I’ve been struggling a lot with sleep these past several months. I tend to wake during the night and have trouble falling back asleep. I’ve tried the following to no avail:
- Cutting out coffee completely
- Eating a bit of cheese before bed
- Using a weighted blanket
- Using an Ooler sleep system
- Wearing a sleep mask
- Using earplugs in bed
- Cutting out naps completely during the day
- Trying to get more sun during the day
- Practicing cognitive behavioral therapy, e.g. focus breathing
I fall asleep quite quickly, usually within 15 minutes. But I’ll wake up between 1-3AM to go to the restroom and struggle with falling asleep again.
Recently I came across an article from TrainingPeaks here, talking about vitamin D and its effect on training. According to the article, 80%-90% of vitamin D is produced by UVB exposure, which is present only when the sun is at 35º overhead (solar noon). But during the winter months, those north of the 35º latitude get no UVB exposure at all which means virtually no vitamin D production.
That said, I came across this health study which concluded that people with vitamin D levels below 20 ng/mL could suffer from sleep disorders. I looked at a blood test I had from a couple year ago where my vitamin D was measured, this was before I started cycling but it was right smack in the middle of summer when vitamin D production from the sun should be at its peak. My vitamin D levels were measured at 25 ng/mL.
So I know this is N+1, but given that my vitamin D levels were “lowish” at the peak of Summer I have a strong suspicion that my vitamin D levels are even lower now than during the Summer. My next step is to get another blood test to see where I’m at. In any case, I really want folks to examine this and let me know if I’m off kilter in my thoughts. I also hope, if this is valid, that it will help other folks struggling with sleep issues.