Vitamin D3 Timing and Sleep: More from Tara Grant

It is from Tara Grant, a California journalist whom I met at the 2011 Ancestral Health Symposium, that I got the idea that the time of day you take Vitamin D3 matters (morning good, evening bad). She recently wrote more about her experience:

I had never had a sleep problem growing up, or during my 20s or early 30s. I kept a regular sleep cycle, woke up rested, preformed well in school and never needed to have naps. However, when I was in my mid-to-late 30s, the sleep problems started. [She woke up many times per night.] This was around the same time I went Primal and adopted several changes in my diet and lifestyle, including taking supplements. One of those supplements was Vitamin D3 [10,000 IU/day], something I had never taken before.

The sleep problems persisted for a couple of years. When I changed the time of day I took my Vitamin D [making sure to take it in the morning, never in the evening], they resolved. I didn’t change anything else, as I didn’t need to.

My experience has been that Vitamin D3 in the morning improved my sleep and that the dose needed to get this improvement was more than 2000 IU. Doses of 4000 IU and more were effective. More than 20 people have had similar experiences. A few people have found that Vitamin D3 in the morning did not improve their sleep.

5 Replies to “Vitamin D3 Timing and Sleep: More from Tara Grant”

  1. I have slept very badly for many years. It is hard to get to sleep and then I wake up often. I also have sleep apnea, for which I use a CPAP machine while sleeping, which doesn’t help because if the pressurizing mask slips it may leak, which tends to wake me up.

    I’ve been taking 4000 units/day of D3 in the morning after reading about it here. It does help, but only modestly. But what I do notice is that I tend to get very sleepy about 12 – 13 hours after taking the D3. I don’t necessarily fall asleep easily or sleep better if I go to bed at this time, though sometimes I get so sleepy I can’t do much else besides lie down. This period of sleepiness seems to last for a few hours. If I get through it, I wake up enough to function all right until I go to bed. If I have gotten through the sleepy period in the evening, I will generally sleep about as well as if I had gone to bed earlier during the sleepy time.

    The effect will last for one or two more days if I omit taking the D3. Sometimes I adjust the time I take the D3 according to what I may be doing in the evening, such as being at a concert or driving home, to try to avoid getting to sleepy at the wrong time. That’s only partly successful.

    Seth: You might want to try a range of morning times to find what works best. I noticed that taking Vitamin D3 at 7 am had a much better effect than taking it at 8 am.

  2. I think it would be interesting whether “in the morning mean the same thing for everyone.

    There are people who get up at 5 o’ clock and there are people who get up at 11 o’ clock.
    Maybe the 11 o’clock people don’t get the full benefits of taking vitamin D3 after awakening?

    Seth: I agree. My experience has been that I needed to try a range of different morning times (from about 6 am to 9 am) to find the time that worked best.

  3. I have tried various morning times. So far, I haven’t noticed any convincing results except for the 12-hour sleepiness one. I could try again, now that I’m more familiar with the normal effects that I get.

  4. My wife has had recent good luck with D3, but I have had much better sleep with one ibuprofen. For some reason I am sleeping 30-60 minutes longer and having way more dreams. Anybody else have similar experiences?

  5. I found that 5000 IU in the morning eliminates my restless sleep and makes falling asleep much easier. Originally I was at 7000 IU, and dropped it to 4000. I went to a conference and took only 2000 IU every morning. What a mistake. restless sleep came right back. Got home and increased back to 5000. Time of morning appears to be somewhat irrelevant to me. Sometimes I take it at 6am, usually between 7 and 8, sometimes as late as 9am. 9am may well be associated with decreased sleep quality, but 6-8am are not.

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