A reader named Murray Love made a comment about Vitamin D3 and sleep that at least sounds negative:
As a counterpoint [to this post], I’ve been taking 4-5,000 IU of D3 for a couple of months now, and while it might be making me feel better in other ways (more vital, upbeat, and energetic), it has coincided with a stretch of poor sleep. I have what they (hilariously) call “terminal insomnia” — that is, I usually have no trouble at all falling asleep, but I wake regularly at night and am permanently awake very early, often from 4:30am onwards. This has been a periodic problem for a few years now, though this stretch is notably tolerable, for some reason.
I asked for details:
Tell me about yourself.
I’m an engineer, Victoria, BC, age 44. A big confounding factor with me is that I started a new job in November, for which I get up at 6 am and (on most days) ride my bicycle about 12 km (7.5 mi) to work, instead of walking a few blocks as I did with my previous job. I started taking the D3 and having this round of sleep problems all within a few weeks of starting the new job, so it’s difficult to disentangle all the correlations.
What time of day do you take the D3? What brand?
I take it around 6:30 am with my coffee. London Drugs (generic Canadian drugstore brand) 1000 IU tablets, though I’d prefer higher-IU gelcaps for ease of swallowing. I usually don’t eat anything for breakfast unless I’m cooking for my sons, in which case it’s meat and eggs with some fruit. Other times, when I’m not cooking but feeling hungrier than the norm at that time of day, I’ll have a handful of almonds or mixed nuts around the same time as the D3.
You started taking D3 because of my posts about it?
You write: “This has been a periodic problem for a few years now,” What do you mean by “periodic”? For the last few years — before the D3 — on what fraction of nights did you have this problem?
“Periodic” means that I experience it almost every day (weekends included) for several weeks or a few months at a time, then it goes away for some reason and I sleep more normally for several months. The usual pattern for my insomnia is: I go to bed at 10:30, give or take 90 minutes, fall asleep almost immediately, wake up 1-2 times during the night (usually briefly), then around 4:30 am wake up and either a) doze lightly and intermittently until my 6 am get-up time, or b) stay awake.
Since you started the D3, on what fraction of nights do you have this problem?
I’d guess 85%. Once in a while, I manage to get some catch-up sleep and surprise myself by sleeping in.
You write: “this stretch is notably tolerable, for some reason.” Could you say more about this? What do you mean by “notably tolerable”?
It means I am surprised that my typical 4.5- to 7-hour sleeps do not seem to be affecting my energy level, mood, or ability to concentrate, even over several days. Since I went low-carb mixed with intermittent fasting back in 2008, I don’t tend to get mid-morning or early-afternoon energy dips, but since I started taking D3 (NB. plus new job, plus riding my bike again) I seem to be much more alert and cheerful, almost regardless of sleep. My experience seems remarkably similar to the other reader’s comment you posted this morning (27-Jan).