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Can Lack Of Iron Cause Insomnia

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How Is Insomnia Treated

The goal for managing insomnia is to get restful sleep and improve your overall quality of life. In order to treat your insomnia, it’s important to know its cause. Your insomnia might be caused by more than 1 thing.

Changes to your behavior are usually more effective for long-term relief of insomnia. Your doctor will help you find the best treatment or combination of treatments to help you sleep.

Having healthy sleep habits. This is also known as having good “sleep hygiene.” There are many things you can do to help make yourself and your room more comfortable for sleeping.

    Cognitive behavioral therapy. When you have insomnia, thinking about sleeping or worrying about sleeping can make your insomnia worse. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a type of therapy that can help you reduce your anxiety about sleeping. The goal of cognitive behavioral therapy is to understand patterns in your sleep habits and how to address them.

    Medication. Insomnia may be treated by medication to address the insomnia or to address the problem that is causing the insomnia. For example, restless legs is a common side effect of cancer that causes insomnia. Restless legs can be caused by low iron, so your doctor may prescribe an iron supplement pill or changes to your diet. Pain, nausea, and vomiting are other side effects that can be treated with medicine to improve your insomnia.

    Ferritin Deficiency With Normal Levels Of Hemoglobin

    It is surprising that the patients had no signs of anemia. They had normal levels of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin plays a significant role in transporting oxygen. Hemoglobin molecules cannot function properly without iron. Therefore, normal values of hemoglobin do not imply iron deficiency. Low values normally indicate an advanced level of iron shortage. One early detection method for iron deficiency involves testing the amount of ferritin in the blood. This information is important because you can increase iron stores or ferritin by taking iron-rich diets.

    The Roles Of Ferritin

    Iron performs several functions in the body including cell growth. The body absorbs iron from foods. The body also stores ferritin in different areas. Ferritin proteins release iron whenever needed. Low levels of iron lead to insufficient amounts of ferritin and vice versa. Other health problems may occur. These include dry skin, a decrease in immune cells, and insufficient amounts of neurotransmitters like serotonin and . In the aforementioned case studies, both patients did not know whether they lacked iron but had symptoms like depression and sleep problems because of ferritin deficiency.

    How Does Iron Deficiency Impact Your Sleep

    Okay, so low iron levels are generally not good for your body as a whole but, in more specific terms, how do they impact your ? Well, the truth is that the effects of iron deficiency are so direct when it comes to your sleep patterns instead, the symptoms have a more indirect influence which could potentially cause problems. Below Im going to examine three of the main problems that iron deficiency can present and how they can inhibit your ability to get a good nights sleep.

    Cramping And Tingling In Limbs

    New Type of Iron Deficiency Causes Insomnia and Depression ...

    The large leg muscles require a lot of blood and oxygen to function. Oxygen deprivation causes them to work overtime and cause , weakness, severe cramps, and restless leg syndrome , which may contribute to insomnia.

    Anemic patients may feel a crawling or itchy sensation in the feet and legs, which can worsen at night.

    Symptoms Of Anemia You Shouldnt Ignore

    July 24, 2020

    Family MedicineAnemia DiagnosisAnemia SymptomsAnemia treatment Fort Worth TXAnemia treatment near meChest PainsCold Hands and Feet

    Anemia is a common blood disorder affecting more than 1.6 billion people worldwide. It occurs when the number of healthy red blood cells that carry oxygen through the body drops to an abnormal level, or if the cells dont contain enough hemoglobin.

    The majority of the approximately 3.5 million Americans with become anemic over time through inadequate iron or low vitamin B-12 levels . Both of these, along with folate , is necessary for the production of healthy red blood cells.

    Those who are most susceptible to anemia are children, females with menorrhagia , and pregnant women. People who suffer chronic diseases like ulcers, or people who have recently undergone surgery, may also become anemic. People with African ancestry are especially susceptible to sickle cell anemia, in which the red blood cells are curved like sickles.

    Take Iron Supplements If Your Doctor Recommends Them

    You should only take an iron supplement if your healthcare provider confirms that youre iron deficient or are at risk for iron deficiency and cant meet your needs through diet alone.

    If you do take an iron supplement, try drinking orange juice with it to boost iron absorption or using a supplement that includes vitamin C.

