Root-cause for insomnia in conjunction with Hashimoto's disease
As always, first things first, I am not a doctor this is not medical advice.
This is my personal and professional experience mixed with hundreds of hours of self-study, trial and error.
If you are reading this article,you are probably looking for alternatives to Xanax and Prozac, in order to fix your insomnia. You might be disillusioned by the help that some doctors have offered so far. You paid for all kinds of test, yet the answer is still to be found. No one seems to be able to put the puzzle pieces together.
Now let's increase that difficulty level and add Thyroid issues and auto-immune diseases such as Hashimoto's to the mix. I have been there. Sitting at the doctor's office crying for help, while all he had to offer was a prescription for sleeping pills. That would sort me out, he said.
If I would have followed his advice, I would be a drug addict by now. Instead I followed my instincts. Fast forward a couple of years and I sleep deep and sound. Barely anything can wake me and I fall asleep within minutes. I never thought that would be possible.
My list of symptoms was long and you might relate to some:
-insomnia -night sweats -sugar and salt cravings -weight gain -no weight-loss despite meal plan and work out -moodiness -low libido -brain fog
… and those are just the highlights, really.
Those are non-specific symptoms that could mean anything and nothing.
A diagnosis very much depends on the context of your individual health history.
Each person is different, therefore some of these tips may be of help, others may not. There is no one-size fits all package for insomnia.
If you like assistance in putting the pieces of your insomnia puzzle back together and to get to the root-cause of your sleepless nights, click here to begin with an initial, free session.
Now, let's see what it takes to cook up the perfect storm for insomnia:
Insomnia is a word for many conditions such as:
-not being able to fall asleep
-not being able to stay asleep or sleep through the night
-waking through the night
-not being able to get back into sleep
Additionally, people suffer from weird dreams, nightmares and restless sleep. While being half awake our thoughts are racing. Irrational thoughts and negative imaginations fueling into anxiety, panic and depression. Observing the clock as the hours ticking by is not exactly helping to relax. How many sheep does one need to count anyways?!
Sleep is where the magic functions of our body happen such as:
-housekeeping functions of the body such as natural detoxing
-repair of cells and tissue
-reset, restore and rejuvenate
-processing of thoughts and feelings
-physical and mental healing
Sleep is of utmost importance in our circadian rhythm, which has been programmed and adjusted since thousands of years. It is our body clock, which works for and with us. But never works against us.
Sadly, modern lifestyle requires to overwrite our natural circadian rhythm. Insomnia is just one of many symptoms.
Consequences of little to no little sleep:
-lower immune system
-slower healing response
-low energy, exhaustion
-long term consequences due to chronic sleep deprivation -feeling tired but wired
…just to name a few.
For the ones with Thyroiditis and other chronic illnesses, even though they slept up to 10 hours, they still feel tired in the morning. Waking up and feeling rested just doesn’t seem to be in the cards.
For some not even a coffee is going to be enough to wake the desire to get out of bed.
But what is wrong, you might be wondering.
Your cortisol levels, they are off.
They are the regulators of your circadian rhythm, the body clock. Supposed to be high in the morning to get you out of bed and low at night in order to allow you to fall asleep.
Cortisol can be tested if you feel the need, for example with a saliva test. But if you suffer any form of insomnia combined with stress or an auto-immune disease it is pretty safe to assume you have some issues with disrupted cortisol levels.
There are a ton of lifestyle factors that mess with your body clock and therefore with your cortisol levels:
-blood sugar level and spikes -nutritional density of meals -stress
-deficiencies -diet -exercise -food sensitivities and allergies -parasites -gut dysbiosis
Let's put the spotlight on the tired but wired feeling:
Cortisol is a steroid hormone. It is produced and released by your adrenal glands. Cortisol plays part in creating the energy for a fight or flight response together with adrenaline.
Just back in ancient times, we would run off that energy. It would be put to use. These days, we sit at a desk and the body can not even differentiate between a real thread or maybe just a thought of it. Nor does it know if it is stress at the office or a potentially life-threatening situation.
Therefore, it is important to learn as part of stress management how we perceive and respond to stress.
But where does excess cortisol go when we are not running for our life?
It stays in the body.
We have a spike of blood sugar levels that are either absorbed with help of insulin or reabsorbed as tummy fat in case it can not be digested or burnt.
Here you find one link between adrenal fatigue, insomnia and weight-loss issues. Because excess sugar paired with cortisol release will be stored as tummy fat or around the thighs.
This cortisol and stress induced blood sugar spike can also be the reason for feeling very quickly exhausted as the blood sugar curve calms down. The crash that many experience. If we permanently challenge our adrenal glands by stress or aggravate them with massive caffeine consumption, we interfere with the adrenal function and therefore cortisol levels. It will lead to a chain reaction that can implicate your quality of sleep or your energy level throughout the day. Additionally, cortisol is linked to electrolyte related functions. Excess cortisol can cause salt cravings, for example.
Your adrenals might produce too little or too much cortisol at the wrong time of the day. They might be worn out or burned out by the constant stress of overproduction. Adrenal fatigue or even burn can create a set of symptoms as a warning. Nutrition plays a vital part in our body functions. Whatever we digest will form future cells and hormones.
Poor diet will cause deficiencies. If you suffer for example from Hashimoto's disease, you most likely already have impaired absorption of nutrients.
Therefore, insomnia is even more likely occurence due to nutritional deficiencies, for example of B-Vitamins and Magnesium among others. That concludes, gut health and nutrition are two important factors in your root-cause analysis towards insomnia.
Just like a baby, if we get the mix right throughout the day of nutrition, cuddles, rest, enforced by a routine and attention then the baby will sleep through the night, so will we. If you need help to create your individual plan for: -a supporting diet -adrenal gland support -gut repair and healing protocol -electrolyte balance -smart supplementing
Factors, that influence quality of sleep:
-nutrition -heavy and greasy meals at night time -high carb and sugar before bedtime
-deficiencies especially magnesium, vitamins B, C and D
-gut health or absence thereof for example parasites, opportunistic gut bacteria
-disturbed adrenal and cortisol levels that mess up the circadian rhythm, they leave us tired but wired
-caffeine and alcohol consumption
The environment of your bedroom contributes to your sleep quality:
-use black out curtains it needs to be fully dark
-no blue light or any light sources in the room
-switch of all electronical devices not just stand by
-electric currents and electromagnetic waves influence your sleep -wooden bedframe instead of metal -explore options of weighted blanket or earthing mattress pads
Tips for a deeper and restful sleep:
- set a functioning daytime routine, info here
-bedroom rules: go to bed early, don’t sleep in, set alarm get up directly no snooze button
-stick to a bedtime routine for example warm drink, warm shower, no bluelight 2 hrs prior to bedtime
-exercise regularly -practice deep belly breathing click here to learn how
-body and colon cleanse twice a year
-de-stress, whatever that means for you, hobby, sports, a forest walk, quality time with family, an extra nap, etc.supplements if needed
-drink more water -practice grounding\earthing
-nutrition is key. -Your dinner should be designed to feed you through the night, not being too greasy nor too high on sugar.
-Journaling before bedtime in order to leave thoughts behind and close the day. To finish on a positive note it must include 3 positive thoughts of that day.
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If you feel like you want to get to the root-cause of your insomnia please click here to book your initial session.