Thyroid Issues Are To Blame
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.
The Link Between Anemia And Insomnia
A recent genome-wide analysis has revealed that the gene MEIS1 is linked with insomnia, which has also been implicated in restless leg syndrome and iron-deficiency anemia , the latter caused by a decrease in the oxygen transporter in the bloodhemoglobin .
In a collaborative study published in Chinese Medical Journal, researchers have carried out a cross-sectional analysis to understand the association between insomnia and anemia in a cohort of 12,614 Chinese adults.
Anemia could be a novel risk factor for insomnia, a common sleep disorder. Previous studies are limited in terms of adjusting for variables such as sleep parameters and inflammation status. In the current study, we wanted to overcome these lacunae and explore the dose-dependent relationship between hemoglobin levels and insomnia, the studys lead scientist, Xiang Gao, says in a statement.
Participants were asked to fill out a questionnaire on their lifestyle habits, health status, and clinical and laboratory assessments at the time of enrollment. These parameters were re-evaluated every two years. Anemia was assessed by measuring Hb levels. An Hb level below 12.0 g/dL in women and below 13.0 g/dL in men was defined as anemia.
Furthermore, as chronic inflammation and poor kidney function are associated with low hemoglobin and a risk of insomnia, they excluded individuals with the aforementioned conditions.
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 sleep? 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.
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.
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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.
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How Are Iron And Insomnia Linked How Does Iron Affect Sleep
So, we know anemia and sleep are connected, because lack of iron can make you feel fatigued. However, we havent answered the question, Why is insomnia a symptom of anemia?
Most people assume the feeling of fatigue would cause you to sleep more. However, theres a crucial difference between being fatigued, and being sleepy.
Fatigue isnt necessary a precursor to sleep. You can go to bed feeling exhausted, but the link between iron deficiency and sleep might mean you feel too exhausted to sleep.
Another answer to the question How does iron affect sleep? is it influences the way you feel. Anxiety is one of the biggest causes of insomnia, and its also a common symptom of anemia.
Anxiety stimulates your sympathetic nervous system, creating a sense of fight or flight panic in your body. When this happens, your production of cortisol increases, and your level of melatonin decreases.
Some studies indicate the issues responsible for worsening insomnia, like restless leg syndrome, are exacerbated by anemia. Research into restless legs syndrome and iron indicate a lack of iron in your blood stream can damage the action of neurotransmitters like dopamine.
Dopamine is especially important for RLS because it maintains muscle activity and movement. If youre not getting enough dopamine, this can lead to the involuntary spasms in RLS and hence insomnia.
How Can I Prevent Insomnia
Lifestyle changes and improvements to your bedtime routine and bedroom setup can often help you sleep better:
- Avoid large meals, caffeine and alcohol before bed.
- Be physically active during the day, outside if possible.
- Cut back on caffeine, including coffee, sodas and chocolate, throughout the day and especially at night.
- Go to bed and get up at the same time each day, including weekends.
- Put away smartphones, TVs, laptops or other screens at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
- Turn your bedroom into a dark, quiet, cool sanctuary.
- Unwind with soothing music, a good book or meditation.
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This Morning: Dr Ranj Outlines The Dangers Of Vitamin B12
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Vitamin B12 is important for brain function, supporting cardiovascular health including red blood cell formation, and in supporting DNA activity. When a person lacks in this essential vitamin a variety of worrying symptoms may ensue including a disturbance with your sleep-wake rhythm.
Primary Hemochromatosis: A Genetic Mutation
Hereditary hemochromatosis, which people may also refer to as primary or classic hemochromatosis, is one of the most common genetic conditions in the United States. Not everyone with the condition experiences symptoms.
This condition mostly affects white people. According to a 2018 study , about 1 in 200 Caucasian people in the United States and Australia have hereditary hemochromatosis, and 1014% of each of these populations carry the genetic mutations.
Hereditary hemochromatosis occurs due to a mutation in a gene called HFE. This gene controls the amount of iron that the body absorbs. Two possible mutations in the HFE gene are C282Y and H63D.
