The Connection Between Thyroid and Sleep
August 21, 2023
How Thyroid Issues Can Affect Your Sleep
Did you know getting the right amount of sleep is a biological necessity? Good sleep promotes good health so understanding how a lack of sleep affects your health can contribute to your health and well-being. Although we spend one-third of our lives sleeping, statistics show up to 70 million Americans may have an inability to obtain enough sleep. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says adults need anywhere between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per day. Frequent waking from sleep interferes with our body’s ability to progress to the deeper stages of sleep. During deep sleep, your body releases growth hormones and works to build and repair muscles, bones, and tissue. Deep sleeping also promotes immune system functioning. There are many factors that can contribute to an inability to get a good night's sleep. One that you may not be paying enough attention to is your Thyroid. If insomnia is affecting your well-being, testing your thyroid function may give you important answers.
How Thyroid function is connected to sleep
The thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland located at the front of the neck. The thyroid produces hormones that regulate how the body uses energy and affect nearly every organ in the body. Thyroid hormones have a direct effect on the brain and can affect sleep patterns. A thyroid imbalance can affect your circadian rhythm, the internal body clock that is responsible for your sleep-wake cycle. Balancing these hormones is vital to a wide range of physiological processes, such as breathing, heart rate, digestion, and body temperature.
Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone. The condition is often referred to as an overactive thyroid. An overactive thyroid can cause difficulty sleeping (insomnia) due to arousal during sleep from nervousness or irritability, as well as muscle weakness and constant feelings of tiredness. Hyperthyroidism may also lead to rapid heart rate, night sweats, and frequent urges to urinate, which can disrupt sleep. According to current U.S. estimates an overactive thyroid, affects about 1 in 100 people in the United States.
Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. The condition is often referred to as an underactive thyroid. Symptoms of an underactive thyroid include fatigue, weight gain, constipation, dry skin, and sensitivity to cold temperatures. Hypothyroidism can lead to a rapid heart rate, night sweats, and anxiety, all of which can disrupt your ability to relax or get a good night’s sleep, leaving you fatigued. According to current U.S. estimates, 1 in 20 people aged 12 and older have hypothyroidism.
Thyroid and Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a condition that causes an uncomfortable sensation in the legs that urges people to move them around. It typically happens in the evening or nighttime hours when you're sitting or lying down. Moving eases the unpleasant feeling temporarily. Because the disorder is so disruptive, RLS can lead to significant sleep loss and daytime impairments. Studies have suggested that an overactive thyroid may be a contributing factor to RLS. While not everyone with hyperthyroidism has RLS, cases of RLS are often more severe in people with hyperthyroidism.
Is Hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism causing your insomnia?
The first step to determining if your difficulty sleeping or staying asleep is related to a thyroid disorder is to check your thyroid function. Simple blood tests can measure your thyroid hormone levels to determine if your thyroid is not performing optimally. Request A Test offers a convenient affordable option for anyone who needs thyroid testing. Our menu includes a number of individual thyroid blood tests as well as packages that bundle multiple tests for a more thorough screening with additional savings. These tests can be ordered without having to visit a doctor or go through an insurance provider. Just pick the test or tests that best suit your needs and go to one of the thousands of testing sites Request A Test partners with across the US. Most tests see results in just a few business days so you can get the answers you need fast. Once you have your test results, you can work with your doctor to determine how to take the next step.
Thyroid Tests for Insomnia
There are a number of different thyroid tests available so knowing where to start when ordering your own lab testing may be confusing. These are some of the most common blood tests used to evaluate thyroid function or identify the cause of a thyroid disorder.
TSH Test: Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) is produced in the pituitary gland. TSH tells the thyroid how much T4 and T3 to make. A high TSH level is often a symptom of hypothyroidism or an underactive thyroid. This means that your thyroid isn’t making enough hormone and as a result, the pituitary keeps making and releasing TSH into your blood.
T4 Test: Thyroxine or T4, is the primary hormone produced by the thyroid gland. An unusually high or low blood level of T4 may mean you have hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism respectively. It is often more useful to measure the free or unbound portion of T4 that is available for the body to use rather than the total T4.
Thyroid Peroxidase and Thyroglobulin Antibody Blood Test: An over or underactive thyroid may be caused by an autoimmune disorder such as Hashimoto's or Grave's Disease that causes the body's immune system to mistakenly target cells and tissues in the thyroid gland. Testing for Thyroid Antibodies can help determine the cause of thyroid issues.
The value of good sleep can't be understated. If you are having difficulty sleeping, finding the cause can be a difficult and frustrating journey. Blood testing for thyroid disorders may be able to give you important information that will lead you on the path to improving your sleep cycles. To get started in taking charge of your health, visit Request A Test online at www.requestatest.com or call our team during business hours at 888-732-2348.
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