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Low Vitamin D Levels Associated With Sleepiness in African-Americans

A recent study examining sleep patterns has found that low levels of vitamin D (under 20 ng/mL) in people of African-American descent is associated with daytime sleepiness and sleep disorders.

Previous studies have shown that skin pigmentation is associated with low vitamin D levels and 35% of African-Americans report sleep problems.

The study included 81 individuals who were participating in a sleep clinic, most of whom were eventually diagnosed with sleep apnea. The researchers took blood samples to measure vitamin D levels and employed the Epworth Sleepiness Scale to determine how tired the participants were.

The researchers found that the individuals with the lowest vitamin D levels had the highest sleepiness scores.

This study was conducted at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center. It was published online ahead of print on December 15, 2012, in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

Previous studies have shown vitamin D to be associated with improved kidney health, reductions in skin cancer, reducing the risk of osteoporosis, improved cardiovascular health, combating diabetes, and improving age related eye degeneration.

Vitamin D can be found in milk, fortified cereals, fish, and eggs. Your body also processes vitamin D from the sun but it becomes harder for our bodies to process it as we age. A high quality vitamin D supplement is always a good option if you feel that you’re not getting enough through diet and sun.

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