Progesterone is considered our 'calming and soothing' hormone. It helps us sleep because it makes a metabolite (or by-product) called allopregnanolone which interacts with GABA a receptor IN THE BRAIN. GABA is a calming neurotransmitter.
It's also the major inhibitory neurotransmitter and has been implicated in a multitude of health challenges.
What's so important about that, you ask? Well, depending on the area of the brain involved, hyperexcitability of the neurons can manifest as seizures, headaches, muscle cramping, anxiety, insomnia, tics, or psychiatric disorders.
Finding a healthy balance is crucial for health and well-being!!!
GABA receptors are also found in the hypothalamus, which contains unique anatomy that controls our circadian rhythms, or our sleep-wake cycles.
GABA is a chief inhibitory chemical in the brain, and when levels are too low, it can alter our perception of our world. With appropriate nutrition and other modalities to improve GABA, we can be more relaxed, sleep better, feel happier, and have more energy. These healthy choices will also have ancillary effects of reducing our risk of disease.
As Progesterone declines in midlife, the FIRST thing most women notice is a decline in the quality of their sleep. It usually gets worse and worse until eventually You’re Praying for a just one good night.