The Tired Truth: How Hormone Imbalances Can Disrupt your Sleep
How do hormones become imbalanced?
Hormones, chemicals that tell your body what to do and when to do it, are considered to be imbalanced when there is either too much or not enough of any of the hormones normally produced. Hormones are essential to your health and well-being. Hormones can become imbalanced due to a variety of disorders, such as, injuries to an endocrine gland, autoimmune illness, and tumors or growths in the body. Certain periods in life such as puberty, pregnancy, and menopause come with fluctuating hormones. The process of aging creates an imbalance as some important glands such as the thyroid begin to produce less hormones. Hormones are important to:
- metabolism and appetite
- body temperature
- sexual function, drive, and reproduction
- heart rate
- blood pressure
- sleep-wake cycles
How are hormones connected to sleep?
A number of hormones are connected to maintaining a good circadian rhythm and enjoying a good night’s sleep. The release of these hormones depends on a body that is well-rested and able to send the appropriate signals to maintain hormone balance and health. Some of the major hormones connected to sleep are:
- estrogen and progesterone
- hunger hormones, like insulin, leptin, and ghrelin
- thyroid hormones
- growth hormone
What is cortisol?
Cortisol is a steroid hormone that is produced by the adrenal gland which helps manage stress as well as works to manage the production and release of other hormones in your body. Cortisol, also called the stress fighting hormone, reaches its peak thirty minutes after waking up from a restful sleep of seven to eight hours. Sleep times vary from individual to individual. This peak of cortisol is responsible for jump starting thyroid and estrogen production. Not getting enough sleep has a negative impact on cortisol production and ironically can also affect your ability to get a good night’s sleep. Furthermore, lack of sleep impacts the production of other hormones.
What are estrogen and progesterone?
Estrogen and progesterone are responsible for maintaining a healthy reproductive system. When cortisol doesn’t peak due to poor sleep, the production of these two hormones is thrown off balance. A lack of cortisol; also, can cause your thyroid gland to slow down hormone production which then slows down your metabolism and causes tiredness and weight gain.
What are the hunger hormones?
Poor sleep or disrupted sleep impacts the level of hunger hormones in your body. These hormones help your metabolism work efficiently. Metabolism is a chemical process in your body that produces energy from the food you eat. When these hormones are affected by lack of sleep, they disrupt hunger, food intake, and appetite which can cause weight gain. The hormones affected by poor sleep are:
These hormones are responsible for:
- blood sugar regulation
- fat storage
Since these hormones impact how your body converts food into energy, an imbalance can cause insulin resistance and weight gain, especially around the middle-section of your body.
What is melatonin?
Melatonin is a hormone that is secreted by the pineal gland that tells your body when to sleep. It is responsible for controlling your sleep patterns. Melatonin helps maintain your body’s circadian rhythm by telling it when to be awake and when to go to sleep. However, melatonin isn’t just about sleep, it is also responsible for controlling more than 500 other hormones in the body including those responsible for a healthy immune system.
What are the thyroid hormones?
The two main hormones your thyroid releases — thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) — together make the thyroid hormone. Thyroid hormone, manufactured in your thyroid gland, controls your body’s ability to change the food you eat into energy. This hormone impacts many areas of your body’s well-being. T4 is considered the inactive form while T3 is the active form that impacts cells and your metabolism. T4 is converted to T3 by cells in the following organs in the body:
As you need more energy, T4 needs to be converted into T3. It is easy to see why all areas of the body need to be functioning properly if you’re to enjoy a healthy and active metabolism and all the benefits it gives you.
What is the growth hormone?
Growth hormone or somatotropin is made in the pituitary gland. Also known as human growth hormone, HGH is a peptide hormone that stimulates growth, cell reproduction, and cell regeneration in humans and other animals. It is responsible for:
- protein production and synthesis
- muscle development
Sleep has a great impact on the production of HGH in your body. Cutting sleep means cutting the levels of HGH. Less HGH may mean more injuries, a weakened immune system, and a tendency to gain belly fat. About 75% of HGH is produced at night while your body is sleeping, especially during the first part of stage 3 sleep, otherwise known as deep sleep. During sleep, HGH works to repair and restore your body from the day-to-day wear and tear it faces during the day. Without a good night’s sleep, this rebuilding process is stalled. Healthy levels of HGH help to improve memory and focus and relieve stress and anxiety. Just another good reason to get a good night’s sleep.
How does poor sleep affect the body?
It’s obvious that lack of sleep leads to hormone imbalance which can lead to a myriad of health issues. Sticking to an adequate sleep regiment will help you regulate your hormones and will help you enjoy a healthier life.
How can Androgenix help?
If you are having difficulties sleeping, talk with our staff and doctor at Androgenix. There may be underlying causes to your inability to enjoy a restful night’s sleep If you have any concerns about your health, please contact our office and make an appointment with our staff and visit our office to get complete blood work and a physical examination. Our staff of caring healthcare practitioners are here to answer your questions and develop an appropriate treatment plan for you. You will be monitored by our team for treatment effectiveness and side effects on a regular basis. Our team at Androgenix are always here to support your journey to a better, healthier you. Every person who enters our doors is treated as an individual deserving of care and respect. We can help you feel and look better. Give us a call today.
*Unless otherwise stated, individual results may vary depending on many factors not all patients “feel” or achieve the same results.