There are different causes of insomnia, but hormonal imbalances are among the big triggers. No wonder sleep disorders become more prevalent in men and women as they progress past menopause. Not only do menopausal women find it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep, but they also spend less time in rapid eye movement sleep when they do sleep. If you’re past 40 and are having trouble sleeping or have been feeling less rested after waking up, you may not be wrong to blame it on the hormones.
How Declining Hormones Negatively Affect Sleep
Different hormones in the body play different roles in promoting quality sleep. A decline in these hormones can jeopardize your sleep. Here’s just a small sample of how different hormonal imbalances negatively can affect your sleep:
- Low progesterone: Progesterone is a hormone that calms the brain and reduces anxiety. This hormone declines sharply when a woman enters perimenopause. Without its calming effect on the brain, you may experience high levels of anxiety that can cause insomnia.
- Low estrogen: Estrogen is a hormone that helps to regulate blood sugar. When this hormone decreases, your blood sugar can rise, causing weight gain and wakefulness.
- Low melatonin: Melatonin is known as the sleep hormone. It helps regulate other sleep hormones as well as the circadian rhythms. Anything from nutritional deficiencies to overexposure to light at night can reduce this hormone.
- Low testosterone: There’s a link between low testosterone and sleep deprivation in both men and women. Sleep apnea inhibits REM sleep and reduces testosterone, which in turn creates more sleep disturbances along with other symptoms associated with low testosterone. It is especially important to speak to a qualified physician as SDBody if you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea as the incorrect use of Testosterone can worsen the effects of obstructive sleep apnea.
- Low DHEA: DHEA is an adrenal hormone that helps build bone and muscle. Like other hormones, DHEA declines with age. Low DHEA levels are linked to muscle weakness, which includes the pelvic floor, probably causing you to wake up several times at night to go to the bathroom.
- Underactive or overactive thyroid: Thyroid affects cells in the body, including the brain cells for serotonin, which is a brain chemical that affects sleep. When your thyroid is either underactive or overactive, your sleep is likely to be negatively affected.
Benefits of Hormone Replacement Therapy for Improved Sleep
If hormonal imbalances are negatively affecting your sleep, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) at SDBody in San Diego is probably the best option you have. HRT is a well-known treatment for relief of insomnia and other aging symptoms caused by hormonal imbalance. Many clinical studies have reported improvements to sleep quality in those who use hormone replacement therapy effectively. The benefits of using HRT include:
- It helps you fall asleep faster
- It reduces your nighttime awakenings
- It strengthens your sleep cycles
- It boosts your REM sleep
- It reduces mood swings and levels of anxiety
Researchers cite that sleeplessness, night sweats, joint pains and hot flushes are less common in people on HRT. Besides improving your quality of sleep, HRT can reduce many age-related symptoms such as weight gain, anxiety, muscle loss and sexual dysfunction. Overall, with HRT your quality of life is improved.
The quality of life benefits of hormone replacement therapy are greater in men and women with more severe symptoms due to aging. While there are some side effects to watch out for, the benefits of HRT by far outweigh the risks, especially for women with severe menopause symptoms and men who suffer from loss of muscle and energy.
There are various factors that will be part of your decision to use a particular hormone replacement therapy, including your age, your preferences, the available HRT treatment options, and the cost of the product. Only after undergoing an examination and understanding your own situation and after a thorough consultation with an HRT clinician at SDBody can you make the most ideal choice.