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Choosing the Best Vitamin D Supplement for Sleep

Best Vitamin D Supplement for Sleep

MOST OF US HAVE FROWN UP HEARING how important vitamin D to growing bones, good health, and in preventing osteoporosis.

The problem is that many of us end being deficient in this crucial nutrient.

Why? Because we spend far too much time out of the sun and then when we are out in the sun, we all lather ourselves up with sunscreen.

No sunlight hitting your body means that it cannot produce enough vitamin D to meet your daily requirements. Which then leads to the need for the best vitamin D supplement you can find to help make up the deficit.

How Much Vitamin D Should I Take?

Bear in mind that all figures are based on 50% of the sample group and that your needs can vary significantly, the National Institutes of Health, you need:

Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for Vitamin D [1]
AgeMaleFemalePregnancyLactation
0–12 months*400 IU
(10 mcg)
400 IU
(10 mcg)
  
1–13 years600 IU
(15 mcg)
600 IU
(15 mcg)
  
14–18 years600 IU
(15 mcg)
600 IU
(15 mcg)
600 IU
(15 mcg)
600 IU
(15 mcg)
19–50 years600 IU
(15 mcg)
600 IU
(15 mcg)
600 IU
(15 mcg)
600 IU
(15 mcg)
51–70 years600 IU
(15 mcg)
600 IU
(15 mcg)
  
>70 years800 IU
(20 mcg)
800 IU
(20 mcg)
  

* Adequate Intake (AI)

Courtesy NIH.org

As you can see from, practically from birth, it is possible to need a vitamin D supplement. You can also see that from 1 year of age all the way to 70 years of age, the amount required is the same. It only changes at 70 due to the increased risk of bone loss and osteoporosis.

Which is Better a Vitamin D2 or Vitamin D3 Supplement?

While browsing through the different vitamin D supplements on the market, you will find both vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 supplements. Which leads to the obvious question, ” Which is the best vitamin D supplement?”

  • Vitamin D2 comes from plants.
  • Vitamin D3 is the type your body produces when exposed to sunlight.
  • Vitamin D3 supplements are produced from sheep's wool (making them okay for vegetarians but not for vegans).

According to a study reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vitamin D3 supplements are significantly more effective at raising the level of vitamin D stored in your body that vitamin D2. Thus, if you prefer to take D2 or are vegan, you would need to take a much larger dose than you would of D3 to achieve the same benefits.

What Does Vitamin D Actually Do in My Body?

Your body uses vitamin D to help it absorb calcium from the foods you eat and to regulate your calcium levels to ensure you don't have too much or too little.

Your body uses calcium to help your bones grow, repair themselves, and keep them good and strong. When your body doesn't have enough calcium, your bones can weaken and become brittle.

How Do I Find Out if I Need a Calcium/Vitamin D Supplement?

There is nothing wrong with wanting to find out if you are vitamin D deficient before you decide to start taking a supplement. There are three ways you can find out what your vitamin D levels are at:

  • Your Doctor – ask your doctor to perform a 25(OH)D blood test. While there is another test, the 1,25(OH)D, but it won't tell where your vitamin D levels are at.
  • In-Home Test – you can order a home test kit online, have it delivered to your home, and do it yourself. It’s a little like the blood sugar tests diabetics do; you prick your finger place a drop of your blood on the blotting paper that comes in the kit, and mail back for testing. You receive the results of your test in the mail.
  • Online Testing – no, this doesn't mean quite what it sounds like. Here you place your order for an in-home testing kit and take it to your nearest lab for testing. These kits cost a bit more, but you may be able to get your results a little faster.

What Happens if I Take Too Much Vitamin D?

While your chances of getting too much vitamin D from food, it is quite possible to overdose yourself on even the best vitamin D supplements. Known as vitamin D toxicity, too much D can lead to hypercalcemia or an excessive amount of calcium in your body. This condition can cause damage to your veins and organs.

The good news is that you cannot get vitamin D toxicity from spending too much time out in the sun. Your body controls how much vitamin D it produces to ensure this condition cannot occur unless you overdo the supplements.

