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Certified Clinical Densitometrist and Bone Health Expert


Ask Dr. Lani - Sleeping Disorder

Wednesday, May 05, 2010
Ask Dr. Lani - Sleeping Disorder

Dear Dr. Lani,

I am 56 years old and have not slept through the night since 7th grade. I wake up every hour and a half and usually eat something. I also use the bathroom each time I wake up. By morning, I’m exhausted! I was recently diagnosed with a large nodule on my thyroid. I wonder if there’s a connection between my thyroid problem and my sleep disorder and eating habits. I’m afraid my doctor will want to remove my thyroid after my next ultrasound. Being on drugs for the rest of my life scares me to death, not to mention surgery.


Hi K,

You are waking according to the normal sleep cycle of 90 minutes. Good sleepers usually wake and fall right back asleep.  However, something is waking you fully. Since you've been experiencing this since you were a child, your doctor should be very well versed in all possible causes of this type of sleep disorder. Hypothyroidism, elevated nighttime cortisol, sex hormones, depression and anxiety are all possibilities.

The most likely diagnosis of the nodule on your thyroid is a goiter due to hypothyroidism, and an ultrasound of the thyroid is the way to diagnose it.   Please see a doctor who will spend time with you to get to the bottom of what is going on.  When in doubt, always seek a second opinion.  You can regain your health!!!



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