Can Hypothyroidism Cause Insomnia? (2021)

Updated May, 2021
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If you have hypothyroidism, it's likely causing your insomnia. Despite the fatigue caused by the illness, studies show it has a strong link to insomnia due to the irregular release of hormones. A patient will experience a low metabolism during the day, causing their fatigue, and large release of hormones at night, preventing the patient from productive sleep.

What is hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism is a deficiency of thyroid hormones that prevents the body from regulating  metabolism, body temperature, and heart rate. Its common symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Sensitivity to cold temperatures

Is my thyroid to blame for my inability to sleep?

The thyroid plays an important role in your body's ability to release and process hormones, some of which help maintain a healthy sleep cycle. Your body's inability to fall asleep and achieve REM is due to the thyroid's over-productivity in the nighttime, and has been proven to play a role in several different sleep disorders, such as:

  • Insomnia
  • Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)
  • Sleep apnea

Health effects of insomnia

Long-term insomnia has both physical and mental repercussions. Insomnia has been known to increase the chances of suffering from:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

It can also impact your physical health by increasing the risk of

  • Chronic pain
  • Heart disease
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Asthma

Will treating my hypothyroidism help my insomnia?

Yes. Regulating your thyroid's ability to release hormones helps maintain a healthy sleep cycle, and also works to fight fatigue brought on by low metabolism. In addition to managing your hypothyroidism, there are lifestyle changes you can make to help combat your insomnia. These include lowering consumption of food/drinks known to agitate insomnia, such as sugar, alcohol, and caffeine. It's also important to treat the mental factors contributing to your insomnia, such as anxiety. Changing your sleep environment, as well as maintaining a regular sleeping schedule, will also work to manage your insomnia.

How the right mattress improves your sleep

Whether you were diagnosed with insomnia years ago or you only suspect you may have this disorder, you've likely tried everything. It might be time to really consider your sleep environment. Many people go years without considering their mattress. But as we grow older, our bodies change. Replacing your old, uncomfortable mattress is a step in the right direction toward improving your overall sleep quality, and your health.

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