Everyone has their own bedtime routine. Some people pamper themselves by lathering on the skin care products, while others prefer to read in bed for 30 minutes. Maybe you draw a warm bath, light some candles, and enjoy a cup of herbal tea to help relax the mind and body. What you may not know is that your bedtime routine can affect your thyroid gland.
That little butterfly-shaped endocrine gland in your neck is vital to your overall health. It works to control your metabolism and aids other bodily functions like digestion, breathing, brain development, and fertility. You thrive when your thyroid does! That said, certain habits can either benefit or inhibit optimal thyroid function. The following nightly practices can help your thyroid function at its best.
Soda is tempting because of its fizzy deliciousness, but soda and other sugary-sweetened beverages contribute to inflammation. Harvard Health Publishing explains that added sugars trigger inflammation, and chronic inflammation affects the thyroid. Additionally, sipping on these types of sugary beverages can increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other metabolic conditions. Added sugar should only contribute to 10% of your daily total calories. The problem is that sodas and other sugary beverages make up the majority of added sugar consumption in the American diet. Give your thyroid some love and skip the nighttime soda (and anytime, really). Stick to water and herbal teas.
Go For A Walk
A post-supper stroll is a simple yet effective strategy that can both benefit your thyroid and your digestive system. Moderate exercise, such as a 20-minute walk, helps all your systems and organs function their best. Not only does walking reduce your risk of certain chronic illnesses, but it also strengthens your bones and muscles, helping you maintain a healthy weight. Walking is a great way to reduce stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, and it helps to boost endorphin production. Managing stress is essential if you want to keep your thyroid healthy.
Make Meditation A Habit
As previously stated, reducing stress can benefit your thyroid. Researchers note that a nightly meditation routine, especially mindful meditation, is a great approach to reduce the body’s response to stress. Focus on the present moment and engage in breath work to improve both anxiety and depression. You don’t have to become a full-blown monk, but taking a few minutes to meditate every night can help you clear your mind and wind down before bed. Meditation may also contribute to better quality sleep.
Eat Plenty Of Vegetables With Dinner
The general recommendation from dietitians is to fill at least half your plate with vegetables. Eating more vegetables means that you’ll consume more antioxidants, which work to fight free radicals and inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation can potentially affect your thyroid over time, contributing to illnesses like heart disease, stroke, arthritis, and more. Research shows that there is a direct connection between eating more anti-inflammatory foods and better thyroid health. For reference, the average adult should consume at least two to three cups of vegetables per day, but a couple more cups won’t hurt you!
It’s safe to say that sleep qualifies as a nightly habit, but a lot of people experience sleep difficulties. If you don’t get enough sleep, you won’t function at your best. A July-September 2021 study found that people with sleep problems experienced an increase in certain hormones on thyroid function tests. This concluded that poor sleep quality may affect thyroid hormones. Researchers believe that the connection between sleep and thyroid health has something to do with stress. To experience better thyroid health, try to sleep between seven and eight hours every night.