I first posted this in Ask Trapper, but I don't want folks with sleep disorders to miss out on it if they don't follow Trapper's forum. This is what I said over there, and I think it may be of benefit to some of you wit sleep disorders:
I have to say, I definitely think D3 is helping my sleep.
For anyone new here who hasn't read some of my old posts, for many years I've had a sleep disorder that doctors just have not been able to diagnose properly and no treatments or medications or changes in sleep habits or environment have helped. According to several sleep studies, I get 0% delta sleep, and bounce between levels 1 (awake), 2 (drowsy) and REM sleep every 3.5 minutes but never get anything deeper. As a result, I have years of sleep deprivation, and my muscles never relax so I'm always in a lot of pain, tired and fatigued. All sorts of other health issues that I'm sure stem from that.
Two weeks ago, after reading up on some threads here in Trapper's forum about D3, and after I did some more research and saw some folks saying D3 helped their fibromyalgia, I decided to give it a try. So I've been supplementing with D3 for two weeks now. The first week was before I did enough research to know how much to take, so I was only taking 1,000 IU 3x day. And this second week I'm taking 7,000-8,000 IU a day to try for a total of about 50,000 IU a week, which is the amount I have seen suggested for trying to get D3 levels up to where they should have been in the first place and to also meet current needs (meeting the deficit + current needs). These high levels of 50,000 IU a week I am going to continue for 1-2 months, depending on how I feel, and then I'll go down to 1,000 IU 1x day as a maintenance level.
I have not done the blood test for D3, though I hear it is really cheap. But I figure I must be deficient because so much of my day is spent indoors due to a job requiring lots of computer work. And much of my evenings are again spent indoors because I wind up having to take the work home. Also, when I am outdoors, I am covered up or slathered in sunscreen because I burn so easily (which is changing with me adding in iodine, coconut oil and Colloidal Silver ... those seem to protect and heal my skin from burning). But I am in tune enough with my body to tell when it's time for me to slack off the high doses and go to maintenance.
So what follows here is my experience this past two weeks on D3:
I do feel more alert for sure, less tired. It's like a foggy veil has been lifted. Before this, most days for years have seemed like I was living in a dream. Nothing seemed real. Everything literally looked like I was looking through a gray veil. If any of you have been seriously fatigued, you know what I'm talking about.
However, the last two nights I've had a hard time falling asleep in the first place despite being extremely sleepy (and I just attribute that to my mind over thinking things in life), but once I do fall asleep my sleep seems to have a different quality and I think I must be getting deeper sleep. I can't exactly describe this different quality, but it's nice. Maybe I can describe it better after I have experienced it more. It's been so long since I've had deep sleep, that I don't remember what it felt like, so maybe that quality is simply deep sleep. And I am able to fall back asleep easier. I think some of the things that are waking me in the night are my bed, but I can't replace that for another year or two.
In general, I'm feeling really good. I've still got low back pain at the tailbone/lumbar and hip (though that comes and goes now) ... but I figure I either have those out of place and need a chiropractor, or I've developed osteoarthritis in them, which I don't think the D3 would fix. I do have pain in my mid-back, but I know for sure I have osteoarthritis in three vertebrae there (was diagnosed with that back in 2000 when I was only in my late 20s). But the muscle pain that I get in trigger point areas that they note for fibromyalgia is going away. (If I miss taking my D3 or am late, I do notice the pain and fatigue creeping back in, so I am sure it is the D3 that is contributing to my feeling better.)
I'm able to think clearer again and starting to get my short term memory back. I'm taking part in a trivia tournament tomorrow night for a charity, and I'm looking forward to be able to think clear enough again to be making a genuine effort with the trivia for my team.
I have also noticed my body regulating temperature better. I've had more moments of feeling warm enough that aren't hot flashes (I have to consider the hot flashes, since I am now getting up there in age enough that that could be a possibility). I'm comfortable more now than not. I do get cold, but I've noticed that's when I'm getting tired, so could be residual of low D3 moments.
Also, I suspect the D3 is affecting my metabolism. I get ravenous now when it's coming on time for a meal. Before, I never felt genuine hunger, which made it hard to determine when to eat or not and how much.
So, after I have my allergy testing done Feb. 24, I expect if I get my allergies taken care of and get my D levels where they should be, then I'll be doing just fine. Then it'll be a matter of maintenance and maybe doing what I can to try to do some damage control on the harm my body has been done by all the years of sleep deprivation and the immune response from the allergies. I'll probably add in some glucosamin condroitin to try to rebuild some of the cartilage and maybe reverse some of the osteoarthritis damage. Maybe I've caught things early enough that with the D3 and calcium/magnesium/zinc supplements I can rebuild my bones and other health that those vitamins/minerals normally manage. I'm also going to try making myself some bone soup off and on, which should help give my body what it needs to restore its own bone health.
Now, I still get tired in the afternoon, and really tired in the evening, but that could just be leftover from my Tuesday all-nighter to meet work deadlines/not enough sleep on Wednesday routine (not something I can avoid if I want to keep my job ... it's a weekly situation that is unavoidable). I may have to put up with that until I find a new job. But I am feeling human, and feeling the most encouraged about my sleep problem than I ever have.
IF I do some caffeine, then I'm feeling REALLY good (I don't drink coffee, and soda is taboo, so I'm bad and will get the caffeine from taking a dose of Excedrin ... but I'm hoping as I improve that I'll get to where I won't need to do that at all).
I have noticed some occasional dizziness, but I think that's probably mostly from being sleep deprived. This Wednesday I was definitely dizzy tired after my Tuesday all-nighter, and sometimes when I'm that far gone it takes days to recover. Some of the dizziness also may be residual from the facial swelling/allergic reaction I was having early this week to my allergy meds (ironic that I'm allergic to the meds that treat allergies), or from my eyesight (was needing new glasses, and straining and fatiguing my eyes big time ... I picked up bifocals Wednesday, which I've never used before, so they're taking some getting used to).
Just another effect I've noticed: After taking my D3 I have noticed some tingling and I can feel large muscles relaxing in huge waves ... it's a kinda cool feeling, especially for someone whose muscles are always so tight I've almost forgotten what it's like for my body to be relaxed. And I'm still getting softer, no longer chapped lips from taking the D3.
D3 is fat soluble, so is supposed to be taken with meals. Because some of my meals are very, very low fat (especially since I'm trying to lose some weight), yesterday I started taking 1 teaspoon up to 1 tablespoon of coconut oil when I take my D3, to make absolutely certain I'm absorbing the D3 to the best of my ability. I can't just swallow the coconut oil solid the way some folks do, that just makes me gag. What I do is get a cup of hot water and sip it while the coconut oil is in my mouth. The hot water melts it, and as I swallow the water I swallow some of the melted coconut oil. Before too long, all the oil is swallowed and with the remaining water I'll down my D3. I figure the coconut oil is doing my body good too, since it's anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, etc., and I'd rather have it than any other oil because of how the body metabolizes it and is lower in calorie than other oils.
It's only been two weeks now that I've been supplementing with higher doses of D3 to get levels up againóthe improvements so far, so quickly, are such an encouragement.