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July 27, 2020

Your Thyroid And Sleep

There are many common health issues that can make it harder to get a great night’s sleep. Like chronic pain, restless leg syndrome, and sleep apnea, just to name a few. However, your thyroid effects the majority of your organs and body functions. Which makes sense as to how your thyroid and sleep go hand in hand.

Which means if your thyroid is not functioning properly it can cause a lot of issues. Including negatively affecting your energy levels which directly correlates with your sleep. In this blog we are going to get into the two most common types of thyroid issues you may run into, and how they could affect your sleep.

is your thyroid affecting your sleep negatively?

Hyperthyroidism vs Hypothyroidism:

Before jumping into how your thyroid plays a role in your sleep it is important to understand the two different ways your thyroid can be impacted. When it comes to thyroid issues you will experience either Hyperthyroidism or Hypothyroidism, two very different ways that your thyroid isn’t working properly.

sleep and thyroidThough they sound and look very similar they are completely opposite in how they affect your body. While hypothyroidism decreases your hormone level with an underactive thyroid.

The opposite is true for hyperthyroidism which is an overactive thyroid that increases your hormone levels.

The effects of Hypothyroidism result in a slowed metabolism, tiredness as well as possible weight gain. And an overall decrease of energy and sluggish feel. While Hyperthyroidism gives you more energy and may result in weight loss it also may trigger anxiety as well as depression. Neither are ideal and clearly will effect your quality of life, including sleep.

Hyperthyroidism & Sleep:

Hyperthyroidism is when your body is overproducing the thyroid hormone. Again this thyroid issue increases your energy. Which may sound great, however, when you have energy that feels trapped you often times develop a jittery response that leads to anxiety. This not only affects your daily routine but spills into your evening too.

With added anxiety and jitters that feel like you just drank three shots of espresso sleep will be the furthest thing from your mind. Many times leading to sleep issues like insomnia as well as health issues and heart palpitations. Without adequate sleep you may also experience bouts of fatigue throughout the day as well. This can be an exhausting combination where you feel drained but somehow still can’t get to sleep. Leading to a cycle of restless sleep and a frenzy of energy.

Common Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism:

  • can hyperthyroid affect my sleep? Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness
  • Hand Tremors
  • Heart Palpitations
  • Exercise Intolerance
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Heat Intolerance
  • Weight Loss

Tips For Sleeping Better With Hyperthyroidism:

  • Manage your stress and anxiety with relaxation exercises.
  • Try to keep moving during the day, even if working out is too much for you. This can sometimes help with the sensation of restlessness in the evenings.
  • Try taking natural sleep supplements like Melatonin or CBD. (Talk to your Doctor first)
  • Avoid caffeine, especially in the evenings. Your body is already ramped up, caffeine often increases this sensation. (Caffeine can remain active in your system for around 6 hours.)
  • Practice taking slow deep breaths as you lay in bed. Hyperthyroidism often speeds up your breathing. Slowing this down will help you relax and prep your body for sleep.
  • Keep the bedroom cool at night. This will help you from overheating as you sleep.
  • Talk to your doctor about your medications to see if any of them could potentially be a cause for your lack of sleep.

Struggling with anxiety? Head over to our post How To Sleep Better With Anxiety for tips and advice on getting a healthy restful sleep.

Hypothyroidism & Sleep:

Hypothyroidism is when your body is not producing enough of the thyroid hormone. Opposite to Hyperthyroidism, this creates low levels of energy. Which dwindles your desire to do even the most basic daily tasks. Creating a sluggish feel throughout the day that makes you long for your bed at all times.

This consistent lack of energy can cause depression as well as chronic fatigue. Making you even more prone to want to stay in bed. If you have hypothyroidism, you may have more than enough sleep and yet you feel exhausted. Most likely you are even over sleeping and napping throughout the day which just perpetuates the endless cycle of sluggishness and too much sleep.

Common Symptoms of Hypothyroidism:

  • your thyroid and sleepBrain Fog
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Exercise Intolerance
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Fluid Retention
  • Weight Gain
  • Constipation
  • Cold Intolerance
  • Dry Skin
  • Hair Thinning

Tips For Sleeping Better With Hypothyroidism:

  • Try not to oversleep in the mornings or afternoons. Hypothyroidism often causes depression which can cause you to oversleep during the day, making it harder to sleep at night.
  • Fatigue: Take 20 minute naps when you feel fatigue is taking over your day. Then try to get moving again. Short naps can give you the burst of energy you need to keep going.
  • how to sleep better with hyperthyroidism Practice taking slow deep breaths as you lay in bed. This will help your body prepare for sleep.
  • Talk to your doctor about your medications to see if any of them could potentially be a cause for your lack of sleep.
  • Have layers of blankets. You may find that you are intolerant to cool temperatures. However as you sleep your body may begin to warm up. By having layers of blankets you can choose to take a layer off or add a layer as needed to maintain a comfortable temperature.
  • Try a weighted blanket to not only help keep you warm but also induce a calming feeling.

Depression can make sleep complicated. Learn more about how to sleep well with depression in our post:  How to Sleep Better with Depression

Thyroid Medications & Sleep:

your medication may be causing your snoring

Some thyroid medications can cause other sleep issues. If you are on medications and your struggles with sleep and energy have recently started or gotten worse, contact your doctor and let them know that this is an issue you are having. They may be able to prescribe you a different dosage or medication.

You May Also Enjoy: Top 9 Essential Oils for Bedtime – The Sleep Benefits of Essential Oils

Natural Ways To Improve Your Thyroid Naturally:

While medications are usually our go to in Western culture, there are several natural ways to help get your thyroid back on track. Depending on whether you suffer from Hyperthyroidism or Hypothyroidism may differ what is best, but below are several great alternative options that are as simple as adjusting your diet to help your body function better.

Best Foods For Hypothyroidism:

  • Foods Rich In Vitamin A (carrots & eggs)
  • Seafood With High Levels Of Iodine (kelp & nori)
  • Foods Rich in Zinc (beef, chicken & spinach)
  • Natural Healthy Fats (olive oil, avocado & nuts)
  • Increased Overall Protein Intake

Worst Foods For Hypothyroidism:

  • Refined Foods
  • Saturated Fats
  • Sugar
  • White Flour
  • Certain Fruits & Veggies (cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, peaches & pears)
  • Caffeine

Best Foods For Hyperthyroidism:

  • Cruciferous Vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts & kale)
  • Foods With Love Levels Of Iodine (potatoes, egg whites & oats)
  • Iron Rich Foods (beef, chicken & green leafy vegetables)
  • Calcium Rich Foods(milk, okra & fortified foods)
  • Natural Healthy Fats (olive oil, avocado & nuts)

Worst Foods For Hyperthyroidism:

  • Seafood & Seafood Additives
  • Foods High in Iodine
  • Nitrates
  • Gluten
  • Soy
  • Caffeine

You May Also Like The Article: Best & Worst Foods Before Bed.

Thyroid Disorders & Sleep – Final Thoughts:

Most thyroid disorders can be easily treated with medications. Most of your sleep issues will be caused by complications and symptoms caused by the out of whack thyroid.

With medications these symptoms often subside. If you have not already been diagnosed, talk to your doctor about getting your thyroid checked.

how to sleep better with thyroid issues

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