Hormone Imbalance Side Effect: Insomnia
Of course a fight with your boy- friend or stress at the office will keep you up at night, but your hormones may have a greater impact on your insomnia than you realize. Research ers at the University of Arizona found that young women were less able to fall and stay asleep during the second half of their menstrual cycle (from ovulation through the start of their period) than they were during the first. "Rising and falling levels of estrogen increase body temperature and disrupt the length of your sleep cycles, both of which can cause disturbances," says Gila Hertz, Ph.D., director for New York's Center for Insomnia and Sleep Disorders. Peri-menopausal hormone shifts, which can start as early as your late 30s, also make it more difficult to get quality shut-eye. "Your body gradually produces less estrogen as you age," says R.S. Isaac Gardner, M.D., a psychoneuroendocrinologist in Santa Rosa, California.
What to do about insomnia caused by hormone imbalance:
Changing your bedtime routine can ensure a better night's sleep, regardless of what's going on with your hormones. Start by dimming the lights throughout your home a couple of hours before bedtime. Shut down your laptop and turn your alarm clock around as well; these sources of light suppress levels of the sleep hormone melatonin, which can trick you into staying up longer. And don't rely on your television to lull you to sleep, says Hertz. Even if the volume is low, the flashing images and the sounds can rouse you for a few seconds at a time throughout the night, leaving you feeling exhausted the next day.