Thyroid UK

Sleeping problems

Does anyone else have trouble sleeping? I take ages to get to sleep and am very restless when asleep waking up a few time a night. I wear a Fitbit which records my sleep and I'm getting no more than 5 to 6 hours a night. I feel exhausted in the day. I work full time in an infant school and Tesco 2 evenings a week. I'm on 125mg of lethrothyroxine. I also take 10mg of amitroptline to help with sleep but it doesn't work that well.

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Hi! I've just joined the site and I was going to ask the same question. I've never been a good sleeper but I'm experiencing the same as you've described, more so since my levothyroxine has been increased to the point where I feel a bit strange through the night. I do have a toddler who still wakes up so an element is probably my body being used to never fully falling asleep but i do feel odd. Last night I felt 'flashy' in my head/eyes and I don't know how to describe what I mean but I wonder if this is a common side effect of levothyroxine.

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It's a nightmare isn't it. I go to bed tired but just as I'm dropping off I start getting all itchy. It keeps me awake for ages. I wanted a layin this morning but goy woken up by my arm itching at 7am. I then gave up trying to go back to sleep and just got up. It drives me crazy. I don't have small children to get up to so get very frustrated at not sleeping or waking up early. What dose are you on? I got diagnosed nearly 10 years ago now but was severely under active so had been ill for years before. I have never been a great sleeper unlike my identical twin sister. She also got diagnosed just after me.


I only started at 25mcg about 9 weeks ago. I am now on 50mcg and have been for about 3 weeks. How about you? I don't have any itching but I feel like I'm never fully asleep - just in the dreamy state of sleep if that makes sense. It's a bit like my mind goes wild at night. I'm hoping it's just me getting used to a higher dose as I did feel a bit weird when I started on just 25 at first. Have you always had the itching, do you have it during the day as well? I just wondered if it could be an allergy/intolerence? From what I'm reading so far it seems like so much is connected when it comes to thyroid issues!


see my response below :)


When I'm hyper o feel wired and cannot sleep due to palpitations.

WhenI'm hypo I don't get tired until about 1am. It doesn't matter if I get up at 5am or 10am, I still won't sleep until late.

At the moment I am trying to get out of hypo with a dose increase. Instantly felt tired at normal time eg 10 pm bed. BUT can sleep until 10am easily! !

I'm not sure how hypothyroid makes you insomnia I wish I knew.

Hyperthyroidism insomnia makes sense to me eg it fires you up?

Consider also adrenals.??

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I think as Optimist suggested the adrenals may have something to do with this. Since I've been prescribed low dose hydrocortisone I've slept much better. After a while being hypo many people suffer from adrenal fatigue. I get my adrenal function measured by saliva test, then go and see my private doc. for the prescription


I sleep maybe 4 hours a night now but I kind of like being awake for a change rather than 12 hours and naps in between if I exercise my sleep is better


I am not in the least medically qualified but I think it might have been better if the GP added some T3 to your T4 instead of amitroptline. I know GPs prescribe this for depression as well as pain but if we're hypo we need thyroid hormones best of all and T3 is the active one required in our receptor cells. T4 is inactive and has to convert. Has your GP given you a Free T3 blood test so you know whether or not your on sufficient T4 to convert to T3?

You will see from this link why we need to know the FT3. If GP wont do so you can get a private one from the recommended labs.


This is how I improved my sleep. It worked within days!!! I am absolutely NOT kidding!!

Firstly though, slight caveat.... I'm not taking thyroid medications and have never done so, so I don't know to what extent they upset sleep, and perhaps the medications could over ride what I'm going to share. ??

Anyway, here goes. I bought a pair of blue blocking glasses for £12.82 from Amazon. I wear these continuously every evening from 7.30pm. I do not expose my eyes to any kind of light at all unless I have my blue blockers on. (My boyfriend calls them my minions!)

Along side this I sit outdoors or sit in front of a SAD lamp, which I bought from Lumie for £149, for 30 minutes first thing EVERY morning while I eat my breakfast.

I am amazed at how doing just these two things, which made me a have a MUCH stronger circadian rhythm, could work so well. Literally within days! It is so powerful that doing just these two things has over ridden a catalogue of sleep disturbances that I had previously.

