Sweet Dreams: Insomnia and BHRT

Posted by Dr. Richard Brandon

Mon, Jan 25, 2016 @ 08:00 AM

Sweet Dreams: Insomnia and BHRTInsomnia is a surprisingly common problem for adults today. According to Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, as many as 50 percent of adults struggle with insomnia, and a total of 70 million Americans have a chronic problem with it.

For many of these individuals, hormones are part of the problem.

Hormones can play a key role, especially for women who are entering the process of menopause who find themselves struggling with insomnia. The transition to menopause causes a tremendous shift in hormones, and even just small shifts in the body can cause serious sleep issues.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, fluctuations in female hormones are a common cause of insomnia. Insomnia during menopause can happen due to a number of factors. Some of these include:

  • Depression
    Mood swings and depression are common during this stage of life. When your moods are out of balance, you may find it difficult to sleep.

  • Hormonal changes
    The main reason for menopause is to stop the process of ovulation, and this creates a number of hormonal changes that can impact sleep.

  • Hot flashes
    Hot flashes often occur during the night, and the surge of temperature and adrenaline can uncomfortably wake you out of a sound sleep.

  • Social issues
    Menopause is also the time of life when you are prone to facing a "midlife crisis" because your children are growing up, you are nearing retirement, and friends around you may be changing. These social issues can also hinder you from sleeping soundly.

The perimenopausal period, when these problems start, lasts between three and ten years. This is enough time for your body to learn that insomnia is normal, making it difficult to go back to a normal sleeping routine when your hormones and life changes settle down.

Insomnia from Other Hormonal Conditions for Women and Men

Insomnia is often related to menopause, but it can also be related to other hormonal challenges. Women with too much estrogen or without enough progesterone to balance that estrogen can struggle as well. Estrogen serves to excite the brain, and that can make sleep difficult.

Because testosterone can naturally convert to estradiol (one of the three estrogens), men with high testosterone levels may struggle to sleep well for a similar reason. Men and women who struggle with high cortisol levels may also not sleep well.

How BHRT Helps with Insomnia

If your hormone imbalance is causing you to struggle with sleep, whether you are male or female, you may find relief with the right bioidentical hormones. For sleepless nights caused by menopause or other hormonal imbalance issues, bio identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) may be able to help.

Unlike synthetic hormones, which are associated with more severe side effects, the natural hormones used for BHRT are associated with fewer side effects because they are plant-based and can mimic our natural hormones. So, BHRT can be used to help replace your diminished or missing hormones in order to keep your levels more stable, giving you more ZZZZ's.

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