With jam-packed schedules, countless responsibilities, and often a lot of stress, sleep issues for women are extremely common. To protect your health, keep your performance sharp, and maintain your quality of life and relationships, it’s essential for you to know how your hormones affect your sleep, and what you can do to sleep well throughout all stages of life.
Why am I having a hard time sleeping?
Hormones work together to regulate your reproductive function and menstrual cycle. They also affect your mood, energy, sexual drive, cognitive and emotional abilities—and sleep—throughout your entire life. As these hormones fluctuate and decline with age, sleep often becomes increasingly disrupted. By the time you reach perimenopause, it’s very common that you might routinely be having a hard time falling asleep and sleeping soundly throughout the night.
Let’s look at the main hormones in your body and how they impact your quality of sleep.
Estrogen is needed for a variety of functions in the female body, however most women suffer from an overabundance of estrogen, known as estrogen dominance. Estrogen dominance can cause insomnia, moodiness, cravings, heavy periods, endometriosis, thyroid problems and even some female related cancers. When estrogen is left dominant, it will stimulate the pancreas to over produce insulin. This can cause insulin resistance, diabetes and weight gain over time. When it comes to your sleep, estrogen is stimulating in nature. So, if you have an imbalance of estrogen, it can cause increased anxiety and restlessness at night.
Progesterone works to balance the effects of estrogen. Progesterone helps regulate mood and protect against anxiety and depression. It also helps to stabilize blood sugar which can help you sleep through the night. Higher levels of progesterone promote a sense of calm, increasing relaxation and facilitating sleep. Progesterone increases production of GABA, a neurotransmitter that helps sleep. Low progesterone can bring about anxiety and restlessness, and trouble sleeping, including a tendency to wake frequently during the night.
Cortisol effects our entire biology. It affects our endocrine system, which produces all our hormones, including thyroid, insulin, progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone. It also affects our neurotransmitters, the brain chemicals that determine energy, mood, mental clarity, focus, and sleep. For many of us, our stress response feels like it is permanently on, with not nearly enough relaxation to balance things out. When you are under chronic stress, your cortisol levels will begin to drain, and your body will start to steal your valuable progesterone reserves in order to make more cortisol, leaving you estrogen dominant and the cycle continues.
Ways to sleep better naturally.
- Use the BeBalanced Natural Hormone Balancing Creams
Until you balance your hormones and lower your chronic stress levels, you will continue to have difficulties with restful sleep. By using the BeBalanced creams together, your body will have the building blocks it needs to balance your hormones naturally and protect against chronic stress.
- Stick to a sleep schedule.
Aim to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, even on weekends. This routine will get your brain and body used to being on a healthy schedule and will help you be able to nod off more quickly and rest more soundly through the night.
- Cut out alcohol within 3 hours of your bedtime.
Alcohol might make you feel sleepy, but it prohibits you from getting into REM sleep. Too little REM sleep can be devastating for the brain and body. Incorporate teas like chamomile which helps to promote sleep.
- Avoid caffeine after 12 pm.
Coffee in the morning is fine for most people. But as soon as the clock strikes noon, avoid caffeine in foods and drinks. Even small amounts found in chocolate can affect your sleep later that night.
- Block out the artificial light before bed.
Turn off TVs, computers, and other blue-light sources an hour before you go to bed. This type of light causes insulin to rise giving making it harder to fall asleep and may cause restless leg syndrome or jitteriness.
- Relax your mind.
Put aside any work, heavy discussions, or complicated decisions 2 to 3 hours before bed. It takes time to turn off the “noise” of the day. If you’ve still got a lot on your mind, jot it down in a journal and let go for the night. Then, about an hour before bed, read something calming, meditate, listen to quiet music or your BeBalanced relaxation tracks, or take a warm bath. Even just 10 minutes of relaxation makes a difference.
For more information about how Natural Hormone Balancing could help you experience peaceful, deep sleep and energetic, vibrant mornings, contact us today!