Poor sleep linked with thyroid disorders. - Thyroid UK

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Poor sleep linked with thyroid disorders.

Bearo profile image
18 Replies

Before starting Levo my sleep was already poor. It got worse on 50mcg Levo, dropping to no more than four hours every night, but improved by an hour a night with each dose increase. Now, on 100mcg I get about six hours a night. It worries me that this is not enough sleep to maintain good health and I’ve not known the cause….being hypothyroid? Taking Levo? Something else, like adrenals, or high blood sugar, or even drinking my last cup of tea too late in the day.

Just read in a weekly email of articles from Cleveland Clinic:

that poor sleep is linked with thyroid problems. No other health issues were mentioned. ( tried to include a link but it won’t copy and paste).

This could be a reason for requesting a higher dose, but my FT4 was over range last time it was checked, my FT3 was high in range and TSH 0.1 .I’ve also lost some weight rather easily but no other symptoms. Ive reduced my Levo slightly with these results by skipping one dose a week (GP didn’t call to discuss the results - probably best that I did it myself rather than be forced into a big Levo drop).

But if being hypothyroid and poor sleep are linked how can sleep be improved?

18 Replies
Jazzw profile image

Thyroid hormone replacement is only part of the story.

What are your Vit D and Vit B12 levels like? Being deficient in one or both can cause sleep issues.

Bearo profile image
Bearo in reply to Jazzw

D was really low at diagnosis but should be over 100 now. Was 90 when I last checked but that was over a year ago. B12 I’m not sure, it was a bit under par, I supplemented for several months but now just take a B complex. I need to get them checked.

nellie237 profile image

Hi Bearo,

"how can sleep be improved?" I'm sorry I don't have the answer, but I can truly empathise.

FancyPants54 profile image

Sleep improves for many women with some HRT. It could be the missing link. It doesn't sound like your thyroid levels are low.

Bearo profile image
Bearo in reply to FancyPants54

I’m 68 - too late for HRT?

FancyPants54 profile image
FancyPants54 in reply to Bearo

No. You are not. Research and knowledge of HRT has come on a bit recently. There are slightly higher risks of clot for the first year or treatment if you start HRT 10 years or more after you went into menopause. But those risks are reduced if you avoid oestrogen tablets and use transdermal oestrogen though the skin, such as gel, patch or spray.

The problem with starting later is finding a GP who understands that it can be done and should be tried if the patient wants too.

I am a patient of the currently well known Dr Louise Newson who has a clinic in Stratford upon Avon. Her oldest new starter for HRT is 90. She treated herself to a consultation and prescription for her 90th birthday. You are never too old and if it suits you, you never have to stop it either. None of this 5 years and you will have to stop it nonsense that doctors dish out when they don't know what they are doing.

Bearo profile image
Bearo in reply to FancyPants54

Thanks, Fancy Pants, that’s really interesting!

ScotPoodle profile image

I take my T4 last thing at night and T3 first thing in the morning. I also keep a date beside my bed to eat if my sugar level drops during the night caused by eating a sugary dessert or alcohol in the evening

Bearo profile image
Bearo in reply to ScotPoodle

Ah, I sometimes have a Baileys or a ginger wine or glass of red in the evenings. Sometimes a chocolate, too, if it’s in the months after Christmas or my birthday. And I do tend to wake at 3 or 4 am so maybe it is a blood sugar dip. Thanks for that one.

susanmhall62 profile image

Since taking half of my 180 mg of Armour Thyroid in the morning & half at bedtime with magnesium I've been able to sleep through the night. I typically get about 8 hours of sleep. My sister sewed me some black-out curtains to make my bedroom pitch dark and they have made a world of difference. I also sleep with a YogaSleep Dohm white noise machine. It's amazing how restorative a solid night's sleep is for health.

Bearo profile image
Bearo in reply to susanmhall62

I’ve avoided Levo at bedtime because of the need for a full glass of water. That would just lead to the need to pee in the night, although I usually do-have to get up to pee anyway. And it’s after that I can’t get back to sleep.Also wary of no food or drink in the four hours before bed if taking Levo at night.

I do take the triple Magnesium but it doesn’t seem to make a difference.

Witchinghour profile image
Witchinghour in reply to Bearo

It's only 2 hours! I tend to just have hot water to drink after about 8pm these days.

Unless you've had a real feast for dinner then it's recommended to leave it a bit longer but 2 hours should be plenty after a snack or a normal dinner. :)

Bearo profile image
Bearo in reply to Witchinghour

Maybe I’m confusing food with certain supplements that need to four hours away from Levo?

June25 profile image
June25 in reply to susanmhall62

Hi Susan, thanks for making me aware of the YogaSleep Dohm machine. Can I ask which model you recommend and what to look out for? 1-speed, 2-speed, what matters?

susanmhall62 profile image
susanmhall62 in reply to June25

I got the Dohm Classic Natural Sound Machine 2 speed machine. You can rotate the top to raise or lower the sound. Very sturdy.

June25 profile image
June25 in reply to susanmhall62

Very helpful, thanks Susan.

dealsgap profile image

Have you checked your cortisol levels (4 sample saliva test) to see where they are? Low cortisol leads to your body using it's second hormone adrenaline which will wake you up in the early morning hours when cortisol "should" be at it's highest. Also, cortisol is linked with blood sugar issues which can also wake you up in/throughout the night.

Bearo profile image
Bearo in reply to dealsgap

I keep meaning to do the Cortisol test - I’ll get on with it!

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