Today is World Sleep Day (17th March 2017) which gives a link to some of the work that we have been developing on the impact of hormones on women’s health, as hormones have a significant impact on sleep patterns.
Our body’s hormones are like chemical messages in the bloodstream which cause a change in a particular cell or organ and surrounding tissues. There is a close link between sleep and hormones and specific sleep stages may also be related to certain hormonal release. For example, it has been well documented that during deep sleep there is an increase in the release of human growth hormone, which stimulates cell reproduction and regeneration. And in reverse sleep loss and sleep disturbance have also been shown to negatively impact on hormonal balance.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, most people need 7-9 hours of sleep each night to function well the next day. But research shows that women are twice as likely as men to have trouble falling or staying asleep. Sleep depravation can be of course be caused by a number of factors – family, work stress, friends etc…
But one factor increases as women age, which is the level of hormones in their bodies, which can affect the quality of their sleep. The loss of hormones during menopause, particularly estrogen affects sleep quality and there are declining levels of estrogen long before actual menopause. The perimenopause, can last up to 10 years before menopause, and during this stage hormone levels also decline affecting women’s sleep patterns.