Best Vitamin D Supplement for Sleep - Vitamin D written in sand

What Happens if I Get Too Little Vitamin D?

If your body is not getting enough vitamin D, then it can't absorb the amount of calcium it needs. This can lead to rickets in children and rickets or osteomalacia in seniors.

Rickets can lead to soft bones that lead to skeletal deformities. Caught early enough in children, it is possible to reverse the damage by giving the child a very high dose of vitamin D. It works in kids because their bones are still growing and able to absorb the extra calcium, helping to re-mineralize their bones.

Essential Things to Know When Looking for the Best Vitamin D Supplement

With so many vitamin D supplements on the market, there are a few things you should look for as you search for the right one for your needs.

Reputable Third-Party Testing

As you may or may not know, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates every food product sold in this country. However, they offer no oversight or regulatory control whatsoever over dietary supplements. This means, you never know if what the label on a particular product matches what's actually in it.

It is possible for supplements to contain contaminants such as lead. According to independent testing company Labdoor, some supplements they tested contained as much as 900 percent more vitamin D than listed. Any supplement (not just vitamin D) you buy should state they have been tested by one of these three independent and highly reputable laboratories:

  • National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) – The NSF is an independent testing facility that sets the standards for consumer product safety around the world.
  • United States Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) – The USP is a not-for-profit scientific organization that sets the standards regarding both quality and purity in the U.S. and over 140 other countries for food supplements and medicines.
  • Labdoor – a no-cost consumer protection organization that tests dietary supplements for accuracy, purity, and value.

If the supplements you are looking at do not display the symbols or state they have been inspected by one of the above organizations, you should pass them on.

Keep the Additives to a Minimum

While it is impossible for you to buy a supplement that contains nothing but vitamin D, you can buy one with a minimal amount of artificial ingredients and no sugar. The reason you can't buy a straight vitamin D supplement is that the recommended dosage is so tiny physically that it is impossible to pick up.

This tiny amount has to be mixed with other ingredients just to create a supplement big enough for a person to see and take. We also believe the best vitamin D supplements are those that contain only vitamin D with no other supplements. Keep in mind that just about all of us need a vitamin D supplement, but only a few of us need extra calcium or CoQ10.

Vitamin D Likes Fatty Oil

Like many other vitamins, vitamin D dissolves more easily in fat than it does in water. Your body is better able to absorb vitamin D when you take it with fatty foods, which is why so many supplements contain some for oil.

If you choose a supplement that does not include any form of oil, you should take it with a small amount of added fat such asis avocado, meat, a salad dressing, or a slice of your favorite cheese.

Here Are My Five Choices for Best Vitamin D Supplement for Sleep

With all the many different products on the market, we found these to be the best vitamin D supplements on the market.

Zahler Vitamin D3 50,000IU

All-natural D3 in an easy to swallow capsule

This vitamin D3 supplement from Zahler contains the finest all-natural ingredients and is manufactured and packaged in a state-of-the-art facility that is GMP, NSF, and NNFA certified to ensure they meet the highest possible nutraceutical standards. This product is non-GMO and is also vegetarian.

ProsCons
Easy to swallow Large dose
All-natural ingredients Once a week dose may be hard to remember
Non-GMO and vegetarian Not vegan contains lanolin from sheep's wool

Bio Schwartz Vitamin D3

Gluten Free and Non-GMO

This vitamin D3 supplement from Bio Schwartz in mixed with just the right amount of organic olive oil, making it easier for your body to absorb. This product is all-natural, non-GMO, has no fillers, artificial colors or flavors, preservatives, binders, solvents, or any other chemicals. It is also free of allergens such as eggs, gluten, soy, peanuts, wheat, milk, sweeteners or shellfish.

ProsCons
No artificial ingredients Some complaints of stomach problems
Non-GMO, no allergens Tiny pills might be hard to handle
Contains organic olive oil to aid in absorption

NatureWise Vitamin D3 5,000

With certified organic olive oil

This vitamin D3 supplement from NatureWise is made using certified organic olive oil. A daily dose of 5,000 IU is enough to ensure 97% of those taking this supplement will achieve vitamin D3 levels of at least 30 ng/ml. All ingredients are 100% natural, non-GMO, USP Grade, and manufactured in a cGMP facility to ensure quality.

