10 Ways to optimize your Sleep with Hashimoto’s Podcast Trascript
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What’s up? Lovely ladies, Dr. Emily Kiberd here. Today we are gonna be talking about sleep. These are my top 10 tips to get a good night’s sleep with Hashimoto’s. Sleep issues and Hashimoto’s go hand in hand. We can feel tired all day long, feel like we need a nap, but with life we can’t take that opportunity to take a nap.
Then we push and we push and we push throughout the day fighting, and when we finally lay down and get horizontal, we feel quote, unquote tired, but wired. Our mind is going, going, going. Our body feels tired, but our mind is, “bing” wide awake. So this takes a toll on us because we feel like we can never get enough sleep no matter what we do.
This is a vicious cycle, and it can quickly go downhill. So if you’re a woman with Hashimoto’s, which you probably are, if you’re listening to this podcast, who also struggles with losing weight, know that poor quality sleep and poor quantity of sleep can lead to that extra difficulty losing weight.
You’ll often hear ladies talk about their circadian rhythm, or people talk about circadian rhythm. , what the heck is your circadian rhythm? Your circadian rhythm is your body’s internal clock that recognizes day and night cycles based on external or outside cues. These cues can be light, temperature, and food.
So food triggers to the brain that we are in a certain part of our day, and also movement. So along with sleep, the circadian rhythm regulates the natural cycles of your hormones, our immune system function, neurotransmitters, and your cells energy production. So if you’re not sleeping or your circadian rhythm is off, it can also throw off other things like your metabolism. And when your metabolism is off, it can result in insulin resistance, which can lead to the gaining of belly fat, and elevated blood sugar. A change in your appetite in eating behaviors. So if you ever notice, if you’ve been sleep deprived or you feel like your circadian rhythm is off, like you’ve been staying up really late and then waking up late, you might notice that there is this desire for more snacking or an increased demand for carbohydrate intake.
If your sleep or your circadian rhythms off and it throws off your metabolism, it can also lead to weight gain, increased oxidative stress and inflammation in the body, and fatigue. Autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto’s and sleep problems also contribute to each other because you need sleep to balance your immune system.
So chronic insomnia is associated with an increased risk of autoimmune. And the flip side of that, autoimmune diseases are commonly a cause of disrupted sleep. As I said, that vicious cycle and autoimmune diseases can lead to disrupted sleep due to brain inflammation, and you could have symptoms such as anxiety, physical pain, muscle pain, joint pain, and cold intolerance.
Every Hashi lady just raised her hand and said, yes, that is me. So again, this difficult cycle to break if you have hypothyroid symptoms, right? An underactive thyroid, which you do with Hashimoto’s affects your sleep, you’re not alone. I’ve been there too. In 2019, there was a study found that 2,224 hypothyroid patients reported significantly poor sleep quality.
Compared to those that had normal thyroid function, so those who had an under-active thyroid had significantly poorer, quality of sleep compared to those with normal thyroid function. Some of the classic symptoms of hypothyroidism may include feeling tired but can’t fall asleep. A k a tired, but wired a shorter sleep time, so a shorter sleep duration.
[00:05:00] Feeling groggy when you wake up, aka, I call it hit by a bus and reduced overall sleep quality. So Hashimoto’s, along with other autoimmune conditions, increases neural inflammation, and brain inflammation that can disrupt sleep. Here’s the cycle again, but disturbed sleep can also create neural inflammation making brain fog.
So we need to address factors that interfere with sleep and neuroinflammation in order to sleep well. So let’s break ’em down. I’m gonna give you 10 and I’ll probably give a little bonus. Do not get overwhelmed. You can take notes. You can listen to this. Again, some of these are no-brainers, but for those of us who are newer to our Hashi diagnosis, you might be like, what? I’ve never heard of that before. So take notes. Make a goal, and implement one a week, right? If you do it all at one time, it can feel very overwhelming in having Hashimoto’s or being, being [00:06:00] newly diagnosed can already feel overwhelming, so try to integrate one maybe once a week, once every other week, and so you start to build habits.
I’m a big believer in momentum over motivation, so building those habits slowly, one by. Versus trying to dig from that. Well, that has no water. That is called motivation, especially when we are really fatigued with Hashimoto’s. So let’s break down these top 10 tips to get a better night’s sleep. Some of them are involved with breathing, some of them are going to pinpoint and really focus on this neuroinflammation.
[00:07:00] So number one, hit your optimal protein targets per meal and per day. You’ve heard me say this before, so low protein. It can make it hard to fall asleep and lowers your quality of sleep. It is in the research, in the literature, the amino acid tryptophan, which you usually hear people talk about around Thanksgiving, is a precursor or needed to make melatonin.
