Vitamin D is a hormone, not a vitamin. You would never dream of taking a neighbor’s thyroid pills or insulin or prednisone on a whim. You should think of vitamin D in the same way. Just because vitamin D is available without a prescription does not mean that the powers that be really know what they’re doing or that it could never hurt you. Vitamin D can potentially kill you! Take it seriously!
Vitamins are not benign pills that you can impulsively start, all of a sudden, when you get inspired: “I’m going to get healthy this week”. Supplemental vitamins are useful if you’re deficient, but they can be dangerous if you don’t need them. They are helpful to get your body to the right place but once you’re better, if you continue supplementing, (for instance, still taking D while you’re lying on the beach in the summer), you may get worse! This is why the RightSleep® Workbook is so important for your success it helps guide you.
When your D gets too high you may have sleep problems again. If you go too fast, from a D level of 20 ng/ml to a D level of 95 ng/ml in a month or two, you will not feel any different, your sleep may still be suboptimal because the D is suboptimal. This is not a concept that you’ve seen before but it is exactly what happened to many of my patients before we learned how to use vitamin D to get the best results.
For my patients, there was a Vitamin D blood level that brought better sleep. See the RightSleep® Workbook for details. The majority of my patients could eventually tell when their D level “wasn’t right”. It is keeping the vitamin D blood level in the best sleep range, AND using every other tool available to keep the sleep as perfect as possible that reverses disease. In other words, it may take a long time for your body to fix everything.
The “correct” dose of vitamin D is unique for each person. YOU must determine your vitamin D dose based on YOUR blood levels! Also, the amount of extra D that a person needs slowly goes down, over years. It seems that the amount we need daily is related to the amount that we use. In my opinion, after doing thousands of blood levels in thousands of patients, it appears that we use more D when we make more repairs.
Steven is a 17 year old who presents in May for daily headache. He has never had sleep issues before but started to have trouble falling asleep last December. He has awakened with a headache every morning for the last two months. For two summers he was a lifeguard at a local swimming pool but last summer he got a “real job” packing boxes at a warehouse. Last summer’s job paid better but because we make D on our skin in the summer and use it up in the winter he ran out. His level went low in December and he stopped sleeping well. After three months of reduced REM sleep he started to have headaches. His stores of vitamin D were not enough to let him sleep normally all the way through to the following summer. Steven’s D level in May is 20 ng/ml.
Evelyn is a 49 year old with lupus and ulcerative colitis who has not slept normally since childhood. Evelyn’s D level in May is 20 ng/ml, even though she has been taking 2,000 IU of D for the last three years at her doctor’s insistence.
Both Steven and Evelyn have D levels of 20 ng/ml but they will need different doses of D for different spans of time before they get better. Evelyn has 49 years of incomplete repairs, she will need to be very attentive to her sleep for many years before her immune system behaves normally again. When Steven gets his D level back up to support better sleep he’ll have more deep, restorative sleep, and eventually fewer headaches. If he pays attention to getting as much sun exposure as possible this summer (without sunburn) he will probably not need to supplement in summer but he may have to supplement in winter.