Vitamin D gets a lot of attention from pain researchers. Just search NationalPainReport.com for “vitamin D” and you’ll find articles related to vitamin D and headache, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, chronic low back pain, and more.
New research published in the Journal of Endocrinology says that “vitamin D supplements combined with good sleeping habits may help manage many pain-related issues including arthritis, menstrual cramps and chronic back pain.”
The catch, though, is that chronic pain often causes sleep disturbances, so what do the sleep-deprived sufferers do? Well, it looks like they might want to consider taking vitamin D anyway.
The researchers noted that several clinical studies have reported that vitamin D levels are associated with sleep disorders. They say a link between sleep disturbances and pain has long been established, but a role of vitamin D has not been fully established. Previously published studies have shown that vitamin D can affect the body’s inflammatory response, which also alters pain sensation.
Their findings suggest that “vitamin D supplementation combined with quality sleep could increase the effectiveness of pain management treatments for a wide range of pain conditions.”
Dr. Monica Levy Andersen and colleagues at Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo, pulled together the most relevant studies that have examined the role of vitamin D in pain-related conditions or sleep disturbances. Investigation of these data suggest that vitamin D levels may have an important role in the relationship between pain and sleep, and further highlight how important it is for health professionals to consider the sleep-pain-vitamin D interrelationship in a variety of pain-related conditions.
“We can hypothesize that suitable vitamin D supplementation combined with sleep hygiene may optimize the therapeutic management of pain-related diseases, such as fibromyalgia,” Dr. Andersen said.
“It is necessary to understand the possible mechanisms involved in this relationship, including immunological and neurobiological pathways related to inter-relationship among sleep, vitamin D and pain,” she explained.
Assistant Professor Sof Andrikopoulos, University of Melbourne and Editor of the Journal of Endocrinology commented, “This research is very exciting and novel. We are unravelling the possible mechanisms of how vitamin D is involved in many complex processes, including what this review shows – that a good night’s sleep and normal levels of vitamin D could be an effective way to manage pain.”
We’d be interested in hearing from readers who regularly take vitamin D, and if you believe it has had any impact on your pain or your sleep, or both.