Does Hashimoto’s Cause Insomnia?

If you’ve been wondering whether Hashimoto’s causes insomnia, the answer is a resounding yes. In a video by Martin Rutherford, he explains that a questionnaire filled out by patients asks about symptoms of hyperthyroidism, such as anxiety, heart palpitations, and night sweats. One of the questions specifically asks about insomnia, which is directly related to Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. The thyroid has a significant impact on various aspects of your body, including gut function and blood sugar levels, which can disrupt your sleep patterns. In addition, the inflammation caused by the attack on the thyroid and the excess thyroid hormone released can lead to restlessness and hinder proper sleep. The strain placed on the adrenal glands and the disruption of circadian rhythm further contribute to insomnia for individuals with Hashimoto’s. While the topic may seem complex, understanding the connection between Hashimoto’s and insomnia is crucial in addressing both conditions effectively.

Does Hashimotos Cause Insomnia?

Does Hashimoto’s Cause Insomnia?

Insomnia, the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep, can be a frustrating and debilitating condition. Many factors can contribute to insomnia, including stress, lifestyle choices, and underlying health conditions. One such condition that has been linked to insomnia is Hashimoto’s disease, an autoimmune disorder that affects the thyroid gland.

Overview of Hashimoto’s and Insomnia

Hashimoto’s disease occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks the thyroid gland, leading to inflammation and decreased thyroid function. This autoimmune condition is the most common cause of hypothyroidism, a condition where the thyroid does not produce enough hormones. While the primary symptoms of Hashimoto’s typically revolve around fatigue, weight gain, and mood changes, it can also have a significant impact on sleep.

Effects of Hashimoto’s on Physiology

Hashimoto’s disease can have several effects on the body’s physiology that contribute to insomnia.

Alteration in Gut Function

One effect of Hashimoto’s disease is the alteration of gut function. The thyroid gland plays a crucial role in regulating digestion and maintaining a healthy gut. When the thyroid is not functioning correctly due to Hashimoto’s, it can disrupt the balance of bacteria in the gut, leading to digestive issues. These digestive problems can cause discomfort, leading to difficulty falling or staying asleep.

Imbalances in Bacteria

Additionally, imbalances in gut bacteria, known as dysbiosis, can occur in individuals with Hashimoto’s disease. Dysbiosis has been linked to various health issues, including inflammation and metabolic disturbances. These imbalances can affect blood sugar levels and contribute to sleep disruptions.

Alterations in Blood Sugar

Hashimoto’s disease can also lead to alternations in blood sugar levels. The thyroid gland plays a role in regulating blood glucose levels, and when it is not functioning properly, blood sugar imbalances can occur. Fluctuations in blood sugar can lead to energy crashes and an inability to sleep through the night.

Thyroid Hormones and Insomnia

Thyroid hormones, such as T3, T4, and TSH, play a crucial role in regulating the body’s metabolism and energy levels. When the thyroid gland is under attack from Hashimoto’s disease, these hormones can become imbalanced, leading to various symptoms that can contribute to insomnia.

Inflammatory Response

Inflammation is a natural immune response that occurs when the body is under attack. In individuals with Hashimoto’s disease, the immune system mistakenly attacks the thyroid gland, resulting in inflammation. This inflammatory response can interfere with sleep by causing discomfort and restlessness.

Jitteriness and Hyperactivity

Excessive production of thyroid hormones, particularly T3, can lead to feelings of jitteriness and hyperactivity. These symptoms can make it difficult to relax and fall asleep. The overstimulation of the nervous system caused by elevated thyroid hormones can disrupt the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle.

Inflammation in the Brain

The inflammation caused by Hashimoto’s disease can extend beyond the thyroid gland and affect other parts of the body, including the brain. Brain inflammation can disrupt the normal functioning of neurons and lead to sleep disturbances. Lack of oxygen and inflammation in the brain can negatively impact sleep quality and contribute to insomnia.

Disruption of Circadian Rhythm

The circadian rhythm is the body’s internal clock that regulates sleep-wake cycles and other physiological processes. When the thyroid gland is not functioning correctly due to Hashimoto’s, it can disrupt the circadian rhythm. This disruption can make it challenging to fall asleep at the desired time and can lead to non-restorative sleep.

Adrenal Glands and Insomnia

The adrenal glands, also known as stress glands, play a significant role in regulating stress responses and hormone production. Hashimoto’s disease can put a tremendous strain on the adrenal glands, leading to imbalances in cortisol, the stress hormone.

Impact on Hippocampus

The adrenal glands directly work with the hippocampus, a part of the brain responsible for short-term memory. When the adrenal glands are under stress due to Hashimoto’s disease, they can impact the functioning of the hippocampus. This disruption can affect the conversion of short-term memory to long-term memory during sleep.

Disturbance in Sleep-Wake Cycle

The adrenal glands also play a role in regulating the sleep-wake cycle. Disruptions in the adrenal glands caused by Hashimoto’s disease can lead to irregular sleep patterns, making it challenging to fall asleep and maintain a consistent sleep schedule.

The Complex Relationship Between Hashimoto’s and Insomnia

The relationship between Hashimoto’s disease and insomnia is complex and multifaceted. Multiple vicious cycles can come into play, exacerbating the sleep disruptions caused by Hashimoto’s.

Treating Gut and Blood Sugar

Addressing gut health and blood sugar imbalances is essential in managing insomnia associated with Hashimoto’s disease. Working with a qualified healthcare provider can help identify and address these underlying issues through dietary changes, gut-healing protocols, and blood sugar management strategies.

Treating Thyroid with Medication or Herbs

In some cases, individuals with Hashimoto’s disease may require medication or natural therapies to support thyroid function. Medications such as levothyroxine can help normalize hormone levels and alleviate symptoms that contribute to insomnia. Herbal remedies, such as adaptogens, may also be beneficial in supporting thyroid health and balancing hormone production.


In conclusion, Hashimoto’s disease can be a contributing factor to insomnia for individuals with autoimmune thyroid disease. The various effects of Hashimoto’s on physiology, including alterations in gut function, imbalances in bacteria, alterations in blood sugar, and disruptions to thyroid hormones and adrenal glands, can all contribute to sleep disturbances. By addressing these underlying factors and working with a healthcare professional, individuals with Hashimoto’s can improve their sleep quality and overall well-being.

Does Hashimotos Cause Insomnia?

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