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Sleep and Vitamin D: The One-Two Punch for Pain

Sleep and Vitamin D: The One-Two Punch for Pain

Once referred to as “The Greatest Strike Partnership in Football,” the duo of soccer strikers Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke scored 53 goals for Manchester United in its 1998 to 1999 season. The two were said to have a scary telepathy on the field.

Just as this duo was formidable on the pitch, there’s an emerging twosome in medicine that’s being shown to make a great team against chronic pain: Sleep and vitamin D. A review published in the Journal of Endocrinology has pulled together the evidence and found two important points.

First, both lack of sleep and vitamin D deficiency have independently been linked to worsening of chronic pain, such as that associated with fibromyalgia. And second, sufficient vitamin D may reduce inflammation and may be associated not only with less pain, but longer and higher quality sleep, making the duo of D plus ZZZs even more powerful. 

So, if you suffer from fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis or another condition that causes you chronic pain, make sure you’re snoozing seven to nine hours a night. And while we only have data that associates vitamin D to improved sleep quality and reduced pain, most docs think the combo is worth trying. Aim to get the recommended 600IU of vitamin D3 a day: Some great sources include salmon and fortified foods like soy milk. However, most of you will need a D3 supplement. Your goal is to reach a blood level of 35 to 80ng/ml; ask your doc for a blood test.

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