Think of melatonin like the moon. It should be low in the morning, and as the day goes on, as we go into the evening, it rises. So melatonin is like the moon. However, when we have excessive amino acid intake, this can compete with tryptophan getting into the brain. Some amino acids, such as tyrosine can be stimulating as well.
How does this relate to protein? Protein are the building blocks. They have the essential amino acids. You wanna hit 30 grams per meal, so if you have low protein intake, it’s gonna be harder to fall asleep and it lowers your quality of sleep. 30 grams per meal, minimum stimulates muscle protein synthesis. 30 grams is satiating. 30 grams prevents you from snacking, helps maintain your muscle. So 30 [00:08:00] grams per meal, if you are trying to put muscle on, increase that to 50 to 60 grams. Once you go beyond 60 grams per meal. That threshold the literature doesn’t support. Oh, more protein means better, means more muscle. So the threshold is 60 grams.
Number two, carbohydrate timing. So carbs are important for helping tryptophan get into the brain. A lot of people find that they need some carbs at dinner to sleep well. So if you’re more on like a ketogenic diet or limiting your carbs, you might feel that tired, but wired at night, what kind of carbs should be eating?
So refined carbs can be inflammatory, so eating a lot of things like noodles, bread, and pastries, can actually reduce your quality of sleep. It’s in the literature. So the carbs that you get in the evening could be from a non-inflammatory whole food source like sweet [00:09:00] potatoes, winter squashes, root vegetables like beets or rutabaga.
So if you increase your carb intake in the evening with carbs from a whole food source, I like sweet potatoes personally. It can help you. with your quality as well as your timing of your sleep. Number three, timing of your meals when you eat matters with regard to sleep. So if your intermittent fasting, also known as time restrictive feeding regular meals will likely help you sleep more than kind of erratic eating.
So consistency in timing of your meals is associated with better. Quality and who doesn’t want better quality of sleep? Uninterrupted, not waking up a million times a night. So you wanna finish your last meal three to four hours before bedtime. I notice personally, if I have a [00:10:00] meal late, which is very rare, I wake up super groggy, foggy in the head, feel like I can’t function.
So finish your last meal three to four hours before bedtime. Number four, if you drink caffeine, Like myself, I highly recommend not doing it after 12 noon. This, to me sounds like a no-brainer, but how many people, like how many times do you see people drinking coffee at three, four or five at night? My mother-in-law sometimes drinks coffee at 10 at night to help her go to sleep, but she goes to sleep at 2:00 AM. But it can be easy to forget that caffeine can keep you up. , and if possible, try giving up all stimulants for a week. If you have tried to keep your coffee to before noon and you’re still not sleeping well, this breaks my heart, but I encourage it. Try giving up coffee for a week and see how your sleep quality changes, and it [00:11:00] might have to be longer than a week.
You could try a month. There will definitely be a withdrawal period, so you’d want to taper down slowly day by day. , but that is only if keeping the coffee before 12 noon isn’t working. So keep that coffee in all stimulants before 12 noon, especially if you are caffeine sensitive. Some of us have a genetic predisposition to metabolizing our coffee quicker, so sometimes it’s interesting to get that tested just to have data points to go off of.
Number five, if you struggle with histamin eand inflammation like I have in the past. High histamine foods can keep you up at night. So what are high histamine foods? So histamine reach foods include deli meats or dried meats like that, you know, 30 day aged ribeye, alcohol aged cheeses, rice vinegar, meals that are [00:12:00] like ready made and packaged.
Salty snacks that have preservatives and artificial colorings. Basically things that have been sitting out and being exposed for air to the air for a while. Histamine, liberating foods. Okay. These are also ones to avoid help release histamine from other foods. Some of these you are, you’re probably gonna think, wow, I thought that was healthy. However, it is a histamine liberator. So if you are already having issues with histamine intolerance, so like runny nose, clot, sinuses, rashes, skin issues, eczema, these histamine liberators, you also want to avoid. And I know way back in the day when I was living a mold, very, very histamine sensitive and I was making smoothies with spin.
Well, spinach [00:13:00] is a histamine, liberator, other histamine, liberators, citrus, fruits, chocolate. How many times have we been told eat the dark chocolate? It’s good for you. Wheat, germ, legumes, tomatoes, vinegars of all kinds. So I don’t know if you’ve ever seen someone be like, drink that lemon water. Hello citrus with some apple of vinegar in the morning, histamine liberator.
I would do that and I would feel terrible all day, and I was like, oh, why do I feel like this? I literally just drank kind of. Way back in the day, the, like influencer health group was telling me to do some additives like nitrates, sulfites, glutamate, food dyes. Lot of packaged meats will have nitrates in it, so deli lunch meats.
