Chronic Pain Sufferers, Take Vitamin D and Get A Good Night’s Sleep, Researchers Say

Chronic Pain Sufferers, Take Vitamin D and Get A Good Night’s Sleep, Researchers Say

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.

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Authored by: Staff

There are 22 comments for this article
  1. Karen at 8:43 am

    AARP is just another sanctimonious “club” for the retired rich. Whether they say this or that depends on who is advertising that month–seriously check out the ads.
    I’ve been taking vitamin D for a couple months per my primary care physician as it showed up low for the first-time ever. I wasn’t able to get outside much this past few months due to pain. I also try not to stay outside very long since it animates my lupus.
    Sleep? What’s that?

  2. Chris at 5:48 pm

    I have been taking Vitamin D3 daily for the last 7 years. It has not helped my chronic pain or insomnia at all!

  3. Jane at 1:29 pm

    I was taking D for depression and chronic pain. It built up in my system and now have kidney damage. Maybe the DEA will go after Vitamin D after they are done with removing opiates.

  4. Becky at 6:29 pm

    I soo totally agree with the person who wrote about the AARP article..until u have chronic pain this article is so false..i have had Rad since 1989..

  5. Judy at 7:56 pm

    “The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind….the answer is blowing in the wind”.

    If the positive effect of taking Vitamin D is directly connected to a good night’s sleep…therein lies the problem. THE MAJORITY OF CHRONIC PAIN PATIENTS ALMOST NEVER GET A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP, (unless they’re heavily medicated).

    The calcium supplement I take also has D3 in it….and I do try to get 10-15 minutes of sunlight when the pain allows me to venture outdoors.

    I pretty much HATE going to bed each night, because I know it’s going to be like every other night for the past 25 years…..nothing comfortable about lying in bed. (And yes, I have a good mattress) Guess I’ll have to wait till I’m dead to get some sleep cuz it sure isn’t happening here on earth.

  6. Neldine R at 10:32 am

    All taking vitamin D supplements did for me was give me raging, scary headaches, which made me quit taking it, then, about two weeks later, kidney stones! I will just live with the low D levels and an overabundance of calcium in my blood.

  7. Jill McCoy at 8:52 am

    I’ve been on vitamin D supplement for three years. Hasn’t helped with pain or sleep.

  8. Nikki Maimes at 9:04 pm

    I take 1,000 mg of D night and have noticed no difference in my pain level. I have been doing this for over 2 years.

  9. J'erin at 8:51 pm

    I’ve been prescribed & taking Vitamin D since shortly before my fibromyalgia diagnosis a few years ago. Although my levels have drastically improved, it’s done nothing where my sleep & chronic pain issues are concerned.

  10. Jean Price at 2:58 pm

    This seems like a rather circular way of thinking! Sleep well and have good levels of vitamin D…and you’ll have better responses to pain management! Hmmm…well, therein lies the issue! What pain management are we talking about? Steroids (injections) which disturb sleep, or denied pain meds which prevent sleep, or maybe it would be all the anti-depressants and anti-eplileptic drugs being passed out like candy that can mess up sleep rhythms!!! Does anyone’s pain management even look at vitamin D levels, or order the test!?

    I have a problem with giving out research information before they really know the action and the extent a product or even a supplement would…or could…help! Interesting? Maybe? Helpful? That remains to be seen! And I’m hoping they are looking for pain causes, cures, and better actual treatments too!

