Taking Vitamin D supplements and getting a good night’s sleep may help prevent fibromyalgia and other chronic pain conditions, as well as make pain treatments more effective, concludes a study, “The interfaces between vitamin D, sleep and pain,” that appeared in the Journal of Endocrinology.
Vitamin D’s musculoskeletal benefits are well-known: it promotes the calcification of bone matrix and boosts the intestine’ absorption of calcium and phosphate. Vitamin D deficiency can cause bone-related problems in both children and adults, while contributing to weak bones and fractures among the elderly.
Besides its role in bone metabolism, several studies have suggested that vitamin D is crucial to other biological mechanisms like fertility, infection and sleep-wake cycle modulation. Some have also demonstrated Vitamin D’s possible role in regulating both sleep and pain.
Monica Levy Andersen and her colleagues at Brazil’s Universidade Federal de São Paulo reviewed the evidence of published studies looking at the role of vitamin D in pain-related conditions or sleep disorders. They found that vitamin D levels may play a key role in the relationship between pain and sleep. This suggests that vitamin D supplements combined with good sleep could increase the effectiveness of pain management treatments not only with fibromyalgia but other pain-related conditions such as chronic back pain, menstrual cramps and arthritis.
“We can hypothesize that suitable vitamin D supplementation combined with sleep hygiene may optimize the therapeutic management of pain-related diseases, such as fibromyalgia,” Andersen said in a news release . “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.”
Added Sof Andrikopoulos, an assistant professor at Australia’s University of Melbourne and editor of the Journal of Endocrinology: “This research is very exciting and novel. We are unraveling 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.”