    Keep in mind that taking iron supplements may cause some side effects. These include:

    What Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider About Insomnia

    If you have insomnia, you may want to ask your healthcare provider:

    • Am I taking any medications keeping me awake?
    • What changes can I make to sleep better?
    • How does cognitive behavioral therapy improve sleep?
    • How do I find a therapist?
    • Could I have other sleep disorders like sleep apnea?

    If you’re suffering from insomnia, don’t hesitate to reach out to your healthcare provider for help. They may offer tips for managing issues that interfere with your sleep. Many people with insomnia rest better after changing their diet, lifestyle and nighttime routines. Or they may also recommend medications or cognitive behavioral therapy.

    Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 10/15/2020.


    You Have Unstable Blood Sugar

    You dont have to be diabetic to have a blood sugar problem. We help many of our patients here at Parsley Health pull the brakes on the rollercoaster of symptoms theyve been experiencing from spikes and dips in blood sugar.

    Take a typical on-the-go for many people: a pastry and sugary coffee drink. That wave of sugar creates a rapid spike in your blood sugar and causes your pancreas to release insulin to stabilize it. As your blood sugar returns to normal, you crash, feeling tired. Youll also feel hungry again pretty quickly, leading you to reach for carbs and perpetuating the cycle.

    All that sugar adds up. When people consumed 40g of added sugar a day in the form of a can of soda for three weeks, they showed at least a 60 percent increase in high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, a marker for . has been associated with many chronic diseases, including depression. Learning to eat a combination of , protein, and healthy fat at each meal and never skipping a meal can help you maintain steady blood sugar throughout the day and tame inflammation.

    Hidden Causes Of Insomnia Include Blood

    • Marina Rose, D.C.

      Insomnia is the No. 1 health-related problem in the U.S. More than one-third of the adult population has problems falling asleep or with daytime sleepiness.

      Despite all the Internet advice and the prevalence of CPAP machines, the problem is getting worse, not better. The number of adults ages 20-44 using sleeping pills doubled between 2000 and 2004, and reached 56 million in 2008. The number of youth ages 1-19 who take prescription sleep remedies jumped 85 percent during the same period.

      This isnt surprising in a culture that values busyness as a badge of honor. Even our downtime has morphed into connecting with electronic devices watching TV, browsing the Internet or using some other kind of electronic device that doesnt let the brain rest.

      Sufficient sleep is essential for basic maintenance and repair of body systems it can improve memory, enhance athletic performance, elevate mood and energy and boost immune function.

      Lack of sleep increases your risk of insulin resistance, obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

      A 2007 Boston University study revealed that insufficient sleep shuts down the prefrontal cortex and can cause or worsen a number of psychological conditions, including anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.

      However, there are a couple of causes of sleeplessness that, when addressed, can increase your chances of a good nights sleep.

      Balance your blood sugar

      Pump the iron

      Word of caution

      What Happens If You Dont Get Enough Iron

      is an extremely important mineral for your body, especially when it comes to the formation of red blood cells which are responsible for transporting oxygen around the body. This means that if your body doesnt have enough iron, your production of red blood cells can be affected which, in turn, means certain areas of your body wont get the oxygen they need to thrive.

      Naturally, a number of symptoms can arise as a result of low iron levels such as fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, weak hair, skin and nails and, unfortunately, certain types of people are more likely to be vulnerable than others. In her blog What happens when you are low in iron? our Nutritionist Emma delves into more detail about the symptoms of iron deficiency and who is more likely to be susceptible so here Ill try and keep things brief.

      Who is vulnerable?

      How Sleep Apnea Affects Red Blood Cells

      One study presented a correlation among sleep apnea in which patients diagnosed with the sleep disorder had higher red blood cell counts. Elevated hematocrit indicates a shortage of oxygen in the patients system. Also, patients with severe sleep apnea had a higher red blood cell count than patients with a mild case of sleep apnea.

      As oxygen saturation levels decrease the body most compensate for this loss by making more red blood cells to carry more oxygen and or concentrating red blood cells by decreasing other elements in the blood.

      Raised hematocrit levels can be an indicator of sleep disorders as well as heart disease and stroke. When the study participants were given CPAP therapy their hematocrit levels decreased, with a protective cardiovascular effect.

