Is our Thyroid to blame for Sleep Issues?
When you hear Thyroid issue, what do you think about? We really didn’t know. I had a grandmother who had Hashimoto’s disorder, which, in her case, meant she had to have her thyroid removed. I recall her taking medication to replace what the thyroid used to do, but had no idea what that was.
But what about sleep and our Thyroid?
First, let’s get a basic understanding of the purpose of our Thyroid. Here’s a summary.
How the Thyroid Gland Works
The thyroid is part of the endocrine system, which is made up of glands that produce, store, and release hormones into the bloodstream so the hormones can reach the body’s cells. The thyroid gland uses iodine from the foods you eat to make two main hormones:
It is important that T3 and T4 levels are neither too high nor too low. Two glands in the brain—the hypothalamus and the pituitary communicate to maintain T3 and T4 balance….read more
The correct amount Thyroid hormones in our bloodstream are essential for good sleep. Thyroid hormones are responsible for controlling our metabolism. Too much or too, little of the hormones can result in problems, leading to lack of sleep.
When the body produces excess thyroid hormone, it leads to a condition known as hyperthyroidism and when the body produces low levels of the hormone, it is referred to as hypothyroidism.
Both conditions have the effects of leading to sleep problems that may include sleep apnea and insomnia (Thyroid hormone disorder).
The hormones produced by our Thyroid is important to the proper function of our body in general. Any imbalances can result in complications. These can be serious! (Disorders associated with thyroid imbalance).
The condition is caused by deficient production of hormones by the thyroid. The lack of hormones reduces the metabolic rate of many processes.
The result can be a feeling of fatigue and sluggishness. This feeling of fatigue may not go away even after sleeping ( hypothyroidism defined).
Symptoms can include constipation, cold feeling, high cholesterol, slower heart rate, amorphous weight gain and dry skin. If you experience sleep issues and any other symptoms, see a physician who can run the appropriate tests.
Hypothyroidism is usually treated with hormone replacement medication. About 5% of the population are affected by hypothyroidism.
The following are other symptoms that may indicate too little T3 and T4 in your body (hypothyroidism):
- Trouble sleeping
- Tiredness and fatigue
- Difficulty concentrating
- Dry skin and hair
- Sensitivity to cold temperature
- Frequent, heavy periods
- Joint and muscle pain
The opposite of that would be hyperthyroidism. The body produces a high level of the thyroid hormone. This causes our bodies to go into a high level of metabolism, making sleeping challenging.
Other effects include symptoms such as mood swings, anxiety, heavy sweating, being hyperactive and faster heart rate. (Symptoms of hyperthyroidism). The body responds to the high levels of the hormone by increasing the activity rate of the body.
Initially, the body feels charged up. However, over time, we get tired due to the high rate of activity. This in turn, may cause serious problems over time, and hyperthyroidism has been linked to heart failure, kidney failure and sleep disorders.
Treatment for hyperthyroidism includes the use of medication to help rectify the hormone deficiency. Hyperthyroidism is less common, affecting only 1% of the population.
Listed below are other symptoms of too much T3 and T4 in your body (hyperthyroidism):
- Irritability or moodiness
- Nervousness, hyperactivity
- Sweating or sensitivity to high temperatures
- Hand trembling (shaking)
- Hair loss
- Missed or light menstrual periods
Effect on Sleep
Thyroid hormones do not affect our sleeping pattern directly. However, the hormones released by a well functioning and healthy thyroid, affect the rate of our metabolic processes.
Like most things in life, it’s all about balance. A well functioning thyroid naturally produces hormones which regulate our metabolism. If we have either too much, or too little of the thyroid hormones – T3 and T4 – then we’re likely to have metabolic issues as described above.
Now, we don’t know about you, but if we’re sweating, depressed, have joint pain – and worse! – then, we’re also not sleeping well. It’s a complicated world out there. If you suspect you may have hypo or hyperthyroidism, see your doctor and they can help!
If your doctor gives you a clean bill of health, and you still have issues? Heck, it couldn’t hurt to try a Fawcett mattress. Have you seen the reviews?