how vitamin D ruined my sleep for months

How Taking 10,000 IU of Vitamin D Daily Gave Me Insomnia and Ruined My Sleep for MONTHS

I’m writing this to bring awareness to the effect vitamin D can have on sleep. Because this topic is mostly unexplored in a professional sense. Most sources will say that vitamin D does not cause insomnia. But take 5 minutes to search Google for “Vitamin D causing insomnia Reddit” and you’ll find countless anecdotes of exactly what I’m going to describe below.

I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice. This is just a personal anecdote.

Earlier this year my sleep started to deteriorate drastically. For months, I was sleeping a maximum of 4 hours per night. Most nights it was about 3 hours. I was painfully exhausted, but my heart was beating so hard that it was pounding out of my chest and moving my entire body as I lay there to try and fall asleep. 

Not only was my heart pounding hard at night, but it was doing it during the day too. After weeks of this happening every night, I started to think I just had some kind of anxiety. This was strange for me because I’ve never had problems with general anxiety, let alone anxiety on a daily basis.

My performance at work started to slip, badly. I found it almost impossible to get up in the morning. When I did wake up finally, I always felt like I was in a state of constant adrenaline rush. By some miracle, I managed to get through most days without completely crashing. I did this for months on 3 hours of sleep per night.

Most people would recommend going to the doctor, but I already know how that’s going to go. They’re going to give me pills that make me feel like shit with a bunch of side effects, and then I’m going to need them to be able to fall asleep every night.

I attempted to remedy my sleep

So I spent tons of time trying to optimize my daily routines, diet, and exercise for better sleep. I started taking melatonin before bed… no difference. I bought the most expensive and strongest CBD tincture that money can buy… no difference. I started taking magnesium glycinate before bed… no difference.

I started doing rigorous exercise harder than I ever have before. I think I broke a personal record for doing incline walking on the treadmill for nearly an hour straight with no breaks. That didn’t make a difference.

On month 3 of terrible sleep, I post on Reddit r/sleep asking for advice.

Fast forward a few months. I’m at roughly 4 months of terrible sleep right now. I’m sitting at the doctor’s office because nothing else has worked to get me a good night’s sleep. I feel like a zombie. The bags under my eyes are awful. As I’m waiting to be seen in urgent care I think “Screw it, let me see what Reddit has to say. I’m out of options”.

I post to Reddit telling my story. I explain what’s happening, how I never smoke, don’t do drugs, don’t drink, and don’t have a lot of sugar, coffee, caffeine, and chocolate. Nothing. I’m basically Chris Traeger from Parks and Recreation. That’s how healthy I was trying to be. So it made no sense that nothing was working for me.

Chris Traeger from Parks and Rec smiling

Then by the grace of God, someone posted a comment asking what kind of supplements I’m taking. I answered, “Multivitamin, 10,000 IU of Vitamin D”. Mind you, this 10,000 IU of Vitamin D wasn’t including my multivitamin (2,000 additional IU), food, or sun exposure. So factoring all of those together and I was probably somewhere close to 15,000 IU per day.

Their response was:

“Most definitely stop the vitamin D and give it 4 weeks to see how you do. Get 30 mins of sun daily for your vitamin D”.

Then it hit me… Back when this all started about 4-5 months ago I did something that I thought was inconsequential at the time. I doubled my vitamin D intake from 5,000 IU to 10,000 IU. I had just got a Costco membership and saw the giant bottles of Vitamin D there and thought about all the times I heard how good taking a Vitamin D supplement is for you. So I thought “what the hell”.

Fast forward a few months and here I am desperate for even 6 hours of sleep, asking Reddit for advice, and being told by urgent care that they don’t know what’s causing it. But you know what they could do for me? You guessed it. They gave me pills. YAY!

I stopped taking vitamin D

So on this day, I stopped taking vitamin D altogether for the first time in years. IMMEDIATELY my sleep improved overnight. It was a night and day difference. Granted, I still slept like crap that night, but it was undoubtedly better. I didn’t actually get the hydroxyzine prescription they gave me until about 3 days later because the pharmacy by my house was the worst pharmacy possibly in existence. But I’ll save you the torment of that story.

So I finally get the prescription and it did in fact make me feel like shit. I slept nearly 8 hours the first night I took it. But now my motivation for work and gym had completely disappeared. But hey, at least I was sleeping, right? This was not a win for me.

The second prescription they gave me was tramadol or something. That one not only made me feel groggy the next day, but as soon as I took it I got the stuffy nose side effect that has been known to happen on it. I seriously couldn’t breathe through my nose while trying to sleep on this stuff. I had to fall asleep breathing through my mouth.

It is now 3 months of being off vitamin D at the time of writing this and I’d say my sleep just returned to normal in the past few weeks. I can fully sleep through the night, fall asleep without heart palpitations, and fall back asleep after waking up without any problem. All things I couldn’t do for the longest time.

Sufficient vitamin D levels help people get better sleep

Scientifically speaking, there is no direct relationship known between taking too much vitamin D and insomnia. No studies have been conducted correlating the two. Vitamin D is a necessary nutrient that plays a crucial role in maintaining healthy bones and overall health. However, a deficiency in vitamin D can increase the risk of insomnia.

Vitamin D may suppress melatonin production

Vitamin D may suppress melatonin production. After all, it is known as the “Sunshine vitamin”. It has been shown that taking vitamin D in the evening can have a negative impact on sleep quality and melatonin production.

The recommended amount of vitamin D for optimal health and sleep

On average most people only need about 600 IU of vitamin D per day.

Recommended vitamin D per day chart


More isn’t always better. If you listen to a lot of health gurus, fitness gurus, and the like, you’ll constantly hear about how important a vitamin D supplement is. While I agree, some people may benefit from a vitamin D supplement, you must proceed with caution. Something interesting I actually learned about vitamin D is that it is fat-soluble. Because of this vitamin D can build up in your fat deposits over time and accumulate to dangerous levels. Vitamin D’s half-life is about 2 weeks depending on genetics and metabolism.

That means that after 6 weeks you’ll still have roughly 12.5% of the total vitamin D in you that you took 6 weeks ago. That is insane. This clearly illustrates just how easy it is for vitamin D to accumulate in your system.

If your sleep has been suffering for an extended period of time without a clear answer as to why, you might want to consider vitamin D as a possible culprit.


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