need???

    • Diane

      You asked, “How much do I need?” If you read the article above, it gives good guidelines. I’m taking 10,000 IU of D per day on the advice of my functional medicine doctor. I have some health challenges and don’t get much (if any) sun. I feel so much better with my D, and without it I get depressed and have insomnia.
      I noticed that in your story above, the only time you say you were “FINALLY starting to feel better” was when your D intake was highest. However, I think if you keep researching, you’ll find you need even more. From the video link someone posted, it would seem that 30 is NOT a healthy blood level.

      http://youtu.be/qeb3PtkCd_c

  • dantonsdog

    was taking a D/Zinc/Ca/Mg supplement and in two weeks my eczema totally disappeared after dealing with it with steroid topicals for two years. I had to d/c use though because I was sleeping horribly…wide awake, though not feeling too bad the next morning. This clears it up…I’ll take the full supplement in the morning rather than through the day.

  • mosaicinmotion

    It is also now known that Vitamin D3, available over the counter, works much better than D2 (which is the 50,000 iu megadose most often prescribed by physicians) it is important to take vitamin K2 along with the D3, as well, because without it, you risk formation of calcium build up in your arteries…it acts as a director to send the D to your bones instead of soft tissue like arteries. K2 is found in high amounts in foods such as brie cheese, goose liver pate and Natto, a japanese soy cultured food is extremely high in it.

  • kat

    I have a curious case. I have narcolepsy and am not currently treating with rx. I also am naturally geared to get sleepy as the sun comes up. When I need to force sleep at night I have to take vitamin d and a b vitamin combo an hour before ii lay down. I can take melatonin, valerian etc… or even b vits alone. but without that vitamin d… I am unable to fall asleep. I have a malabsorption disorder which was the main reason I started d’s. But I don’t understand what makes me prone to its relaxing effect. It also helps me sleep during the day if I take it in the morning. I’m pretty sure it’s not a psychosomatic reaction, but only because my husband had given me a beverage that had d in it(higher than in milk) unbeknownst to me… and again I got extra sleepy. any idea guys?

  • disqus_n1QnBQDDNu

    Is it valid to take liquid D3 in butter coffee? Or does the coffee/caffeine prevent vitamin absorption?

  • Gilbert

    Cool vitamins d 3 is good because I just read and so I have sleep medical problems so when I go to bed I don’t have a ounce of sleep so with this vitamin that iam taking that is d3 I have been feeling more sleepy at night and no wonder it is helping

  • http://nostatus.com/ Carlo

    Dave, what do you think of the use of melatonin? Historically, I have not been able to sleep more than 4 hours (I am 36).

    I recently started taking melatonin and I am comfortably sleeping more and better. I have more energy than I have ever had.

  • Ddrops

    Try Ddrops! They are tasteless, odourless and with no added colours or preservatives they are great for the entire family!!! #justonedrop

    http://www.DdropsCompany.com

  • Christina

    My mom had a vitamin D deficiency and she told me to start taking D3 supplements. I started with 2000IUs because that is what her doctor recommended, I then tried some supplements from Smoothie king called “sunny mood” which had 8000IUs of D3. The sunny mood pills were like a hack to life, everything was beautiful and I was the happiest I have ever been, but once I ran out, my mood plummeted. I started taking 4000IUs which feel more normal, I slept well, I could focus way better than I have in my whole school career. All of a sudden my law school classes made even more sense. I’ve always made decent grades but my grades in law school raised whole average points. Then I finally decided to get my blood tested and my doctor told me to just take 2000IUs. I listened and for months now have suffered with focus and sleeping. I’m going back to 4000IUs. It’s sometimes better to listen more to your own body than a doctor who recommends the average dose per person.

  • Manon K.

    In Canada, the recommended level of Vitamin D3 is 2000 IU’s. I am deficient in the summer when I take that amount. My doctor doesn’t want me to take more in the fall, winter, and spring because she doesn’t know if it’s safe. I am following the instructions of a naturopath.

