Having a hard time waking up in the morning? Feel like you only had 2 hours sleep when you had 8?
Sleep issues are one of the most common symptoms of thyroid disorders, resulting in up to 30% of cases.
Both hypo and hyperthyroidism can result in disrupted sleep and insomnia. The catch 22? Good quality sleep is vitally important for thyroid patients to help combat fatigue, brain fog and other symptoms.
So what easy streps can be taken to start improving sleep? Here are a few recommendations.
At least one hour before bed turn off the TV and put the phone and computer away. Research has shown that the blue light emitted by phones and computers interferes with the body's ability to produce melatonin. This hormone is responsible for helping you to fall asleep at night.
One of the biggest contributors to sleep problems is stress. Often people tend to think about life stressors instead of closing their eyes when they head into bed. You can learn more about the health implication of stress on thyroid function here.
Some helpful stress relieving techniques include writing in a journal or practicing relaxation techniques like meditation. If you find it hard to switch off your mind when you hit the hay there are many useful guided meditations available out there.
Ditch the coffee
Coffee stimulates the adrenals to release more cortisol, our stress hormone; this is partly why we experience a wonderful but temporary and unsustainable burst of energy.
What many of us don’t realize is that cortisol is a hormone that naturally rises in the morning to help us wake up while tapering off in the evening to help you fall to sleep. So while you may think that 3 pm coffee is helping you stay wake during the day, it's actually also keeping you awake throughout the night by preventing cortisol levels from naturally decreasing.
Herbal medicine is also another great way to help improve sleep. Many clinical trails exist for the use of herbal medicines for sleep disorders. Valerian is one of my favourites. However it is always advised to speak with your Naturopath before beginning any herbal treatment.
These are just some of the many ways in which thyroid sufferers can improve their sleep and therefore improve their symptoms.
If you suffer from sleep problems and would like more information, please feel free to get in contact.