The Mighty Thyroid
Christina shares with us the importance of setting up for better sleep.
One common problem among the hypothyroid sufferers is lack of sleep at night. We spend so much of our time being tired, and not being able to have a great 8 hours of sleep. This is mostly due to high levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, in our bodies. With normal adrenal function, your cortisol levels should be low by the time you go to bed. The high levels of cortisol in your body before bedtime are can be caused by a continued hypothyroid state (when your medication is at inadequate levels, undiagnosed hypothyroidism, or it could just be left over cortisol from when you used to have high cortisol levels all day long. Excess amounts of coffee and sugary foods we consume are also a culprit.
Set yourself up for a successful sleep. Try these simple steps and create your own nightly ritual from the tips that work for you.
Create an Oasis: Make your bedroom a refuge, not an extension of all the things that add stress to your day. Designate the space as your own personal quiet zone. Remove the TV if you have one and leave your laptop plugged in to charge in the living room. Add a calming scent or high thread count sheets that you cannot wait to climb into. Try to recreate that feeling of stepping into a spa or a vacation resort, any place you’ve felt a physical relaxation response.
Schedule Your Sleep: If you feel like you need a couple more hours of sleep but can’t find the time, start making your sleep “appointments” 15 minutes earlier each week until you have scheduled your sleep for enough time to feel completely rested. Setting up an appointment for sleep is serious business. Show up to bed at that time. it’s a meeting you can’t afford to miss.
Electronic Detox: Checking out your phone while laying in bed, texting or emailing can cause anxiety, especially you you lay awake waiting for responses. On the other hand, if the idea of leaving your phone somewhere else in the house makes you panic, turn the airplane mode on so nothing will disturb your sleep. Make it a habit of turning your phone off 15-30 minutes before you jump in to bed so that you aren’t tempted by it’s evil ways.
Set the Mood: Create a simple routine that when performed over and over will let your body know that it is time to power down. Dim the lights, cut down on mental stimulation, and move slowly. Use the time to take a hot shower or relax in the bath. Brush and floss your teeth and climb into bed feeling clean and calm.
Sleep Naked: Yep, you read that right! Your skin has to breathe to stay healthy. Sleeping in the buff can clear up skin irritations and regulate your body temperature, both of which contribute to disruptive sleep if you are constantly being awoken by putting on and throwing off the covers all night. Keep the room temperature at a cool 65°F, and you’ll even burn some calories overnight as your body works a bit harder to stay warm.
Wake Up and Get Up: Don’t dilly dally when your alarm goes off in the morning. If you expect to be tired enough to get your restful sleep, you must wake up at your scheduled time. It’s just as important as scheduling your sleep. An extra 5 minutes will not make a difference! Wake up with intention and purpose and fill your day with positive energy.
**This article originally featured on TheMightyThyroid.com**
About the Author
Christina Burke is a Thyroid Disease Advocate and owner and author for the Blog, The Mighty Thyroid. She created it to offer a place that provides the tools, information, support, and motivation to people living with hypothyroidism to live healthier lives. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and LinkedIn. Don’t forget to connect with her and check out her blog, TheMightyThyroid.com.
Questions or anything to ask Christina about hypothyroidism and getting better sleep? We want your thoughts in the comments section–Please!