The Role of Vitamin D in Sleep Disorders of Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review

Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Jan 27;23(3):1430. doi: 10.3390/ijms23031430.


This review investigates the association between vitamin D and sleep disorders. Vitamin D is an essential nutrient known to play an important role in the growth and bone health of the human body, but it also appears to play a role in sleep. The goal of our review is to examine the association between vitamin D and sleep disorders in children and adolescents. We summarize the evidence about the role and the mechanism of action of vitamin D in children and adolescents with sleep disorders such as insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), restless legs syndrome (RLS), and other sleep disorders. Systematic electronic database searches were conducted using Pubmed and Cochrane Library. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guideline was followed. The studies that met the established inclusion criteria were analyzed and compared. Results suggest a strict relationship between vitamin D deficiency in children and sleep disorders. There is evidence that vitamin D is implicated in the different neurochemical mechanisms involved in sleep regulation and mainly in the serotonergic and dopaminergic pathways. This might be responsible for the association of vitamin D deficiency and restless sleep, sleep hyperhidrosis, OSA, and RLS.

Keywords: insomnia; obstructive sleep apnea; parasomnias; restless legs syndrome; sleep; vitamin D.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Dopamine / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Serotonin / metabolism
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / etiology
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / metabolism
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / complications*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / epidemiology
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / metabolism


  • Serotonin
  • Dopamine