Vitamin D3 in Morning: Moving D3 to Morning Improves Sleep (Story 23)

Jim Breed has been taking large amounts of Vitamin D3 (5000-10000 IU/day) since 2008. Yet when he switched to taking it in the morning, his sleep quickly improved. Here’s what happened:

I’m a married man, 230-240 pounds over the past 4 years, born in 1957, and I work as an engineer for the Department of Energy in an office. I try to do cardio for thirty minutes four times a week.

In 2008, I began taking 5-10000 IU Vitamin D3 daily. My blood tests:

October 2009  50 ng/ml
August 2010    65 ng/ml
May 2012         84 ng/ml

My doctor said to reduce my intake from 10000 IU to 5000 IU when it hit 84, as he prefers levels under 80.

Prior to beginning the morning D, I took one 5000 IU gel cap two times during the day. I usually took my supplements at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I might take 5000 at lunch and 5000 at dinner. Since I started taking Vitamin D in 2008, I have not missed a day of work due to illnessk. This is unusual. Throughout grade school, high school, college, and my work for the Federal Government, I have never had a complete year where I wasn’t sidelined by some cold, flu, what have you for an unscheduled absence due to sickness

In November 2011, I started reading posts on your blog about morning D affecting sleep. I tried taking my Vitamin D in the morning — upon awakening, which is usually 6:30 am. Definitely by 8:30 am. Within a week, I noticed two things:

1. I started sleeping all night without waking in the middle of the night. For years, I have had trouble sleeping throughout the night. I usually slept with earphones so I could listen to the radio around 2 am for an hour until I fell asleep again. Once I woke up, it took a lot to get back to sleep. Now, I may stir for a few minutes or get up to use the toilet, but I fall back to sleep very quickly.

2. My bed times became more consistent and earlier. I married my wife in 2005. It had been a consistent source of tension between us that she liked to go to bed earlier than me (10:30 pm for her 11:30 for me). I wasn’t tired. Midnight would have been better for me. Since the morning D, I have consistently beaten my wife to bed. I am just done for the day and ready to go to sleep by 10:30. This is truly a change for the better.

I did not expect these results. I reasoned that since my blood levels were so high, when I took D would not matter. I was surprised to be wrong.

I also found that an unexpected reduction in my dosage screwed up my sleep. This was really exciting. My wife and I traveled to Livermore, CA from our home in KS. She gave me some travel supplement packs that she makes up and it did not have our usual brand of D. Here is how the trip went.

  1. Friday-fly to CA 10,000 iu at waking; great sleep in hotel room
  2. Saturday-travel D; great sleep in hotel room
  3. Sunday-travel D; great sleep in hotel room
  4. Monday-travel D; great sleep in hotel room
  5. Tues-travel D; restless sleep in hotel room. I heard the A/C unit. The bed was uncomfortable. I fell asleep during a meeting with the lights down at work
  6. Wed-travel D; terrible sleep in hotel room. In a meeting at the lab I make a mental note to ask my wife what the travel dosage is.

It turns out that the travel dosage was 1000 IU. I thought it was just a different brand. Definitely, 1000 IU was not enough. I immediately went to Walgreens and got some 5000 IU gelcaps and began taking the 10000 IU upon waking. It took about a week to re-establish my previous restful sleep.

Reducing my dosage from 10000 IU to 5000 IU did not disturb my restful sleep patterns- When my doctor had me cut back to 5000 IU at the beginning of May, I didn’t notice any decrease in restful sleep. If anything, it seems to be better than when I was taking 10000 IU.

3 Responses to “Vitamin D3 in Morning: Moving D3 to Morning Improves Sleep (Story 23)”

  1. Anne Says:

    Thank you Jim for sharing, I found it very valued and interesting to understand more. If I understand your story right, it actually take you many years to rich the right levels on D3, even as you took 10.000 IU daily. That could explain the reason why I after only one week does not yet have reached the good sleep.
    The travel part was also very good to know, how important the right levels are.

  2. Thomas Johnson Says:

    Hi Seth,

    Do you have any results from personal experiments or anecdotal reports on using D3 to support an off-hours sleep schedule? I need to work 2 out of every 3 weeks on a 1am-1pm schedule, which requires going to bed around 5pm when it’s quite light out and waking up around 12am.

    Do you know anyone who’s tried D3 on waking to adjust their biological clock for an off-hours schedule, or perhaps for jet lag?

    Thank you for all of your research and for publishing these reports on D3 and other supplements!

    Seth: No I don’t. I will soon fly from Beijing to San Francisco and I will use D3 to combat jet lag.

  3. Anne Says:

    @Thomas

    I have a daughter 28 years old with severe disrupted sleep pattern developed over several years, meaning being up all night and stay up for two days and then go to bed at 4 pm and things like that. When she later wanted a more normal sleep. She had problem and never know if she would fell a sleep at 6 pm or 6 am. She also never know if she would sleep to 3 am or 4 pm and she has really tried to have it working for over a year now with out any success.

    After reading this amazing blog I gave here a bottle of D3 for about 10 days ago, the first days 8000 Iu and after reading more on the blog 10.000.
    She gets help most of the day that someone calls at 11 –12 am and she take the D3 up on awaking. The amazing results is that she has not have one single day that she has fell a sleep at 6 pm and she also have more energies.

    Seth: Thanks for posting this story.