Cod Liver Oil in Morning Improves Sleep

Kim Øyhus, a programmer who lives in Norway, writes:

Each midwinter and summer I tend to lose my feeling of when it is day or night, especially if I am in the northern parts of Norway, or if the weather is dark clouds for a long time, which often happens. So sorry, no statistics, just my sense of being unhinged from the diurnal cycle.

Taking 1-2 spoons [= 7-14 ml] of cod liver oil in the morning [7-9 am] got me back to this rhythm in about 3-5 hours. It even works for fixing my diurnal rhythm after partying to sunrise, but only after a days rest.

Is this due to Vitamin D3? (I have collected many examples of Vitamin D3 in the morning improving sleep.) Quite possibly. Cod liver oil contains Vitamin D3. When taking a Vitamin D3 supplement, the minimum dose needed to see the effect, based on the examples I’ve collected, seems to be about 1000 IU. I didn’t notice anything when I took 2000 IU. The effect first appeared at a dose of 4000 IU and was a bit larger at 6000 IU. Kim is taking 600-1100 IU of Vitamin D3, so that is consistent with the Vitamin D3 in the cod liver oil being the source of the effect.

8 Replies to “Cod Liver Oil in Morning Improves Sleep”

  1. After breakfast, every morning in winter – cod liver oil capsules were part of the Standard British Childhood in the 50s. And often your breakfast had been a kipper (after a bowl of porridge).

  2. There might be co-factors in the cod liver oil that make the smaller dose of vitamin D more effective.

  3. I’ll second the co-factor hypothesis. CLO contains lots of vit A, small amounts of EPA and DHA, and some trace minerals too.

    all around good stuff – just doesn’t taste like it!

  4. Cod liver oil helps with the vitamin deficiency overall and anytime you heal the body from a vitamin deficiency you’re going to help the sleep cycle. I’m a huge believer though in Cod Liver oil, I appreciate how the norwegians are super healthy!

  5. I supplemented with Oral spray Vit D3 (1000iu) since October last year until now. I increased to Vit D3 (3000 iu) since feb as we have an a bitterly cold and extended winter. I have had no cold, no flu (friends and family were very sick) and I supplement with fermented liver/butter oil one capsule at night. This is the first time I have done this consistently through winter in the UK and my first time of no flu symptoms whatsoever. I may have the odd day of a snuffly nose/or cough but nothing ever develops from it. I am particularly amazed as I do mix a lot with people who are often coughing and sneezing but still no problems for me. I am waiting now to see as Spring arrives how my recent pollen allergy is going to work out. I have started taking home-made Kefir as a possible improvement remedy for seasonal allergies. I wait and see, so far so good.

  6. I wanted to add my sleep has also improved, I sleep noticably more deeply but I put that down to magnesium 2 x 250mg a night but it may well be the Vit D3, the K2 and the magnesium.

  7. OK, so I am not really talking cod liver oil… though I have been taking it ocasionally becasue flaxseed scares me just a bit. It doesn’t have the same profile of fish oil exactly but people take it for the omega 3. However last night I was studying a bit on enzymes and was listening to a lecture found here It just started playing. By the end of the discussion he said to avaid flaxseed becasue of the the lignans. Apparently they are a phytoestrogen that acts much like the isoflavones in soy and increase estrogen! I have been trying to find out more about this this morning. For those interested I found three sites so far that have my curiosity (since lignans are especially high in all nuts) see page four here You can see the percentages of lignans… I am liking pecans more and more
    Then this site (Beans never did sit well with me…. guess I know one more reason why) Apparently some people can negate some of the bad effects of lignans while on antibioics because some gut floras help digest it (bad) instead of passing it on. Yet lignans are everywhere in food and is usually found in the most fibrous parts of the plant, but not all fiber has the bad lignan impact.
    I am finding out that it is because there are many types of lignans and we don’t understand them all very well…. cetain one however we KNOW increase bad horomone levels of estrogen (like the ones very active in flax… that is why it is sometimes recommended for menopausal symptoms) I imagine that would be very bad for men.
    Surely there has een more study on this topic… and maybe there really are some good lignan types out there…. for now I am trying to unsterstanf this study
    Until we understand lignans better maybe cod liver lrill or algae oil is the way to go. Thanks for your awsome blog Seth. I keep bumping into it during my searches…. its a keeper

  8. Seth,

    For the purpose of battling insomnia, do you have any suggestions on how we can reconcile skipping breakfast, with taking D3 supplements and/or cod liver oil first thing in the morning? Will a pre-breakfast supplement run the risk of setting up anticipatory waking? (Vitamin D3 capsule might be flavorless, thus perhaps no anticipatory waking, but cod liver oil definitely has a taste. Yum.) Is it better to delay the supplements until time of 1st-food (10am or 11am, or whatnot)? Thanks!

    Seth: There are no calories in vitamin D3. So it produces no anticipatory waking. Cod liver oil early in the morning might be a problem.

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