Between Vitamin D and Testosterone… 6 essential vital indicators to improve your sleep

Many people try to create an ideal sleep environment to improve its quality, but still, there are some unseen details that may interfere with a good night’s rest.

Some biomarkers — also called biomarkers or clinical markers, according to the National Institutes of Health — may have a direct impact on sleep.

Dr. Brett Osborne, a neurologist and longevity expert in Florida, said in an interview with Fox News Digital: “There are different factors that can affect sleep… Some of them, which are biomarkers, can be measured through simple laboratory tests.”

Experts share the six biomarkers that have the greatest impact on sleep, and tips on how to improve them.

“What you can measure, you can improve,” Osborne explained. “Improving these markers may not only improve the quality of your sleep, but also your overall health.”

Vitamin D

Optimal vitamin D levels can improve sleep quality by helping you fall asleep faster and increasing the amount of time you spend sleeping, according to Michelle Darian, a registered dietitian and director of science and product marketing at InsideTracker, a health platform that provides personalized nutrition and lifestyle recommendations.

“Low levels of vitamin D in the blood are associated with decreased sleep time, decreased sleep efficiency and increased daytime sleepiness,” Darian, who lives in Chicago, told Fox News Digital.

She continued, “Research indicates that vitamin D participates indirectly in the production of melatonin – the hormone that mediates the sleep cycle – and the brain receptors responsible for regulating sleep.”

To improve vitamin D levels, Darian said she recommends getting 20 minutes of sunlight a day and eating foods rich in vitamin D or fortified foods such as fatty fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel or fortified dairy products.

“This can help you meet your body’s daily needs and fall asleep faster,” she said. “For those with vitamin D deficiency, supplements may be needed to boost its levels.”

Darian noted, “Studies have shown that improving vitamin D levels by taking nutritional supplements improves sleep.”

Osborne advises people who take vitamin D3 supplements to add vitamin K2 to protect the inner lining of blood vessels.


Osborne explained that magnesium helps activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for calming and relaxing the body. He added: “Low magnesium levels can lead to disturbed sleep and frequent waking.”

To improve magnesium levels, he recommends including magnesium-rich foods in your diet, such as leafy greens, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Osborne added that taking a daily magnesium supplement can also help ensure adequate levels.


Levels of the stress hormone cortisol naturally fluctuate throughout the day, peaking in the morning to help you get out of bed, and falling at night when your body relaxes in preparation for sleep, according to Darian.

She told Fox News Digital: “High levels of stress before bed can cause cortisol levels to remain high, making it more difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep and delaying melatonin production… You need a healthy cortisol rhythm to keep your sleep cycle under control.” ».

She added that if cortisol levels are very high at night, this leads to interrupted sleep (waking up during the night), decreased slow wave sleep (deep sleep), decreased sleep duration and insomnia.

To help regulate cortisol levels, it’s best to stick to a consistent sleep schedule, avoid caffeine in the hours before bed, and stay away from electronic devices right before bed.

Darian noted that you should aim “to keep your bedroom environment dark, because light can keep cortisol levels high and melatonin levels low, which is what you want to avoid before bed.”

Exercising in the morning can also help increase cortisol and alertness earlier in the day, which helps sleep better because it decreases after hours.

High blood glucose levels can lead to increased alertness during the night and difficulty sleeping (Reuters)


Testosterone, an anabolic hormone, is essential for building muscle and bone strength, accelerating tissue recovery and stimulating red blood cell production to facilitate the body’s recovery processes, according to Darian.

“Low testosterone levels may hinder the body’s muscle building and repair abilities that naturally occur during sleep,” Darian said.

Research suggests that adequate sleep duration — seven to nine hours of sleep a night — is associated with higher levels of the hormone.

To improve testosterone levels, experts recommend exercising regularly and eating a diet containing healthy fats.

“It’s important to note that too much or too little exercise can lead to low testosterone levels,” Darian says.

She added: “Eating foods that contain a high percentage of zinc, magnesium, calcium, vitamin D, and healthy fats such as almonds or hazelnuts, black beans or black-eyed peas, and lean poultry or beef leads to improving testosterone levels.”

If your testosterone levels are low, Darian recommends measuring your magnesium and vitamin D levels, as low levels of both are associated with low testosterone.

Blood glucose and HbA1C

Osborne noted that high blood glucose (sugar) levels can lead to increased nighttime alertness and difficulty sleeping, while low levels may cause waking up with symptoms of hypoglycemia.

Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) is a blood test that measures average blood sugar levels over the past three to four months, according to Darian.

To improve blood sugar levels, Darian recommends ending large meals at least two hours before bed. “Nighttime meals — especially those high in fat or fiber — have been linked to poor sleep quality,” she said.

To help better control blood sugar, some may consider metformin, a medication for type 2 diabetes, Osborne added.


High-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) is closely linked to the immune system’s inflammatory response, Darian said.

She explained, “Research shows that sleep deprivation can lead to long-term inflammation, which weakens the body’s immune system and its ability to fight infection.”

She continued, “As bodily processes slow down during sleep, the body must divert and allocate resources to each function.”

She warns that reducing sleep time can reduce the time and energy needed to treat ongoing infections and leave hsCRP levels high.

The key to lowering hsCRP is eating a low-glycemic, anti-inflammatory diet rich in omega-3 and omega-9 fatty acids, as well as regular physical activity and managing stress levels, Osborne said.

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