Insomnia and weight gain

by Jill

Hi Wray!
I suffer from pretty chronic insomnia and over the course of the past year or so I have gained about 10 lbs that I cannot seem to take off. After pursuing several doctors with no success and began to do some reading and research on my own. I'm 34 and these symptoms, among others, seem to fit into the estrogen dominance category. I started applying the progesterone cream twice daily, and for the first two wks, my sleep improved greatly. However, it had all of a sudden seemed to stop working. I have not lost any weight either. And while I know that piece could take time, I'm wondering why it went from working (sleepwise) to not do quickly?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Jill

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Jan 28, 2015
Insomnia and weight gain
by: Wray

http://www.progesteronetherapy.com/insomnia-and-weight-gain.html#axzz3Q7TPYfQL

Submitted Mon Jan 26 14:22:00 2015 EST
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I.P. address: 70.215.8.31

Insomnia and weight gain

Hi Wray!
I suffer from pretty chronic insomnia and over the course of the past year or so I have gained about 10 lbs that I cannot seem to take off. After pursuing several doctors with no success and began to do some reading and research on my own. I'm 34 and these symptoms, among others, seem to fit into the estrogen dominance category. I started applying the progesterone cream twice daily, and for the first two wks, my sleep improved greatly. However, it had all of a sudden seemed to stop working. I have not lost any weight either. And while I know that piece could take time, I'm wondering why it went from working (sleepwise) to not do quickly?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Jill

Hi Jill I can't really help you as you don't say which progesterone cream you're using, or how much. Have a look at our page on How to use Progesterone Cream. But it does appear to be too little, as you have now reached the inevitable Oestrogen Dominance stage. Please do not rely on progesterone for weight loss! It does speed metabolism, but only slightly. Sleep can be affected by so many things. I need to do a web page on it, but this is info I've found so far. High cortisol at night will cause havoc with sleeping. Evening cortisol levels should be checked, as there seems to be a rise at that point in insomniacs. If cortisol is high, zinc can lower it, see here and here. Oestrogen if too high will cause insomnia, interestingly oestrogen suppresses zinc. It seems oestrogen is to blame for so many problems, but with good reason. Insomnia is but one. One adverse affect it has is it stimulates glutamate. This is our most excitatory neurotransmitter, see here. Oestrogen also destroys beta-endorphin neurons in the brain, these produce endorphins which promote a feeling of well being and relaxation. And it increases free radicals, see here. The paper says "This loss of opioid neurons is prevented by treatment with antioxidants indicating that it results from estradiol-induced formation of free radicals". Insomnia has been linked to inflammation, the end result of excess free radicals, see here. Progesterone protects against glutamate toxicity, it also increases BDNF (brain-derived neuroptrophic factor) in itself protective, see here and here. If glutamate is too high, it allows calcium, an excitatory mineral, to enter the cells. This only makes matters worse, see here, here and here. Progesterone also protects against calcium induced excitotoxicity, see here. High glutamate will have a similar affect to high cortisol, making one wired and tense, it will be impossible to sleep with a brain firing at too rapid a rate. And if calcium is high this would imply magnesium is low, it certainly helps relax. Or it could be dopamine is too low. Stress depletes dopamine, leading to depression and a rise in cortisol and prolactin, the amino acid tyrosine reverses this. But the rate limiting step in dopamine synthesis is the enzyme tyrosine hydroxylase. Insufficient levels of vitamin D inhibit tyrosine hydroxylase, resulting in a disturbance in the dopamine pathway. The dopamine pathway requires the progesterone receptor. There appears to be evidence that dopamine is involved in regulating the sleep–wake cycle, see here. High levels of dopamine will also disturb it. There is also other evidence that adenosine is involved in the sleep/wake cycle, see here, here, here, here. High neuronal activity increases levels of adenosine, which then promotes sleep. But if neuronal activity was stuck in the on position, i.e. something was over riding the adenosine, or it's effect, insomnia would result. Could it be oestrogen, as progesterone increases levels of adenosine, see here. One interesting fact, and of possible significance, more women get insomnia than men. Women make far more oestrogen than men do. Or maybe it's a lack of nitric oxide (NO), also essential for sleep, see here. NO is made endogenously from nitrates found in food, and from the amino acid arginine, but a major source is the direct affect the sun has on our skin. The action of sunlight triggers the release of NO which is then absorbed through the skin. It's essential to get enough sun. Insulin Resistance is also associated with insomnia, see here. Any stress stresses the adrenals. These need sodium to function normally, so a lack of salt can cause insomnia, see here. It's a long article, but if you put 'salt' into 'find' you'll pick up the passages where salt is mentioned. This is an excellent, albeit long paper on sleep here. It states "In insomnia, which is a very common sleep disorder, objective sleep measures, EEG activity, physiologic findings, HPA axis activity and inflammation markers suggest that it is not a state of sleep loss, but a disorder of hyperarousal present both during the night and the daytime." Which fits all the above, the emphasis being on 'hyperarousal'. So if you think any of the above fits, or want to try the nutrients, I suggest you first have a vitamin D test done to find your level and to determine how much to take to bring it up if low. The most important cofactor for vitamin D is magnesium, a low level affects the efficacy of vitamin D. But a low level of vitamin D reduces the benefits of progesterone, circles within circles. Magnesium relaxes, it helps sleep too, see here, but above all a lack of vitamin D itself can cause insomnia, see here and here. Progesterone helps sleep too, it also helps relax and calm us, see here. So what's causing the insomnia? Is it high cortisol in the evening, or high oestrogen/low progesterone, low vitamin D, low magnesium, low tyrosine, low dopamine/high dopamine, low sodium, a lack of antioxidants, low NO, low adenosine, IR, all of these or none of these? It's like looking for a needle in a hay stack, which one of the above could it be, if any, or maybe a bit of all! Take care Wray

Jan 28, 2015
Insomnia
by: Anonymous

Interesting reading wray with me me it's just sweats that wake me every two hours no matter how much vit d natpro or magnesium I use or what I eat when I go to bed I feel really good and sleepy no wired brain but I know within 2 hours I'm awake sweating then every hour or two during the night I've been using natpo for 6 years at 300mgs a day many times iv tried 500mg for 2 weeks at a time but it did not stop the night sweats hope you can shed light great site take care thankyou

Jan 29, 2015
Insomnia
by: Wray

Hi there How ghastly! They were my worst. Have you seen our page on Hot Flushes? It might throw some light on it. The only other thing I can suggest is stop eating any foods which convert to glucose, or contain sugar in any form, at supper time. Maybe you don't, but check everything you eat and eat only green leaves and animal protein for supper. A drop in blood glucose can cause hot flushes. Let me know if this helps you. Take care Wray

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