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Top 7 Culprits for Why You Can't Stay Asleep, Part 2

Woman in her 50's feeling uncomfortable. Last time we covered how eating consistent balanced meals and lowering your alcohol intake will help you get a better night of sleep.

Today, we will see how your hormones, vitamins and adrenal fatigue have an impact on your snoozing habits.

Check your hormones.

Fluctuations of hormones such as estrogen (link to estrogen page), progesterone and testosterone during women’s cycles, pregnancy and during menopause are likely culprits for interrupted sleep. This points to why women are more than twice as likely to have interrupted sleep and insomnia than men.

However, men are not immune to hormone changes that may affect sleep. There is strong evidence that falling testosterone levels increase a man’s chances of having sleep apnea – a sleep disorder where the airway is obstructed.

You may have adrenal fatigue.

Stress causes a surge in adrenal hormones called adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones are designed to make you alert and ready to fight or flee. Normal adrenal activities are highest in the morning and lowest at bedtime. Chronic stress can cause abnormal fluctuations in adrenal function, low blood sugar, and an inability to stay asleep as well as abnormally high or low cortisol.

You may be low on vitamin co-factors and the proteins required to make your sleep neurotransmitters melatonin and GABA.

Sleep is regulated on a circadian rhythm by the brain and adrenal glands. Melatonin, the sleep neurotransmitter is made from serotonin, which is made from the amino acid tryptophan and the vitamin co-factors: vitamins B6, B12, folate, niacin and the minerals iron and magnesium. A shortage of these nutrients will leave you with fewer ingredients to make your sleep chemistry.

Additionally, GABA, the most abundant calming neurotransmitter in the brain, plays a role in keeping you asleep as well as convert glycogen into glucose in the brain. Gaba also depends on adequate B6 levels.

We would be happy to discuss any of these with you personally, please schedule an appointment here.

In the third and final installment, we will discuss gastrointestinal reflux (GERD) and your medications and supplements may affect your sleep.

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