Jennifer Ganey, CHHC, Contributor
Importance Of Sleep For Thyroid Patients
Those of us with thyroid disease know all about brain fog, that inability to concentrate or make even the simplest decisions. What you may not know is that it can also be caused by a lack of sleep. The Center for Disease Control states that adults need 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Not getting adequate sleep on a regular basis can lead to a host of chronic diseases and conditions such as:
- Cardiovascular disease
Those of us with thyroid disorders, or chronic fatigue, should try to get at least 8 hours of sleep every night. I recognize that this can be difficult and our environment (and our children) can inhibit our ability to fall and stay asleep at night. Common problems include:
- EMF radiation
- Blue light
- Low magnesium levels
Hypothyroid and hyperthyroid sufferers alike need good sleep.
As stated in Help Guide:
An overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism) can cause sleep problems. The disorder overstimulates the nervous system, making it hard to fall asleep, and it may cause night sweats, leading to nighttime arousals. Feeling cold and sleepy is a hallmark of an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism).
Because thyroid function affects every organ and system in the body, the symptoms can be wide-ranging and sometimes difficult to decipher. Checking thyroid function requires only a simple blood test, so if you notice a variety of unexplained symptoms, ask your doctor for a thyroid test.
The best way to improve sleep is to create a calming nighttime routine that encourages melatonin production. Start with the following ideas to create a sleep system that works for you.
1). Turn off all electronics 2-3 hours before bed. Computers, TVs and cell phones emit a blue light that inhibits production of the melatonin needed to fall asleep. It is also important to turn of Wi-Fi before going to bed as the EMF radiation can disturb sleep.
2). Take a warm Epsom salts bath. The salts contain magnesium, a muscle relaxant and the warm water will raise body temperature. Try adding lavender essential oil to the water for increased calm.
3). Sleep in a dark, cool room (around 65 degrees) with a warm blanket. I using a homemade afghan as the weight is comforting.
4) If you find yourself unable to quiet your mind try a gratitude journal or breathing exercises.
Additional sleeping problems may be a sign of low magnesium or adrenal fatigue. Please consult your physician about these issues. Sleep is a necessary and vital part of life.
You deserve to thrive! (and to sleep)
About the Author
Jennifer Ganey, CHHC Found positive signs with her chronic illness when she first saw an integrative medicine doctor. These first positive signs of healing fueled both her hopes and her curiosity. “Why had I never learned that what I ate and how I dealt with stress might have an impact on my health? Would these same changes help others?” All of the questions eventually led her to the Institute of Institute for Integrative Nutrition and a passion to help other women to lead healthy lives for themselves and their families. Not only does she now have the vitality to be the kind of mother she wants to be, she has also found her life’s purpose. Find her at JenniferGaney.com.