Weight, Mood, Sex Drive: How Troubled Sleep Affects Your Hormone Levels


Sleep is important for many reasons. What you might not know is that sleep impacts your hormones, and hormone levels impact your sleep. Sleep affects many hormones in the body, including those related to stress or hunger. Spending too much or too little time under the duvet can influence hormones. That’s why a good night’s sleep is essential for maintaining hormonal balance.

Here’s what you need to know about the ins and outs of the relationship between hormones and your sleep.

What are hormones and what do they do?

Hormones are chemical messengers that play an essential role in the regulation of many processes, body systems and functions. The body needs a series of different hormones to function properly. They are released by the endocrine system, a network of organs and glands located throughout the body.

Hormones are responsible for many bodily functions including:

metabolism and appetite


body temperature

sexual function, libido and reproduction

heart rate

blood pressure

sleep-wake cycles.

The production and function of many hormones in the body are influenced by other bodily functions, such as sleep.

Sleep and hormones

Various hormone functions and their release are influenced by sleep or circadian rhythm and vice versa. Sufficient sleep is important for regulating a number of hormones including:


estrogen and progesterone

hunger hormones, such as insulin, leptin and ghrelin


thyroid hormones

growth hormones.

For example, melatonin controls the sleep patterns and tells your body when to go to sleep. Human Growth Hormone is released during hours of deep sleep, which is vital for cell growth and repair. Other hormones, like cortisol, depend on the timing, duration, and quality of sleep for their release. Good sleep is therefore essential for good health.

Nearly all hormones in the body are released in response to your circadian rhythm, also known as the sleep-wake cycle. If left unaddressed, poor sleep will send you tumbling down the steps of a hormonal staircase. This is true whether you have 30, 50 or 70 year. Getting regular sleep can help with hormonal regulation. Whenever we chronically disrupt sleep quantity and quality, we upset this balance and leave the door open for medical issues.


Sleep regulates the level of cortisol, a steroid hormone produced by the adrenal glands. It is also known as the stress hormone. Cortisol helps regulate other hormones in the body. When you relax, sleep well, and wake up feeling restored, your cortisol peaks within minutes of waking up. This spike triggers all of your other hormones, including your thyroid and estrogen. Poor sleep can have a number of negative effects on cortisol release. You should get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night to keep your cortisol levels under control.

Estrogen, progesterone and thyroid hormones

Estrogen and progesterone play a role in maintaining reproductive health. When you don’t sleep well, cortisol is high when you wake up in the morning. This can disrupt the tango between estrogen and progesterone. This can cause your thyroid to slow down, which can affect your metabolism by slowing it down.

Hunger Hormones

Sleep is an important regulator of metabolism, the process of chemical reactions in the body that converts food into energy. Sleep disruption or poor sleep can directly affect the production and levels of hunger hormones in the body. This can disrupt hunger, appetite and food intake, which can lead to weight gain.

Poor quality sleep disrupts

– the leptin

– ghrelin

– insulin

These hormones are responsible for:

– satiety

– hunger

– blood sugar regulation

– fat storage

These hormones are responsible for how the food you eat is used for energy and storage in your body. Poor sleep disrupts this delicate interaction and can lead to insulin resistance and weight gain, especially around your waist. Even a single night of poor sleep can disrupt your insulin levels. She advises compensating for the next day by watching your sugar intake.


Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland which is associated with the sleep-wake cycle of the body. It helps regulate the body’s circadian rhythm, so you can fall asleep – and stay asleep. Disrupted or poor quality sleep can impact melatonin and its role in promoting sleep in the brain. Melatonin controls over 500 genes in the body, including genes involved in the immune system, so managing your melatonin along with good sleep is essential.

Growth Hormone

Human Growth Hormone (HGH), also called somatotropin or growth hormone, plays a essential role in:

protein production and synthesis

muscle development



Sleep has a impact on the amount and production of growth hormone in the body.

When you reduce your sleep, you reduce your levels of growth hormone, and you may be less able to repair injuries and more likely to accumulate belly fat.

Too little sleep and hormone levels

The ideal amount of sleep needed for most adults is approx. n 7 to 9 o’clock. If you accumulate a sleep deficit during the week, you won’t be able to make up enough of it during the weekends.

Lack of sleep can lead to:

– reduced immunity

– more frequent infections

– increased disease

– appetite spikes

– increased calorie consumption

– weight gain

If you sleep 4 hours a night for 5 days, you have about a sleep deficit of 24 hours at the end of the week. You can’t make it up in a weekend. It is important to have a good night’s sleep on a regular basis for optimal hormonal regulation. These include sleeping long enough and deeply enough to enter rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.

Light or frequently interrupted sleep will not make the case.

Sleep deprivation is an epidemic that so many people take for granted as part of an active lifestyle. Sleep cleans out toxins in your brain. It’s like a powerful cleanse. Poor sleep wreaks havoc on your internal biochemistry. Poor sleep quality or insufficient sleep can upset the body’s hormonal balance. Disruption of hormonal balance occurs if you do not get enough sleep. If your body is producing cortisol for longer, it means you are producing more energy than you need.

Too much sleep and hormone levels

More sleep is not always better. A study showed that women score better on cognitive tests starting at 7 hours of sleep, but increased sleep beyond 9 hours is associated with lower cognitive scores.-

Too much sleep can lead to:

– drowsiness

– daytime fatigue

– reduced metabolism

– concentration disorders

– disrupted sleep cycles.

Good quality sleep being imperative for health and hormone regulation, excessive sleep, similar to sleep restricted, can have negative effects on the body, especially on the metabolism.

Tips for getting the sleep you need to regulate your hormones

Hormone regulation is essential for virtually all bodily processes. There are several things you can do to ensure that you get the most out of your nights sleep.

– Aim to get 7-9 hours of sleep per night.

– Go to bed and wake up at regular times to teach your body to know when it’s time to sleep.

– If you sleep poorly, limit your sugar intake during the day following to compensate for disturbed insulin levels.

– Avoid accumulating a sleep debt by depriving of sleep. This Netflix extra episode isn’t worth it.

– Keep electronics, artificial light, and phones out of the bedroom.

– Keep your sleep space cool and well-ventilated. You can even try refreshing pillows, mattresses and sheets.

– Invest in a quality mattress, so your body can rest comfortably and deeply. Want suggestions? Browse our marketplace, filled with editor- and expert-verified mattress recommendations.

– Create a sleep routine to prepare your body for rest.

– Consider Track your sleep using a wearable device to get an estimate of your total sleep time.

– Use a sleep mask or blackout curtains to block out light.

– Try a white noise machine to cancel out disruptive sounds.

– Use your bedroom only for sleeping (and having sex).

A good night’s sleep is necessary for the body’s hormonal balance, which is important for bodily functions and processes. Stick to a sleep routine, aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night, and limit your sugar intake the day after a sleep disruption. It can help you regulate your hormones and reap the health benefits that come with it.

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