      Thyroid Issues Are To Blame

      Little One Magazine: Can Iron Deficiency Cause Depression

      Your gland produces hormones involved in metabolism and growth, releasing the hormones only when needed. But when your thyroid gets out of whack , your thyroid can overproduce or underproduce these hormones, leading to a range of physical and mental symptoms.

      In a large 2015 study of people diagnosed with thyroid conditions, researchers linked an overactive thyroid to anxiety, while an underactive thyroid was associated with depression. Another study found that 60 percent of patients with hypothyroidism reported symptoms of depression, while 63 percent reported symptoms of anxiety.

      Researchers still arent exactly sure what underlying mechanism links thyroid disorders with depression and anxietythere may be severalbut the relationship between thyroid hormones and mood regulation is likely stronger than previously thought.

      Anemia Can Cause Restless Leg Syndrome Which Causes Insomnia

      One study showed that people with anemia are 9 times more likely to have restless leg syndrome .

      If youre not familiar with the :

      Restless legs syndrome is a condition that causes an uncontrollable urge to move your legs, usually because of an uncomfortable sensation. It typically happens in the evening or nighttime hours when you’re sitting or lying down.

      RLS has other causes, but iron-deficient anemia is among the most common.

      SummaryRestless leg syndrome typically results in difficulty getting to sleep, which has an overlap with insomnia.

      When To See A Doctor

      With any symptoms of sleep apnea, anemia, or insomnia, its important to contact your doctor right away to determine the cause. The lack of sleep and proper rest are detrimental to your health.

      The sooner you seek treatment the sooner you can get your life back. And if diagnosed, with sleep apnea, dont worry about the cost. You may qualify to receive a CPAP through insurance. Get started now!

      Information provided on the Aeroflow Healthcare blog is not intended as a substitute to medical advice or care. Aeroflow Healthcare recommends consulting a doctor if you are experiencing medical issues or concerns.

      How To Make Sure Of An Iron Deficiency Suspicion

      As it was stated earlier, these symptoms can also be present with other medical conditions. The only way to confirm once you doubt if you have iron- deficiency is to submit yourself for laboratory tests and examination.

      A medical doctor can help with a proper diagnosis and will prescribe sufficient supplementation should you really be iron deficient.

      Do you enjoyed reading this blog post?

      Side Effects Of Anemia: Insomnia Anxiety Depression

      When you look at people with iron deficiency anemia, they are much more likely to have 3 other major conditions :

      • Insomnia
      • Anxiety
      • Depression

      Without getting into too much detail, people with anemia in one study had an average Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index score of 6.71, while the non-anemic control group had an average score of 4.11.

      Any score under 5 is considered a good sleeper. You can use this quick Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index Online Calculator if youre curious about your own score.

      Other research has shown that people with non-iron deficient anemia are also more likely to experience insomnia symptoms .

      #3 Rls Can Be Caused By Insufficient Levels Of Iron

      RLS, or Restless Leg Syndrome, occurs when you experience a strong desire to move your legs when youre supposed to be resting and it can sometimes be accompanied by an itchy or unusual crawling sensation. This can understandably be quite distracting if youre trying to sleep and often RLS is linked to nutritional deficiencies such as low and low iron.

      In the case of iron, again its role in your cognitive function is of importance. As Ive mentioned, iron can help with supporting the action of neurotransmitters such as dopamine. Dopamine is especially important for RLS as it maintains muscle activity and movement but, if youre not getting enough dopamine, it can result in involuntary spasms. At night, iron and dopamine levels can take a dip, which normally isnt too problematic but, if your iron levels are already low it may have a knock-on effect on dopamine, causing RLS to occur.4

      Nutritional Deficiencies That Could Be Keeping You Up At Night

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      Theres a strong chance that most of you are already aware of the role that your diet can play in either helping or hindering your sleep patterns. However, identifying whether or not you are deficient in a certain nutrient can be tricky and unfortunately, it can also have some serious ramifications for your sleep too! Thats why today Im going to take a look at 5 nutritional deficiencies that could be interrupting your sleep and what you can do to tackle them!

      Marianna Kilburn

      How Much Do You Need

      The daily iron requirement your body needs for optimal health has been determined by the Institutes of Medicine according to age and gender. These amounts represent the total recommended intake from food, multivitamins and supplements.

