It’s just science: Thyroid hormone activity sharply increases when we suffer from sleep deprivation. This increase is central to sleep deprivation physiology.
How Does Stress Affect the Body?
We deal with stress every day. When we are stressed, our bodies release the hormone cortisol. Too much cortisol can interfere with thyroid hormone production: It can stimulate the thyroid to work harder to create sufficient amounts of thyroid hormone.
When we are stressed, our mood changes quickly and we find ourselves gaining weight. Does that mean we’re stressed, or do we have hypothyroidism? These are symptoms of both stress and hypothyroidism. Consult a medical professional to rule out the underactive thyroid condition of hypothyroidism; however, these things can feed each other—stress can aggravate hypothyroidism, and we can be stressed because of the hypothyroidism symptoms.
The Negative Effects of Sleep Deprivation
Many people with an existing thyroid condition have sleep issues. We know very well that not getting enough sleep each night can negatively affect our health in many different ways. Cortisol levels increase when we are stressed; and stress keeps us from quality sleep. On a regular day for most of us, cortisol levels should normally be at the highest levels in the morning, and then should steadily decrease throughout the day and be at the lowest levels right before bedtime. That high cortisol level will help give us the energy we need to get through the day, while low cortisol levels will help us to fall and stay asleep.
Efforts to maintain normal cortisol levels will require just a bit of discipline. The most important thing to do is to get 7 to 9 hours of good sleep every night. There are of course other factors which can affect cortisol levels, such as eating refined foods and sugars frequently, as well as not doing a good job of managing the stress in your life and not getting enough exercise. Consider natural sleep aids containing Ashwagandha, an adaptogenic herb made from the roots and leaves of the Withania somnifera plant, clinically proven to bring cortisol into its proper balance naturally and safely, before using Rx drugs with harmful side effects.
Let’s not mince words: Not getting sufficient sleep can lead to the development of a thyroid condition. A good 7 to 9 hours sleep every night gives our bodies a chance to recover from a hard day’s work and rejuvenates us so that we are able to take on our stressors the next day.