During the winter season, you just never know what kind of weather we are going to get in the Knoxville area.

However, one thing is a given in an east Tennessee winter—there will be less hours of daylight and a good number of gray, gloomy days!

That means less exposure to the sunlight that provides us with a natural source of vitamin D. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get the vitamin D you need—our team at AFC Urgent Care Knoxville wants to share some tips on upping your intake.

Why Do We Need Vitamin D?

Well, first and foremost—our bodies need vitamin D to help properly absorb the calcium needed to support bone health. But vitamin D also helps the body absorb other nutrients and promotes good physical and mental health in other ways.

Getting enough vitamin D can help boost your immune system and help boost your mood, too. Fortunately, with some careful consideration of what you’re eating, you can get more vitamin D through your diet.

Foods That Are High in Vitamin D

  • Fatty fish, like tuna, mackerel and salmon
  • Foods fortified with vitamin D, like some dairy products, orange juice, soy milk and cereals
  • Beef liver
  • Cheese
  • Egg yolks

Does Vitamin D Deficiency Affect Your Sleep?

Yes, vitamin D deficiency has been shown to negatively impact sleep. Research has indicated that those who have a vitamin D deficiency often get far less than the recommended seven to nine hours of quality sleep.

The best way to make sure you’re getting enough vitamin D is to have your doctor check your vitamin D level. If you have a deficiency, he or she can recommend strategies to get more vitamin D. You can also take other steps to promote quality sleep.

Tips to Get Enough Sleep

  • Avoid chemicals that disrupt sleep, such as nicotine, caffeine and alcohol.
  • Eat lighter meals at night.
  • Stay active.
  • Take a hot shower or bath close to bedtime.
  • Avoid screens one to two hours before bed.
  • Keep the bedroom cool and dark.

Wondering whether you’re getting enough vitamin D? Stop by AFC Urgent Care Knoxville today for a checkup!