Sleep problems like insomnia can be caused by many different factors, including chronic pain, acid reflux, and depression. But did you know that your issue could also be triggered by a small gland called the thyroid? The thyroid is responsible for regulating an important hormone that keeps your body warm and help organs function properly. If your thyroid isn’t working correctly, it can cause a lot of problems, including getting in the way of your sleep. There are two types of thyroid conditions: overactive or underactive. How the gland impacts your sleep depends on which condition you have.
When your gland produces too much thyroid hormone, this is known as hyperthyroidism. The condition causes different bodily functions to speed up, leading you to feel wired and jittery. Symptoms may also include feeling anxious and experiencing a racing pulse, making it hard to get into a relaxed state. As a result, people who have hyperthyroidism may have trouble sleeping. When the condition first occurs, it might not seem like a problem since an overactive thyroid makes it seem as though you have endless energy, thanks to a revving metabolism. That sensation is short-lived, however, and as time goes on, you’ll start to feel really tired.
When the thyroid gland is underactive and not producing enough thyroid hormone, this is known as hypothyroidism. The lack of this important hormone causes processes throughout the body to slow down, making you feel tired more easily. For people with this condition, even a solid seven to nine hours of sleep at night doesn’t shake the constant sense of exhaustion. Some sufferers also report feeling like they are stuck in a fog or haze, without the ability to think sharply.
The good news is that for many people with a thyroid disorder, medication can help reduce negative symptoms and improve sleep issues. See your doctor if you’re concerned: A simple blood test can determine if you have the appropriate levels of thyroid hormones in your body.