What is Insomnia?
Insomnia is a disorder that makes it hard to fall asleep, hard to stay asleep or both. Up to 30% of people suffer from this disorder. That number increases in people older than 40 as their lives are plagued with hormonal changes as well as family and work stressors.
Insomnia in Women
In women, insomnia is directly related to the decline in their hormone levels- both estrogen and progesterone. We treat women with bio identical estrogen which reduces disruptive hot flashes and improves urinary frequency. We also treat them with micronized bio identical progesterone. When taken in the oral form, progesterone interacts with the GABA receptors in the brain to promote sleep onset and help patients reach REM- restorative sleep more quickly.
Insomnia in Men
In men, insomnia is directly related to the decline in their testosterone levels. We treat men with testosterone to improve their sleep efficiency, decrease nighttime awakenings and help them reach REM- restorative sleep.
Many times stress plays the biggest role in our patients’ insomnia. Cortisol is our “flight or fight” hormone. It is produced naturally in the morning to help us be productive during our busy days. In theory, our bodies should decrease the production of cortisol in the evening so we can relax and get a restorative night of sleep. Unfortunately with all the stressors in our world today many patients never decrease their cortisol levels at night.
Your restless sleep could be caused by stress if:
- Your sleep suffers when your home or work life become busier
- You feel “jazzed up” at night when your body should be settling down
- Your mind wanders to deadlines or tasks that need to be completed when you’re trying to fall asleep
This prevents a good night sleep, leaving you tired and irritable. We treat our patients with a supplement called Cortisol Manager. It works to balance the cortisol levels at night giving patients more restorative sleep and thus improved energy and mood.
Restorative sleep is critical to each patient’s well-being—both physically and mentally. Our treatment plans always focus on sleep improvement as one of our primary goals.