In there anyone out there who has managed to sort out sleep problems by balancing thyroid/hormone issues?

I believe that my sleep problems are related to my thyroid issues. Although I was only diagnosed about 18 months ago (Hashimoto’s), I have been having symptoms for years. My sleep "went funny" back in 2007.

I notice that the sleep seems also to be affected by hormonal fluctuations. I have just turned 50 and on a bit of a hormonal roller coaster at the moment. One of the symptoms of my PMT, for example, is that my sleep becomes particularly poor 2 or 3 nights before.

Keep telling myself that if I can achieve good hormone/thyroid balance my sleep might sort itself out. But it is achieving that wonderful equilibrium that seems so elusive!

Latest levels (as of a couple of weeks ago) were:

TSH: 0.22mu/L (0.3-5)

T4: 14.7pmol/L (11-23)

T3: 3.5pmol/L (3.9-6.8)

Take 75mcg levothyroxine a day and despite 100% compliance on my part my levels have dropped a bit since this time last year when I had just gone onto the increased dose, so don't understand what is going on there. Have been advised by a couple of people on this site that my T4 should ideally be higher (thank you for your observations, which has given me confidence to take this forward). Also need to get to the bottom of the T3 being so low. Seeing my GP Wednesday to discuss.

Had my adrenals/hormones checked Autumn 2012 and at that stage, despite the ongoing sleep problems, my cortisol was in range (behaving exactly as one would expect) though my DHEA was just below range (took a short course of DHEA but didn’t have any noticeable improvement in sleep). My melatonin also came back as being in “the optimal range”.

If there is anyone out there who has managed to sort their sleep problems through managing their thyroid/hormonal balance I would really like to hear from you.

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  • I think if your GP prescribed 10mcg of T3 to your T4, it might be extremely helpful. It's all trial and error. Your T3 is low and it is T3 that our cells need in them in order for us to function properly. There is no way to tell if you have T3 at the cellular level. This is an excerpt and go to date January 9, 2004:-

    Dr. Lowe: I am comfortable advising physicians on the use of T3 because of my knowledge of the hormone and my experience (both clinical and experimental) with its use. Moreover, my book The Metabolic Treatment of Fibromyalgia is a comprehensive text on thyroidology and contains more scientific information on the use of T3 than any other book ever written. In contrast, most conventional endocrinologists have little to no knowledge of T3. Also, they have little to no clinical experience with its use. Therefore, for them to represent their opinions about T3 as expert advice is a pretense and raises ethical questions.

    Conventional endocrinologists' lack of knowledge about T3 results from conduct that is clearly unscientific—that is, overall, they accepted without question mandates passed down to them by old guard thyroid specialists, much as loyal military personnel obediently and unquestioningly comply with orders from higher command.

    web.archive.org/web/2010103...

    I also had disturbed sleep - waking maybe 20mins later and throughout the night or getting up and watching TV. NDT helped enormously and so does T3 alone which I take now. I am sleeping well.

    It would be great if doctors treated their patients thus:-

    Based on these considerations, I can only recommend one thing: that you consult a doctor who ignores serum and urine T3 and T4 levels during treatment, and who bases his dosage decisions on his patients’ tissue responses to thyroid hormone.

    web.archive.org/web/2010103...

  • Once again thank you so much Shaws. Will have a really good look at these before I go to see my GP Wednesday, so that I am prepared.

  • For me yes- I was on thyroxine for years. I was ok on it for approx 14 yrs and then v bad on it for 14 yrs. this included insomnia so tired but I'd only get approx 3/4 hrs per night. I've now switched to NDT and T3 and I also support the adrenals and thankfully I now get approx 6.5/7hrs per night which is not as much as I'd like but compared to before it is bliss. I hope you get more sleep soon.

  • Thank you for getting in touch Pooh10. I have this feeling that things thyroid/hormonal-wise are not entirely sorted for me yet and that insomnia is part of that picture. (I don't think I can really remember what real well-being feels like!) It is very re-assuring to hear from people who are that step further on.

    It is interesting that both respondees to my quesion so far have moved beyond T4 treatment alone. On the side effects of the levothyroxine it lists insomnia. I am concerned that my GP is just going to hike up the dose and not explore other alternatives.

    If I can get a real feel for what might help I can be prepared!

  • I think you are generally under medicated -both your Ft4 & Ft3 are low so increasing may well help -if not am sure a NDT or adding T3 into the mix will improve things

    have you checked your vitamin and minerals -the usual iron, folate, D3 and b12?

    in addition 80% of the population is deficient in magnesium. Magnesium promotes the balance of calcium but also muscle strength and sleep!

    I was amazed -i recently started putting magnesium gel on my skin at night -sleep like a baby -have done for over a week now.

  • Hi Wavylines,

    Many thanks for taking the time to respond.

    I do take daily magnesium orally, but it is interesting that you say you put it on your skin. Someone else recently told me that they have a magnesium spray and that it absorbs much better into the skin. Is this why you use the gel?

    Have checked all of the other usuals you mention above. I do take daily ferrous sulphate to keep anaemia at bay (I was very anaemic when diagnosed but that has been carefully monitored and I am much better now) and D3 for osteoporosis.

  • I hadn't slept properly for years, never able to get to sleep for hours after going to bed. I tried allsorts of things including staying up until I was dropping in the hopes that would work. Nothing did.

    Then I joined this forum and read about how I could take my Levothyroxine at night instead of the morning, so I did that and haven't looked back since. Now I sleep like a baby and wake up earlier too.

    It's been the best thing I ever did.

  • Thank you for this Ellie-Louise. I have never tried that, but I'm going to. It makes sense that if you take it before bed the concentration of levo will then be highest during the night, rather than the tail end. I normally take mine between 6.00and 7.00am, so when I am consistently wakng up at 3.00am (if I'm lucky!) my level will be at its lowest.

  • Yes with adaptogen herbs

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