In the U.S., most people with inherited hemochromatosis have inherited two copies of C282Y, one from the mother and the other from the father. A person who inherits just one faulty gene is not certain to develop iron overload syndrome, but they will be a carrier, and they will probably absorb more iron than normal.
If both parents are carriers, there is a 1 in 4 chance that their child will have two faulty genes, one from each parent. However, some people with two copies of the C282Y mutation never experience symptoms.
Some people inherit one C282Y mutation and one H63D mutation. A small proportion of these people will develop hemochromatosis symptoms. Inheriting two copies of H63D is rare, and research has not yet confirmed whether this may increase the risk of hemochromatosis.
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Fatigue Is A Leading Symptom Of Iron
Youve probably heard me mention this symptom a couple of times already but here Im going to go into slightly more detail. Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of iron deficiency and for good reason! If your body is struggling to transport oxygen around your body then your energy levels are going to suffer. Now, you might be thinking that surely, the more tired you are, the easier it will be for you to fall asleep at bedtime but, unfortunately, fatigue doesnt always work this way.
This is because theres a difference between feeling fatigued and feeling sleepy sleepiness is a precursor to sleep whereas fatigue or tiredness is not. I explore this difference a little bit more in my blog, Can you be too tired to sleep? but simply put, you can go to bed feeling exhausted and still find it difficult to sleep, as is frequently the case if youre feeling overtired. Having an iron-deficiency may not cause insomnia or sleep problems but it can make you feel exhausted and overtired, which in turn may hinder your efforts to fall asleep in the first place!
Deficiency Of These Vitamins And Minerals Can Cause Insomnia
Sleep is essential for the maintenance and promotion of health. Insomnia is a common sleep disorder in which a person has trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or both. There are many causes of insomnia, including the deficiency of certain vitamins and minerals, which often go unnoticed by people.
According to experimental studies, micro-and macronutrients may impact the neurotransmitters or nerve-signalling chemicals of the brain, including melatonin and serotonin, and may cause sleep deprivation or sleep impairment when found deficient in the body.
Sleep deprivation can affect both the physical and mental health conditions in people and may lead them to risk of diseases such as depression, metabolic syndrome and cancer, ultimately, high risk of mortality.
In this article, we will discuss that the deficiency of which vitamins and minerals can cause insomnia. Take a look.
Other Symptoms Of Vitamin B12 Deficiency
More general symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency are listed by the NHS:
- Extreme tiredness
- Hearing sounds coming from inside the body, rather than from an outside Source
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
Bupa adds: If you have vitamin B12-deficiency anaemia, you may also look pale or jaundiced .
As well as the symptoms of anaemia, vitamin B12-deficiency may cause symptoms related to your nerves. This is called vitamin B12 neuropathy. It may affect your movement and sensation, especially in your legs, cause numbness or pins and needles and decrease your sensitivity to touch, vibration or pain. It can also cause confusion, depression, poor concentration and forgetfulness.
Examining The Case Through A Different Perspective
While it may seem paradoxical to improve insomnia by treatment with iron and nighttime ingestion of licorice, a reasonable explanation can be offered through Traditional Chinese Medicine . This patient is considered by TCM to be Blood Deficient , and certainly one sign of Blood Xu is insomnia.3 A variety of herbs can be used to treat Blood Xu, including Glycyrrhiza glabra , which is known to support Qi and Blood. Note, however, that many blood-building herbs of TCM do not treat anemia per se rather, they can address other causes such as heart failure.4
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Cant Sleep These 5 Essential Nutrients Can Help
If youve tried everything and good sleep is still eluding you, it may be time to examine your diet.
Good nutrition is important for many aspects of health including sleep, said Bonnie Buckingham, a registered dietitian with Samaritan Weight Management Institute. It is common for people to start having sleep difficulties as they age. Making sure your diet is balanced can be a good place to start, especially since meal planning can become less of a priority if someone is no longer cooking for a family or a spouse.
