How Vitamin D Rich Foods May Help Remedy Insomnia

vitamin d foods for sleepHere’s a short vitamin D primer that also includes how it can affect insomnia.  Shared by Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of Sleep Minerals II
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Do you struggle with falling asleep or staying asleep at night? If so, you are not alone. Every night, millions of people lie in bed hoping for a restful night’s sleep that does not come.

It is estimated that one in three people will develop acute insomnia every year, and about 10% of these individuals will struggle with insomnia for several months at a time.

Insomnia can wreak havoc on one’s ability to live a normal, productive life. In fact, lack of sleep can lead to mood changes, memory loss, and impaired judgement. In addition, unresolved or unmanaged sleep disorders can increase the risk of chronic pain, depression, and a compromised immune system.

There are a variety of sleep medications on the market to help manage insomnia. However, the side effects often lead to a new set of health complications. As a result, many people have begun searching for a safer, natural alternative to promote a healthier sleep cycle. Of the options on the market, vitamin D is proving to be a serious contender.

Vitamin D at a glance

Vitamin D has been making media headlines for over two decades. Originally believed to be important solely for bone health, research continues to uncover a wide range of additional health benefits of maintaining optimal levels.

Unfortunately, despite the thousands of studies that have showcased the body’s need for vitamin D, deficiency remains highly prevalent. This is due to a variety of factors, including but not limited to:

  • Indoor lifestyle
  • Sunblock use
  • Avoidance of mid-day sun exposure
  • Lack of supplement use
  • Imbalanced diet
  • Obesity

Often, people who are vitamin D deficient experience symptoms like fatigue, joint and muscle pain, frequent infections and insomnia.

How vitamin D status may impact sleep quality

Vitamin D is not just a vitamin, it’s a hormone. That means, after undergoing a couple of activation processes in the body, it binds to cells throughout the body to regulate a wide range of bodily functions.

Hormones are fat-soluble substances derived from cholesterol. They are produced by glands such as the thyroid, adrenals and pancreas, and then released into the bloodstream to reach target cells. These include cortisol made by the adrenals, testosterone, estrogen and yes, vitamin D.

So, how may vitamin D impact sleep? Vitamin D receiving points are located throughout regions of the brain that regulate our mood and sleep patterns. This has led researchers to theorize that vitamin D helps regulate the circadian rhythm, which is our body’s internal clock that instructs us when to sleep, eat, and rest.

  • Several studies have supported this theory by reporting a relationship between healthy vitamin D levels and improved sleep quality. In addition, a recent study found that vitamin D deficiency is associated with an 11-fold increased odds of resistance to sleep medication. This means that the people who didn’t respond to sleeping drugs had a lower level of vitamin D in their body.

Best sources of vitamin D

Thankfully, there are a variety of ways one can ensure they are receiving enough vitamin D to promote healthy sleep cycles.  This includes safe sun exposure (avoiding getting burned), supplementation, and eating a balanced diet.

Now more than ever, foods are being fortified with vitamin D in an effort to better support the body’s needs. However, people frequently ask, which form is better, vitamin D2 or D3?

Vitamin D2 is obtained through the diet and is produced by plants; whereas D3 is naturally produced when the skin is exposed to the sun and it can be consumed via animal sources in the diet.

Vitamin D3 is more bioavailable than D2, meaning this form is more efficiently utilized by our bodies. For this reason, experts recommend people ensure they are receiving ample amounts of vitamin D3 per day.

Top dietary sources of vitamin D

  1. Cod liver Oil is the most potent dietary source for vitamin D3. In just one tablespoon, you can receive 1,360 international units (IU) vitamin D3. In addition to vitamin D, cod liver oil is rich in vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids.
  2. Fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines and mackerel are the best dietary sources of vitamin D, with about 500 IU vitamin D3 content in just three ounces of cooked fish. Also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, these sources offer a heart-healthy option for those looking for a balanced dietary approach to maintaining healthy vitamin D levels.
  3. Plain greek yogurt is another healthy option to provide some of your daily vitamin D needs. Known for its probiotics, greek yogurt helps support a healthy intestinal tract. In addition, it is a great snack for people who struggle with hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) due to its high protein, low carbohydrate ratio. It also contains calcium, magnesium and about 80 IU vitamin D per 6 oz serving.
  4. Eggs offer another beneficial source of vitamin D3. They generally contain about 40 IU per yoke.
  5. Perhaps one of the most popular dietary sources of vitamin D is milk. It offers about 120 IU vitamin D3 per serving. Milk also provides a great source of calcium. For this reason, milk is an important dietary component to protecting bone health.

Final thoughts

If you struggle with insomnia and hope vitamin D may help improve your sleep quality, there are a couple important factors to keep in mind. First, consistency is key. Although time of day isn’t important when eating foods rich in vitamin D or taking an oral supplement, it is important that this is done on a regular basis.

