3 Easy Ways To Sleep Better
Dr. Ashley Margeson
As women, we know that hormones can wreak havoc on our moods and appetites, but did you know that they can also play a huge role in how much sleep we get every night? Insomnia is much more common in women than men and this can be caused by a variety of reasons, including psychological, social, and physiological.
Your body has over 50 hormones, each of which does important work jump-starting or stopping certain biological functions; the two major female hormones are estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen, the main female sex hormone, helps control the monthly menstruation cycle. It’s produced in a woman’s eggs, adrenal glands and fat tissue. There are three types of estrogen: estradiol (prevalent in childbearing women, estriol (the estrogen produced during pregnancy), and estrone (the estrogen produced after menopause).
Progesterone, estrogen’s cousin, is the hormone that helps maintain pregnancy. It is produced in a woman’s eggs, adrenal glands and placenta (when a woman is pregnant). Known as the “relaxing hormone,” progesterone has a mildly sedative effect.
When your hormones are going a little all over the place, we can find that our sleep goes off. So here are three ways to get better sleep by balancing your hormones
Increase magnesium levels
Common symptoms of low magnesium include poor sleep, leg cramps, shoulder tension, constipation, anxiety and edginess, depression and headaches. But magnesium is one of the co-factors required to get your system from light sleep into deep sleep. Try a topical magnesium before bed, and get your RBC magnesium tested to ensure your stored levels are adequate. Finally, reduce your stress as much as possible. Stress and cortisol rob you of magnesium – replenish magnesium levels but also work on reducing stress.
Support your progesterone
If you are suffering from symptoms such as irregular periods, PMS, mid-cycle spotting, infertility, anxiety, depression, and problems falling and staying asleep, low progesterone levels could be the culprit. To support your progesterone, add the right nutrients such as zinc, vitamin E and vitamin B6 (talk to your medical provider first!) and ensure you’re not breaking it down further by balancing your cortisol and adrenaline response.
Block our artificial light
Artificial light interferes with your circadian rhythm and melatonin production. Blue, yellow and green light emitted by electronic bright light screen devices such as lamps, smartphones, computer screen, TVs, radio clocks or even outside street lamps, can interfere with melatonin production. The pineal gland needs total darkness in order to produce melatonin. Research from Harvard University shows that exposure to blue light suppresses melatonin for twice as long as other colors and can shift your body clock by as much as three hours. Even just eight lux of light can have an effect. To help, reduce your screen use before bed, use blue light blocking filters when you’re on a screen, and use black out curtains if you have artificial light coming in through your bedroom windows.
Harness Your Hormones
Grab our Hormone Optimization guide to make you more productive in chasing your goals.
And maybe ditch the PMS… or at least get some actionable tools