The vitamin deficiency affecting 1 in 5 Britons linked to poor sleep

Lorraine: Dr Amir says spine could shrink if deficient in vitamin D

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Vitamin D can enter the body in two forms, through diet or through the skin because of ultraviolet light. When it is absorbed, it does wonders. But a study published in the journal Nutrients suggests a deficiency in it is associated with a “higher risk” of sleeping disorders.

The research that looked at the link between vitamin D deficiency and sleep in over 9,000 participants, found several alerting trends.

People with the deficiency had a higher risk of conditions like insomnia. They also had worse and shorter sleep.

The academics looked at convincing research from across the world as part of a review. They used these studies to come up with solid conclusions about the relationship between sleep disorders and vitamin D deficiency.

Although they spotted the pattern, the researchers noted that more research is necessary to explain the link.

In some research, vitamin D deficiency was shown to be associated with inflammation of the nose and tonsils, which can cause sleep apnea.

However, it’s worth noting there are many other possible sources of sleeping issues. Particularly in the midst of a heatwave, sleep can be harder to come by.

The body tends to sleep better at lower temperatures. The best sleep temperature is known to be 18 degrees celsius.

You should only visit your doctor about potential vitamin D deficiency if some of the following symptoms pop up:

  • Fatigue
  • Bone pain
  • Muscle pain or weakness
  • Mood changes.

The pain you suffer could occur all over your body or in your lower back, pelvis or foot.

Anybody above the age of one should receive 10 micrograms of vitamin D per day, the NHS explains.

Around this time of year, you should be able to get the necessary vitamin D levels from sunlight.

In the summer and spring, just 10 to 20 minutes in the sun should be enough exposure to reach recommended doses of vitamin D.

But during the autumn and winter months, you may need to get vitamin D from elsewhere.

The NHS explains that some good food sources of vitamin D include oily fish, red meat, liver, egg yolks and fortified foods like cereal.

It’s worth noting that you can have too much vitamin D if you’re taking supplements. You can’t receive too much sunlight, however.

Taking too many vitamin D supplements can cause a build-up of calcium in your body – which has the potential to damage your kidneys and heart.

The symptoms of taking too much vitamin D can include nausea, vomiting, weakness, and frequent urination.

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