Can’t sleep? Your hormones may be to blame.
Hormones have profound effects on our bodies. When dysregulated they can cause fatigue, mood swings, swelling, weight gain and sleep disruption. Below are some of the hormones which have the largest impact on sleep.
Before the invention of artificial light, melatonin indicated to the body whether it was daytime or nighttime. It naturally increases in the dark, often reaching its highest level between 2 and 4am. Melatonin plays a role in falling asleep quickly and providing quality sleep. This potent antioxidant naturally decreases with age.
Cortisol is our ‘get up and go’ hormone. It naturally decreases in the evening, reaching its lowest level around midnight. 2-3 hours after you fall asleep it begins to rise, eventually allowing you to wake up in the morning.
In stressful times, higher levels of cortisol are released. This can lead to a light sleep and waking up frequently. Stress can be mental or physical; such as a tough day at work or an evening workout.
Progesterone is one of the main female hormones, playing a large role in the menstrual cycle and pregnancy. If levels are too low you may experience weight gain, depression, anxiety, migraines, hot flashes, sleep disturbances and an irregular menstrual cycle. If you sleep poorly the few days before your period, or if your sleep has worsened as you approach menopause, low progesterone might be to blame.
As estrogen decreases overtime it can trigger nighttime hot flashes, a common sleep disruption for many women during menopause.
How can we help?
We offer a wide range of comprehensive hormonal testing. Our naturopathic physicians are trained to identify and treat hormonal imbalances with a wide range of tools including therapeutic diets, lifestyle changes, acupuncture, intravenous treatments, herbal medicine, nutrient supplementation and bio-identical hormones.