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  • Writer's pictureMartha Lewis

Is hormone imbalance causing your insomnia?

Every single one of my clients has hormone imbalances. Some are too high, some are too low. But either way, they can’t sleep and their hormones are a big part of the problem.

Cortisol is the main hormone that sabotages sleep. Many of my clients' cortisol levels are too high, especially at night, and it’s causing their insomnia. The most common reasons for high cortisol at night are food sensitivities, a pathogen in the gut, low blood sugar and liver detox issues.

You can take a supplement to lower cortisol but that’s a band-aid. You don’t want to artificially lower cortisol because cortisol is there for a reason-to deal with inflammation. You want to find out why your body is making so much cortisol and address that.

Cortisol can also be too low overall and cause you to wake up because your body resorts to adrenaline instead.

The only way to know what your cortisol levels are is to test. I do the DUTCH test for hormones because it looks at 2 different kinds of cortisol: how much your body is making and how much is available to be used. These two kinds should be the same but often they aren’t. It’s important to know both so that you don’t take a supplement that will make things worse.

The DUTCH test also shows your cortisol pattern over 24 hours. Ideally, your cortisol should be lowest first thing in the morning (and at night), then it should spike to its highest level within 2 hours of waking up, and then it should gradually go down throughout the day and be low at bedtime. Cortisol could be low overall but it’s still higher at night or bedtime than other times of that day and it explains why you can't sleep.

Sex hormone imbalances also affect sleep for both men and women.

Low estrogen and progesterone definitely cause sleep issues. Sex hormones become depleted when your body has to make cortisol all the time to deal with stress. This can be mental stress that you know about or stress in your body that you don’t even know is there. Your body uses all its resources to make cortisol instead of making sex hormones.

You can supplement with hormones but you'll have to take them forever and you aren’t getting to the root cause of why they’re low in the first place.

High estrogen or estrogen dominance (when estrogen is higher than progesterone in women and higher than testosterone in men) can also disturb sleep and I see this in many of my male clients. Estrogen dominance is usually caused by the liver not breaking down hormones properly and so they recirculate and build up in the body.

Melatonin is an important hormone to look at for sleep, too. Some of my clients have low melatonin and it’s actually an indicator of poor gut health because 90% of melatonin is made by the good bacteria in your gut. For my clients with depleted melatonin, I recommend supplementing for the short term (3 months) while we work on restoring gut health so they make enough melatonin on their own.

Once cortisol and your hormones start getting out of whack, the other systems in your body start deteriorating, too. Which systems go first is different for everyone because it’s based on your genetic weak links. That’s why some of us get insomnia and others don’t.

The only way to fix your hormones is to find what’s causing them to be out of balance. I use the Dutch hormone test for my clients because it shows your cortisol pattern, your sex hormones, and how they're being used in your body. This test also looks at melatonin, neurotransmitters, B vitamins and liver function.

The other tests I do show what’s causing stress in your body. We can lower cortisol naturally by finding out why your body is making so much cortisol. Then your body can prioritize making sex homrmones like it’s supposed to. I use the GI Map to look for pathogens in the gut. I do a food sensitivity test to see if the foods you’re eating are causing stress and inflammation. And I use the Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis to look for heavy metals because they accumulate in the brain and the liver and can keep you awake at night.

Testing is always better than guessing! The tests I do give me all the information I need to know what to correct and how to get your body back in balance. I’ll know exactly which supplements your body needs to get healthy and sleep again!

All of my clients have hormone issues but they're all different and so the way we get things back in balance is different every time. I customize my plans and recommendations for each one of my clients so they start sleeping better as quickly as possible.

You can find the root cause of your insomnia and get back in balance, too. The first step is to schedule a call with me. We’ll talk about what’s going on with your sleep and how I can help you get to the bottom of why you can't sleep and give you a plan to fix it for good so you can sleep better soon.

Sounds good? Book your Zoom consultation here:

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