The thyroid is a major hormone secreting organ of the body and it also regulates a lot of hormones. Abnormal problems in thyroid can lead to a disruption of hormones, which in turn, can take a bad turn for your sleep for which you may need to consult a sleep specialist. Let’s discuss how thyroid problems can lead to sleeping issues.
What Causes Thyroid Issues?
Hormones play a very important role in regulating our bodies. The thyroid gland is no different either. If your thyroid gland is not secreting adequate hormones or if it is secreting a lot of hormones at once, then there is a problem. Let’s talk about what types of thyroid problems there are and how they are caused, also we will discuss how they can affect our sleep.
Hyperthyroidism is a disorder in which the thyroid becomes enlarged and secretes a lot of hormones. This can cause a lot of facial changes like the bulging out of eyes, high blood pressure, swollen neck, etc. This can also lead to sleep apnea and other sleeping disorders which involve difficulty in falling asleep, night terrors, or cold sweats during sleep.
Hypothyroidism is a disease in which your thyroid gland is extremely underdeveloped and it doesn’t secrete enough hormones to regulate the bodily functions. An underdeveloped thyroid can lead to breathing problems and it can be more persistent in your sleep. You will not be able to fall asleep knowing that you feel like your breath is stopping. Also, you will experience insomnia with inability to fall asleep for a long time. It will take you up to an hour to be able to fall asleep.
Thyroid And Sleep
Let’s see how sleep can be affected by thyroid problems.
Less Sleep Means More Thyroid Problems
Hypothyroidism can lead to insomnia and sleep apnea, two major sleeping disorders that are very hard to combat and they can lead to a lot of disruption in your sleep. Moreover, if you are always sleepy and experiencing fatigue due to not sleeping much, then it can lead to aggravated thyroid issues in the future.
Thyroid Problems Lead To RLS
Hypothyroidism and other thyroid problems can lead to restless leg syndrome (RLS). Due to the inadequate secretion of hormones from the thyroid gland, you will feel a lot of unnecessary movements in your body, especially while you are sleeping. This is kind of like a diagnosing symptom of a thyroid problem. People who experience involuntary movements of their limbs during sleep may be suffering from some sort of thyroid issue. Restless leg syndrome is highly noticeable at night or evening when you are getting ready to settle down for sleep.
The Symptoms Don’t Show Overnight
The problem with thyroid disorders is that the symptoms are very subtle and they can remain that way for years while the problem deteriorates even more. This is the main reason why people with thyroid disorders don’t feel the symptoms coming to the surface until it’s too late. Although it is not fatal, the treatment plan does take a long time and recovery is prolonged. The symptoms of sleep issues, brittle nails, fatigue, etc. are usually overlooked when they should be taken seriously if they last long for more than a week.
Thyroid Problems Can Lead To Hypersomnia
Insomnia can also be caused by hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Hypersomnia is a much extreme and reversed version of regular insomnia where you just can’t seem to be awake. You will be sleepy all the time, no matter how much you rest or take naps throughout the day. This is a very serious symptom of hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism which usually goes overlooked and neglected. You need to take this condition very seriously otherwise the results are not going to be in your favor. Its best to consult an endocrinologist right away to get yourself checked and make sure that there is nothing wrong.
In a nutshell, thyroid problems can lead people to experience difficulties in sleeping and it can also lead to poor sleeping habits. So, if you want to get better sleep, it’s better to have your thyroid checked by going to a GP or a sleep disorder clinic in case you do have a problem with it.