  11. Candice Hawkins at 5:23 pm

    I read the AARP cover story on, “The Opioid Menace”. Again chronic pain patients are lumped together with back alley addicts and the it slams it home that Medicare patients, many who are disabled, make up 1/3 of those prescribed opioids by their physiciams in 2015. They rattle on that 2.7 million people over age 50 abused painkillers. They derive that statement by concluding those 2.7 million take those drugs beyond what the doctors prescribe them for. I have no idea where they get their info but all pain patients must get their pain meds from a pain management facility these days and I’m interested in how these patients obtain extra meds. There suggestion us to treat people with NSAIDS , biofeedback and antidepressants. What I find funny is that do the people doing this reporting think that for one minute we haven’t tried or considered that? Do they think we are idiots and want to jump head first into taking opioids? Does it not dawn on those who don’t use their brain that those of us in pain try all those previous things first. Yes there are some folks who took opioids for pain and got addicted because it made them feel good inside which is not the same as dependant. Just once I wish the people who wrote these articles showed both sides of this story. I’m tired of having my hand whacked with a ruler.

  12. cindy deim at 12:45 pm

    I’ve taken vitamin D forever. I have terrible sleep issues. I have good sleep hygiene, even did a sleep study. They said I didn’t sleep enough to get any information from. I agree with others. If we had enough pain medication to deal with the pain at night. Maybe we could sleep.

  13. Sheryl M Donnell at 10:49 am

    Again, most of us have known this for years, by anecdotal evidence and so, because we will try anything that isn’t harmful have been doing this for years, and have gotten whatever benefit we can. Chronic Pain Patients on the whole are quite savvy due to our desperation. Does taking Vitamin D help my sleep and pain? I am doubtful but I take it religiously and have my levels checked too. Just in case. Articles like this almost work against us. They make the general public think there are quick fixes for us when there are none. It may reduce our pain 1 to 5%. But nothing like most of our meds and treatments.

  14. Bob Schubring at 9:07 am

    Muscle cells are at a major disadvantage if they are kept in constant motion. They can only perform certain repair work on themselves, if they don’t move for a period of several seconds or minutes, while those repairs are carried out. They rely on the sleep process to schedule these jobs and perform them, while nerves have stopped sending them orders to move.

    In an emergency, these repairs can be delayed a day with little harm.

    But when we abuse our bodies by going without sleep for days on end, often for no good reason, damage begins to accumulate in our muscles, and that turns into unnecessary weakness.

    It’s very alarming that the various busy-bodies who intrude on our healthcare decisions, seeking to prohibit us from using necessary pain-control medications because of some reason or other that they propose as important, refuse to admit how much harm they are doing, when pain has become so intense that it interferes with our ability to sleep.

    Such busy-bodies need to be shamed into learning that they are wrong. It’s up to patients to speak up, and speak out.

  15. Connie at 8:54 am

    I have been taking 5000iu vitamin D supplements daily for at least two years now per doctors orders because my levels are low. Not only have my levels not gone up but the only change in my pain level has been for the worse thank you to the ridiculous CDC guidelines for opiate pain medication!

  16. BarbaraDH at 8:05 am

    My vitamin D levels are perfect, and I’ve gotten the “sleep hygiene” lecture from dozens of doctors, as if I hadn’t already thought of that. If your in constant pain, it’s going to be pretty hard to get a good night’s sleep. Not to mention many of us additionally have sleep disorders (untreatable) that interfere with a good night’s sleep. This article may help a few, but the real answer is to control the chronic pain we have, and then maybe we’ll be ABLE to get a good nights’ sleep.

  17. John s at 7:48 am

    Sunshine will provide enough Vit D.

    It’s not that simple for folks in Severe Chronic Pain.

    John S

  18. StevefromMA at 7:30 am

    I’ve been taking 4000 IU vitamin d3 for fibromyalgia for five years. While it has raised my blood level from 30 to 60, it has not helped with my severe pain at all, unless the pain would have been even worse, almost inconceivable.

  19. Marty at 6:59 am

    Been taking Vitamin D for a year now and it does not help. This is after a year of B12 shots with no change. It may help those who start early on in their chronic pain battle (I recommend trying all less invasive options first) but for me after twenty five years of pain and deterioration it makes no difference.

