Vitamin D3 in Morning Has No Clear Effect on Sleep (Story 12)

Alex Chernavsky, who has used the Shangri-La Diet successfully for two years, recently commented as follows (emphasis added):

For what it’s worth, I’ve taken Vitamin D at different times of the day, and I’ve never noticed any effect on my sleep. Of course, my sleep is already pretty good, in the sense that I fall asleep quickly and don’t usually wake up during the night. (My sleep is not good in the sense that I don’t get enough of it.)

By email, I learned that Alex is now taking Vitamin D3 — this particular product, which is vegan (“plant-source”) — at 5000 IU every other day. On weekdays, he takes it at about 8:00 am, on weekends, 9:30-10:00 am.

What might explain Alex’s failure to notice better sleep?

1. Not enough D3. I found that 2000 IU/day had no noticeable effect, whereas 4000 IU/day did produce noticeable benefit. Alex is getting 2500 IU/day — or less, if he takes it too late on the weekends.

2. His source of D3.

3. Individual differences large enough to matter. If you do sensitive psychology experiments, you will learn there are individual differences in everything.

4. Ceiling effect. Alex’s sleep is too good to notice improvement.

Those are the just the obvious possibilities.

12 Replies to “Vitamin D3 in Morning Has No Clear Effect on Sleep (Story 12)”

  1. I also didn’t see an effect. Tried 2000 and 4000. Low-quality sleep in either case. I use Duane Reid gelcaps. No effect of standing on both legs or on just one (to exhaustion). I guess I am hopeless

  2. Since you started posting these, I’ve been taking D3 in the mornings and notice that I wake up much more easily. I started with just 400 IU, then increased to 800 IU. One day I took 1200 IU and woke up at 4:00 AM the next day. I’ve gone back to 800 IU since 4:00 AM seems a bit early. For the past week, I’ve also been giving one of my daughters (11 years old) 400 IU each morning, and she seems easier to wake up in the morning (normally it’s quite difficult).

    Sorry I’m too lazy to keep detailed records. I’m taking NOW Softgels.

    I do wonder if there would be an initial effect that goes away over time as your body adjusts.

  3. Lack of fat. You need fat present to absorb the D3.

    I’ve been taking A,D3 & K2, chased down with Jersey cream for 1 week. I think I have improved sleep, but it’s very subjective.

  4. Seth- I started taking D-3 4000 IU, this week. My sleep has definitely gotten much better. I typically have no problem falling asleep, but wake up at 12, 2 and 4. Last night I slept until 2:30 and overall feel like I’m much more rested. One thing I have experienced which has not been mentioned is that my dreams are much more vivid, and I recall them more easily.
    Thanks for alerting me to this very interesting and useful nutritional idea.

  5. I suspect that those already replete with vit D will not see an effect. Anybody who is taking vit D should have their blood levels tested from time to time both to avoid toxicity (rare but possible) and to provide some insight to the dose required to achieve a target blood level. The folks at grassrootshealth have some good info on target levels and how to choose dosage.

  6. For the last 4 weeks, I’ve been eating within 30min of waking up and taking 4000 IU D3 (Kirkland brand, just like Elizabeth from story #11) along with a multivitamin. I am trying to get my body to wake up, rested and energetic, at 6:00 am everyday. This regimen has not helped me wake up any easier. In fact, this last week I’ve had to skip eating breakfast in order to not be late for work.

    I did take 10,000 IU of D3 one day. I had a tremendous initial bust of energy. I literally could not sit down for the next 3 hours. But it was not any easier to get out of bed the next morning.

    My number one desire right now is to improve my ability to get up early. I had high hopes for the early breakfast/D3 combo. I’m pretty frustrated that it has not worked for me. I’m not sure what to try next.

  7. For the last 4 weeks, I’ve been eating within 30min of waking up and taking 4000 IU D3

    I discovered long ago that eating breakfast caused me to wake up less rested. You might want to try D3 alone.

  8. I have difficulties in falling asleep, I rarely wake up feeling refreshed and I often feel slightly exhausted during the day. I’ve been taking vitamin D3 a couple of years now with doses ranging from 1000 to 6000 IU, but I don’t remember ever noticing any effect of D3 on my energy levels or sleep. Before coming across Seth’s writings about the timing of D3 I usually took my pill sometime in the evening (7 to 9 pm perhaps). Now I’ve been taking my D3 in the morning, but I haven’t noticed an effect. (In fact, I feel that my sleep might have been a bit worse, but if so, it’s probably unrelated.)

    A while ago I was still taking a shower and brushing my teeth before taking the D3 so that I could consume it with a spoonful of coconut oil. When that didn’t seem to help, I started taking D3 before getting up from the bed – no effect.

    I wouldn’t be particularly surprised if D3 didn’t have a noticeable effect on me – not many supplements do. If there’s something that I could still try it might be increasing the dose. I’m tall, I’ve got at least a little muscle and my metabolism seems to be quick (I eat a lot and stay lean) so it’s possible that I have a floor effect on my current dosage. I’m a bit hesitant to increase the dosage though since I don’t know if I’d get some adverse effects, too.

    I’m planning to try taking D3 in the evening to see if it makes my sleep or energy levels worse. I’ll probably go back to taking it in the morning since that’s probably the best, but I’m curious to see if my body responds to the timing of D3 in any way at all.

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