Part of the solution is simple when it comes to fighting the fatigue that often accompanies hypothyroidism, a common type of thyroid disease. But understanding what to do and then doing it are different, many people still don’t get the sleep they deserve. Adults need at least seven hours of sleep each night, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, but a 2013 Gallup survey found that 40 percent of Americans don’t rest nearly as much.
Hypothyroidism is a deficiency in thyroid hormones that causes many bodily functions to slow down. “Thyroid hormones help regulate metabolism, determine heart rate and are also involved in the function of virtually every organ system in the entire body,” says Kristine Arthur, MD, an internist in Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley, Calif. “Since thyroid hormones are involved in numerous bodily processes, when they’re reduced you can have both daylight and nighttime symptoms, including fatigue during the day and inadequate sleep at night.”
Besides causing daytime fatigue, hypothyroidism increases the risk of developing sleeping disorders. “Approximately 30 percent of individuals with hypothyroidism also have sleep apnea,” says Robert S. Rosenberg, DO, medical director of the Sleep Disorders Center of Prescott Valley, Ariz. and author of Sleep Soundly Every Night; Feel Fantastic Daily. “In this group of people, it’s the drop in oxygen and the struggle to breathe against a closed airway which disrupts their sleep.” Hypothyroidism also prevents the deepest, most important sleep, Dr. Rosenberg says. This may be an additional contributor to daytime fatigue in people with hypothyroidism, ” he says.
The very first step in treating fatigue and sleep issues in hypothyroidism is to balance their thyroid hormones. “First, anyone with known or suspected hypothyroidism needs to have their hormone levels checked and managed carefully by a healthcare professional,” Dr. Arthur states. “This has to be achieved by a qualified and experienced specialist. You should not attempt to improve thyroid function by yourself with over-the-counter supplements or medications.” It’s also important to remember that if your medication dose is too large, you might start to experience sleeplessness.
Beyond treating the root cause of hypothyroidism, Rosenberg says the best advice for getting better sleep is the same as it is for anyone that occasionally or regularly lies awake at night. Here are some tips
If you continue to struggle with sleep difficulties, speak with your healthcare professional in order to determine the root cause of your sleeplessness and fatigue to help you get the top quality rest you deserve.
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By Dr. Alex Jimenez
Overall health and wellness are essential towards maintaining the proper mental and physical balance in the body. From eating a balanced nutrition as well as exercising and participating in physical activities, to sleeping a healthy amount of time on a regular basis, following the best health and wellness tips can ultimately help maintain overall well-being. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables can go a long way towards helping people become healthy.
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