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What Hormones are Related to Sleep?

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The study included 11 healthy young men over 16 nights, in which they slept eight hours the first three nights, four hours the next six nights, and then spent 12 hours in bed for the last seven days.

The researchers found that when these men were sleep deprived, they had a reduced secretion of thyroid-stimulating hormone. They also found that the participants had increased levels of cortisol in their blood.

Hormonal Changes During Menopause

When women are going through menopause, they may find that they have difficulty sleeping. So can the hormonal changes during menopause affect sleep?

The National Sleep Foundation stated that “the shifting of the ratios of hormones can be an unsettling process, sometimes contributing to the inability to fall asleep,” adding that the decreased levels of estrogen can make women “more susceptible to environmental and other factors/stressors which disrupt sleep.”

But research at the University of Michigan argued that blame for sleep disturbance during menopause should not be entirely placed upon estrogen. The study age-matched women who had gone through menopause and those who had not. It was found that sleep was worse for older women, regardless of whether they had gone through menopause or were using estrogen therapy.

The press release from the University of Michigan added that the researchers found that “for women who were not having hot flashes, there was little difference in sleep between post-menopausal women who were or were not taking estrogen supplements.”


National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Brain Basics: Understanding Sleep. Web. 20 February 2012

University of Maryland Medical Center. Melatonin. Web. 20 February 2012

The University of Chicago Chronicle. Lack of Sleep Alters Hormones, Metabolism. Web. 20 February 2012

National Sleep Foundation. Menopause and Insomnia. Web. 20 February 2012

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February 22, 2012 - 8:03am
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