ProsCons
All-natural ingredients Says “Bottled in the USA” not “Made in the USA”
Certified organic olive oil May cause nausea/diarrhea
Softgel capsule easy to swallow Capsules may be stuck together.

Pure Encapsulations Vitamin D3 5,000IU

Hypo-allergenic, non-GMO, and gluten-free

Pure Encapsulation uses only the finest raw ingredients that are sourced from trusted suppliers to ensure the quality of their products. All ingredients are independently tested to ensure quality and potency. This supplement is crafted to be vegetarian and non-GMO and assembled using hypoallergenic plant fiber (cellulose) and water-based capsules.

ProsCons
Vegetarian, non-GMO Some complaints of upset stomach
Hypoallergenic Smell fishy
Potent dosage

YoungGlo Research Vitamin D3 5,000 IU

USP grade, non-GMO, and cGMP certified

This YoungGlo Vitamin D3 supplement is made without GMOs, magnesium stearate, artificial ingredients, soy, milk, eggs, shellfish, peanuts, or gluten. It does contain organic extra virgin olive oil and includes 5,000IU per softgel capsule. The company guarantees you will never receive a bottle that has less than 18 months left before it's expiry date. The cholecalciferol is derived from natural lanolin instead of from a synthetic source.

ProsCons
All- natural ingredients May cause diarrhea
Cholecalciferol from natural lanolin Not vegan
Non-GMO and preservative-free

An Alternative to the Best Vitamin D Supplements

There are two alternatives to taking a vitamin D supplement, neither of which is likely to provide you with quite enough on their own.

Spending more time out in the sun letting your body naturally synthesize vitamin D and choosing the right foods. You can try spending 10 to 15 minutes every day out in the sun, but not all of us can find even this small amount of time to relax out in the sun.

Here is a food chart from the National Institute of Health to give you an idea of how much vitamin D you can find in certain foods:

Selected Food Sources of Vitamin D
FoodIUs per serving*Percent DV**
Cod liver oil, 1 tablespoon1,360340
Swordfish, cooked, 3 ounces566142
Salmon (sockeye), cooked, 3 ounces447112
Tuna fish, canned in water, drained, 3 ounces15439
Orange juice fortified with vitamin D, 1 cup (check product labels, as amount of added vitamin D varies)13734
Milk, nonfat, reduced fat, and whole, vitamin D-fortified, 1 cup115-12429-31
Yogurt, fortified with 20% of the DV for vitamin D, 6 ounces (more heavily fortified yogurts provide more of the DV)8020
Margarine, fortified, 1 tablespoon6015
Sardines, canned in oil, drained, 2 sardines4612
Liver, beef, cooked, 3 ounces4211
Egg, 1 large (vitamin D is found in yolk)4110
Ready-to-eat cereal, fortified with 10% of the DV for vitamin D, 0.75-1 cup (more heavily fortified cereals might provide more of the DV)4010
Cheese, Swiss, 1 ounce62

* IUs = International Units.

Courtesy NIH

Final Thoughts

While testing may reveal you need more vitamin D, be sure you talk to your doctor before taking any type of supplement and have your blood frequently tested to ensure your vitamin D levels are neither too low or too high as both can be bad for your health.

Keep in mind that not all supplements work the same way for everyone. You may need to try several before you find the best vitamin D supplement for you.

DISCLAIMER: This web site does not take the place of your usual medical practitioner, it is intended to give information only and not to diagnose or provide medical treatment. It cannot cover all possible uses, interactions and adverse side effects. If you are at all worried about your health - please see your own doctor. Do not delay this as a result of anything you may have read about on the web. Many symptoms can result from a variety of causes, some may require specialist diagnosis and treatment. You should also consult your medical practitioner before taking any supplements as some of them may react with essential medicines or have harmful side effects.

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