How Hormonal Changes and Sleep Affect Your Fitness Journey

As we approach or navigate through menopause, a good night’s sleep becomes not just a desire but a necessity. This elusive quest doesn’t just impact our daily zest but also plays a pivotal role in our fitness journey, like hitting a weight loss plateau or feeling too lethargic for weightlifting. Let’s unpack the intertwined relationship between sleep changes, hormonal shifts, and their collective impact on our gym gains.

lethargy at the gym | limitless gym hong kong

Understanding the Hormone-Sleep-Fitness Connection

Menopause often triggers a hormonal roller coaster that disrupts sleep. Beyond hot flashes or mood swings, it’s vital to see how hormonal changes affect sleep and fitness.  Research links hormonal fluctuations with sleep disturbances and weight gain.  The issue extends beyond calories in vs. calories out. Poor sleep can cause hormonal imbalances, increasing hunger hormones (ghrelin) and decreasing satiety hormones (leptin), influencing our dietary choices away from fitness goals.

“We found that both low estrogen and sleep interruption — even while getting an adequate amount of sleep overall — decreased the amount of fat used by the body for energy, which over time may lead to greater fat storage and ultimately weight gain,” Leilah K. Grant, PhD in an interview on “Weight Gain Around Menopause Is Linked to Lack of Sleep”

The Role of Sleep in Recovery and Performance

Sleep is essential for muscle recovery and performance. During sleep, growth hormones actively repair and develop muscles. Missing out on sleep not only hinders muscle building but also impacts strength, endurance, and motivation for workouts, an issue exacerbated during menopause with prevalent sleep challenges.  This is particularly pertinent during menopause, where sleep challenges can disrupt the regularity and effectiveness of your fitness routine.

sleep strategies | limitless gym hong kong

Here are strategies to improve rest and down-regulate:

  • Heat Therapy & Slow Wave: Studies, including those shared by Dr. Rhonda Patrick, highlight the benefits of heat therapy.  These examples include sauna use, in promoting deeper sleep. Elevating your body temperature in the evening can enhance slow-wave sleep, the most restorative sleep phase, and naturally help your body down-regulate and transition into rest.
  • Magnesium-Rich Diet for Calm: Magnesium has been linked to improved sleep quality. It is a mineral renowned for its calming properties on the nervous system and can be found in whole foods. Incorporating magnesium-rich foods, such as leafy greens, nuts, seeds, and whole grains, or considering supplementation as discussed in BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies, can aid in relaxing both mind and body, preparing you for a night of peaceful sleep.
  • Balanced Omega Fatty Acids: The interplay between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in our diet is crucial for reducing inflammation and supporting restful sleep. Dr. Peter Attia emphasizes the importance of a diet balanced in omega fatty acids, suggesting an increase in omega-3s through sources like fatty fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts to enhance sleep quality and promote overall well-being.

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Explore how you can fine-tune your health and fitness routines amidst hormonal changes

Tackling the dual challenges of hormonal shifts and sleep disturbances can seem daunting, but with the right strategies and support, it’s a journey filled with growth and discovery.

At Limitless, we understand women’s unique challenges with hormonal changes and fitness. Our holistic approach goes beyond the gym, offering tailored guidance on nutrition, sleep, and stress management to ensure you’re supported at every step of your wellness journey.

If sleep disturbances and menopausal changes are hindering your fitness goals, let’s start a conversation. Our team of Women’s Health Specialists and Functional Medicine Health Coaches are here to offer personalized advice, ensuring your fitness journey is both effective and enjoyable.  Book a Discovery Chat where we explore