You stopped drinking caffeine and invested in blue light blockers, but still can’t seem to get a good night’s sleep. Hormones can have an effect not only on your mood, metabolism, and production but also on the amount of sleep you get each night. It is important to balance your hormones in order to get the rest your body needs every night, but that can be difficult. So, what can you do? Let’s explore how hormones can affect your sleep.
What hormones impact sleep?
The human body secretes and circulates around 50 different hormones, most of which are made by the endocrine system. This system is composed of different glands that produce and release hormones. Each hormone has its own function and is produced by its own gland. How is this related to sleep?
Certain hormones, such as cortisol and melatonin, can have an effect on the body that can interfere with sleep. Stress, anxiety, anger, and sexual excitement are some of the reasons why hormones can stop you from falling asleep.
6 hormones associated with sleep:
1. Oestrogen – Oestrogen is a hormone that is largely associated with women’s reproductive health, and is an important part of the menstrual cycle. It is also a key factor in your body’s ability to use serotonin, one of the most important neurotransmitters for feeling good. As you go through life, your oestrogen levels can fluctuate greatly, and when they are low, it can cause a variety of sleep-related symptoms.
2. Progesterone – Progesterone is a female sex hormone that has a huge impact on sleep quality. It’s essential for a good night’s rest, as concentrations of this hormone can affect our ability to fall asleep quickly, as well as lead to mood swings and cramps.
3. Testosterone – Testosterone is a hormone found in both men and women that plays a crucial role in the body’s functioning. While the levels of other hormones such as oestrogen and progesterone can fluctuate in a more unpredictable manner, testosterone levels tend to decline gradually with age. This gradual decline is often associated with a poorer quality of sleep and can even lead to insomnia, making it an important issue to consider when looking at overall health.
4. Insulin – Sleep is a crucial part of our daily lives and having a proper night’s sleep is essential for our overall health and well-being. However, many of us don’t know that our blood glucose levels can be affected by sleep deprivation. This hormone, known as insulin, plays a vital role in controlling blood glucose levels. When we don’t get enough sleep, it can raise our blood sugar levels and encourage unhealthy late-night eating habits. This, in turn, triggers an insulin release, causing our blood glucose levels to fluctuate throughout the night. When the level of blood glucose is higher, this can lead to a more restless night’s sleep than normal.
5. Cortisol – We all know how important a good night’s sleep is for our overall health and well-being, but what happens when our sleep is disrupted? It could be a sign of an underlying health issue, such as high cortisol levels. Known as the stress hormone, cortisol is a steroid made in the adrenal glands that are responsible for controlling blood sugar levels, regulating metabolism, reducing inflammation, and improving memory. But when cortisol levels get too high, it can lead to a whole host of health problems such as high blood pressure, mood swings, anxiety, depression, and rapid weight gain—all of which can disrupt our sleep.
6. Melatonin – Sleep is an essential part of our daily lives, and the hormone melatonin plays a major role in regulating our sleep cycles. This hormone is regulated by the brain’s response to light and darkness and is responsible for ensuring that we get enough sleep for a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
What you can do to control hormone levels.
Now that you have a better understanding of the hormones that affect your sleep, it’s time to use this information and get a good night’s rest.
Here are some things you can do to help balance your hormones:
- Reduce using screens before bed. Watching TV or talking on the phone before bed can lower melatonin levels, seriously affecting the ability to fall asleep. Try reading a book or playing music.
- Destress. It may sound obvious, but doing something relaxing before bed can make all the difference in the quality of your sleep. Whether it’s meditation, ASMR, yoga, massage, exercise, candles, lavender oil, or knitting – anything that makes you feel comfortable and relaxed, make the most of it and you’ll be falling asleep in no time.
- Set a routine. The human body likes to follow a set routine of its circadian rhythm. Try to fall asleep and wake up at the same time every day. While it might be tempting to sleep in, oversleeping can make you feel worse in the long run and cause just as many problems as not getting enough sleep.
- Watch when you eat. Eating before bed is not a good idea because it increases your insulin and cortisol levels. If you eat and manage to fall asleep before bedtime, deep REM sleep will become more difficult and the quality and duration of your sleep will be affected.
Understanding the hormones that affect sleep is the first step to understanding your body and making the changes necessary to get a good night’s sleep. Take the time to understand your body’s natural rhythms and develop sleep habits that support a balanced sleep cycle. Track Your Max of Webster, TX helps you take control of your life and results with hormone test panels that can reveal a number of underlying health concerns affecting your health and sleep quality. Call (832) 400-9501 to get started. Once you’ve done that, you can rest.