I also make sure I eat enough protein during the day to sustain me from my evening meal through to breakfast the next morning.

Prior to this, I had YEARS of disturbed sleep. Every night I had a story to tell about some night time drama or other and suffered with sleep deprivation every single day, and that was on top of any other symptoms I might have had.

Since doing this technique I have slept very deeply, like a baby every night, for the very first time in 14 years!!!! OMG!!

Despite what Fitbit and others might say, personally, I would not wear anything on my body or have anything close to my body that has any sort of electronic device. I simply would not risk having that energetic interference messing with my own energy.

Anyway, you can tell I am excited with my success!! Hope it helps!


Try ZMA (Zinc & Magnesium) at bedtime.

I tried to started on Amitriptyline twice. Both times I had vivid nightmares. Flushed it down the toilet where it belongs. Horrendous stuff.



I think I can help here. A young doctor suggested I take a Piriton tablet when I'm desperate for sleep so maybe you could try taking one at night when you know you'll be off work the next day. It works for me! She even said if the low dosage one doesn't work then get the stronger tablets. I think you'll find that most of us on here have trouble sleeping. I have restless leg syndrome and often have to get up at night in order to reset my brain.

Good Luck

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TL;DR insomnia can be caused by adrenal fatigue, levo can bring on or amplify adrenal fatigue/crisis.

Full story and personal experience:

I've read from extensive research that adrenal fatigue, or adrenal problems can be a cause of insomnia. When I started levo I had crazy insomnia for a couple months, I also experienced adrenal pain during this time, and of course my doctor thought it was unrelated to the Levo. But... in reality it's well documented that levo can bring on adrenal crisis, it even says right on the synthroid package that adrenals need to be checked and dealt with BEFORE starting levo. Luckily my adrenal pain went away on its own, and at the exact same time so did my insomnia. I didn't do anything about it. My mother on the other hand has big adrenal problems and she has had continuous insomnia for more than 20 years now. In her case her doctors know that it is 100% due to adrenal problems. Long story short, get your adrenals checked out, if you have adrenal fatigue it could very well be the cause of insomnia. I've heard magnesium helps to sleep as well. I really hope you get this sorted out, I went crazy in the months I had insomnia, i wouldn't wish it upon anyone.


I could not sleep when the menopause bio identical HRT hormones and I'm mostly fine now.


How do I get my adrenals tested? I am on prescription antihistamine tablets which I take at night. I have been on amitroptline for years and now take it to relax my bowel which I have serious issues with as I have STC. I had 1/3 of my large bowel removed last year and the rest doesn't work well so take laxido daily too.


You need to check levels of vitamin d, b12, folate and ferratin. These all need to at good (not just average) levels for thyroid hormones (our own or replacement ones) to work in our cells

Make sure you get the actual figures from tests (including ranges - figures in brackets). You are entitled to copies of your own results. Some surgeries make nominal charge for printing out.

Low vitamin D and low vitamin B 5 can really upset sleep.

Magnesium in evening is calming and helps sleep too. Very common to be low, especially if hypo.

Good website about sleep & low D & also how low B is more common with Hashimoto's

extract -

So vitamin D deficiency causes secondary B vitamin deficiencies. This means that the sleep does not return to normal with just vitamin D. For the sleep to normalize and the health to improve the intestinal bacteria must return to normal as well.

Usually within the first year of vitamin D supplementation the B5 body stores get used up and new symptoms of pain, burning and balance difficulties begin. Patients who have fibromyalgia or arthritis or autoimmune disease are already severely B5 deficient even before their vitamin D deficiency is detected

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BANANA TEA........ Sounds odd but boiling chopped up bananas in water works! They must be organic bananas.. Put the skin and bananas in water and gently boil then strain and drink the water.. Something to do with Magnesium and Potassium. You can sprinkle a little cinnamon on the boiled bananas and eat them too! Have tried it and it worked for me. : ~))


Alternatively I have my home made gluten free muesli with kefir (great pro-biotic) and a banana every day.

Apparently.......Important if supplementing B12 to keep potassium levels up too. Certainly seems to have helped me.

Restless legs mentioned earlier.....apparently often related to low magnesium and also low B12 may be implicated too.


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