Hormones and how they can adversely affect your sleep cycle
8 Oct 2016
It would be an understatement of note to say that hormones can wreak havoc with just about every system in the body. The fact that the sleep cycle is one of the top complaints received by doctors may come as no surprise, but what can you do?
Hormones and how they affect your sleep
Poor sleep has been proven to make you less productive, bad tempered and wreak havoc with your bodies natural regulators also known as hormones.
Studies show that sleep is as important as nutrition and exercise, and plays a vital role in disease prevention and weight control. The hormone cortisol controls your bodies natural processes and rhythms. When cortisol becomes unbalanced, so too does your health, and it shows.
Adrenal glands in the body work hard to keep you balanced. They maintain your body weight, regulate your blood sugar levels, manage stress levels and control inflammation. But, perhaps the most important role is the regulation of sleep and wake cycles.
When your body’s stress response and blood sugars stay balanced, your body produces the chemical known as melatonin. This is the necessary component which allows you to drop off so that you get a peaceful night’s rest undisturbed.
A healthy, balanced system means you fall asleep and stay asleep. But what happens if your cortisol stays elevated in the afternoon and evening? You may feel tired yet have unexplained energy, as though you want to sleep but you just can’t.
Good sleep strategy
Employ these strategies to optimize your nutrition so you handle stress effectively and get high-quality sleep throughout the whole night:
– Eat correctly. Cut out all snacking three hours before bedtime.
– Carbs are sugars. Eat most of your daily intake of carbohydrates before dinner time. Avoid white foods such as potatoes, bread, and rice.
– A balanced diet. Eating too few calories or nutrients in known to increase cortisol levels and wake you up in the middle of the night.
– Develop regular rhythms of sleep. Develop a routine and stick to it for your bodies sake. Go to bed before 11p.m. and wake up at the same time each day.
– Create a sleep environment. Your room needs to have total darkness and quiet.
– Avoid caffeine at night. Caffeine may seem to help you stay awake, but actually, it disturbs your sleep cycle keeping you awake.
– Avoid alcohol. Alcohol creates interruptions in your sleep patterns and contributes to an overall poor-quality sleep.
If you are still having trouble sleeping, it is time to get checked. Visit a healthcare practitioner or doctor who will assess your lifestyle. Tests may include food sensitivities, thyroid problems, menopause, sleep apnea, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, heavy metal toxicity, stress, and depression.