Sleep is vitality. If you’re reading this than I am sure you have had a bad nights sleep at one point in your life.
Chances are it was tough to wake up, and when you did you felt exhausted, sore and maybe even a little cranky.
Sleep truly is a wonder of the human body – to this day scientists really are not sure why we do it – after all, as a prey species, we would be highly susceptible to predators during the night.
Interestingly enough, all of our mammal companions also have long sleep cycles – some even for multiple months.
Sleep isn’t just as simple as lying down and getting rest. Sure, on a fundamental level our modern lives have taught us to sleep when it’s dark, but why? And for how long?
One of the most interesting areas of life is the role the sun plays in our sleep. Our body start to send signals to your brain and other internal systems when it notices a lack of light. This signals original source is from the amount of vitamin d you have.
This micronutrient is a fat-soluble secosteroids responsible for increasing and in some cases regulating absorption of calcium, magnesium, phosphate, and many other minerals.
For this reason, vitamin d has even been included and studied for the purposes of increasing free-testosterone production during your nighttime cycles.
In terms of its effects on sleep, research shows that users who have low vitamin d levels not only lack quality of sleep, but they have higher onsets of insomnia, anemia, and even osteoporosis.
In much of the northern hemisphere light is scarce for 4-5 months of the year. This is the area where a lack of Vitamin D could put a huge damper on your sleep, and eventually your performance in the weight room.
What’s The Solution?
First things first, if possible you should Increase your exposure to the sun. This is not only the best way to obtain Vitamin D, but also one of the easiest. Unfortunately, as discussed, for much of the northern hemisphere this may not be an option, and instead they may need to supplement.
While the RDA (recommended value) for vitamin d is around 1500 iu, although many scientist will recommend far more, even to the excess of 5000 iu daily.
In addition to the benefits to your overall sleep quality, Vitamin D supplementation may assist in restoring your natural circadian rhythms – that is the sleep cycles you are accustomed to.
Vitamin D supplementation has also been shown to facilitate a better mood, and even assist in management of blood sugar levels.
The important take-home with Vitamin D is that it plays a major role in so many systems in the body. As with other micronutrients the dosage is small, but it packs quite a powerful punch. Be sure to start regulating the amount of vitamin d you intake on a daily basis in order to optimize your sleep and performance.