Research suggests that taking a couple thousand international units (IU’s) of vitamin D per day between foods and supplements is ideal when addressing sleeplessness and insomnia.

One supplement that contains a good amount of vitamin D is Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs. It also contains highly absorbable forms of calcium, magnesium, and zinc, which are all blended together with healthy oils to form an absorbable soft gel. Together, these vitamins and minerals work to help facilitate quality sleep.  Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can cause one to wake up in the middle of the night and be unable to fall back asleep.

One Sleep Minerals II user in Massachusetts says: “I had become dependent on sleeping drugs and couldn’t sleep without them. Now I take the Sleep Minerals before bed and can sleep through the whole night without drugs. I’m also able to easily fall back to sleep if I do have to get up.  Another benefit is this helps alleviate my chronic fatigue and aches and pains.”

Vitamin D is one of the master players in the game we all hope to win: Vibrant health, well-being and good sleep. Use it well in foods and supplements, as well as together with those minerals that are best-known for being relaxing insomnia remedies.

For more information, visit the Sleep Minerals II page.

Top 3 Anti-Inflammatory Foods for Better Sleep, Good Health

Olive oil anti inflammatoryInflammation comes into play in our bodies when bacteria, viruses, damaged cells or unhealthy substances are recognized and attacked by our immune system.  Without immunity and inflammation, healing would not take place.

This system defends our health and is made up of white blood cells, “lymphocyte cells”, “natural killer cells” and others – many of which originate in the bone marrow and then travel in the blood to organs and tissues.

In a healthy body, inflammation smooths the healing process but for some people, the body can become confused and begin to mount a defense against its own tissues.  This can lead to arthritis, celiac disease, irritable bowel disease and others.  In fact, inflammation has been shown to be at the root of the majority of health conditions we face such as heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, an inflammatory bowel and more.

Eating naturally anti-inflammatory foods can reduce the symptoms of inflammation and disease and help to repair and heal the body.  Here are the top three food-based inflammation fighters.

Vitamin D Foods

Vitamin D has been the subject of many studies for its potent anti-inflammation properties.  The foods highest in vitamin D include sardines, salmon, mackerel, herring, maitake mushrooms, cod liver oil, and organic vitamin D fortified milk and yogurt.

A study from the Journal of Investigative Medicine found that vitamin D has important functions beyond those of supporting calcium and bones in the body.  It concluded that vitamin D is a boost to immunity and a deficiency is common in autoimmune disease, where the body’s immune system attacks healthy cells by mistake.

Vitamin D has also been studied for its benefits for sleeplessness and insomnia. The results of a vitamin D study 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 D 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.

Walnuts

A recent research study in the journal “Nutrients” has a lot of good things to say about the benefits of walnuts.  The authors say: “Walnuts could be predicted to be more anti-inflammatory than other nuts for two reasons. First, walnuts are the only nuts that contain substantial amounts of ALA (alpha-linolenic acid is a kind of omega-3 fatty acid found in plants).

ALA is described as one of the more anti-inflammatory fatty acids. And second, walnuts are also particularly rich in ellagic acid (a natural plant chemical found in fruits and vegetables), which has shown potent anti-inflammatory properties in experimental studies.”

Eating a handful of walnuts before bedtime may also be a good way to soothe sleeplessness and insomnia due to the melatonin they contain. Russel Reiter, Ph.D., a professor of cellular biology at the University of Texas says: “Relatively few foods have been examined for their melatonin content. Our studies demonstrate that walnuts contain melatonin, that it is absorbed when it is eaten, and that it improves our ability to resist the stress caused by toxic molecules. Walnuts also contain large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to inhibit certain types of cancer and to keep the heart healthy.”

Olive oil

Oleic acid is the main fatty acid found in olive oil.  This substance has been shown to greatly reduce levels of inflammation in the body.  A study from the “Current Pharmaceutical Design” journal writes that “Chronic inflammation is a critical factor in the development of many inflammatory disease states including cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, degenerative joint diseases and neurodegenerative diseases. Popular methods to deal with inflammation and its associated symptoms involve the use of non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, however the use of these drugs are associated with severe side effects.”

”Therefore, investigations concerned with natural methods of inflammatory control are warranted. A traditional Mediterranean diet has been shown to confer some protection against chronic diseases through the reduction of pro-inflammatory foods and this has been partially attributed to the high intake of virgin olive oil in this diet. Virgin olive oil contains numerous compounds that exert potent anti-inflammatory actions.”

The anti-inflammatory effects of olive oil also extend to brain health and it’s known to help with depression and insomnia.  Olive oil can help balance hormones and keep the neurotransmitters in the brain functioning well.

