Effects of Supraphysiological Doses of Levothyroxine on Sleep in Healthy Subjects: A Prospective Polysomnography Study

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftForschungsartikelBeigetragenBegutachtung



Disrupted sleep is prevalent in both mood and thyroid disorders. Given the emerging use of thyroid hormones in the treatment of mood disorders, we investigated the effects of supraphysiological doses of levothyroxine (L-T4) on sleep. In an open-label design, 13 healthy subjects received up to 500 mu g/day for an eight-week period. A baseline night was polysomnographically recorded (PSG) followed by PSG under the maximum tolerated dose of L-T4. All subjects developed hyperthyroxinemia. The heart rate and respiration rate increased significantly with treatment; a significant increase in body temperature was observed in men but not in women. Surprisingly, treatment with supraphysiological doses of L-T4 did not cause significant effects on sleep architecture. However, the increase in body movements and REM density was close to reaching statistical significance. Here, we report on the sleep data, thyroid hormone levels, and physiological parameters during sleep. We conclude that experimentally induced hyperthyroidism does not profoundly change the sleep structure in healthy individuals underlining the good tolerability of treatment with supraphysiological doses of L-T4 in patients with mood disorders.


FachzeitschriftJournal of thyroid research
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2011

Externe IDs

PubMedCentral PMC3134320
WOS 000215649100030
PubMed 21765990
Scopus 84880595007
ORCID /0000-0002-2666-859X/work/149438738



  • Thyrotropin-releasing-hormone, Bone-mineral density, Maintenance treatment, Thyroid-disorders, L-thyroxine, Rem-sleep, Depression, Mood, Hyperthyroidism, Metabolism