It is one of those cruel things, you know the best thing for your hyperthyroidism-induced fatigue is to sleep more, but knowing what you should be doing and actually doing it are two very, very different things. Very different indeed.
Sleeping pills and other pharmacological answers can help but where possible it is always better to try and get as much natural sleep as possible. After all sedation and sleep are two separate animals. If you do go down the medication route always, always do so in consultation with your medical caregiver.
So what can individuals with hypothyroidism do to get better sleep naturally? Well, beyond treating the fundamental cause of your hyperthyroidism the answer isn’t hugely different from what non-sufferers need to do to get better sleep either. Read on below I will let you in some common, and some uncommon, ways to improve your slumber…
Exercise, get a little sweaty
Now, I know exercise is often the very last thing you will feel like doing when you are suffering from fatigue or if you’ve had another night of insomnia. But you need to break the loop somehow and exercise is a great way to start doing this.
You don’t have to go out and run a marathon but just getting up and out will do wonders for your ability to sleep. Go for a brisk walk in the morning, do some light swimming or simply climb that hill behind your house. Just get the blood pumping a little bit.
Stretch it out, get your yoga on
One of the best forms of exercise for individuals with sleep problems is yoga. Why? Because you can do it just before bed and it won’t flood your body with pesky adrenaline like a going for a jog will.
Yoga’s dual focus on deep breathing and deep stretching is perfect to tire the body out while simultaneously slowing the heart rate. And don’t worry if you are new to yoga you don’t have to tie yourself into a human pretzel to get the benefit out of it, the internet is full of entry level classes and even ones designed specifically to induce sleep.
Get outside, see the sun
When we are tired and feeling blue often the last thing we want to do is go outside and face the world. This however is exactly what you have to do.
Daylight has a very important role on helping to regulate your melatonin levels and re-calibrate your body’s circadian rhythms, these being the things that tell your brain when to alert and when to be drowsy.
And if the outside world is truly just one step too far today, then at the very least make sure you open your curtains and let the outside-in.
Have yourself a kiwi, or two
Yes, you did hear me correctly! I did warn some of these tips were going to be uncommon.
Chowing down on a couple of kiwi fruits an hour before heading to bed can increase your chances of a good night’s rest.
A study in Taiwan found that the humble green fruit, New Zealand’s most famous export after incredibly handsome rugby players, can in fact be a secret weapon in the war against insomnia.
The exact reasons why kiwis have such a somnambulatory effect aren’t clear but the researchers thing it could be to do with the extremely high levels of antioxidants packed into the potassium-heavy superfruits. It’s time to go green!
Reclaim your bedroom, ban those screens
Your bedroom should be for one thing alone, sleep. It certainly should not be a substitute office or a makeshift cinema. Banning screens from your room will be one of the best decision you will ever make for your sleep.
All screens, no matter the size, release dastardly blue light that plays absolute havoc with the unevolved caveman part of your brain that controls your alertness levels. The solution, leave them at the door. Yep, all of them! Tha hilarious tweet you just came up with about Tyrion from Game of Thrones can wait for the morning!
Avoid late night meals, opt for some healthy snacks
Where possible always try to avoid eating just before you go to bed. And especially avoid big meals.
Protein-heavy meals and fatty foods are quite a lot of effort for the digestive system to handle. When you’re experiencing sleep problems you want your body to be as relaxed as possible when you head to bed, this won’t be the case if your gut is churning its way through a cheeseburger or a t-bone steak.
Try to give yourself at least a two-hour window between chowing down and bedding down. If you’re peckish before bed, have an aforementioned kiwi, or maybe try another well known ‘sleep inducer’ like cherries, bananas or walnuts.
Well, there you have it – a few simple but quite effective ways to increase your chances of nodding off tonight. Remember when you health is at stake getting enough rest is essential. Treat your body and bedtimes with more respect and in turn the nights will begin to get a little easier. Sweet dreams…hopefully!