Hormones & Sleep
This week’s self-care series focusses on hormones and sleep. Sleep is an essential part of our daily routine, and hormones play a crucial role in regulating our sleep-wake cycle. Today we're diving a little bit into each of those hormones and giving you some tips along the way to help you regulate your sleep patterns and ensure you're getting the best quality Z's!
Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland in our brain that helps regulate our sleep-wake cycle. Melatonin levels increase in the evening, making us feel drowsy and ready for sleep. However, disruptions to the production of melatonin can cause sleep disturbances.
One of the biggest disruptors of melatonin production is exposure to blue light from electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, and computers. Blue light suppresses melatonin production, making it harder for us to fall asleep. Therefore, it is important to minimise use of electronic devices for at least an hour before bedtime to allow the body to produce enough melatonin for a good night's sleep.
Human Growth Hormone
HGH is a hormone that plays a role in repairing and regenerating tissues in our body, including our muscles and bones. Growth hormone is primarily released during deep sleep, and disruptions to our sleep can affect the production of this hormone.
To promote the production of growth hormone, it is essential to get enough quality sleep each night. As a new mum I know how unavoidable this can be! So I’m not going to tell you how much sleep you should be getting each night, but for the precious hours you do get, try to promote deep, restorative sleep. You can help yourself achieve this by focussing on creating a comfortable sleep environment. Investing in a mulberry silk pillowcase will ensure you stay at the optimum temperature at night, helping to keep you in a deeper, more restful night's sleep. Whilst a silk eye mask will block out light, improving the quality of your sleep.
Cortisol is another hormone that plays a role in regulating our sleep. Cortisol is often referred to as the "stress hormone" because it is released in response to stress. Cortisol levels are typically highest in the morning, helping us wake up and feel alert. However, if cortisol levels are elevated at night, it can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.
To reduce cortisol levels at night, it is essential to reduce stress levels during the day. Activities such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises can help reduce stress and lower cortisol levels. Additionally, practicing good sleep habits, such as going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, can help regulate cortisol levels and improve sleep quality.