Vitamin D3 in Morning Makes Waking Up Easier (Story 18)

David Cramer left the following comment here:

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 it 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.

I asked him for details.

Tell me about yourself.

I’m in my 40s and live in Austin, Texas and have two daughters. I first encountered your work when I read about the SLD in Levitt and Dubner’s blog. I read the pdf of your papers linked from that blog post and tried the SLD with sugar water. At the time, I was at the high end of my ideal weight, but was not motivated by weight as much as curiosity. I found the irony and absurdity of the SLD appealing. I also liked the idea that it could be tested easily and cheaply. I went from ~170 to ~145 lb in couple of months, but really only did SLD for ~3 weeks. I now occasionally have a nose clipped green smoothie in the morning.

How long have you been taking D3 in the morning? What time do you take it?

I started a couple of weeks ago after you started blogging about it. I take it around 7:00 AM. That would normally be about an hours after I wake up.

The most obvious change since you started taking it is that you wake up more easily? How soon did this start after you started the D3?

Yes, that’s the change I notice. It may be improving my sleep quality, but that’s very subjective and not something I track closely anyway. The effect started almost immediately.

Could you describe (a) how easy it was to wake up in the month before you started the D3 and (b) how easy it was to wake up after you started the D3?

I would often set three alarms on my cell phone and return to bed formore sleep after dismissing the first two. After D3, I usually wake up before my alarm and don’t feel the need to go back to sleep (e.g. after going to the bathroom). Post-D3, when I wake up, I’m awake. Previously, I was still very drowsy for some time, even after getting up.

What time do you usually wake up? get out of bed? do you use an alarm clock to wake yourself in the morning?

Usually 6 or 6:30. Occasionally a little earlier if I have an early meeting at work.

Did D3 have any effect on how easily you fall asleep in the evening? On how often you wake up in the middle of the night?

I haven’t noticed any difference in falling asleep. I don’t typically wake up in the middle of the night.

How much sunlight do you get on a typical morning?

Although I live in Texas, I doubt I get much in the morning this time of year. I do bike to work a couple of times a week, but my arms and legs would be covered. I might even wear gloves if it’s cold. I work inside in an office during the day.

What brand of D3 do you use? what form (e.g., gelcap)?

NOW gelcaps.

How can you tell your daughter “seems to find it easier to wake up in the morning”?

She’s a sound sleeper. Normally it requires repeated reminders and threats to get her up. Even after you get her out of bed, she’ll fall back asleep on the couch. With 400 IU, I’m noticing less of that. I plan to up to 800 IU this week to see if there’s a difference.

13 Responses to “Vitamin D3 in Morning Makes Waking Up Easier (Story 18)”

  1. Tim Ozenne Says:

    In the past, you discussed the effect of morning light–or its absence–on “mood” and such on “normal” individuals (as opposed to SAD types).
    Any idea if “Daylight Savings Time” has any deleterious effects? I arise early every morning for a swim workout. Right now, it is just barely dawn when practice is over in the outdoor pool, and soon Congress will make it dark again even at the end of the workout. I am wondering if anyone has looked at the effect on mental health of screwing with the clocks to get us up in the dark? Do you know?

  2. beagle3 Says:

    Just noticed this post: http://www.gwern.net/Zeo#vitamin-d

    n=1, but mostly rigorous proof that vitamin D at night hurts sleep.

  3. carol Says:

    Maybe this is why I wake up so early! I don’t like waking up at 4 am. I never have trouble waking up – I’m too awake. I may drop the D3 for now.

  4. JimPurdy.blogspot.com Says:

    David Cramer said:
    “I found the irony and absurdity of the SLD appealing.”

    The absurdity of the Shangri-La Diet? Hmmm … now there’s an interesting thought.

    David, maybe you’ve discovered something. Maybe, all these years, the psychologist Seth Roberts has been running a psychology experiment on a grand scale, by proposing absurd stuff (sugar water to lose weight, balancing on one foot, staring at pictures of people in the morning), to see how many people can be fooled into doing ridiculous things.

    Yup, any day now, Ol’ Seth will announce that his whole self-experimentation thing has been a big stunt funded by the propaganda gurus of Madison Avenue.

    Seth Roberts = the new Allen Funt, with all of America as the unwitting stars of a new Candid Camera program.

    Seth, does David Cramer get a prize for discovering your secret?

    Hee Hee …

  5. gwern Says:

    Tim: a quick check in Google Scholar with the very most obvious search terms – eg. http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=mood+daylight+savings – suggests that there are many results in that vein.

  6. Seth Roberts Says:

    Is the Shangri-La Diet “ironic and absurd”? I don’t know what “ironic” means but yeah it does seem absurd. 1. Using sugar or fat (olive oil) to lose weight. 2. Making such a small change — all other weight-loss diets involve big changes. 3. Adding foods to what you eat (all other weight-loss diets involve some sort of deprivation — don’t eat this or that). 4. Nose-clipping: why should that have any effect? The calories don’t change, and calories are what matters. Or: the carbs don’t change, and carbs are what matters.

  7. JimPurdy.blogspot.com Says:

    And of course I was just joking about your supposed hoax.

    Actually, I am fascinated by how often that you detect things that nobody else seems to have noticed before. It reminds me of how a young child (who still has an open mind, at least until TV kills their brain cells)) will often spot things that adults see every day but don’t notice.

    While I’m in my full-blown “TV-kills-the-brain” mode, Seth, I’m curious about how much TV you watch, and what kinds of TV you watch. As an ultra- liberal, I hope you tell me that you watch MSNBC and CNN, but you’ll destroy my theory if you watch Fox News.

  8. Seth Roberts Says:

    I watch about 2 hours of TV per day. My favorite shows include Homeland, Mad Men, The Bachelor/Bachelorette, Switched At Birth, The Amazing Race, Glee, Survivor, Revenge, The Good Wife, Downton Abbey, 60 Minutes, Work of Art, Episodes, and Suits.

  9. JimPurdy.blogspot.com Says:

    Interesting, Seth, thanks. Since I gave away all my TVs back in 2005, I’m not familiar with any of those except 60 Minutes.

  10. TomGinTX Says:

    Seth, have you watched any of the USA Network shows besides Suits? Psych and Burn Notice are my favorites. I also like White Collar, In Plain Sight, Royal Pains, and Covert Affairs. For just plain zaniness, it is hard to beat Psych. The “spy tips” on Burn Notice would come in handy at some odd moment. 8-)

  11. Seth Roberts Says:

    Seth, have you watched any of the USA Network shows besides Suits?

    Thanks for the suggestions. To answer your question: Not regularly. I think I’ve sampled most of them. Recently I confused White Collar and Suits so I watched a few seconds of White Collar.

  12. TomGinTX Says:

    Easy to get them mixed up 8-)
    How to Create a USA Show in Six Easy Steps
    http://www.vulture.com/2011/06/usa_shows.html

    Seth: Funny article. I am still surprised I like Suits, since on the face of it it’s as formulaic as a romance novel.

  13. Amara Says:

    Hello! i am not into blogging but this time i wanna leave a message that I didn’t know that was very effective. I am 27 year old and if I’m going to buy vitamin D3,how many amount of dosage i am going to take? Hope you guys will answer me. Thanks for your wonderful website.