Could my problems sleeping have something to do with my thyroid?
Does this sound familiar? You get to bed at a reasonable hour, maybe even a little early. You have something scheduled for the next morning so you want to be assured of a full eight hours of sleep. You stopped all caffeine early in the day, turned the TV off without watching the late-night news report and the room is a bit on the cool side and dark. You wait for that blissful drifting off into a restful sleep. And you wait. And you wait some more. Pretty soon you open one eye to look at the clock and realize you now only have seven hours. And so it goes through the night, getting more frustrated and anxious as the possibility of that much-needed sleep moves farther and farther away.
Insomnia, which is the condition where it is difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep, affects millions of people all over the world. Not being able to sleep once in a while is normal and happens to everyone. Habitually, tossing and turning through the night and only managing, at best, a few hours of sleep can be devastating. It can lead to daytime sleepiness, lethargy, mood swings, irritability, anxiety and a general feeling of not being well, both mentally and physically.
Causes of Insomnia
Insomnia can be caused by a wide array of factors, physical and psychological. Disruption of the circadian rhythm, stress, depression, noise, too much activity before bedtime, diet and various other causes can all be the basis for an inability to sleep. For chronic insomnia, there is often an underlying medical condition. Some of the more common medical causes are:
- chronic pain
- chronic fatigue syndrome
- congestive heart failure
- acid-reflux disease (GERD)
- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- sleep apnea
- brain lesions
- hormone shift or deficiency
- thyroid imbalance
The last on our list, thyroid imbalance, in which the thyroid gland is not producing the correct amounts of the thyroid hormone, directly impacts various systems that can cause insomnia but is often overlooked. The thyroid plays a very active role in regulating the metabolic functions in practically every cell in the body. When it is out of balance or underperforming and not treated, it can significantly affect the ability to sleep.
Left untreated, insomnia can affect every part of an individual’s life. It’s important to identify what is causing the condition and seek treatment for the cause rather than merely try and manage the symptoms. If lifestyle choices, stressors or environmental issues are interfering with sleep, then they should be seriously addressed. There are many resources available that list a variety of practices and habits that can improve sleep quality. If there are chronic, medically-related conditions, such as imbalances in the thyroid hormones, then it will be necessary to consult a healthcare professional to learn about the different methods available for treatment.
At the Southern California Center for Anti-Aging, we strongly believe correcting imbalances and deficiencies in nutrition, vitamin and antioxidant status, along with improving fitness and balancing and restoring hormones with Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy, can offer help with sleep issues while creating the foundation for a healthier and happier life.
To learn more about the thyroid or discuss any of our services, take advantage of our Free Consultation by clicking here to use our convenient online form.