1. There was an association between vitamin D deficiency and obstructive sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, and insomnia.

2. Vitamin D deficiency places children at a greater risk of decreased sleep duration and may delay bedtimes.

Evidence Rating Level: 1 (Excellent)

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that may activate mechanisms in the sleep region of the brainstem. Vitamin D deficiency (defined as a value less than 20ng/mL), has been associated with many medical conditions such as cancer, diabetes, and even sleep disorders. Currently, there is a paucity of information regarding the association between vitamin D and pediatric sleep disorders. As a result, the objective of the present systematic review was to evaluate the current literature on the association between vitamin D and sleep disorders in children and adolescents.

This study was a systematic review conducted according to PRISMA guidelines. Of 748 identified articles, 14 articles were included in the review. The exclusion criteria included: adult population studies, lack of sleep relevance, and review articles. No restrictions were applied to the publication period or the country of study. Data extraction was completed by three independent reviewers.

Overall, this study included 14 studies that assessed the relationship between vitamin D levels and sleep disorders in children. Three main themes were identified in the review, including sleep duration and quality of sleep, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and other sleep disorders. Results demonstrated that vitamin D deficiency was associated with decreased sleep time and delayed bedtimes, with a potential bidirectional relationship. Furthermore, it was found that vitamin D deficiency may be associated with sleep disorders including OSA and restless leg syndrome. Despite these results, the present study was limited by a large proportion of cross-sectional studies as well as the presence of heterogeneity across studies. Nonetheless, this study provided early insight into the presence of an association between vitamin D and sleep disorders in children.

Click to read study in: International Journal of Molecular Sciences

Image: PD

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