    • Diane

      There’s information all over the Internet and other places, from reputable sources, saying that more is safe. If you are deficient, why not take more and fix it? The article above should give enough guidance.

      Your naturopath has access to information that should tell her all she needs to know. If we can find it, surely she can. There’s no reason to continue in ignorance. If it helps at all, I’m following the advice of a functional medicine doctor who has me on 10,000 IU and I do very well on that. If I run out and stop taking it for a while, the insomnia and depression are horrible…and I live in Florida! I don’t get much sun, though…it’s either too hot to be outside or I’m too busy to think about it.

  • sue

    should you take Vit D with food?

    • Torg

      Take it with a meal with protein or fat. It’s fat soluble.

  • Nitzerette

    I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia a few years ago. Pain all over, especially in the joints, insomnia, low energy levels. I was taking oral doses of Vitamin D, about 2000iui/day. Not sure it was doing much. But a couple months ago, I got an injection of 200 000units. Wow, increased energy right away! I think it only lasted for about 3 weeks though. My insomnia is pretty much gone, but not sure if that was the vitamin D, another new medication I went on at same time, or a combination of both.

  • Vikas

    I had recent blood test and my Vitamin D level to be around 8 ng/mL. Which is way lower than the numbers people mentioned in the post. I guess this explains my lethargic feeling all day. I even forgot when last I felt fresh and full of energy. I am just 30 and felt envious of other people full of energy and wondered what is wrong with me, I guess now I know the reason. I fail to sleep on time at nights and find it hard to wake up in the morning. I just started yesterday with 5,000 IU/day of Vitamin D3(with meals). I believe it is too soon to see any effects however after taking the supplement each time I experienced Heart Palpitation. Has anyone experienced that? If yes what is the solution? I was thinking of trying 1,000 IU/day to see if that helps.

    • Ive

      You might need to take Vitamin K. if you’re having problems with vitamin D you might be deficient in K.

      • Vikas

        Thanks Ive, finally somebody replied to my post. :) I am pretty sure I am not Vitamin K deficient after looking up the symptoms and also my daily diet includes enough Vitamin K. In the mean time I switched from 5,000 IU/day to 1,000 IU/day and gradually tested and found out I was fine with 3,000 IU/day. Even with 4,000 IU/day I had similar heart racing feeling but not as bad as it was with 5,000. Unfortunately I have not seen much difference in my energy levels yet. But I was diagnosed with H.Pylori infection too. I tried to treat it myself natural way not sure if it is gone or not. But my doctor didn’t suggest to do anything with it. Not sure if this is causing Vitamin D deficiency. I would really appreciate if you have any more suggestions.

        • pb

          You will need a prescription from your doctor for 10,000 mg a week for 12 weeks, get retested may need to do it again for 12 weeks, myself and two sisters are under 30ng/mL, can run in families and we live in the north.
          pb

        • Dru

          Vikas, H. Pylori must be treated with antibiotic! It also requires other meds to protect the stomach lining. I am an RN. My son had it when he was 12. He was in so much chest pain…unbelievable…even had heart tests ran on him. H.Pylori is a precursor to stomach cancer which is deadly rather quickly. I have a friend who I helped get her pain diagnosed and she had H. Pylori. However, she began treatment too late, and died with stomach cancer only a couple months afterward.Please get a new doctor and get treated!

  • Mark

    Looking into this it seems that vitamin D would act to decrease parathyroid hormone. Parathyroid hormone is associated with elevated interleukin 6, which is typically elevated in insomnia. Elevated calcium intake would probably do the trick as well at least to some degree. I’m sure there are other factors and like anything it requires balance.

    I would imagine people who don’t follow a bulletproof diet can get away with less vitamin D.

    Here is an interesting arcticle on parathryoid: http://butternutrition.com/insomnia-calcium-stress-hormones/

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