You have probably come across the word ‘hormones’ in some commonplace discussion and might’ve heard how they affect one’s everyday functions. But what exactly are these ‘hormones’? A quick search on Wikipedia brings us to the definition that ‘A Hormone is any member of a class of signaling molecules produced by glands in multicellular organisms to regulate physiology and behavior’. Simply said, hormones are the chemicals secreted in your body by ‘glands’ which regulate your bodily functions. Naturally, as it may seem, these chemicals are crucial for an individual’s growth and everyday functioning. If a person’s hormone levels deviate from their supposed level, the person will experience a reduced quality of life. The body reacts unnaturally because it is not receiving the optimum doses of the hormone. You may experience disturbances in almost all areas of life, from weight gain, acne, hair loss to decreased energy, anxiety, depression, etc. Hormonal imbalances can occur due to a variety of reasons like eating too little or too much, over-exercising, eating unhealthily, having stress and high body fat, and so on.
Reasons of Hormonal Imbalance
One sneaky reason of hormonal imbalance that can easily skip one’s attention is the role of sleep in maintaining hormonal balance. Sleep is the most important thing that your body does in order to rejuvenate itself after a long day. During the sleep, the body repairs and prepares itself for the next day. Of course, sleep affects hormones production in the body too. If someone is not having enough sleep, or their irregular sleep patterns are hindering their continuous sleep, chances are high that they have a hormonal imbalance. If not, they run the risk of developing it in the near future.
Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Hormones
One of the main influences of sleep deprivation on hormonal systems includes increased cortisol levels and metabolism impairment. Cortisol is a hormone, and cortisol receptors are the receptors which sense and then make the body control the cortisol levels in it. Too little sleep will lead to increased cortisol levels which can have devastating effects; for example, the immune system is suppressed, libido is reduced, and hypertension increases. So, a good sleep is must to ensure undisturbed hormones. As mentioned earlier, metabolism may also get impaired due to a lack of sleep. Metabolism refers to all the chemical changes that take place in your body. This includes all the reactions that sustain life, be it generating energy for the body, or the removal of waste substances. One can easily speculate the grim effects of metabolism impairment if it occurs in one’s body. Furthermore, most of cell and tissue growth occurs in the third stage of sleep, which reaches after a number of continuous sleep hours.
Role of Sleep in Maintaining Hormonal Balance
A study published at the US National Library of Medicine contends that sleep also plays an indispensable role in regulating neuroendocrine function and glucose metabolism. Furthermore, sleep loss may also lead to obesity and weight gain in subjects. Insulin insensitivity, increased ghrelin, decreased levels of leptin, and increased hunger, were also observed in the subjects, further signaling the abnormality of hormones. To balance the hormone levels, one may try taking hormone supplements. For example, if you’re down on growth hormone, take in synthetic HGH to ameliorate the situation, and you can find hgh for sale in usa.
Diabetes and Increased Appetite
A quite astounding and unexpected effect of sleep deprivation is Diabetes. Yes, studies have shown that people who sleep less than five to six hours in one night run a much higher risk of developing diabetes than a person taking the full required sleep. This too inevitably boils down to hormonal imbalance caused by a lack of sleep: the higher level of cortisol increases the likelihood of developing diabetes and gaining weight. As mentioned earlier, Leptin is the hormone which suppresses one’s hunger, and its antithesis, Ghrelin, increases one’s hunger. Less sleep alters the normal levels of Leptin and Ghrelin, such that leptin is increased, and Ghrelin is decreased. The result? You tend to eat more and more and unhealthier too and in the long run, you’re very likely to develop obesity.
Modern society may make it seem that sleeping less is better or ‘more productive’, as you get more time to do stuff, but in reality, you do need proper sleep to maintain your healthy body. Sleeping less for a long period of time will inevitably damage your body to an irreparable extent. So, to enjoy your life to the fullest, develop a healthy lifestyle, and the key to a healthy lifestyle is getting a good quality sleep; optimally, 8 hours a day.