      • Children 1 to 3 years of age: 7 milligrams; 4 to 8 years of age: 10 milligrams; 9 to 13 years of age: 8 milligrams
      • Teens 14 to 18 years of age: boys 11 milligrams; girls 15 milligrams
      • Adults 19 to 50 years of age: women 18 milligrams; men 8 milligrams
      • Adults 51 years and older: 8 milligrams
      • Pregnant and lactating women: 9 to 27 milligrams

      Many foods contain iron. Heme iron, the type found in animal-based foods, is more easily absorbed than iron from plant sources, called non-heme iron. Some foods, such as breads and breakfast cereals, are fortified with non-heme iron to help you maintain a healthy level of iron. Choose from these good sources of iron:

      • Meat, such as organ meat, beef, turkey, lamb
      • Fish and seafood, such as tuna, oysters, clams, shrimp
      • Vegetables, such as spinach and peas
      • Beans and legumes, such as kidney, lima, lentils
      • Nuts and some dried fruits, such as raisins

      To make iron from food more bioavailable to your body, include vitamin C-rich foods or beverages with your meal.

      Read more:Foods That Inhibit Iron Absorption

      What Are The Risk Factors For Insomnia

      Can Iron Deficiency Cause Insomnia?

      Insomnia occurs more often in women than in men. Pregnancy and hormonal shifts can disturb sleep. Other hormonal changes, such as premenstrual syndrome or menopause, can also can affect sleep. Insomnia becomes more common over the age of 60. Older people may be less likely to sleep soundly because of bodily changes related to aging and because they may have medical conditions or take medications that disturb sleep.

      How To Find Out If You Have Low Iron

      The only way to know if you have iron deficiency is through a blood test. A blood test will reveal whether you have low iron, and where you sit on the iron deficiency spectrum. Other tests may be needed to identify whether there is an underlying cause for low iron, such as impaired absorption.

      Your doctor may recommend iron supplements if your iron levels are very low, or your requirements are very high. Follow your doctors advice about how often you need to take them, and for how long.

      How Is Insomnia Diagnosed

      • Get a blood test: Your doctor may want you do a blood test to rule out certain medical conditions such as thyroid problems or low iron levels that can negatively impact sleep.
      • Keep a sleep diary: You may be asked to write down your sleep patterns for one to two weeks This information can help your provider identify patterns or behaviors that interfere with rest.
      • Complete a sleep study:Sleep studies are not necessary for diagnosing insomnia. If your doctor has concerns that your insomnia may be caused by sleep apnea or another sleep disorder, you may be referred. You may go to a sleep disorders center or do the study at home.

      How Common Is Iron Deficiency

      Iron deficiency is very common, especially in women. Its estimated that one in four Australian women have low iron levels, compared to one in 30 men.

      The main reasons for low iron stores are:

      • not eating enough iron-rich foods
      • trouble absorbing iron
      • blood loss.

      The body is pretty good at conserving iron, but we still need a regular supply through our food. When our iron intake is consistently lower than our iron requirements, the body becomes slowly depleted of its stores. Low iron stores can progress to iron deficiency, and then to iron deficiency anaemia.

      Insomnia Bloodshot And Burning Eyes And Low Iron


      I do not always sleep well and even if I do, I seem to always have bloodshot & burning eyes. I do struggle with low iron and have been using a plant based liquid from the health food store but dont always feel relief. Could this also be due to premenopause and or under active thyroid?

      Hello and thank you for your question.

      • Bloodshot and burning eyes
      • Premenopause

      Bloodshot and Burning Eyes can be a symptom of many things.

      A B2 or Riboflavin deficiency can cause burning eyes. It is caused by poor intake of B2 or digestive disturbances which inhibit absorption.

      Other symptoms of B2 deficiency might help to narrow it down for you.

      • Dry skin around nose and lips
      • Cracks or sores in corners of mouth
      • Bloodshot, red or itchy eyes
      • Cataracts
      • Inflamed scrotum
      • Dizziness

      Dietary sources of B2 include leafy greens, brewers yeast, eggs, almonds and all nuts, fish, wheat germ, brussel sprouts.

