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More Good Sleep

Vitamin D and melatonin improve sleep in children and adults

Vitamin D key to daytime wakefulness

Children who are often sleepy during the day may have excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS), and vitamin D and exercise can help. Earlier studies found a link between low levels of vitamin D and EDS. In this study of 618 school children, aged 10 to 12, doctors found 18 percent had EDS.

When vitamin D levels fell below 20 nanograms per milliliter of blood and levels of HDL, the “good” cholesterol, fell below 40 milligrams per deciliter of blood, kids were 73 percent more likely to develop EDS.

Girls with EDS tended to reach puberty earlier, and all kids with EDS were more likely to have chronic cough, and skin and nasal allergy. Of all factors with links to EDS, low levels of vitamin D, lack of exercise, and high body mass index scores were the most important.

Reference: Sleep Medicine; 2021, Vol. 82, 96-103

Melatonin improves sleep in cancer

Sleep helps the body heal, so is especially important in cancer. In adults, during sleep is the only time the body produces human growth hormone (HGH), which helps cells repair and reproduce, promoting overall healing. Also, sleep boosts the immune system, helping to restore immune function that may be impaired by chemotherapy medicines.

Here, doctors reviewed six melatonin studies on cancer patients, who took doses ranging from 3 to 20 mg, usually at night before bedtime, over 10 days to four months. Four of the studies found melatonin improved sleep quality and reduced insomnia. In two other studies, melatonin shortened the time it took to go to sleep, or to fall back to sleep.

Reference: Sleep Medicine; 2021, Vol. 82, 96-103


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