In a perfect world, the master stress hormone cortisol should be in sync with the master sleep hormone melatonin. Each hormone counter-balances the other in a precise rhythm – when cortisol is high melatonin should be low, and when melatonin is high cortisol should be low.
For many, this rhythm is out of balance. With an estimated 60 million Americans suffering from some degree of sleep loss, it’s surprising that many are still unaware of the connection between hormones and sleep.
The Downside of Chronic Sleep Loss
According to the Department of Health & Human Services, over a third of U.S. adults report daytime sleepiness so severe it interferes with work, decision making and social functioning.
In fact, depression, obesity and diabetes are just three of the long term consequences of sleep deprivation – defined as six or fewer hours per night.
Common hormone-related causes of sleep loss often involve the following scenarios:
Results in insomnia, anxiety, sugar cravings, feeling tired but wired & increased belly fat
Results in excessive fatigue, depression, anxiety & insomnia
Changes in sex steroid hormone levels during menopause can impact neurotransmitter levels, leading to recurring sleep issues.