Understanding Insomnia in Women
Would you do almost anything for a good night’s sleep? Most menopausal women would. Sleep can be a rare commodity during this time in life. The kicker is that this is one of the worst times to be sleep deprived. When your body is going through so many changes, not being able to sleep just adds insult to injury.
Women struggling with sleep during menopause and perimenopause may experience any of the following:
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Waking up in the middle of the night
- Waking up too early in the morning
- Tossing and turning
- Never getting into a deep sleep
Causes of Insomnia
Night sweats are famous for keeping women up at night. Some women sweat so profusely, they rouse themselves even further by having to get up to change their sheets. Women who are prone to having multiple hot flashes throughout the night have it particularly rough. So what causes night sweats? Deficiencies in estrogen and progesterone.
Anxiety and depression are two other symptoms of menopause that can cause insomnia. Deficiencies in estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and thyroid can cause both of these symptoms, and can therefore have an impact on sleep.
Serotonin is an important neurotransmitter responsible for regulating sleep. But your body can’t make it without estrogen. So deficiencies in estrogen equal low serotonin, and low serotonin equals a sleep cycle that’s out of whack.
Progesterone plays an important role in regulating sleep patterns in women. Low progesterone in and of itself will keep most women awake.
If you have sleep apnea, you’re waking up a little every time your breathing is interrupted. This means never getting into a really deep sleep; so come morning, you’re not refreshed and rested. What does this have to do with hormone imbalance? Sleep apnea is related to low estrogen and low testosterone (as well as weight gain).
Besides being a powerful antioxidant, melatonin regulates your body’s biological clock. Without healthy levels of melatonin, falling asleep can be difficult. Yet most people in modern day society are melatonin deficient due to artificial light exposure that disrupts the circadian rhythm.
This hormone has a circular relationship with sleep. Growth hormone production surges while you’re asleep. If sleep is disrupted, growth hormone production will also be disrupted. Meanwhile, a reduction in growth hormone levels will disrupt sleep.
When you’re under stress for a prolonged period of time, your adrenal glands will produce excess cortisol. Eventually, your adrenal glands can become worn out, and will no longer produce the small amounts of cortisol you need to get through the day. This is a condition known as adrenal fatigue, and insomnia is just one of its many negative consequences.
Treatment For Insomnia in Women
The relationship between hormones and sleep is tightly woven. Our doctors can restore this delicate balance by optimizing your hormones. Growth hormone therapy, injectable nutrients, and supplementing melatonin are other options available. Have you forgotten what a good night’s sleep feels like? Let us remind you.