Sleep plays a very important in your overall physical and mental health. What’s even more important is good sleep. Often, we will fall asleep and end up tossing and turning most of the night and then wake up feeling restless and even more exhausted.
It’s important to understand your sleep patterns and how those might be affecting your overall health. Your sleep pattern and hormones go hand in hand. When experiencing trouble sleeping it may be due to imbalanced hormones.
Adults should try to get between seven and nine hours of sleep every night. Your body should go through five different stages during a sleep cycle. Stage 1 is when you are first trying to fall asleep, so it is considered a light sleep stage. In your second stage of sleep you are starting to drift into a deeper sleep; this is when your brain and eyes will start to slow down. Next you go into stage 3 and 4 which is your deep sleep. REM sleep occurs during stage 5 of sleep. REM stands for rapid eye movements and this is the stage where you will experience more dreams, body movement, and heavier breathing. Your body should repeat this sleep cycle four to five times every night.
When these sleep cycles are disturbed, it causes you to wake up feeling tired, exhausted, and restless. If your sleep disruptions continue to happen for a long period of time it can lead to weight gain, depression, heart disease and other serious issues. Understanding the cause of these disruptions will enable you to properly treat them.
There are a few hormones that directly affect your sleep performance. When women are in perimenopause and menopause, they can start to experience poor sleep and more sleep disturbances. In some women this can even last after menopause. Hot flashes at night are a very common cause of sleep disturbance in women.
Your thyroid hormone can also be imbalanced and cause sleep disruptions. If your thyroid gland is producing too much, this is called hyperthyroidism and can make it hard for your body to ever get into a relaxed state of mind, which then makes it harder to fall asleep. Hypothyroidism is when your thyroid gland is not producing enough hormones which will make your body feel more tired than it might truly be. It can cause you to feel more tired throughout your day even after getting your seven to nine hours of sleep.
Melatonin and cortisol are other hormones that can play a key role in your quality of sleep. Melatonin is more active at night because it helps to regulate your body’s internal clock and make your body aware that it’s time for sleep. Cortisol is more active during the day and tells your body when it should be awake. An imbalance in either of these two can also affect your sleep patterns.
With the use of hormone replacement therapy, you can balance out your imbalanced hormones and start to notice improved sleep quality. Because there are so many hormones that play key roles in your sleep, it’s important to know the root of the issue. At The Riegel Center, we will first do an initial consultation with you to determine all of your concerns. Once we have done that, we will schedule blood work for you so that we can find out just which hormones are imbalanced. From there, Dr. Riegel can create a personalized plan of care for you based on hormone levels. We will regularly monitor your hormones and make changes as needed. For more information on bioidentical hormone therapy, please visit our website or give us a call today.