For so many of us with low-functioning thyroids,
we have a bit of a love::hate relationship with sleep.
Either, we sleep so hard that it’s impossible to drag ourselves out of bed.
Sleep evades us. We have a hard time falling asleep, it’s challenging to stay asleep
and all we really want is a good night’s sleep.
And it all seems to get a bit more aggravated as we age.
Toss in the stress of work, a couple of kids, mis-communication with a partner and
you’ve got a sleep quagmire. (Can you relate?)
Benefits of Sleep for Thyroid Types
The benefits of sleep have been touted for a looooong time.
Sleep is known to:
• Boost the immune system to stave off colds and flus
• Better weight control
• Help with memory and learning
• Improve mood
But there is one thyroid factoid that is particularly important when we’re talking
about sleep and how it affects your hormones.
Here’s What YOU Need to Know...
Your endocrine system gives your body a certain rhythm. It helps us to ramp up
during the day and it also helps us to calm down in the evening. Just like the tides of the ocean,
our hormone levels have the tendency to rise and fall throughout a day’s cycle.
Most people don’t know that our TSH (the hormone your pituitary releases to stimulate your thyroid)
is no exception. Your pituitary releases TSH in spurts.
Even though we’ve come to know (and love/trust) TSH values, they are not static throughout the day.
In fact, TSH output tends to be highest at night! Dr Philip Young- author of Thyroid: Guardian of Health- notes that
many hypothyroid patients actually will test hyperthyroid in the evening hours.
Bottom line: A good night’s sleep will help your body’s natural rhythm and improve thyroid function over time.
So……What To do?
Even with all the pre-sleep rituals, quality zzzzz’s can evade us. Every now and then, in the middle of the night
we find ourselves staring at the clock like it’s our worst enemy- just counting down the hours
until we need to be up and at ‘em.
If you find yourself tossing and turning, here’s my two-step formula to lull yourself back to sleep.
1. Relax:Waking up in the middle of the night is one of the easiest ways to trigger panic.
Suddenly, all sorts of debilitating thoughts creep in. Most sound like this:
Oh my gosh, I’m going to be sooo tired tomorrow.
I’ve got so much to do, I can’t believe this is happening or
I have got to get back to sleep…..
and then those thoughts roll over and over onto each other as if we can’t press the stop button.
Sometimes the anxiety of not sleeping just makes matters worse. Step 1 of the two-part formula is to
take a breath and re-wire your thoughts. Rather than go into panic mode, fall into acceptance.
Instead of going off on the stress, blame, get mad at yourself-for-something-you-really-can’t-control train,
shift your thoughts to something like this:
OK I’m awake. I trust my body and I trust that I am getting the perfect
amount of sleep for me. Then, go into this simple meditation practice.
2. The Practice:Clasp your hands behind your head. Close your eyes and soften your brow.
Just breathe. Rotate your head to the left, keeping your eyes closed and soft.
Gently hold this rotation for 3-5 minutes (sometimes I even doze off here).
No need to time it, just hold the rotation. When you feel ready, go ahead and slowlyrotate
your head to center, pause for a moment and then rotate your head to the right.
I’ve used this quick little practice time and time again with no-fail. Rotating the head in this way
calms the nervous system and relaxes the mind. Eventually, it will eventually bring you into a peaceful slumber.
Share the Zzzzz’s
This past year- I realized that I just can’t do it alone. I put social media on hold so that
I can focus 100% on my true-blue followers [the peeps who have signed-up here to be part of my on-line tribe].
Soooooo, if you found this post helpful, interesting or even inspiring, please take a minute
and share it with your friends by clicking on the links below. Sharing is one of the best ways that
we can spread the zzzzzz’s and keep the tribe going and growing. Thank YOU!
Sending you peaceful nights and sweet dreams!