Hormone imbalance can cause devastating symptoms like weight gain, hair loss, facial hair growth, acne, depression, anxiety, infertility, hot flashes, low libido, and so much more. In fact, it causes a low-grade inflammation that persists causing a feeling of un-wellness.
But what if there was a magic bullet to fix all this?
Sleep might be that magic bullet. Think about how you feel after you’ve had a good night’s sleep. Amazing, right? Feelings of happiness wash over you, and you might even feel like you can accomplish anything.
Getting enough quality sleep is vital to looking and feeling fantastic every day.
What promotes quality sleep? Here are some guidelines:
- In bed and asleep before 11pm (by 10pm is optimal)
- 8-9 hours of sleep during the fall and winter, 7-8 during the late spring and summer
- No sleep medications – the use of medicine whether prescribed or over the counter will not allow the body all the cycles of sleep so it won’t be restorative – and that includes antihistamines that act as a band aid to make you drowsy
- Completely dark in your bedroom
- Anything that’s plugged in is at least 6 feet away from your head
- Everything turned off/unplugged as much as possible
- Cell phone on airplane mode
- Use earplugs if noise bothers you
- Uninterrupted sleep – no waking up during the night for anything – but if you do easily falling back to sleep
- Hydration – make sure to drink at least 8 – 8 ounce glasses of water or herbal tea daily
- Magnesium – minerals are vitally important to a good night’s sleep. Try some magnesium before bed if you are having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
- Eat a high protein breakfast within an hour of waking to set your circadian rhythm for the nighttime.
- Make your bedroom a sanctuary that feels like it’s giving you a hug everytime you walk in.
- Save the bedroom for two things: sleep and sex (i.e. NO TV in the bedroom)
When you get enough quality, un-medicated sleep, inflammation decreases. The body produces more growth hormone, and stress hormones are metabolized. Sleep can lower blood sugar levels and cravings may go away completely! This is so important if you have PCOS, because having high blood sugar can make your symptoms worse. In addition, the body heals and restores everywhere. The brain works like a computer shuffling all the information from the day, discarding some and systematically storing other information. The immune system regenerates and makes natural killer cells for the next day’s adventures. The pineal gland makes adequate amounts of melatonin protecting the body from disease, regulating reproductive hormones, and setting the body’s circadian rhythm….sleep is so important! When you have PCOS, getting enough sleep is crucial overcoming your symptoms. Your body is working to balance itself while sleeping and without the proper rest, symptoms of hormone imbalance only get worse.
Here’s what all of this means….
You’ll feel like you’ve had a good workout because your body burns fat and builds muscle. It’ll be easier to button your pants in th