Did you know that according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, about 40 million people suffer from chronic sleep issues in the United States? That’s a huge percentage of the population likely walking around and taking care of their daily responsibilities running on little to no sleep which can lead to a whole host of problems. One of the issues with not sleeping enough can be hormone imbalance, and particularly an elevation in cortisol levels.
Let’s take a look at how not getting enough sleep can cause hormonal imbalance and what you can do about it.
Why Not Getting Enough Sleep Can Cause Hormone Imbalance
First, let’s talk about cortisol and how this is often impacted by not getting enough sleep each night, and then look at the other hormones that can be affected by a lack of sleep.
Cortisol: A study found that sleep loss leads to an increase in cortisol the next evening. (1) This can then cause a domino effect when you are trying to improve your sleep since too much cortisol in the evening can make it difficult for you to sleep. To help balance cortisol levels, it is essential to take the steps necessary to help support better sleep habits which we are going to talk more about, so keep reading.
Leptin: Leptin is a hormone that helps to tell us when we are full and should stop eating, and is greatly impacted by our sleep habits. A study looked at how a lack of sleep impacted leptin and found that after six days of getting four hours of sleep each night, leptin levels were decreased. (2) Not having enough leptin can lead to overeating as we are not getting the signal that we are full.
Ghrelin: Ghrelin is another hunger hormone that is responsible for telling us when to eat, and this was increased after sleep restriction. Too much ghrelin can lead to overeating.
As you can see sleep greatly impacts our hormone balance, especially stress hormones, and hormones related to hunger.
So, what can we do to help improve our sleep quality to avoid it leading to hormone imbalance? Here are eight ways to help you get working on getting a better night sleep.
- Avoid screen time at least two hours before bed
- Keep the temperature in your room cool
- Diffuse relaxing essential oils like lavender Invest in blackout curtains
- Do a relaxing meditation or yoga routine before bed
- Have a nighttime routine
- Supplement with an adaptogenic herb blend like Yinergy or Vigor to support energy levels during the day, and relaxation and restful sleep at night.
- Sip on a mug of Dr. Vim’s Tulsi Holy Basil tea to help you relax before bed.