The Relationship Between Vitamin D and Sleep in Seniors

April 27th, 2017 by John Wilson

Many people in assisted living care in Oklahoma City are aware of the need for proper amounts of vitamin D as we get older, as well as the need to get enough sleep throughout our lives. However, were you aware there is actually a connection between these two facts? Completed studies indicate there is a correlation between getting enough vitamin D and getting the amount of sleep you need, reducing instances of insomnia and other difficulties sleeping.

Vitamin D Is an Important Component

The best assisted living facilities in OKC understand the importance of vitamin D, which is why they encourage their residents to spend as much time as possible outdoors. The body naturally processes sunshine into vitamin D, producing much of what we need. It can also be obtained from eating certain foods, such as egg yolks, fatty fish, fish oils and fortified dairy and juice.

Talk to the best assisted living facilities about how they promote sleep.

The best assisted living facilities promote good sleep.

How Does This Impact Sleep?

Now that you understand how you get vitamin D, it’s crucial to also understand its function. Vitamin D plays a critical role in both your mental and physical functions. The presence of this vitamin assists the body in absorbing other nutrients like phosphorus and calcium. It is also suspected to play a role in effective weight loss and weight management. A reduced level of vitamin D can contribute to an increased risk of certain medical conditions, as well as a higher instance of depression.

How does this affect sleep, though? Recent studies have indicated there may be a correlation between vitamin D levels and quality of sleep. During the course of the study, more than 3,000 men over the age of 68 wore wrist sensors while they slept. Among these men, 16 percent were deemed vitamin D deficient. These men scored much lower on quality of sleep. In fact, the odds of a decreased sleep score was increased by 70 percent. In addition to this increase in poor sleep quality, those who suffered a deficiency of vitamin D also created a higher likelihood of sleeping fewer than five hours a night, along with more night awakenings, which leads to a much poorer quality of sleep.

A Complicated Relationship

While vitamin D deficiency seems to play a role in the body’s ability to sleep, it isn’t quite so simple. In fact, vitamin D and melatonin are actually inversely related. Because melatonin is the sleep hormone, having too much vitamin D when you are trying to sleep can have a negative impact on sleep instead. This makes sense if you think about how the sun creates vitamin D in the body. Therefore, if you are thinking about supplementing your vitamin D, make sure you take your tablets in the morning, rather than later in the day.

Vitamin D is an essential element for effective mental and physical function in the body. However, it can also play a role in the amount of sleep you get and its quality.

If your loved one is receiving Oklahoma assisted living services, it’s important to make sure they are getting enough vitamin D. Contact us to discuss how we help seniors with these issues.

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