Other top anti-inflammation foods include broccoli, green leafy vegetables, blueberries, bok choi, pineapple, coconut oil, turmeric, ginger, wild salmon, beets, garlic, oysters, yogurt and other probiotic dairy foods.  Enjoy a wide variety of them to reduce inflammation, increase overall health, and ensure a good, sound sleep.

This natural health news is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a publisher of nutrition articles and supplier of natural remedies since 2002. Nutrition Breakthroughs makes Sleep Minerals II, the effective natural sleep aid with calcium, magnesium, zinc and vitamin D, and also Joints and More, the natural solution for joint relief, aches and pains, stronger hair and nails and more energy.

Vitamin D Reduces Inflammation (aches, pains) and helps Immunity

via http://www.sciencedaily.com

Researchers at National Jewish Health have discovered specific molecular and cellular events by which vitamin D inhibits inflammation, aches, and pains in the body. In their experiments, they showed that low levels of Vitamin D, comparable to levels found in millions of people, failed to inhibit the inflammatory response in the body, while levels considered adequate did inhibit inflammatory signaling (a chain response in the body). They reported their results in the March 1, 2012, issue of The Journal of Immunology.

Here are some findings from the ScienceDaily article:

Through a complex series of experiments, the researchers identified a new location where vitamin-D appears to bind directly to (cellular) DNA and activate a gene…..that ….interferes with the inflammatory chain response in the body.

“This newly identified DNA-binding site for vitamin-D …, and the specific (inflammation) pathways inhibited by higher levels of vitamin D provide a plausible mechanism for many of the benefits that have been associated with vitamin D,” said Dr. Goleva.

Comments from the blog author Nutrition Breakthroughs:

Vitamin D has been found to be beneficial for many health conditions such as increasing calcium absorption, strengthening bones, increasing immunity and reducing cancer risk. According to the National Institutes of Health, vitamin D might additionally play some role in the prevention and treatment of diabetes, high blood pressure, glucose intolerance, multiple sclerosis and other medical conditions.

Due to the fact Vitamin D improves the absorption of calcium, it can assist the relaxing minerals such as calcium and magnesium to be even more effective as insomnia remedies. Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs is an powerful natural sleep remedy that contains absorbable forms of magnesium and calcium, as well as Vitamin D. The ingredients are formulated in a softgel with healthy oils, making it more absorbable than tablets or capsules.

Alex R. of Ramseur, North Carolina says: “Sleep Minerals II has been a blessing for me.  It has given me the opportunity to withdraw from a highly addictive sleep medication over time, and has allowed me to sleep while going through this most difficult ordeal.  What’s great about it is it doesn’t lose its effectiveness, which is something that happens with sleep medications.  I am most thankful for this product.”

For more information on Sleep Minerals II, visit here:

Vitamin D Reduces Inflammation, Helps Immunity and Sleep

via http://www.sciencedaily.com

Researchers at National Jewish Health Center in Colorado have discovered specific ways that Vitamin D inhibits inflammation in our cells.  Millions of people have been found to have low levels of Vitamin D in their blood.  In this current experiment, these inadequate levels failed to stop the chain reaction of inflammation in the body.  On the other hand, levels of Vitamin D considered adequate did prove to inhibit inflammatory reactions, and the higher the levels, the better the inflammation was handled.  These results were reported in the March 1, 2012, issue of The Journal of Immunology.

Here are some excerpts from the ScienceDaily article:

Through a complex series of experiments, the researchers identified a new location where vitamin-D appears to bind directly to (cellular) DNA and activate a gene…..that ….interferes with the inflammatory cascade (chain response).

“This newly identified DNA-binding site for vitamin-D …, and the specific (inflammation) pathways inhibited by higher levels of vitamin D provide a plausible mechanism for many of the benefits that have been associated with vitamin D,” said Dr. Goleva.

Comments from the blog author Nutrition Breakthroughs:

Vitamin D has been found to be beneficial for many health conditions such as increasing calcium absorption, strengthening bones, increasing immunity and reducing cancer risk. According to the National Institutes of Health, vitamin D might additionally play some role in the prevention and treatment of type 1 and type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, glucose intolerance, multiple sclerosis and other medical conditions.

Due to the fact Vitamin D improves the absorption of calcium, it can assist the relaxing minerals such as calcium and magnesium to be even more effective as insomnia remedies. Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs is a powerful natural sleep remedy that contains absorbable forms of magnesium and calcium, as well as Vitamin D.

Valerie H. of Santa Clarita, California says: “I had such severe menopause insomnia it took me hours to fall asleep even though I was extremely tired.  My legs also had crawling and tingling feelings at night. I got the Sleep Minerals and after a few days, it started to work really well. I fall asleep now within 20 minutes and no more restless legs.”

For more information on Sleep Minerals II, visit this link: