Insomnia and levothyroxine advice. Please! - Thyroid UK

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Insomnia and levothyroxine advice. Please!


Hi all. I have so many meds for different things and Levo has to be kept apart from mixing with those, that I take my 75mcg at night, for hypothyroidism.

I sleep fine until the wake for the loo, and from then on I can't sleep.

It doesn't seem to be the time of day when you take it but you may know better. If I take it in the morning I can't wait an hour for a coffee. It's not as if you can have a decaff, is it, I understand. It's the coffee itself. Then there's milk with that, and you can't have that either for an hour.

And would it stop the insomnia?

I am newly started on Levo: do you think this efect will wear off in time?

Thanks folks.

12 Replies

I have never taken it at night bc I was instructed to take it the am. Then wait an hr to have breakfast. It take 88 mcg of Levo once I wake up at 630am. Then I get myself and my kids ready for school and daycare. Which I make them breakfast and myself, but mine I take to work w me. So I just eat breakfast at 9am, after the drop offs. My lab results have been good so far. I do feel tired but I associate that to my two kids, my full time job.

Doctors always tell you to take it in the morning because they don't know any better. But you could take it any time you like as long as it's on an empty stomach, two hours after eating or one hour before, and well away from your other medication and supplements. :)

helvellaAdministrator in reply to greygoose

I haven't ever noticed any research which identifies "morning" as being the best time.

The basis seems to be assumption, possibly convenience, and that is about it.

However, many of us have seen research which at least supports the option of bed-time dosing, and sometimes identifies advantages.

It's perfectly fine to take your levo at night, and it certainly is necessary to keep it away from other medications and supplements. But, it's probably not the levo keeping you awake. How much are you taking? Did you have this problem before starting levo? If you'd like to try taking it at a different time, there's no reason why you shouldn't take it in the middle of the afternoon, as long as it's on an empty stomach, two hours after eating or one hour before, and well away from your other medication. What other medication are you taking, by the way?

Trill in reply to greygoose

Hello Greygoose. Well I have been upped to 75mcg after a Medicheck test showed I need to be upped. Only one dose taken last night.

Having spent lots of time googling, there has actually been medical papers on this. Findings are it is more effective taken at night. Then googling other people's replies it was entirely variable how they felt it affected them with sleep. Bit of a Hobson's choice.

Yes, well spotted. I have had insomnia a very long time indeed, and have weird neuro causes for it. I just don't want to add to the reasons not to sleep!

When I first started on Levo, I slept amazingly well, for me. Had a large hiccup after a month because husband was ill, and after that I have been unable to sleep, or in and out of sleep - always taking the Levo at bedtime.

Good idea about taking it in the middle of the day. It's very complicated isn't it if you are on other meds or out and about, to remember that it's two hours after taking absolutely anything except water.

For the record, I have to take clonazepam, usually when I wake in the middle of the night for the bathroom, and Coracten, which prevents migraine, but I am going to try to come off that. That one is morning and night, 12 hours apart. This is a logistical nightmare!

I have also found, through the same delving into my online medical records, that I have chronic kidney disease, had it like hypothyroid for 6 years - no one told me. GP now hot on the case and depending on more tests for that, the medicine load might be increased.

I am going to carry on taking the Levo at night, as the medical findings showed it also caused insomnia if you take it in the morning, and I find it very awkward not to have my coffee when I wake (or when it's time for us to get up). And I should be taking Coracten in the morning. I need an Organiser.


greygoose in reply to Trill

Why do you take clonazepam if you don't mind me asking?

Do you take your coracten well away from your levo? Could be that when your thyroid levels are optimal, you won't need that anymore.

It is very difficult to keep things apart. And if you have to start taking iron three times a day, it gets almost impossible!

Trill in reply to greygoose


Clonazepam is anti-convulsant and specific for something called periodic limb movement disorder. I told you I was a neuro-nut. I will ask my GP if I can gradually stop Coracten but if I end up back with 3-day headaches, that is all that could stop it.

Blimey Levo is a difficult and demanding medication!

greygoose in reply to Trill

It's a hormone. It has to be treated with respect. :)

Is that the same thing as restless leg syndrome? How's your B12? Do you take magnesium? Iron? All these things could improve when you optimise your thyroid hormones.

Trill in reply to greygoose

Similar but separate. B12 is ok. Take magnesium and that has stopped very painful leg cramps. No iron but there is quite a lot of conflicting advice on supplements including not to take any. I am rattling enough.

Must go and take my Coracten. The witching hour is nigh and I have to allow that to go down before I can try once again with the Levi tonight.

I take my levo 150mg every morning before I want to eat. I've got used to it now, and I have to wait for my hot drink. I avoid all other meds and take them later in the day.

Someone advised, to leave the tablets beside your bed & take immediately after waking, and have breakfast etc after you've showered & dressed.

I have fibromyalgia/chronic pain syndrome, and have both fatigue and Insomnia. I don't think my insomnia is linked to my thyroid.

It took me over two years, for my thyroid levels to become normal/in rangel. I feel much better now with regards my thyroid and for over a year.

I’ve been on Levo for 8 yrs now and no ones ever told me how I should or shouldn’t take it, in on several other medications too so I’m surprised no Dr has ever told me not to take it with any other med! I take mine when I wake up( whatever time that may be due to the very bad insomnia) but I always seem to remember to take it just after I’ve eaten when I take folic acid, the pill, renatadine, sertraline all at the same time!

Trill in reply to Debs281172

I thought you had to take it on an empty stomach and it clashes with the pill.

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