The 3 Hormones That Are Affecting Your Sleep
By William Lovett, M.D.
Sleep is imperative for nearly every area of your life, but many people complain of difficulty sleeping as they age. Some of our own clients suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea, muscle or joint pain, or another physical issue that prevents them from falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up feeling rested.
Many of these clients report taking over-the-counter or prescription medications before bed to help increase sleep quality. Others go as far as buying new mattresses. But these don’t help, leaving people irritated and fatigued.
Why does this happen? As we age, our natural chemistry changes and our bodies enter either Menopause (women) or Andropause (men). This change reduces our “sleep hormones” tremendously, often keeping us from progressing through the sleep cycle and entering the “deep sleep” stage needed to feel rested.
So what are the 3 hormones affecting your sleep?
1. Melatonin, the “sleep” hormone
Melatonin is a hormone made by the Pineal Gland, which sits in the center of your brain and is responsible for controlling many systems in your body. Melatonin itself is responsible for achieving the stages of sleep, and levels should be highest at night as you go to bed. When that doesn’t happen – when you are not producing enough – is when you struggle with sleep quality.
Additional benefits of healthy Melatonin levels include:
- Improved stage 4 and REM sleep
- Improved depth and quality of sleep
- Decreased nocturia (bedtime trips to the bathroom)
- Decreased migraine and cluster headaches
- Increased immune function (it’s a potent anti-oxidizer)
- Increased amount of cells that act as scavengers for free radicals)
- Decreased irritability
- Increased energy and mood
- Lowered blood pressure
- Decreased risk of cardiac disease
Testosterone is a steroid hormone that is, contrary to popular belief, found in both men and women. It is most commonly known for its ability to increase the sex drive in both men and women, but there are many additional benefits for the whole body, including better sleep quality.
Additional benefits of optimized Testosterone levels include:
- Increased energy
- Improved thinking
- Decreased brain fog, Alzheimer’s, and Dementia
- Increased muscle mass
- Decreased fat
Progesterone is a steroid hormone involved in the female menstrual cycle, but it is vital to women’s health outside of reproduction. For women, it is an essential part of sleep quality, because it is a natural sedative.
Additional benefits of healthy Progesterone levels include:
- Decreased PMS symptoms (moodiness, irritability, headaches)
- Decreased risk of breast and uterine cancer
- Decreased risk of heart attacks
- Improved good cholesterol levels
- Increased libido
While it is natural for our bodies to gradually decrease (or stop) production of these hormones, it doesn’t make the affected sleep cycle any easier to handle. In most of our clients, improving the quality of sleep requires balancing out several hormones through our bio-identical hormone replacement therapy program. To ensure the healthiest and best quality of life, we use hormones that are chemically-identical to the naturally-occurring hormones produced or once produced in the body.
Our clients report marked improvement in sleep quality when their Testosterone and Progesterone levels are increased to levels they experienced in their youth. If you are interested in better sleep and better overall hormonal balance, please fill out our online consultation form to get started. We are ready to help you feel better, live better, and look better today!