Sometimes, difficulty sleeping isn’t a result of a health condition itself, but of the medication you’re using to treat it. A broad array of medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, can trigger sleeping problems. Antihistamines and cold medications, high blood pressure and cholesterol drugs, corticosteroids for asthma, medications to treat depression and anxiety, and drug treatments for attention deficit disorder are among the dozens of medications that can disrupt sleep. Talk with your physician before adding new medications to your regular routine, and familiarize yourself with the side effects of all medications you’re taking. Trouble sleeping that lasts beyond four weeks is something to discuss with your doctor, along with a review of your current medications. Read on for some sleep disorders you need to know about—besides sleep apnea.
Both over-active (hyperthyroidism) and under-active (hypothyroidism) thyroid conditions frequently cause chronic sleep problems, not to mention plenty of other serious health issues. The thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate metabolism, and have a widespread influence over the body’s systems, from brain function to appetite to mood and energy, as well as sleep. Insomnia is a hallmark symptom of hyperthyroidism—an over-active thyroid can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. Other symptoms of hyperthyroidism include racing heartbeat, hand tremors, increased sweating, muscle weakness, anxiety and irritability. According to Oxford Academic, hypothyroidism can also cause sleep difficulties, including more frequent awakenings. Fatigue, depression, difficulty concentrating, dry skin, and feeling cold are other symptoms of hypothyroidism. A simple blood test can determine your thyroid levels, so speak with your doctor if you’re experiencing disrupted sleep and other thyroid-related symptoms, such as thinning hair and excessive sweating. Learn about some surprising things that could be wrecking your sleep.