Thyroid UK
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Could any of you lovely lot help me get to the bottom of this pattern? Thanks, you're brill!

Basically I've been having intermittent sleep problems.

Background info: am hypo, increased from 50 to 75mg levo in Sept. diagnosed with flat adrenals in Jan, taking b vits & liquorice/ginseng to help. My TSH, T3 & 4 are fine, but my tissue uptake is poor, diagnosed in Jan too.

Sleep problems started after increase, peaking 6-8 weeks after, then have got into pattern of increasing breaks between, so had a good month up to Xmas, then a bad week early jan, been fine since then, now having another bad week. The length of time between bouts of sleeplessness is increasing. It's specifically that I can't get to sleep. Also when that's happening I get more irritable/anxious/stressed than usual about things that wouldn't usually bother me, plus feel really flat.

I can't work out if its thyroxine build up/toxicity or my adrenals, any thoughts?

In between times I'm feeling generally quite ok, just desperate to shake off this issue and move on.

Any suggestions much appreciated.


A very tired Lola x

7 Replies

Now that I sleep mostly well, I have noticed that I have one or two bad nights each month. I guess that's as hormone levels suddenly change.

When do you take your thyroxine? Some people find they sleep better if they take their thyroxine at night.

Your symptoms could very well be down to your adrenals.

Have you also had your iron, ferritin, vitamin B12, folate and vitamin D checked. The first 3 in particular can be important for thyroid hormones to get into the cells to be used so it is important to make sure these levels are good (definitely not low in the range).

I hope that helps a little. Sorry I can't give you a definitive answer, just more questions!

Carolyn x


Hi, thanks Carolyn, I have had my levels checked of all the vits and do have absorption problems, but take additional supplements of D3, B12 and iron.

I take my thyroxine in the morning, but as I sleep well quite a lot of the time I haven't changed to night. It's a weird thing, like my body just refuses to shut down and sleep, no matter how tired I am.

Bloody adrenals, could do without those little glands, they're a slow burner to heal alright!

L x


Yes, it can take a long time to heal :( It might be worth seeing if it does happen near the end/beginning of your cycle. I get insomnia like clockwork every month for one night. Very weird!

Meditation or relaxation might help on those nights. Don't stay in bed tossing and turning. It's best to get up, get a warm (caffeine-free) drink and then go back to bed half an hour later. Sometimes you just have to break that cycle.

I hope you find a solution :)

Carolyn x


Yes, this happens to me too (tired but won't shut down) and my adrenals are bad. I find taking levo at night helps. I just sleep better.

A few years ago I did an exercise programme where we were asked to go to bed by 10:30pm and not to use artificial light after 8 or 9. It transformed my life. I also cut the caffeine right down. I need to eat dinner earlier and prepare for bed hours before I think I do and that all gets me ready to drop off. Yoga can be helpful - plough and child poses - and any kind of exercise that leaves my limbs relaxed and floppy. (I was brilliantly well-rested and then I moved in with my partner, who often doesn't get home until very late, goes to bed late and is instantly asleep, and I've messed up my sleep patterns again!)

Sorry, this is probably all stuff you've tried already! Nothing revolutionary here.

Do you know what your latest TSH is on your new dose of thyroxine? And what is poor tissue uptake (sorry, I don't know what it means).


Hi, thanks for this, it's always good to know you're not the only one. I haven't tried my thyroxine at night, might be worth a go. I've got pretty good sleep hygiene, no computers etc in the evening and no caffeine, relaxation etc. mostly I sleep fine, but when I don't nothing on earth seems to make a difference.

The tissue thing was something a private dr tested for with a ursine test. Essentially my blood levels are fine, TSH around 1-2 usually plus in range T3&4. But that's not getting into the tissues of my body, so it's not used properly and can build up in the bloodstream causing some sort of toxicity (I think that's right). So I'm not too sure of its that that's causing the sleep problem or my adrenals.

L x


I was told not to take B supplements or D or Magnesium in the evenings because they can disrupt sleep so I take all of those at around 11am.. 4 hours after my Levo and I sleep really well.. unless.. I forget to take them and take them later.. so if I take my supplemental vitamins and minerals say at 2pm or later.. I do have sleep issues.. but that might be just me.. we are all different.. didn't sleep last night at ALL after first day of 75 of Levo but am certain that was because I was so excited that my GP finally let me have another 25!

One thing I do know about sleep issues is that you really must train yourself not to worry about it.. if you're in bed thinking "oh God, I'm awake, and I should be asleep" you won't get to sleep because you're worrying.. so do train yourself to say "I'm awake, but I'll be fine, as long as I get a bit of sleep and maybe catch up tomorrow night"... Very important indeed not to let yourself get hung up on it... It is miserable, so hope it sorts itself out for you


Thanks for the reply. Mines a weird one because I do everything the same every day with supplements etc, but I just get these bouts where I can't get to sleep, the gaps between which are getting longer (thankfully), and they seem to happen no matter what I do. I know what you mean about worrying about it, it's hard not to but it is important. I actually find the night after my first good nights sleep (following not sleeping) is the worst for that. I think it's either my adrenals or not processing the thyroxine properly, I don't know which.


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