Do you often feel tired yet have trouble sleeping? Do you want to exercise but just don’t have the energy to do so? Chances are you could be one of more than 3 million Americans identified as suffering from an iron deficiency by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Iron plays a pivotal role in the healthy functioning of the body and when in short supply, can lead to myriad sleep-related conditions such as restless leg syndrome, constant fatigue and sleep apnea. If your hemoglobin range is below 12.0 to 15.5 grams per deciliter for an adult woman and 13.5 to 17.5 grams per deciliter for an adult man, you may have an iron deficiency that could be the direct cause of your sleep-related struggles.
Restless leg syndrome
If you have ever experienced restless leg syndrome you will know that it often leads to insomnia. The discomfort and twitchiness experienced in the legs after going to bad make it very difficult to sleep which is exactly why it is considered a sleep disorder. According to the National Sleep Foundation, as many as one in ten Americans suffer from RLS which has been linked to low dopamine levels in the brain. An iron deficiency can lead to a significant reduction in dopamine production which then triggers the restless legs. If your RLS has not been attributed to another underlying condition an iron deficiency could very well be the cause of your condition in which case a quality iron supplement can help relieve your symptoms tremendously.
While a variety of factors can cause sleep apnea one of the most prevalent is the collapse of the airway tract due to a reduced tone in the respiratory and pharyngeal muscles. Low iron levels have been found to aggravate and even trigger sleep apnea as reduced iron in the blood as well as full-blown anemia can hinder the coordination between the brain and the respiratory muscles. An iron deficiency also affects the tone of the respiratory and pharyngeal muscles which causes the apnea. Once iron levels have been restored to normal a significant reprieve from sleep apnea should be experienced.
One of the worst feelings in the world is being unable to sleep despite constant fatigue. The sleepiness associated with an iron deficiency affects all areas of your life, weighing you down physically and mentally and making everyday tasks seem daunting. If an individual has a low iron level, the blood has a tougher time transporting oxygen through the body resulting in fatigue, dizziness and even brain fog. By following a healthy, nutrient-dense diet and taking a good iron supplement or multi-vitamin you can effectively combat your fatigue and resume your daily life with vigor.
A lack of sleep can leave you feeling tired, irritated and over-emotional, severely impacting your overall health and well-being. If you find yourself battling with prolonged insomnia and other sleep-related ailments seek out professional medical assistance that can help you diagnose the root of your problem and treat it effectively.