Estrogen and Insomnia – Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

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The low-level estrogen affects many things in the human body and the sleep disturbances are one of the most important effects. Keep on reading to find out more about the low-level estrogen and insomnia.

Without getting a good night sleep, it is difficult for every person to be happy, calm, to feel good, to burn fat and to regulate appetite. Also, the sleep disturbances can cause depression, poor blood sugar control, inflammation, anxiety and many other health problems. Women are at least twice as likely to suffer from insomnia. There are psychological and social factors that contribute to this fact. However, it goes without a doubt that the female hormone estrogen plays a huge role in the insomnia problem. So, here is what you need to know about the estrogen and insomnia.


Can Low Estrogen Trigger Insomnia

So, how does estrogen trigger insomnia? The estrogen helps the body move the magnesium into the tissues. The magnesium is super important for catalysing a lot of reactions in the body, which include the sleep hormone melatonin and the synthesis of important sleep neurotransmitters. If the body has a low level of estrogen, it slows down the magnesium and it is harder for you to stay asleep during the night or to fall asleep.


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Reasons for Low-Level Estrogen Levels and Insomnia

The first reason for low-level estrogen levels and insomnia is the psychological stress, which results in many sleepless nights. Also, high level of psychological stress can cause the female body to slowly shut down its reproductive functions.

The second reason is the metabolic stress. High levels of physical stress, such as low carb or low carb diets, under-eating, intermittent fasting, low body fat percentage, dramatic weight loss and over-exercising can cause low levels of estrogen. So, it is very important that the body is fed and relaxed. If the body doesn’t feel like it is fed, it will think that it is hungry. And if the body thinks that it is hungry, it will stop producing the estrogen hormone. As we said before, the lack of estrogen will lead to insomnia and other sleep disturbances.


Estrogen Replacement and other Solutions for Insomnia

The first remedy for low-level estrogen and insomnia is the hormone replacement therapy. If you decide that you need this, you should make an appointment with your doctor and talk things through. In most cases, the doctors advise starting with a low dose for a short period of time. This doesn’t cause serious problems. However, there are a few cases where patients had severe symptoms that are caused by hormone replacement treatment or HRT. Those symptoms are breast cancer and breakthrough bleeding.

Another natural solution is to try a diet with nuts (cashews and macadamia nuts), legumes (black beans and chickpeas), moderate consumption of alcohol and a small amount of flax and soy. These foods act as an estrogen and enable the body to overcome insomnia. Each and every body is different, so you won’t know unless you try it.

Read more about how to deal with insomnia.


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Estrogen and Insomnia in Women during Menstruation

Many women have difficulties sleeping one or two days before getting their period and the first two days after they get their period. During these days the estrogen levels drop rapidly, which cause insomnia. The first day of your period, the estrogen level is very low. During the following 2 weeks, right before you start ovulating, the estrogen levels start to rise. And after you end the ovulation, the estrogen begins to fall. However, in most cases, the estrogen level is strong and it provides you with a well-rested sleep. This cycle continues each month.

Read more about bipolar insomnia. 


Estrogen and Insomnia in Women during Menopause

The hormonal changes that happen during the menopause can cause insomnia. The loss of hormones, especially estrogen, has a great impact on the sleep quality. A recent study has shown that if women are more likely to suffer from sleep disturbances if they have hot flashes during the years before menopause. However, once women have made it into menopause, the sleep and the hot flashes will begin to settle down and everything will fall into its place. Here are few tips on how to deal with insomnia during menopause.

  • Make an appointment with your doctor and make a complete physical check-up. By doing this, your doctor can rule out many other conditions such as anxiety, depression or sleep apnea.
  • Avoid nicotine, caffeine and other stimulants that are known to disrupt the good night sleep.
  • Have your last meal at least 2 hours before you go to sleep.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol before you go to bed because it can cause you to wake up early in the morning feeling tired.
  • Put on comfortable pyjamas that have natural fibres. Wearing them will allow your body to breathe, while you are sleeping.
  • Use a remote control fan – tabletop ceiling.
  • Half an hour before you go to bed, take 3-5mg of Melatonin.
  • Practise relaxing yoga poses such as the half tortoise pose.
  • See your doctor and consult him/her about a hormone replacement therapy.
  • Avoid any highly stimulating movies, books or TV shows before you go to bed.
  • Try the diet tonic water, before you go to sleep, in order to ease restless legs.
  • Before or after you go to bed, practise meditation or some breathing techniques, which will calm and relax you.
  • Consult your doctor about non-addicting prescription aids such as a low dose of Amitriptyline, in order to induce drowsiness.


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If none of these tips help you, it is best to see your physician about a proper therapy. Be careful, not to take any prescription without consulting a doctor. Taking pills without the approval of your doctor can worsen your insomnia and you might end up ruining your health in the long run.