According to Buckingham, you dont need to eat these foods right before bed. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that eating less than 60 minutes before bed resulted in a longer time to fall asleep, especially in women. Instead, incorporate a variety of beneficial foods throughout your day to help your body do its job to regulate sleep.
Can Having Low Iron Levels Affect Your Sleep
Here in the UK, having low levels of iron is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies and its estimated that around 4 million of us could be suffering. Now, normally, low iron levels are associated with problems such as fatigue, dizziness and breathlessness but today Im going to take a closer look at how iron deficiency could potentially disrupt your sleep and what you can do to resolve the issue.
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Anemia Changes The Structure Of Sleep
The sleep cycle has evolved over millions of years. Theres a reason that each stage of sleep is in a particular order and lasts for a particular length.
Research has shown that anemia can result in a disturbance of your sleep cycles . The scary thing is that it can have this effect over a long term if you were anemic as a child.
The most notable changes are that there are more periods of REM sleep, and of different durations in those with anemia.
REM sleep is where most insomnia occurs, since it is the easiest stage of sleep to wake up from. So, its not surprising if those with anemia tend to have more disturbances during the night.
SummaryAnemia can have long term effects on sleep structure, most commonly resulting in shallower sleep overall.
Struggling With Insomnia Low Magnesium Could Be To Blame
Just how important is sleep? Well, it turns out that insomnia has been associated with increased risk of cancer, diabetes, gastrointestinal problems, depression, and overall mortality. Nearly one third of Americans have reported experiencing insomnia, meaning millions suffer every night. The potential health consequences and sheer number of people with insomnia makes the problem ever more urgent to address. Though volumes of scientific literature have devoted space to this topic, few have done enough to document magnesiums role in potential treatment and prevention of insomnia.
The biological benefits of magnesium are far-reaching and complex, so it should come as no surprise that many studies have linked poor sleep to calcium and magnesium deficiencies. By understanding how the most commonly cited causes of insomnia originate, you can equip yourself to combat the condition at its roots.
Magnesium plays a key role in the regulation of enzymatic reactions that control how the body experiences, manages, and interacts with stress. It is the relaxation mineral of choice by many doctors, because it reduces stress and anxiety by lowering cortisol levels in the body. Because stress and anxiety are known causes of insomnia, the importance of elevating the levels of magnesium in your body to treat and prevent insomnia cannot be stressed enough.
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Vitamin B12 Deficiency Neuropathy A Rare Diagnosis In Young Adults: A Case Report
TL DR: B12 Therapy effective but may take weeks or months
A 28-year-old female Cameroonian presented with progressive burning painful sensations on the upper trunk, paraesthesia, and numbness of the upper and lower limbs for a period of 5 years. She was placed on oral vitamin B12 supplements at 2 mg daily for 3 months. Follow up was marked by good clinical recovery after 1 month of therapy.
The Newly Discovered Genetic Link Between Anemia And Insomnia
Many people suffer from insomnia but do not know what causes it. Recent studies have discovered one gene may be responsible for causing the most common sleep disorder: MEIS1, which is also associated with iron-deficiency anemia.
MEIS1 gene is linked to restless legs syndrome, which causes a powerful urge to move the limbs. It also leads uncomfortable tingling and crawling sensations in them. This sensation occurs more often when we are not being active such as sitting or lying down -and becomes relieved with physical activity for as long it continues on.
The chance of having RLS is much higher in people with low iron levels. Iron deficiency can cause anemia and has been recognized as a significant contributor to sleep disorders, but theres little research on the relationship between them. Identifying common genetic components for these conditions will be useful so we further understand their contribution to sleep problems and potential treatments.
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Major Functions Of Ferritin In The Body
Iron helps in many functions of the body like cell growth. While iron is absorbed into the body from foods, it will also be stored in ferritin in various places of the body. The ferritin proteins will release the stored iron every time the body needs it.
A decline in ferritin levels will mean insufficient iron and vice versa. This can lead to a number of health issues:
In the two case studies mentioned previously, the two patients were not aware that they have iron deficiency but were plagued by symptoms such as sleep disorders and depression. All of these happened because of a deficiency in ferritin.