Sleep can be tricky for many people suffering from low thyroid symptoms because of adrenal dysfunction. Studies have found that insomnia can be caused by a dysfunctional HPA axis and improper cortisol production. This can lead to cortisol spikes in the middle of the night, which may cause you to awake with a racing heart and too much nervous energy.
Good sleeping habits are vital to healing your thyroid and calming your dysfunctional adrenal glands.
Here are 15 ways to improve your sleep and support your thyroid
1. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.
Your body works on a rhythm that links the hormones needed to sleep and wake. Train your body to produce those hormones at the same time each day.
2. Remove TVs and other screens from your bedroom.
Use your bed for sleep. Blue light from screens prevents the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone.
3. Avoid caffeine.
It is best to refrain from caffeine altogether, as it induces cortisol release. However, it is imperative to refrain from caffeine after 12 pm so the body can begin to slow down.
4. Avoid alcohol.
Initially, alcohol can help you fall asleep; however, alcohol spikes blood sugar. When the high blood sugar eventually wears off in the middle of the night, cortisol can cause wakefulness, anxiety, and night sweats.
5. Get regular exposure to daylight for at least 20 minutes per day.
Daylight increases production of melatonin at night, which improves sleep behavior.
6. Do not eat within 3 hours of going to bed.
Eating before bed can cause wakefulness and diverts your body’s resources to digestion instead of restoration.
7. Exercise before dinner.
Exercise generates energy and endorphins when the body should be slowing down.
8. Keep a diary By Your Bed
Remedy mental “spin” by jotting down anxiety-inducing concerns on your to-do list an hour before bedtime. This can help your mind settle and release worries.
9. Stretch before bed.
Stretching helps relax the body and makes it easier to fall asleep.
10. Take 200 to 400 mg of magnesium citrate or glycinate before bed.
These supplements relax the nervous system and muscles and can also support regular bowel movements.
11. Take 1-3mg of melatonin.
Melatonin is a natural hormone that can help you fall asleep and support your sleep rhythm.
12. Listen to guided meditation or soft music.
This can calm the mind and regulate breathing to help you fall asleep.
13. Take a hot bath.
While increasing your body temperature before bed can improve sleep, adding magnesium-rich Epsom salts with calming essential oils is even better
Magnesium is absorbed through the skin and can relax muscles and induce sleep. Adding aromatherapy oils like lavender to your bath can also reduce stress and calm the body.
14. Create a calm environment in your room.
This does not mean that you must remodel your bedroom. Create relaxation by removing clutter and maintaining organization and comfort in your bedroom.
15. Create a dark environment.
If you have ambient light in your room from street lights or other sources, install blackout shades or wear an eye mask. Light is a trigger for wakefulness. While it can be helpful to naturally wake up with the gradual sunrise, you can keep a dark room and install a natural sunlight alarm clock next to your bed to mimic natural waking.