If you feel stuck in a rut and find yourself using your “monster voice” when addressing your kids more often than not, it may not be due to your lack of sleep and the general emotional annihilation that comes with motherhood. You may be deficient in vitamin D. Vitamin D has been shown to affect mood, sleep and even the way you feel physically.
Vitamin D is more than just a nutrient. Recent research is showing that it actually acts like a hormone in the body, and many people are deficient in the vitamin. Vitamin D can help regulate serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps signals get from place to place within the brain and throughout the body. Low serotonin levels have been linked to depression. While researchers aren’t sure whether depression causes a vitamin D deficiency or the deficiency causes depression, they have discovered that increasing vitamin D can improve your disposition.
The primary way the body produces vitamin D is through exposure to sunlight. After skin is exposed to the sun, vitamin D is created. Some researchers even point to lack of sun exposure as a factor in vitamin D deficiency. It sounds logical; we use sun block clothing and high-SPF sunscreens during the summer, and we often don’t get outside enough in the winter.
However, it only takes 15 minutes of sun exposure on the face for an individual to get the daily requirement of vitamin D. When you think about it, maybe you really aren’t getting out as much as you need to be. If you were, you would probably be getting your daily dose of vitamin D without even thinking about it.
Of course, when you are thinking about it, you should probably slather on the sunscreen or wear sun protective clothing. Take a vitamin D supplement or cook up some salmon when you’re dreaming of the beach this winter. Egg yolks are another great way to add vitamin D to your diet. Increasing your consumption of vitamin D can help you keep your cool when you’re stuck inside during the next blizzard.