How does Progesterone affect sleep?

by Lindsay Smith
(UK)

I have been taking Natpro for a while and have always stopped when I know my period is due, as it never seems to happen until I actually stop the cream. Then I seem to be unable to sleep until after my period has started usually about 3 days. Is this a result of stopping the cream?

I always find that I have affected sleep before my period is due but never as bad as this. can you give any advice?

Many thanks.

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Mar 25, 2011
How does Progesterone affect sleep?
by: Wray

Hi Lindsay Progesterone does help sleep, see here. Stopping it would cause a drop in levels, hence the sleep problems you encounter. You are right, stopping the cream does allow the lining to shed, I hope you are using it for the full 14 days of the luteal phase before stopping? If not it's quite possible you are not using enough. The reason for the sleep problems you had before your period and prior to using the cream, is also due to the drop in progesterone levels. After we ovulate, the corpus luteum produces progesterone for 12-14 days. If fertilisation doesn't take place, progesterone levels drop. This allows MMP's, enzymes that break down protein, to break down the lining which has built up over the month. Progesterone suppresses MMP's, hence they only work once levels of progesterone drop. Oestrogen also drops at the end of the cycle, but if the ratio of progesterone to oestrogen becomes skewed, ie excess oestrogen, many adverse symptoms can occur. I would suggest you try using more cream the few days prior to bleeding and see if that helps. We do have more info on our page How to use progesterone cream. You might have to use more throughout the month than you are using. I do recommend 100-200mg/day, so play around with the amount till you find the optimum. Unfortunately it is trial and error. Bearing in mind that stress drops progesterone levels too, so more is needed to prevent symptoms returning. Take care Wray

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