  20. Owl at 6:24 am

    I take high dose vitamin D3 for leaky gut issues, secondary to Ehlers Danlos Syndromes and chronic, widespread pain. I haven’t given a lot of attention to my sleep patterns since starting it. My sleep schedule is so screwy due to dysautonomia from brainstem compression that I just kinda of roll with it.

  21. Ibin at 6:09 am

    Vitamin D, and a good nights sleep. There is NO doubt that certain actions “help” with chronic pain. ANT “help” is a positive action toward easing the consistent, daily, nightly, above “conquering chronic pain health condition. My wife has been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and treated for same for almost 6 years.

    From the time of her diagnosis, she was advised by our compassionate, knowledgeable, physician to increase er vitamin D level because this action would in fact “help” ease her pain. A good nights sleep, has been more difficult to achieve. Even with a better diet, a new mattress to sleep on, sleep, has not been a regular consistent achievement.

    lack of sleep in fact, does “aggravate” her symptoms and make her more aware of the full body pain. Any action that “should” help with any chronic pain health condition IS good advice yet, the majority, by far, of good advice or action that does not ease chronic pain to a tolerable level, is NOT enough. Even good practices of self help in the effort to ease pain and gain “peace” of mind and body may not be realized. Therefore the action of a new “guideline” by the authoritarians MUST be the answer. GREAT but, if the new “guideline” is doing the opposite, for the chronic pain patients level of pain, then it is NOT a “plan” of action in the right direction.

    To the pain inflicted human, we do NOT neccesarily wish to be dependent on any action. Not pills, injections, physical therapy, or ANY other outside the “normal” action to ease constant pain. IF ALL other actions, singularly or combined STILL does not achieve an endurable pain level and , the patient HAS been through ALL other forms of treatment and medication is the “best” form of treatment with or without other actions or treatments for continuous, sever pain then, WHY reduce medication to “one and all” to a dosage that is ineffective?

    Years of further study, research into alternative actions or forms of treatment are ALL acceptable but, a day in the life of a person with over the top unmanageable pain is a long time. “Time is of the essence” with severe/moderate, even a low level of continuous, unmanageable pain.

    If anyone knowledgeable enough to help “unite” the voice of the suffering people in this country or a particular state can help to get our voice heard, as one voice, I believe that this is the only way that the mis treatment of the people living in a painful health condition can be heard and the “wrong” far too radical “movement” to slow or stop abuse of prescribed or illicit “drugs” without the unilateral reduction of pain relief medication to the folks that have NOT abused or misused their prescribed medication will stop. Their IS no one answer to stop the mistreatment of the patient, in constant pain but, the willful persecution “policy” being forced upon the patient that has a treatable, manageable health condition being enforced with the “guideline” is obviously NOT beneficial to the chronic pain medicated patient. “Drug” abusers/misusers are not benefiting from the “guideline” policy. Illicit drugs and the availability of them will continue to be a “problem”.The lack of sufficient medication to those who HAVE used their medication responsibly ,are being denied sufficient medication. The ” trickle down” theory, or total lack of availability of opioid medication “for sale” is not helping the true chronic pain patient, I would call the policy “willful negligence” in order to curb a totally DIFFERENT abuse problem among the people. Writing or calling a political or medical “policy” maker “one at a time”, I don’t believe, will render any positive results, at all. The need for sufficient pain control measures is needed now before any further suffering AND death by self. I speak of death because we already have had one case resulting in death by insufficient treatment in my county, has been reported. IWE, the pain inflicted, or at least I KNOW why and how this occurred even if he was “labeled” a drug addict.This “fallout” from the “guideline” policy must be acceptable in the “quest” to repair all drug abuse problems. Just my thoughts. UNITED is the only way to stop the neglect of the patient that has been sufficiently treated for their individual chronic pain patients health condition, many very successfully for decades.

  22. Denise Bault at 5:30 am

    Honestly. I read studies that say supplements don’t help, then here’s yet another saying one does! Is it any wonder we’re all confused?

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