So you want to avoid those foods. This is why sometimes medical doctors, if people are having trouble with sleeping, they’ll tell you to have an antihistamine before you go to bed. Because histamine causes an H3 reaction in the body [00:14:00] and leads to insomnia. So that’s why some doctors recommend antihistamines before you go to bed.
But ultimately you wanna get to the root cause of what’s going on. If you’re having a histamine reaction, avoid the histamine liberators, avoid the histamine rich foods, and then to take it a further. Figure out why you’re having a histamine reaction. Is it dust? Is it mold? Is it something going on? Is it gut dysbiosis?
Something else going on in the body number? What are we on six? Number six, drinking alcohol has been shown to reduce your sleep quality. And I know a lot of people talk about, oh, drink the red wine. It’s so good for you. But can actually increase inflammation, drinking alcohol only occasionally and in low, moderate amounts.
That’s okay, but if you’re having poor quality sleep, why not remove it for a while? It can wreck your sleep and can lead to an autoimmune flare [00:15:00] or increase inflammation in the body. I know for myself, I have a drink, it will knock me out, and then I’ll wake up at like 3:00 AM wide awake, so I’m not getting that quality.
Number seven. If you’re not working out, you’re probably not sleeping, so I recommend working up to, this is for the autoimmune population. 10,000 steps a day in resistance training, 20 to 30 minutes three times a week, working up to four times a week. So many people, like myself included, get really energized from our workout.
We feel kind of like jacked up, focused mental clarity. For some people who have exercise intolerance, they feel the opposite. They feel brain fogs. You might need to dial back and not overtrain in your workout, and if you’re feeling jacked up and then you try to go to bed, it’s hard to A fall asleep and then B, stay asleep.
So I personally don’t work out after 5:00 PM [00:16:00] I kind of recommend that you don’t do either. Ideally working out in the morning, right? So working out is a stressor on the body. It increases your cortisol. When should your cortisol be highest? Think of cortisol like the sun. Cortisol should be highest in the morning.
So if you have a little bit of cortisol dysregulation, like your cortisol is low in the morning, you can start to reset that pattern by working out and jump-starting your morning by trying to increase your cortisol.
if you’re walking, I don’t really, if you’re only walking, I don’t consider this a full work workout. I find that some people who only do walking for their exercise have trouble sleeping. So I encourage you to start to build up with resistance training 20 minutes, three to four times a. Thyroid Strong style, which is my online program, teaching women with Hashimoto’s to learn how to work out [00:17:00] without burnout.
And I like harder sessions where you get a sweat, you’re stimulating the muscle tissue. I like kettlebells because they are forgiving when you are first learning form. Some people will find that exercising has a relaxing effect versus that like jacked up focused effect and can actually improve sleep.
There’s studies. When, if they work out later. So if you’re having luck, if you’re not having luck with other approaches, like if you’re working out in the morning, you’re working out before 12 noon and you’re still not getting good, getting good quality sleep, I’m gonna try I’m gonna have you try to work out around APM and see what happens if you’re not sleeping well anyways.
There’s really not much to lose. There was a study in 2006. From Sean Youngster and Christopher Klein looking at the epidemiology of exercise and sleep and there is a certain population of people who [00:18:00] feel more relaxed after they sleep, after they work out and actually get better sleep when they’re working out around 8am that is at me. I get more jacked and focused, but if that’s not working for you to work out in the morning, try in the evening, just give it a try.
Number eight, rule out sleep apnea. This is essential for anyone who wakes up feeling exhausted. If you’ve been told you snore. If you wake up in the middle of a night feeling like you’re choking, gasping for air, if your partner has mentioned, they notice you stop sleeping for a little bit while you’re while, or stop breathing for a little bit while you’re sleep and especially if you wake up fatigued with big dark circles under your eyes and you’re like, oh, I just slept 12 hours, but I’m exhausted. You have to rule out sleep apnea. It is often under-diagnosed and it’s so easy to diagnose. With a questionnaire, with a sleep study, [00:19:00] and now sleep studies are very easy.
You don’t have to go to a sleep center. You can literally do a take-home sleep study. But obstructive sleep apnea is a common cause of sleep disturbance, especially among hypothyroid patients and especially. if you are struggling with weight and being overweight. So obstructive sleep apnea is also stressful on the body and very dangerous for long-term health can lead to heart conditions.
Early death increases whole-body inflammation, increases the risk of heart disease, and is crucial to get checked. So when you treat sleep apnea, you can do it right along with addressing Hashimoto’s. better sleep will improve thyroid function. Typically, if you get diagnosed with sleep apnea, you’ll get prescribed a C P A P machine, so a machine to help you breathe at night.
