Sleep and Hormones
When I was a resident, I would get home after 36 hours of work and literally pass out before my head hit the pillow. They had me on call every third night and on most nights I would get called to the emergency room at all hours. As a result, I was always sleep deprived.
I’d jump out of bed and rush to the hospital, work for a few hours, stabilize the patient, return home in the wee hours of the morning, drop into bed and happily catch a few hours of sleep before starting the new day as if the night had been replete with sleep.
It worked well for me in my 20s, 30s and even my early 40s.
Fortunately, by the time I hit the wall, I had stopped taking night calls, the kids had grown, so I had been among those fortunate few people who caught up on sleep and then some.
In my early 40s I slept for a couple of years between 7-8 hours every night and cherished every moment.
Falling asleep had never been a problem for me and waking up was not an issue. From the moment I went to sleep till the moment I had to wake up, I was dead to this world.
Only now I realize how fortunate I was. Most people never have the luxury of years of solid, good, restorative sleep. One reason I am healthy is due to all the good sleep habits I developed in my early 40s.
However, at the age of 46 I stopped sleeping. Falling asleep was not the problem. Suddenly, a jolt would wake me up at 2 am, 3 am, 4 am, or 5 am and instead of being ready to start the new day at 7, I just wanted to die. Night sweats, palpitations, my mind never stopped churning and my sleep situation became a mess. Sleep became my biggest nightmare and going to bed my enemy.
As soon as I stopped being able to sleep, I started to change; I became irritable, I started to gain weight, become bloated and felt like an alien had invaded my body. The problem was clear to me. I hadn’t just developed an acute case of insomnia; what I experienced was a loss in my ability to sleep because my hormones were leaving my body.
In fact, the truth is, I was getting old.
You see, taking the hormones out is Mother Nature’s way of getting rid of us. Once we are done having children, raising them, we are no longer needed on the food chain. Sad but true. The disappearance of our hormones from our system is the single most crucial occurrence that causes us to age and become chronically ill and finally die.
Difficulty sleeping is the purest and simplest manifestation of the departure of our hormones.
You can have sleep testing done and yes, if you are overweight and snore, you will be diagnosed with sleep apnea, you may have other medical and emotional reasons for not being able to get a good night’s sleep, but at the end of the day, if your hormones are gone, sleep is a clear manifestation of their departure.
I am not trying to minimize the importance of other possible reasons for our lack of sleep. What I am trying to do is teach you how to diminish or even eliminate the possibility of hormone related sleep deprivation by considering the use of natural, bioidentical hormones to treat your sleep problem. It certainly worked for me and the 10,000 women I have treated over the years with similar problems.
Since hormones are made during sleep, when we are out of balance hormonally speaking, we cannot make the proper hormones and our sleep is disturbed.
While sleeping pills may help for a while, since they do not address the real reasons we cannot sleep, they will only work for a while. Sleeping pills simply treat the symptom and not the underlying cause of the problem which is hormonal imbalance and/or hormonal decline.
•Try using bioidentical hormones as in estradiol and micronized progesterone to balance your missing hormones.
•Have your thyroid checked and take the thyroid medication that best suits your needs.
•Make the proper dietary compromises to keep your hormones alive and well.
•Eliminate hormone busters and increase your hormone friendly foods. Check out The 30 Day Natural Hormone Plan for more details on these foods.
•Take calcium citrate maleate with magnesium and zinc before going to bed
•Exercise every day, it increases and maintains your hormone production
See what happens to your sleep.