ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — According to the CDC, more than one in three Americans don’t get enough sleep on a regular basis. There are lots of reasons for sleep problems, but as Ivanhoe explains, your hormones may be at the top of the list.
A bad night’s sleep can leave you tired, moody, and unfocused the next day.
“There’s no reason that anyone should have to be miserable, and sleep deprived,” stated Katie Kovaleski, Founder of Anytime Sleep Consulting.
If you’re a woman who doesn’t sleep well, research from Yale shows your hormones may be the culprit. Your body has 50 hormones that help start or stop certain body functions. The two major female hormones, estrogen and progesterone, may impact sleep at different times in a woman’s life. For instance, right before menstruation, progesterone levels dip dramatically. During pregnancy and menopause, both estrogen and progesterone levels fluctuate up and down. Experts say try exercise to offset sleeping difficulties. Also, avoid nicotine and caffeine. And …
“According to the National Sleep Foundation, about two out of three women in or around menopause are going to have sleep issues,” explained Mache Seibel, MD, an OBGYN and member of faculty at Harvard Medical School.
If you’re going through menopause, soy-rich foods which contain a chemical that mimics the effect of estrogen can help. These include: tofu, miso, soy milk, and edamame. You may also want to ask your doctor about birth control or hormone replacement therapy. Some studies have found women who take these therapies report sleep improvements.
Women with polycystic ovary syndrome may especially struggle with sleeping difficulties due to hormones. They typically have higher levels of testosterone and lower levels of progesterone. They also have a greater risk of developing sleep apnea, a condition that causes irregular breathing during sleep.
Contributors to this news report include: Julie Marks, Producer; and Roque Correa, Editor.
HORMONES TO BLAME FOR SLEEP PROBLEMS IN WOMEN?
BACKGROUND: The term sleep disorder refers to conditions that affect sleep quality, timing, or duration, and impact a person’s ability to properly function while they are awake. These disorders can contribute to other medical problems, and some may also be symptoms for underlying mental health issues. Most sleep disorders can be characterized by having trouble falling or remaining asleep; finding it difficult to stay awake during the day; imbalances in your circadian rhythm that interfere with a healthy sleep schedule; and being prone to unusual behaviors that disrupt your sleep. Today, there are more than 100 specific sleep disorders that have been identified and classifications use complex methodologies to categorize these disorders based on causes, symptoms, physiological and psychological effects, among other criteria.
SLEEP AND HORMONES: Sleep affects many hormones in the body, including those related to stress and hunger. Hormones are chemical messengers that play a vital role in regulating the body’s many processes, systems, and functions. They’re released through the endocrine system, a network of organs and glands located throughout the body. Various hormone functions and their release are impacted by sleep or circadian rhythm and vice versa. Getting adequate sleep is important for regulating hormones including cortisol, estrogen and progesterone, hunger hormones (like insulin, leptin, and ghrelin), melatonin, thyroid hormones, and growth hormones. Abhinav Singh, MD, the medical director of Indiana Sleep Center, says, “Whenever we chronically disrupt sleep in quantity and quality, we disturb this balance and leave the door open to medical problems.”
NEW STUDY EVALUATES HORMONE THERAPIES: A new study published in the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS), evaluated the effectiveness of different hormone therapies in managing the frequency of nocturia, or frequent nighttime urination. Results revealed the loss of estrogen during menopause was linked to bladder dysfunction, sleep disorders, hot flashes, and alterations in renal water and salt handling, all of which result in excessive urination overnight. The study involved around 250 women who were divided into four treatment groups: estrogen and progesterone (E+P); estrogen only in patients with prior hysterectomies; TSEC; and no treatment. The study concluded that systemic treatment with either E+P or TSEC led to a significant reduction in frequent nighttime urination and substantial improvement of bothersome symptoms in women with two or more nocturnal voids. The use of estrogen only resulted in a significant reduction in urgency prevalence. Researchers believe that additional research should be conducted to better understand the underlying triggers.
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