Women's Wellness Blog February 7, 2020

Anxious & waking up in the middle of the night? Can be related to low progesterone

🌸 ‘I keep waking up in the middle of the night, and I’m feeling more anxious lately. There have been no big changes or stressors in my life right now, that I can think of to be the reason why this is happening’

If you have an issue maintaining sleep, feeling more anxious – and you have found that nothing really seems to be helping getting you to fall asleep. You might want to consider looking at progesterone levels.

As women, we’re ‘happier’ people when our progesterone levels are adequate. It helps us to maintain sleep, while addressing anxiety, with its calming ability – mainly through its activation on the GABA receptors – the calming neurotransmitters. In theory you could take a GABA supplement, and that should help if thats the problem – but why not go to the root cause for why you’re feeling this way, and actually address the underlying issue – if it is low progesterone.

Other symptoms of low progesterone include not only insomnia and anxiety, but we can also see heavier periods and spotting just leading up to it, we may also see breast tenderness. And if we’re trying to become pregnant, and we have a history of miscarriages, progesterone levels are something we want to also be assessing for. The reason being, that this tells us wheather or not you likely ovulated. If your levels are low on Day 21 or mid-luteal phase of your cycle, chances are you didn’t ovulate. And like the name progesterone suggests – ‘pro-gest’, or ‘pro-gestation’, being an essential pregnancy hormone.

What would cause low progesterone?

Usually it is related to not ovulating. When we’re not ovulating, progesterone isn’t being produced. There can be a couple of reasons for why women aren’t ovulating, including PCOS, thus we need to figure out what your reason may be. If you’re a women trying to become pregnant, we need to make sure you are ovulating. If you’re a peri-menopausal or menopausal women who is infrequently ovulating or has stopped, there are things we can do, with the option for us to prescribe bio-identical microionized progesterone.

Peri-menopause & Menopausal Ladies

If you’re in peri-menopause or menopause, and experiencing hot flashes, night sweats, bioidentical progesterone is something we have the option of prescribing. Usually progesterone is the first to dip, before estrogen as we age, and can oftentimes be sufficient for symptom relief, including those stubborn hot flashes and night sweats. And as a reminder, even if you’ve had a hysterectomy and don’t have a uterus, your brain still benefits from progesterone. Going back to the importance of those GABA receptors in the brain, for that calming effect on both sleep and with anxiety.

We often get many questions about bio-identical hormones – regarding safety, and efficacy.

If you have any questions about bio-identical hormones, or even lifestyle and supplemental adjustments that can be made – Come book with us at Health Over All.

Yours in health,

Dr. Alison Gottschalk, ND

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