Lack of sleep can be detrimental to health in so many ways. Chronic sleeplessness affects ones judgment and alertness during the day, skin appearance and health, reduces cognitive function and contributes to weight gain. Many folks are not aware of the connection of hormones and sleep.
Common hormone-related causes of sleep loss often involve the following scenarios
Melatonin, a hormone produced by the pineal gland during the dark phase of the light/dark cycle, regulates the sleep/wake cycle and the “biological clock”. Adequate melatonin production during the night as well as suppression of production during the day by exposure to daylight, form a balance that is vital to optimal health.
Low Melatonin results in excessive fatigue, depression, anxiety & insomnia.
A hormone produced by the adrenal glands in response to stress, is also known for its diurnal variation linked to the sleep/wake cycle. It has the opposite pattern to melatonin production in a healthy individual. While melatonin rises at night to peak during the early hours of the morning, cortisol is at its lowest levels throughout the night. After waking, melatonin production dips with the onset of daylight and cortisol rises and peaks about 30 minutes to 1 hour after rising. Cortisol production falls gradually during the day, while melatonin begins to rise during the evening as daylight diminishes, and the cycle repeats itself.
Results in insomnia, anxiety, sugar cravings, feeling tired but wired & increased belly fat
Changes in sex steroid hormone levels during menopause can impact neurotransmitter levels, leading to recurring sleep issues.
Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers used by the nervous system to relay information from one nerve to another.
Optimal neurotransmitter balance is required to maintain proper health. Imbalances can cause the brain and the body to be over- or under-stimulated, producing neurological or psychological symptoms.
Imbalances in Glutamate, Histamine, Dopamine, GABA and Serotonin are often linked to sleep disturbances and insomnia.