Hormones that Affect Sleep

The human body is a masterpiece.

You cannot fault someone if they would say it’s a work of art. It has different systems that work harmoniously with each other. The person must observe the proper diet, exercise regularly, and get the right amounts of sleep to live a healthy lifestyle. Having the right mindset also helps because it is the mind which directs everything the person does consciously and subconsciously.

The human body has different systems that work flawlessly because of the various hormones. Hormones are the chemicals produced by the different internal organs to signal what it needs to do next. They enter the bloodstream and get circulated throughout the various organs and systems to regulate their specific functions.

One of the most important aspects people need to stay healthy is sleep.

During sleep, the different hormones are replenished.

Hormones significantly influence how the body behaves and react to every situation. They control growth, the internal organs, metabolism, cell reproduction, and energy balance.

Experts strongly suggest spending at least eight hours to help the body recharge and repair itself. Eight hours is equivalent to one-third of a total day.

Getting enough sleep strengthens your body’s immunity, stabilizes appetite, renews energy and makes you ready to face the new day’s challenges.

The person’s daily activities also dictate the body’s production of different hormones and changes over time as people age.

Hormones that help promote sleep

Aldosterone

The adrenal cortex or the outer section of the adrenal glands produce Aldosterone. Aldosterone regulates the levels of sodium and potassium. High levels of aldosterone during sleep prevents you from going to the toilet for bathroom breaks once you hit the sack.

Antidiuretic hormone

It’s another hormone that prevents you from going to the bathroom when sleeping. The antidiuretic hormone and aldosterone are critical because they allow you to stay asleep. The low levels of the antidiuretic hormone in children are the reason why bedwetting happens as their bodies, and hormonal systems are still developing.

*Estrogen

The high levels of estrogen during pregnancy causes nasal swelling that leads to snoring. Their levels drop when women hit menopause and cause them to have difficulties in falling asleep. During the menopausal period, this hormone causes the body fats to move into the stomach area and increases the chances of snoring and sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is a severe sleep disorder that causes people to stop breathing for a moment while sleeping.

Human Growth Hormones (HGH or GH)

They’re responsible for tissue repair and growth that’s a vital function of sleep. Growth hormones are produced by the pituitary glands in the brain during sleep, so you feel refreshed in the morning. 

Leptin

Leptin helps regulate Ghrelin levels, so you don’t feel hungry when you’re sleeping. They’re produced in the adipose tissues or fat cells and helps control every person’s body weight.

Melatonin

Known as the sleep hormone that’s produced in the pineal gland. It regulates the circadian rhythm or the internal body clock of every person. It tells you when you need to go to sleep. They’re typically released at night to signal the body that it’s time to sleep.

Insomniacs are often told to keep their rooms dark to trigger the production of melatonin to help them sleep.

Exposure to the blue light coming from the screens of your electronic gadgets decreases melatonin that makes you unable to sleep at night.

Oxytocin

Influences the kind of dreams people have based on their social interactions, desires, and emotions. It’s the hormone that significantly modulates sleep and dreams

Erection in men and clitoral engorgement in females when having dreams about sex or sexual fantasies are often linked to oxytocin for they mediate orgasm.

*Progesterone

The production of progesterone is influenced by women’s menstrual cycles.

High levels of progesterone during the first trimester of pregnancy is the cause of daytime sleepiness. It also affects the ability to control body temperature that reduces the chances of getting REM sleep.

Women experiencing severe pre-menstrual syndrome can result in reduced levels of melatonin that results in getting poor sleep and difficulty in staying asleep.

Testosterone

The levels are at its highest during sleep. Low levels of testosterone are often associated with the reduction in sleep efficiency and changes in the stages of sleep that men experience.

[* found in women only]

Hormones that affect sleep

Adrenaline

Adrenaline keeps you alert and won’t help you sleep. It gives you the extra strength and energy during stressful times to prepare your body for the fight or flight response mode.

Adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH)

ACTH triggers the release of the stress hormones cortisone and cortisol. Levels of this hormone tend to be higher for insomniacs and rises when you’re experiencing stressful situations.

*Androgen

High levels of androgen hormones are linked to sleep apnea and polycystic ovary disease (PCOS).

Cortisol

Popularly known as a stress hormone. Produced in the adrenal glands that are situated just above the kidneys. It influences metabolism and immune response.

Also serves as the wake-up call hormone. Levels build up during sleep and peaks by the time you need to wake up in the morning. It’s also responsible for making you hungry after waking up.

Cortisone

A known stress hormone that won’t help you sleep.

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)

Dehydroepiandrosterone is the hormone that helps with bone and muscle growth.

Low levels can cause muscle weakness that causes you to wake up at night to urinate. You’re also at risk for accidental leaks if you have low levels of DHEA.

Ghrelin

Ghrelin regulates hunger or appetite and tells you when you need to eat. They’re produced by cells lining the stomach. Even if a person is sleep-deprived, the production of Ghrelin and Leptin continues that’s why you’re hungry most of the time. It’s one of the reasons why not having enough rest causes you to gain weight.

Insulin

The hormone that makes you feel hungry after waking up in the morning. Insulin is produced by the pancreas and controls glucose or blood sugar. It influences how bodies use or store fats and carbohydrates.

Prolactin

Sleep deprivation causes the imbalance of Prolactin that results in the weakening of a person’s immune system.

* found in women only