Vitamin D is known as the “Sunshine Vitamin” because spending time outdoors in the sun is known to increase vitamin D in the body via the skin. Our ancestors spent a considerable amount of their time outdoors, but for the first time in history, large amounts of the world population spend most of their time inside their offices and homes. Researchers at the East Texas Medical Center and the University of North Carolina have discovered that vitamin D helps to regulate the sleep-wake cycle. They’ve found a definite link between vitamin D deficiency and the current global epidemic of sleep disorders.
Rapid eye movement sleep (REM) is one of the deepest levels of sleep. It is the level in which dreaming occurs, and its related to good memory and learning. A disruption of REM sleep or an absence of it, is one form of insomnia. Other sleep disorders include sleep apnea – which involves interrupted or obstructed breathing or snoring during the night; insomnia from hormone fluctuations such as with menstruation or menopause; restless leg syndrome; and periodic limb movement disorder, a condition where the person moves their limbs involuntarily during sleep.
The results of the clinical trial of vitamin D supplementation was published in a recent issue of the journal “Medical Hypothesis”. The researchers followed 1500 patients over a 2 year period. A consistent level of vitamin D3 was maintained in their blood over many months. This produced normal sleep in most of the participants, regardless of their type of sleep disorder, which suggests that many types of insomnia may share the same cause. During the research, the authors discovered the presence of high concentrations of vitamin D “receiving sites” or “receptors” in those areas of the brain that are related to the onset and maintenance of sleep.
Calcium is also directly related to our cycles of sleep. In one study, published in the European Neurology Journal, researchers found that calcium levels in the body are higher during the rapid eye movement (REM) phase. This study concluded that disturbances in sleep, especially the absence of REM deep sleep or disturbed REM sleep, are related to a calcium deficiency. Restoration to the normal course of sleep was achieved following the normalization of the blood calcium level. As a note, calcium works best when its balanced with magnesium in a two to one ratio (with twice as much calcium as magnesium).
Natural insomnia remedies containing vitamin D and calcium can be helpful with both falling asleep and staying asleep during the night. One remedy that’s designed for many forms of insomnia is Sleep Minerals II from http://www.NutritionBreakthroughs.com. This sleep aid contains highly absorbable forms of vitamin D3, calcium, and magnesium, the best ingredients for sleeplessness and insomnia, as well as for heart health, restless legs syndrome, bone strength, menopause insomnia and teenage insomnia. The formula is delivered in a softgel form with healthy carrier oils, making it more rapidly absorbable than tablets or capsules and providing a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.
Doctor P. P. of Houston, Texas says: “I had developed sleeping problems and took two different sleep medications over the course of several weeks. When I discontinued them, the insomnia came back even worse. I literally got about 20 hours of sleep in 6 weeks time. Sleep Minerals II was just what I needed. I’ve been taking it for a couple weeks and getting many hours of sleep a night. As a doctor I would definitely avoid prescribing sleeping drugs — I would recommend Sleep Minerals II.”
The authors of the vitamin D study noted that sleeping disorders have played a role in the development of medical conditions such as hypertension, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, depression, and chronic pain — all of which have become widespread similarly to insomnia. The authors suggest further research be done on the management of vitamin D levels in a variety of medical conditions related to sleep.
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