Is Your Thyroid To Blame For Your Sleep Issues?
Many people with sleep issues suffer from low thyroid function also called hypothyroidism. In the low thyroid, state the cells of your body can’t relax, and the body overproduces stress hormones including cortisol and adrenalin. Especially too high adrenaline makes it difficult to fall and stay asleep. People with low thyroid function often suffer from low blood sugar issues, which also contribute to sleep problems.
Why Low thyroid People can’t relax.
The problem for hypothyroid people is that they can’t relax because relaxation takes energy. In the low energy state of hypothyroidism, cells are constantly overexcited. Hypothyroid people often feel very tired but they have trouble sleeping and their quality of sleep is also low. In contrast, the high-energy state of good thyroid function makes cells able to relax and regenerate, which makes them ready to work when needed. You can learn more about the consequences of low and high thyroid function in our Hypothyroid Treatment Program.
Thyroid function & Stress Hormones
If you have low thyroid function you are likely producing high amounts of adrenaline and cortisol. People with hypothyroidism often compensation for the low cellular energy with higher productions of these stress hormones. Thus instead of running on good thyroid function, your body is running on adrenaline and cortisol instead.
It is not uncommon for a hypothyroid person to produce 20 times more adrenalin compared to a person with good thyroid function. Adrenalin increases the pulse rate and can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Low blood sugar and Sleep problems
Sleep problems where there is a tendency to wake up frequently are linked to low blood sugar during the night. As explained in detail in our Hypothyroid Treatment Program low blood sugar issues are often caused by hypothyroidism.
If you have issues with low blood sugar as well as sleep problems it is important to take a look at your thyroid function, as well as using a diet that stabilizes blood sugar and supports thyroid function. The diet principles we recommend are based on the research of Dr. Ray Peat. I have used Dr. Ray’s Peat diet principles to overcome my own hypothyroidism as well as severe blood sugar problems.
Bedtime meals to improve sleep
According to Dr. Ray Peat having a healthy meal at bedtime is advisable in the case of sleep problems. Often it is recommended not to eat before bed, but actually eating a small meal before bedtime can significantly improve sleep, as it stabilizes blood sugar and prevents the rise of the stress hormones (especially adrenalin) that can wake you up.
A good bedtime meal for improving sleep is a meal that has salt and sugar and even better if it also contains high-quality saturated fats and good protein.
Examples of good bedtime meals for improving sleep are warm milk with honey or sugar (you can also add a little salt), chocolate milk with marshmallows. Homemade ice cream, salty cheese with fruit, orange juice with a little added salt. You can learn more about meals for improving sleep and thyroid function in our Thyroid Diet Meal guide.
You might things these diet recommendations sound strange, and that is because the Ray Peat diet is completely different from other health diets out there.
dr. Ray Peat’s Diet improves sleep
Dr. Ray Peat’s diet advice is based on a deep understanding of how the body works on the biochemical level. Dr. Ray Peat’s diet principles focus on providing your cells with the nutrition they need to improve their energy-producing capacity. According to Dr. Ray Peat, high cellular energy production is the key to good health.
The Ray Peat diet is getting more and more known. Our Hypothyroid Treatment Program goes into detail about the science behind Dr. Ray Peat’s thyroid supporting diet recommendations, whereas our Hypothyroidism Diet Plan presents the Ray Peat diet in a resumé form. You can also get thyroid supporting meal ideas from our Thyroid Diet Meal Guide. You can also listen to our thyroid interviews to get a better understanding of our health recommendations.
Four Steps to Improve Sleep
A night of good sleep is important for your overall health and well-being. If your sleep pattern gets disrupted you are likely to have several health issues as a result. Here are four steps you can take to improve your sleep.
1. Test Your Thyroid Function:
If you have serious sleep issues, it is important to check your thyroid function, as low thyroid function leads to high production of stress hormones, which prevents good sleep. You can use our Home Thyroid Test to evaluate if you might suffer from hypothyroidism. You can also learn about which blood tests are available for testing your thyroid function in our Hypothyroid Treatment Program.
2. Use Dr. Ray Peat’s Diet
The right diet is very important for good sleep. We recommend using Dr. Ray Peat’s diet principles, for improving thyroid function and hormonal balance, preventing stress and inflammation as well as improving sleep. Our Hypothyroid Treatment Program goes into detail about the Ray peat diet.
3. Thyroid replacement therapy:
In some cases, thyroid medication is needed to improve your thyroid function and prevent sleep problems. We recommend reading our blog post about thyroid medication and also take a look at our Natural Desiccated Thyroid Guide, which informs you about over-the-counter thyroid supplements.
4. Get enough light
Getting enough sunlight is important for good health. And living in a dark and cloudy environment increases the production of stress hormones, which has many negative effects on the body including leading to poor sleep. According to Dr. Ray Peat red light therapy is an option to improve your health if you are not getting enough natural light. We recommend reading our blog post on light therapy.
5. Booking a thyroid and sleep consultation
If you have serious sleep issues, it is a sign something is out of balance and should be attended to. A consultation session with our thyroid specialist is a good idea.