Is it just stress, or could it be hormones keeping you awake at night? If you have trouble sleeping, fluctuations of cortisol, estrogen, progesterone, or thyroid hormones could be the reason why.
As women experience hormonal changes resulting from menstruation, pregnancy, postpartum, and especially menopause, they are more likely to have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep throughout the night, and waking up too early in the morning.
Cortisol and trouble sleeping
While stress and anxiety can certainly contribute to restlessness and trouble sleeping, if you suffer from persistent or overwhelming fatigue, the problem could be your cortisol levels. Cortisol is a steroid hormone produced in your adrenal glands and helps the body respond to stress. It also plays an important role in sleep-wake cycles by stimulating wakefulness in the morning, supporting alertness throughout the day, and gradually decreasing in the evening to allow other hormones like adenosine and melatonin to increase and promote restfulness and sleep. If cortisol levels remain high into the night, it can disrupt this natural body process and cause you to have trouble sleeping.
Estrogen, progesterone, and trouble sleeping
Estrogen and progesterone, the two primary female sex hormones, naturally decrease during menopause, triggering several changes, including your sleep habits. In addition to regulating your menstrual cycle and preparing your uterus for pregnancy, progesterone has a soothing effect to help you fall asleep and stay asleep. As progesterone levels decrease, you may find it more difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night. Likewise, the menopausal decline of estrogen can cause hot flashes, night sweats, anxiety, and depression, which means you’re more likely to have trouble sleeping. Here are a few things that may help improve your sleep during menopause and beyond:
- Follow a regular sleep cycle.
- Avoid taking naps in the late afternoon or evening
- Develop a bedtime routine
- Turn off all screens about 1 hour before bedtime
- Keep your bedroom quiet and at a comfortable temperature
- Exercise around the same time every day (but not too close to bedtime)
- Avoid eating large meals close to bedtime
- Avoid caffeine late in the day
Thyroid and trouble sleeping
The thyroid gland produces two hormones (thyroxine and triiodothyronine) that regulate how the body uses energy. A thyroid imbalance can lead to trouble sleeping. Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) can cause night sweats and frequent urges to urinate, keeping you up at night. Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) can make it more difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.
How to manage hormonal sleep problems
If you have trouble sleeping and think you may have a hormonal imbalance, the skilled healthcare provider at SynergenX can help you find out exactly which hormones are to blame and recommend appropriate treatments that will help you get back to a restful night’s sleep. We specialize in individualized hormone replacement therapy, which means we tailor treatment to your unique needs, symptoms, medical history, medical exam, and blood tests. We may also recommend lifestyle and diet changes, if needed, to help regulate and support healthy hormone levels.
Call 888.219.7259 to schedule an appointment today.
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