This article has been researched and written by Arelang Naturals® in-house writers.
You snooze, you lose, right? Not exactly. Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, our hormones mess with our shut eye and leave us feeling tired, grumpy, lethargic, and unhappy. Imagine trying to sneak in a quick snooze in the middle of a zoom call, and missing the most important point mentioned on the call.
To understand sleep better, we need to acknowledge more than just lights-out and melatonin. A little-known fact is that too many hormones affect how well or how poorly one sleeps. These are essential chemicals produced by your body and dispersed through the endocrine system - a network of glands and organs located throughout your body.
Hormones play a crucial role in keeping your body ticking like clockwork and are responsible for some pretty amazing functions, including:
- Controlling your cravings and metabolism so you can enjoy your favourite foods without worry
- Regulating your body temperature so you stay comfortable in any weather
- Fueling your sexual drive and function, keeping the spark alive
- Monitoring your blood pressure and heart rate, keeping you healthy and happy
- Regulating your circadian rhythm, ensuring you get a good night's sleep
However, when hormones aren't produced in the right amounts, it can lead to adrenal fatigue, characterised by symptoms such as fatigue, body aches, and low blood pressure. Adrenal fatigue is usually the result of stress and the overproduction of cortisol and adrenaline in the adrenal gland, which can impact sleep and, in turn, every other function in our body.
The interplay between sleep and hormones is a delicate one. Sleep affects our hormones, and our hormones affect our sleep. To ensure healthy hormone production and regulation, it's crucial to get the stipulated amount of sleep each night. Here are some hormones that play a critical role in our sleep and how to manage them to ensure we get a good night's rest:
The Master of Stress and Hormone Regulation: When we think of the human body, we often focus on our muscles, bones, and organs, but there is one small yet powerful hormone that plays a crucial role in regulating our health - cortisol. Produced by the adrenal glands, cortisol is often referred to as the "stress hormone" because it is responsible for our body's response to stress. But did you know that cortisol is also essential for regulating other hormones and maintaining overall well-being? As the day begins, cortisol levels peak after a good night's rest, signalling to other hormones that it's time to wake up and start their day. However, when we don't get enough quality sleep, cortisol levels can be hindered, affecting the delicate balance of the hypothalamic-pituitary axis (HPA) and leading to problems such as insomnia, shortened sleep duration, disrupted sleep patterns, and decreased deep sleep. If cortisol levels are disrupted due to lack of sleep, the body may respond by releasing even more cortisol in an attempt to increase alertness.
Now too much cortisol can cause an overactive HPA and disrupt the balance of our hormone system, leading to chronic stress and a host of related health problems. By taking care of our cortisol levels, we can ensure that our body's hormone regulation stays in balance, promoting good health and well-being. So, next time you find yourself feeling stressed, take a moment to consider how cortisol is playing a role in your body and how you can give your adrenal glands the support they need through restful sleep and stress management techniques.
Sleep is essential for a healthy body and mind, and melatonin, known as the "sleep hormone" plays a critical role in regulating your sleep-wake cycle. Produced by the pineal gland, melatonin levels naturally rise in response to darkness, so by bedtime it signals your body that it's time to sleep. But, in our fast-paced, technology-driven world, the blue light emitted from our electronic devices overstimulates the eyes and can significantly interfere with the release of melatonin, making it increasingly challenging to get a good night's sleep. You may have noticed that after spending hours in front of a screen it can be difficult to unwind and fall asleep. That is because the blue light from these devices tricks our brains into thinking it's still daylight, inhibiting the production of melatonin and making it harder for us to drift off. This lack of sleep can have significant long-term consequences, leading to physical and mental health problems, including fatigue, stress, and depression. So, how can you support healthy melatonin production and enjoy a good night's sleep? The solution is simple - it's time to switch off (not mute!) your devices and opt for natural lighting. That means reducing your exposure to artificial light sources or surrounding yourself with light sources that mimic natural daylight. Whether reading a book by candlelight, meditating in front of a Himalayan salt lamp, taking a walk in the sunshine, or taking natural plant-based melatonin-boosting supplements like Restore Your Sleep before bedtime, there are many ways to support healthy melatonin production and ensure a restful night's sleep.
The Hunger Hormone:
Sleep plays a crucial role in regulating your metabolism, the process by which food is converted into energy. This process is vital to keep your body functioning properly, and it is controlled by a series of hunger hormones, including Leptin, Ghrelin, and Insulin. These hormones are responsible for regulating your hunger levels, determining when you feel full, managing the storage of fat in your body, and maintaining proper blood sugar levels. When your sleep patterns are disturbed, your hunger hormones become imbalanced, leading to several negative consequences. Poor sleep can negatively impact your hunger levels and appetite, causing you to crave high-calorie, unhealthy foods that can lead to weight gain.
Sleep deprivation can also affect your insulin resistance, potentially exacerbating symptoms of diabetes. That can be a vicious cycle, as increased insulin resistance can cause further disruptions to your sleep patterns. By regulating your hunger hormones and metabolism, you can help prevent weight gain, maintain proper blood sugar levels, and prevent the exacerbation of diabetes symptoms.
Estrogen and Progesterone:
Women's health is complex and multi-faceted, and two hormones in particular, Estrogen and Progesterone, play a crucial role in regulating a woman's menstrual cycle. These hormones significantly impact a woman's sleep patterns, especially during certain times of the month, pregnancies, and menopause. For example, during the menopause phase, a woman's estrogen levels may decrease, leading to hot flashes, night sweats, and disrupted sleep. These symptoms can be frustrating, leaving women fatigued and lacking energy during the day. One option is natural plant-based supplements like Rekindle For Women that help kick start natural estrogen production in the body and balance hormone levels and alleviate symptoms related to menopause and help you sleep better.
As we go about our daily lives, it's easy to take sleep for granted. However, getting quality sleep at night is grossly underrated and absolutely essential for regulating the hormones in our bodies and maintaining good health. Without proper rest, we put ourselves at risk of hormone imbalances that can lead to a host of health problems.
The effects of chronic poor-quality sleep are numerous and can include reduced immunity, increased risk of illness, spikes in appetite, obesity and weight gain, slowed injury recovery, memory loss, and even heart disease and hypertension, as a result of the disruption of our hormones.
On the other hand, too much sleep can be bad for us as well. Sleeping more than 9 hours a night can lead to daytime sleepiness, a slower metabolism, disrupted sleep cycles, and even cognitive issues like reduced focus. That is why it's important to find the right balance and get quality sleep each night, allowing your body to repair, renew and restore itself for the next day. While switching off and reducing white-light exposure is extremely important, natural plant-based supplements like Restore Your Sleep help kickstart natural melatonin production in the body and give you a restful night of zzzs so you can wake up fresh as a daisy.
By prioritizing sleep and working to create healthy sleep habits, we can ensure that our hormones stay regulated and our bodies stay healthy. So if you're looking to improve your overall health, start with a good night's rest - your hormones (and your body) will thank you.