      Dry, red eyes can also be helped by adding more highly unsaturated fats to your diet, such as flax, avocado, hemp oil, and evening primrose oil every day! Increasing levels of essential fats, will not only improve dryness in your eyes it will improve dryness throughout your body, in your arteries, your heart, brain and will help to improve immunity and nervous system functioning. Deficiency of essential fats causes the following symptoms:

      • Rough, dry, flaky or scaly skin
      • Dry, brittle hair
      • Underactive stomach
      • Increased menopausal symptoms

      I do not always sleep well


      Summary: Does Anemia Cause Sleep Problems

      In short, anemia can quite easily cause sleep problems, and even insomnia.

      People with anemia are much more likely to develop insomnia than the general population, and we saw there are 4 possible explanations for why anemia can contribute to sleep issues:

    • It impairs the function of neurotransmitters that are important for sleep.
    • It disrupts your built-in sleep structure
    • It puts you at a higher risk of developing restless leg syndrome , which in turn can cause insomnia
    • It puts you at a higher risk of developing depressive or anxiety symptoms, which are both known to cause insomnia.
    • Anemia is not something to mess around with, if you suspect that its causing you sleep issues, go see a doctor. Theyll be able to rule out other possible causes and run tests to confirm if youre anemic, then recommend iron supplements or another treatment method,


      Why Does Anaemia Make You Feel Tired And What Can You Do About It

      occurs when there is a lack of red blood cells in your body. One of the most common symptoms of anaemia is fatigue, as your vital organs are not getting enough oxygen to function properly.

      Iron-deficiency anaemia is the most common form of anaemia. Apart from the fact that your body is not producing enough oxygen-carrying red blood cells, your body is also working harder to produce energy.

      Iron is vital for the production of adequate, healthy red blood cells. If you don’t have enough iron, there won’t be enough red blood cells to carry oxygen through your body.

      The risks of constant fatigue

      Fatigue is far more than simply feeling a little sleepy. Fatigue is defined as extreme exhaustion, and can have a far-reaching impact on your overall health if the cause isnt found and addressed. In the case of undetected anaemia, your vital organs suffer oxygen loss, which can impair their function over time.

      Anaemia can also lead to chronic fatigue syndrome, which puts your body under strain it affects the functioning of your immune system, leads to sleep deprivation, headaches and low blood-pressure, and can impair your cognitive skills and productivity.

      Fatigue is not the only key symptom of anaemia. People who suffer from anaemia also tend to experience dizziness and heart palpitations.

      Could you be suffering from anaemia? Do our to find out.

      How to treat anaemia-related fatigue

      Image credit: iStock

      R75 per month

      How Much Sleep Do Most People Need

      Most adults need around seven to nine hours of sleep per night but the amount of sleep needed to function at your best varies between individuals. The quality of your rest matters just as much as the quantity. Tossing and turning and repeatedly awakening is as bad for your health as being unable to fall asleep.

      Anemia Iron Deficiency And Sleep Disorders

      Iron Deficiency Leads to Depression and Insomnia

      Sleepless nights are stressful, exhausting and frustrating. Sleep disorders, including snoring, sleep apnea, insomnia, sleep deprivation, and restless legs syndrome are common. Research has shown that restless leg syndrome , restless sleep or insomnia among infants, children, teenagers, pregnant women and adults is often related to low iron stores.

      RLS is characterized by uncomfortable sensations deep in the legs that compel an individual to move. The symptoms are worst at night and sleep disturbance or even insomnia is common.

      The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke estimate that RLS afflicts 10% of the US population. Initially, research focused on the elderly. For example, a 1994 study conducted in an Ireland hospital confirmed that iron deficiency, with or without anemia, contributed to RLS in elderly patients. Iron supplements were found to significantly reduce their symptoms.

      Now, it is estimated that 1.9% of children and 2% of adolescents are afflicted with RLS. Typically, early-onset RLS is linked to genetics, whereas late-onset RLS has a strong relationship with an individuals iron status. But a 2002 study found that abnormal iron stores or metabolism may result in RLS causing insomnia in teenagers.

      S. T. O’Keefe, K. Gavin and J.N. Lavan, Iron Status and Restless Legs Syndrome in the Elderly, Age and Ageing, May 1994, Volume 23, Number 3, Pages 200-203

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