But I also [00:20:00] recommend getting your palate and your jaw looked at. So if you have a narrow jaw, if your chin is kind of set back, if you’re kind of flat along the cheekbones, and then your tongue doesn’t sit on the roof of your mouth and it will fall back and kind of cause that choking sensation.
So check out Vivos Therapeutics. It is a oral appliance to help expand your pate and helps with allowing the tongue to sit in that place. On the roof of the mouth. They combine it with myotherapy, so tongue therapy to strengthen the tongue so that it sits on the roof of the mouth. You know, way back in the day, we were breastfed much longer than we are now.
And so we created that strength from the suction of the tongue of the mouth. Well, we don’t do that much anymore, especially if we’re only breastfed until like, I don’t know, six months, not at all. So that could be one of the reasons why sleep apnea is much [00:21:00] more prolific, much more common these days.
Number nine. Avoid screens. Blue light. Think of blue light from your, from your phone, like the sun, it turns your brain on. You especially wanna avoid it between 11:00 PM and 3:00 AM Kind of a no-brainer, but needs to be said. Number 10, the newest research shows six and a half hours of sleep is ideal, uninterrupt. So not getting woken up to pee, not getting woken up by your three-year-old like I am these days. And instead of trying to go to bed at the same time every night, cause I know that can feel very stressful. Trying to wake up at the same time every day will help reset your circadian rhythm. So that’s that was 10.
I’m going to include two bonuses, supplements, and these are not medical recommendations. [00:22:00] But you should definitely consult your medical provider before taking any supplements. But I have found these to be helpful for myself. So I take magnesium at night and I also take a time dosed magnesium throughout the day through bio-optimizers.
It helps promote relaxation and improves many aspects of sleep, sleep quality, many of us, just human beings walking on the planet because our top soil is not nutrient-rich. It is de. And the topsoil is what we grow our vegetables in, but especially the autoimmune population. The Hashi ladies are commonly deficient in magnesium, so a very important mineral, especially when it comes to relaxation, metabolic processes, and sleep quality.
Another supplement that I take is vitamin D three. Vitamin D three helps with the production of melatonin and works in conjunction with magnesium. To support sleep. [00:23:00] It’s a great idea to take vitamin D three with vitamin K cuz they help each other. Absorb. L-theanine comes from GRE tea. It helps with relaxation and can help you wind down to sleep.
Passion flower. Passion flower is an herb to promote relaxation. Also helps with sleep, especially some of the literature out there with ladies with Hashimoto’s.
One more. I don’t take this, but I’ve been reading a lot of research around it is Insomnatol. It’s probably the strongest and most effective sleep supplement with melatonin. It’s precursors and it has a few sedating herbs, so mostly supplements can be taken 30 to 60 minutes before you get to bed. High doses of vitamin D should really only be taken in the morning. , check your vitamin D levels before you start just pounding the vitamin D because it is a fat soluble vitamin and it is possible to overdose on vitamin [00:24:00] D.
So check with your doctor first before taking supplements. Always. Last bonus is if you are struggling with sleep. You’ve done all the things. Sleep, mask, ear. Ooler chili pad to make the temperature in your bed, right, turned off the screens, do the workout, change how you’re eating, taken the supplements, hashtag all the things, and you’re still not sleeping. You don’t have sleep apnea. You need to start to look at environmental triggers that can change the quality of your sleep. The two I’m thinking about are mold and mycotoxins. So if you’ve had any water damage in your house or in the. As well as parasites. Those suckers will, especially around the full moon, keep you up at night.
So if you have done all the things and you’re still not getting good quality sleep, it’s hard to fall asleep. You feel tired but wired, it’s time [00:25:00] to look at environmental factors. So that’s the other bonus. I know that was a big shift for me and you know, if you enjoyed this episode, go ahead and follow the podcast.
We used to say, subscribe to the podcast, but iTunes took that away. I don’t know if it was a connotation around subscribe, but just follow the podcast. Rate and review. If you enjoyed the podcast, share with a fellow Hashimoto’s friend or sister or family member or your mother. I hope this was helpful.
These are some of the things that I did to help me sleep better, and so I wanna pass these tips onto you. There’s also a blog post on Hashimoto’s and sleep at dremilykiberd.com/blog. If you’re more of the reading type, you can read all the details. All the research is cited in that blog post. I know a lot of Hashi ladies have brain fog, so I like to also do a podcast episode so we can listen while we’re [00:26:00] walking.
Especially the brain fog is strong. We don’t have to be physically reading. So I hope this was helpful and I’ll see you next week ladies.