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Hormone Fluctuation and Insomnia

Insomnia is defined as a disorder that makes it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. Transient insomnia usually lasts one week or more while acute insomnia can last one month or longer. There are several causes of insomnia such as diet, lack of activity, illness, medication and hormonal fluctuations.

Hormonal induced insomnia affects millions of women especially those who are going through perimenopause and menopause, but can occur at any age past puberty. The two main hormones responsible for insomnia are estrogen and progesterone. When either of the hormones becomes deficient or excessive in the body it can make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep.

Causes of Hormone Induced Insomnia

  • Menstruation
  • Perimenopause
  • Menopause
  • Pregnancy
  • Poor diet
  • Lack of exercise
  • Too much exercise
  • Stress
  • Adrenal fatigue

These causes all result in causing a hormonal imbalance. Insomnia can make the hormonal imbalance worse because the body cannot get the proper rest it needs to regulate hormones properly.

Treatment Options for Hormone Induced Insomnia

Women who have been suffering from insomnia for over a week or who battle frequent bouts of sleeplessness should see their health care provider immediately. Insomnia could be a sign of a serious health problem and should not be ignored.

Treatment options usually start out with an adjustment to diet, exercise and schedule. People should avoid overstimulation at night such as caffeinated beverages, exercise, and watching television. All of these activities can stimulate the mind and body making it difficult to sleep.

Exercise should be done in the morning or the day at least three times per week for 30 minutes or more. A diet consisting of 5-6 small meals with a serving of vegetables, fruit, and lean protein will provide proper nutrition and help the body self-regulate hormone production.

A consistent bedtime ritual and schedule should be established to help set the body’s internal clock. Sleep experts recommend reading a book with the lights dimmed as a way to train the body and de-stress.

Should these non-medicated options fail there is hormonal therapy that has proven to be effective. A doctor can prescribe a low dosage birth control pill or injections of estrogen, progesterone or both.

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