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PLoS One. 2019 Jul 5;14(7):e0219318. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0219318. eCollection 2019.

Association of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations with sleep phenotypes in a German community sample.

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Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Leipzig Medical Center, Leipzig, Germany.
Institute of Laboratory Medicine, Clinical Chemistry and Molecular Diagnostics, University of Leipzig Medical Center, Leipzig, Germany.
LIFE-Leipzig Research Center for Civilization Diseases, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.
Department of Statistics, Arts and Sciences Faculty, Middle East Technical Faculty, Ankara, Turkey.
Institute for Medical Informatics, Statistics, and Epidemiology (IMISE), University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.
Institute of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Bundeswehr University Munich, Neubiberg, Germany.



Sleep disorders and vitamin D deficiency are among the most common health problems. Few studies investigated the effect of vitamin D on objectively recorded sleep with sound methodological quality and reasonable temporal proximity.


To investigate the relationship between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations and objective sleep parameters assessed within close temporal proximity in a population-based sample. It is expected that higher serum 25(OH)D concentrations are associated with 1) better objective sleep outcomes (longer sleep duration, higher sleep efficiency, earlier mid-sleep time) and 2) more positive subjective sleep evaluations.


A subset of participants (n = 1045) from the LIFE-Adult-Study was analysed. Measurement of serum 25(OH)D vitamin was performed using an electrochemiluminescence immunoassay. Actigraphic assessments were performed using SenseWear Pro 3 devices. The following objective sleep parameters were calculated: total sleep duration, night sleep duration, night sleep efficiency, midsleep time and wake after sleep onset (WASO). Subjective sleep evaluations were assessed via questionnaire (sleep quality (PSQI), daytime sleepiness (ESS)). Data were analysed applying a multiple linear regression model with a stepwise approach.


The regression models revealed significant associations of serum 25(OH)D concentration with night sleep duration and midsleep time. No association was found for total sleep duration and night sleep efficiency. Higher serum 25(OH)D concentration was further associated with shorter WASO in males but longer WASO in females. Moreover, serum 25(OH)D concentration did not show any significant association with subjective sleep quality and daytime sleepiness.


The results indicate that a higher concentration of serum 25(OH)D is associated with longer and earlier night sleep. Although the present study was able to demonstrate an association between serum 25(OH)D concentration and objective sleep parameters, no conclusion about underlying mechanisms or causal inferences can be drawn.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

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