Hypothyroidism, Menopause, and Mental Illness: The Perfect Storm for Insomnia
I am having more trouble sleeping than usual, and it is slowly driving me mad. The fatigue is really getting to me, and I am struggling to get through each day.
Unfortunately, there really isn't a solution to my problem.
Underlying conditions affect insomnia
I do not take medication to sleep, and I have no intention of doing such. If you use medication to treat insomnia and it is effective for you, I think that is wonderful and I am glad you are getting much-needed sleep. However, medication is not right for me.
Of course, I could treat the underlying conditions that affect it but there are so many. Treatment for some of those aren't right for me, either, and it seems as soon as I get one condition under control another starts causing problems. There are just too many to keep in check, and it seems all of them are never under control at the same time.
Hypothyroidism causes hypersomnia and still keeps me awake
My thyroid levels are not in the normal range. The symptoms of hypothyroidism plague me day and night and are making me absolutely miserable. I am either burning up or freezing cold all day and all night. Hypersomnia annoys me some days. I doze off over and over but can never actually sleep.
I feel like getting my thyroid medication dosage right will help tremendously, but this game of trial and error with dosage is really getting old. I know there is no other way to get this under control, but it doesn't make it any easier to cope with all the changes in symptoms and how it affects my sleep.
Menopause-related hormonal changes make it hard to sleep
I am now post-menopausal, but the symptoms are much the same as those during perimenopause. I still have night sweats, and that is compounded by the trouble regulating my body temperature caused by hypothyroidism. I toss and turn, throwing the covers off and then piling them on over and over all night long.
When I am too hot, I cannot sleep. When I am too cold, I cannot sleep. This isn't the only issue it causes. The hormonal changes also cause quite a bit of anxiety, and that makes matters even worse.
Mental illness and anxiety fuel insomnia
I have bipolar disorder and panic disorder. To say I already have a fair amount of anxiety is a bit of an understatement. Add additional anxiety due to issues with hypothyroidism and hormonal changes related to menopause and I feel like a ticking time bomb.
Not being able to sleep and having trouble functioning during the day also add to my anxiety. My anxiety adds to my anxiety, and I lie awake at night anxious about lying awake. It is ridiculous the amount of anxiety I have from all these different things. Even though I feel my mental illness is mostly well-controlled, my anxiety is still an issue.
Coping with excess fatigue
All these things keep me awake, and the lack of sleep only fuels my anxiety. The energy I burn trying to function during the day leads to exhaustion, and I am not getting enough sleep to change that. This perfect storm is giving me quite a beating. I am dragging through each day and dreading each sleepless night.
Do you have multiple conditions causing insomnia? How do you deal with it? Have you found ways to cope with fatigue? I would love to hear about your experience.
Have you taken our In America Survey yet?