Hormone balance is good for the body! But, unfortunately, maintaining a healthy balance for your hormones is a necessary practice we tend to ignore in our daily lives. These range from what we feed our bodies with—for example, food, fruits, vegetables, and good exercise to keep the body functioning well.
You eat every day to gain energy, to be strong, and possibly to satisfy your hunger quest. The hormones in the body need the necessary ingredients to maintain the excellent balance the body requires. This article will explain hormones, their effects and benefits on the body system, and how it affects our sleep.
What is a hormone?
Many hormones control specific functions like sleep, hunger, pleasure, and moods. In addition, these chemicals help to coordinate several tasks in your body system. For example, they carry signals or messages through your blood to your muscles, organs, skin, and other tissues.
These are chemical substances the body produces that act like messenger molecules. They are made in one part of the body and transferred to other regions where they perform their functions, such as sexual function, growth and development, cognitive function and reproductive growth, and health. For example, testosterone is a hormone in the human body that regulates fertility; it is produced in the testes. According to science direct, “testosterone is the most important sex hormone in men. More than 95% of the endogenous testosterone is produced in the testes, and 7mg is secreted every day”. With the help of specialized neurons, these hormones are secreted into the bloodstream for systemic results.
Organs that produce hormones
- Ovaries- estrogen and progesterone
- Thyroid- thyroxine, and triiodothyronine
- Pancreas- insulin
- Thymus- thymosin, thymopoietin, and thymulin
- Pituitary gland- human growth hormone (HGH or GH), thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), adrenocorticotrophin hormone(ATCH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH)
- Pineal gland- melatonin
- Adrenal glands-cortisol and aldosterone
The endocrine gland produces and releases hormones that regulate sleep and other bodily functions. These glands do not have ducts which means that they are ductless. They secret the hormones directly into the bloodstream instead.
Types of hormones
- Growth hormone
- Progesterone hormone
- Prolactin hormone
- Thyroid hormone
- Luteinizing hormone
- Follicle-stimulating hormone
- Parathyroid hormone
- Thyrotropin-releasing hormone
Hormones that affect your sleep
Sleep helps in the production of your hormones; some hormones impact the quality of your sleep.
- This is a substance that is linked to stress; it has a significant influence on sleep and alertness in the human body. A complex network called the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (generates) a cortisol; this complex network includes two parts in your brain: the hypothalamus and the pituitary. To produce cortisol, the hypothalamus conveys a signal to your pituitary gland. This results in the release of the substance known as corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH). These CRH hormones stimulate your pituitary gland to convey an adrenocorticotropic (ACTH) hormone into your bloodstream.
However, cortisol, a stress hormone generates by the HPA axis, also helps synchronize your sleep cycles. Therefore, when illness, chronic stress, or poor nutrition affects the HPA axis, it can easily result in insomnia and other sleep disturbances. Hence, one is advised to reduce activity that will cause stress to the body—eating healthy food, maintaining proper hygiene, and paying attention to their general health. All of this will help to improve sleep quality.
Activities that can contribute to high cortisol levels.
- Side effects resulting from medication
- Damages in the pituitary gland and
According to banner health, “eating foods such as processed meats, high sugar foods, caffeine, and alcohol, which provide little nutritional value, have been associated with psychiatric symptoms and can increase cortisol levels – our primary hormones responsible for stress.”
Foods that may balance cortisol levels are
- Black tea
- Green tea
- Dark chocolates
This hormone is associated with the body’s sleep cycle. The pineal gland produces melatonin hormone in the body system. It helps the body to regulate the circadian rhythm so one can fall asleep. Poor sleep or distraction can impact melatonin and its function in promoting sleep in the brain.
Foods high in melatonin that one can afford
- Goji berries
This is another hormone that affects sleep. Too little production of thyroid hormones is called hypothyroidism. It has a butterfly shape found at the front of your neck. This hormone produces two hormones known as triiodothyronine and thyroxine. This may cause problems with falling asleep or not getting enough sleep. This (hypothyroidism) can also affect the quality of your sleep by causing joint muscle pains and making one feel cold. So again, thyroid issues can cause sleep problems.
How to balance your thyroid hormones levels
Avoid gluten, sugar, and artificial sugar
Foods that improve thyroid function
Fresh Eggs: Especially the yolk. For some people who do not know the importance of egg yolk, it holds most of the nutrients.
Baked fish that is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids
Dairy products- ice cream, milk, yoghurt.
Furthermore, besides the food mentioned above, this trick will help you fall asleep before bed. This includes sweeping and arranging your room before sleep, putting off the lights, and removing things that could make cause noise. It might be an alarm, except you set it for a particular time to be awake. For example, lower your music or put it off. Also, if music helps you to fall asleep quickly, reduce it to a lower volume.
If you experience a night turning and tossing, keep in mind that you feel tired, weak, and lack concentration the next day. Sleep deprivation affects our mental health as well as our daily activities.
However, if you constantly experience sleep deprivation or insomnia, you are advised to take the necessary steps to get back on track. This includes visiting a medical doctor or a therapist, eating healthy balanced food, and exercising regularly even when you feel less motivated. You can not spend the whole day worrying about things that do deprives you of sleep.
Visiting a therapist will help you create a guideline to overcome sleep deprivation.