A new study evaluating the effect of nutrient intake and deficiencies on sleep has found that vitamin D relates to sleep maintenance.
Research on vitamin D and sleep disorders is scarce and has yet to establish a causal link. The few studies on vitamin D and sleep suggest a link between vitamin D and certain sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea.
However, research in general shows that sleep is related to nutrient intake and behavior. Previous research suggests that sleep disorders, resulting in low sleep quality, can impact the nutrient intake of individuals.
Researchers recently used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to help explain what effect nutrient intake has on sleep quality and sleep symptoms.
NHANES is a program designed to assess the health and nutrition of the people living in the United States. It consists of a survey sent out periodically to large segments of the United States population.
The researchers used data from 2007 and 2008 from NHANES to collect information on self-reported sleep quality, sleep symptoms, and nutrient intake.
The researchers found that nutrient intake was most related to difficulty falling asleep and difficulty maintaining a full night’s sleep.
For vitamin D, the results showed that intake was related to the ability to maintain a full night’s sleep.
While the researchers didn’t have data on the amount of vitamin D intake, higher intake was significantly associated with a 16% reduced risk for experiencing difficulty maintaining a full night’s sleep.
“Results from these nationally representative data indicate that sleep symptoms are associated with some dietary components,” the research team concluded. “Vitamin D was associated with less difficulty maintaining sleep.”
The researchers call for longitudinal studies and experimental trials to determine how long-term nutrient status and intake affect sleep.
Trials using supplementation of vitamin D will explain further how vitamin D affects sleep maintenance and overall sleep quality.