Sleep, Exercise and Hormones.
Sleep is SO important for your hormone function and bodily processes. When you get a proper amount of sleep (between 6 and 8 hours per night), your body is able to produce sufficient hormones (including DHEA) and neurochemicals.
Sleep deprivation or deficiency (sleeping fewer than 6 hours a night, for the average person) can lead to drastic fluctuations in your hormone levels.
But here’s the real harm: a lack of sleep can increase stress and anxiety, which in turn leads to an increase in cortisol levels. As we’ve clearly established, higher cortisol = lower DHEA levels.
How can you sleep better at night?
- Set and follow a sleep schedule, even on the weekends. I allow myself an extra hour on weekends if need be.
- Avoid eating late at night, a good rule of thumb is not to eat right before you sleep. Plan to eat before 8pm, especially if you are up at 6am. If you are on an intermittent fasting regime this will be easier.
- Engage in relaxing evening activities, reading, writing, yoga or meditation are a few examples of practices that can help prepare the brain for sleep and increase melatonin production.
- Try to avoid bringing your work and stress home with you. Do your best to avoid prolong exposure to blue light emitted by cell phones, computers and TVs as it suppresses melatonin production.
- Create a dark, quiet, and cool environment conducive to sleep.
Exercise is ALWAYS good for your physical health, energy and especially endocrine system!
Exercise does lead to a slight increase in adrenaline and cortisol production, but it only lasts for as long as you work out. It won’t suppress DHEA—on the contrary, studies have proven that it will actually INCREASE DHEA levels. Exercise can reduce the oxidative stress that breaks down DHEA and prevent age-related disease.
What’s the best type of exercise? Both aerobic (running, jogging, cycling, spinning, aerobics, etc.) and anaerobic (resistance training, HIIT, spring training, CrossFit, etc.) are excellent for boosting all your hormone levels naturally, including DHEA.
DHEA is such an important hormone, as it’s needed to produce both male and female sex hormones. Just because your body’s production of DHEA decreases as you age, that doesn’t mean you have to be content with lower DHEA levels. Everything I’ve mentioned above will help you to naturally increase your DHEA, leading to a healthier, happier life overall!
If you have any questions on how I can help you please dont hesitiate to contact me.
In good health,
Jordan Titchener R.Ac., PcP.,