Most of us have been there: We’re staring at the ceiling, watching the clock, going through the to-do list in our head, and knowing we have to sleep. And then we just can’t!
Unfortunately, lack of sleep is a guaranteed way to feel and look tired. I’ve lost count of the number of patients who have struggled with sleepless nights and the health issues caused by a lack of sleep.
High-quality sleep is essential for us humans to survive, thrive, and age gracefully. However, most of us don’t get enough sleep, and it puts stress on our bodies. The good news is being aware of sleep issues and making adjustments in our lifestyles can significantly improve how we sleep.
Sleep and Your Skin
Sleep deprivation can have immediate unwanted effects. It can make us feel cranky, angry, and sad and contribute to an increased likelihood of making mistakes. Lack of sleep can also increase the risk of serious health ailments and hormonal imbalances.
As if that isn’t enough incentive to get more shut-eye, a lack of sleep can cause puffiness and dark circles under the eyes as well as dull skin.
In addition, elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol can cause a breakdown in collagen over time. This leads to more fine lines and wrinkles. With a lack of sleep, our bodies cannot produce an adequate amount of growth hormone, which helps maintain skin thickness in addition to muscle mass and bone strength.
The Role of the Melatonin Hormone
In 1958, American physician and professor Aaron Lerner and his colleagues successfully isolated and discovered melatonin, known as the sleep hormone. Since then, melatonin has been extensively studied by researchers for its role in rest and more.
When it’s dark, the pineal gland in the brain releases melatonin. On the other hand, when it’s light (whether artificial or natural), the pineal gland inhibits melatonin.
This hormone is designed to help us feel sleepy when the sun sets, and it peaks between 2 and 4 a.m. to help us stay asleep. After that time, melatonin gradually decreases. When the sun rises, our levels drop and the sleepiness wears off, triggering wakefulness.
Interestingly, melatonin can potentially reach every cell of the body. This creates many protective benefits and relays communication about the circadian rhythm throughout the body.
Seasonal changes in light, such as long summer days and shorter winter days, affect melatonin production. Mammals, including us humans, have higher melatonin levels in the winter compared to in the summer.
In addition to light, exposure to cold temperatures appears to increase our production of melatonin. This is one reason you may find yourself feeling more tired in the early evening during the fall and winter seasons.
How Hormones Impact Melatonin Production and Sleep
Can hormonal imbalances cause a lack of sleep? The answer is yes – if you’re struggling with insomnia regularly, there can be a variety of hormonal causes. When people can’t sleep, they often resort to relying on sleep aids. As a result, they miss out on addressing the root causes of their sleep troubles and may even make the problem worse. Addressing hormonal imbalances can help resolve these sleep issues.
You can take this hormone quiz to find out if hormonal imbalances could be the root cause of your sleep challenges.
Thankfully, when our hormones are balanced, we wake up feeling rested before our alarm goes off thanks to a healthy elevation in cortisol. Ideally, we don’t need coffee or naps because we have energy throughout the day. At the end of the day, we start to feel sleepy when cortisol drops and melatonin rises. Balanced progesterone helps us feel calm, instead of experiencing sleep trouble when it’s low.
That doesn’t mean you’ll never have another sleepless night. Occasional sleeplessness may occur due to stress, health issues, shift work, or jet lag. The Spa Dr.® Serene Sleep is designed to help with this. These great-tasting, lemon-flavored tablets are formulated to support a relaxed mind and full night’s rest and are made with Vitamin B6, inositol, and L-theanine for additional help in supporting the body’s natural ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.*
Get Better Sleep with Lifestyle Changes in Natural Beauty Reset
My new book, Natural Beauty Reset: The 7-Day Program to Harmonize Hormones and Restore Radiance, is all about how you can support your hormones and create balance all year long.
By nourishing your body and supporting your health and hormones through the seasons with a lifestyle tailored for balance as each season changes, you can improve your sleep hygiene.
And when you read it, you’ll uncover the real, overlooked causes of many other issues women face, such as acne, bloating, mood swings, weight gain, chronic pain, and fatigue. Every season you can use my step-by-step 7-day plan to eliminate frustrating issues without “Band-Aid” solutions that usually cause more harm than good.
To start taking steps toward better sleep and health, Natural Beauty Reset is the best way to start.
You can also learn more about sleep and hormones in my free 9-part docuseries, Hormones, Health & Harmony. Sign up today – it starts on September 13!
The Spa Dr.® Approach
At The Spa Dr.®, our approach is to help shine the light on the skin and health care information and offer our guidance to support you on your journey.
The Spa Dr.® offers natural skin care products that are safe and free from chemicals and toxins that can harm your skin and health. Our products are formulated to contain key nutrients in their pure and active form to provide optimal results. In addition, our products are pH balanced towards mild acidity to promote and protect a healthy skin microbiome.
Share this article with your friends and spread the word to promote harmonized hormones and natural beauty!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.