There are many habits that harm hormones, but we don’t always realise. Are you a brekkie dodger? Do you sneakily check work e mails, whilst quaffing a coffee? Read how common morning habits could be harming our hormones.
Here are 10 habits that we may want to rethink for hormone harmony and fuelling fertility.
#1 WAKE UP TO WIFI (YES, IT CAN HARM HORMONES)
Who wakes up to the tinkly and tinny tune of their phone in a room full of tablets, computers and a TV set? Oh and wearing their fitbit?
The electromagnetic fields around this electronic equipment is thought to disrupt normal sleep. They interfere with the sleep-wake pattern, which is governed by hormones.
If you’re having trouble sleeping and wake up unrefreshed, try banishing the gizmos to another room and invest in a good old fashioned alarm clock. You could even turn off wifi overnight.
#2 HIT THE SNOOZE BUTTON
It feels so good and soooo naughty doesn’t it? Hitting snooze and getting a few more precious minutes snuggled under the duvet?
UNTIL it makes you hideously late so you rush about like a headless chicken, stressed as a stressed thing on the First Day of Stress. And you risk making most of these 10 poor choices. Because you’re late. Again.
Stresses harm hormones. Your body pumps put the stress hormone cortisol, robbing other hormones like progesterone of their building blocks. Low progesterone risks a whole lot of symptoms from allergies through period problems to yeast infections.
Try to have a bedtime and wake-up routine that leaves plenty of time to fit everything in without stress.
#3 TAKE A SHOWER
Haha, I’m not REALLY suggesting we don’t shower or bath. I just wanted to mention the different health benefits of choosing hot or cold water.
Showering in hot water apparently raises the hormone oxytocin, so a hot shower is good for easing anxiety and making us feel happier. It can also be good for aches and pains and help er em er clearing snot, when we’re bunged up.
Hot water isn’t so great for our skin or hair, though. And some women have issues with dry hair, skin and nails when they’re (peri)menopausal anyway.
A cold shower on the other hand is better for skin AND it helps wake us up and become more alert. Sorry, I still can’t be tempted to a very cold shower. Brrrrr.
#4 SLATHER ON A CHEMICAL COCKTAIL
It’s estimated we put over 500 chemicals on our skin daily, ladies. Some of them are known to harm hormones and harm health.
Watch out for chemicals that harm hormones – phthalates, triclosan and more.
I suggest switching to natural, organic, non-toxic cosmetics and toiletries over time. I like Neals Yard, myself (link is to my shop). My addiction to orange and geranium shower gel is legendary.
#5 QUAFF CAFFEINE
Who needs their cup of Joe to kickstart their day? Or a mahoosive mug of Builders’ Tea?
The caffeine can make our poor adrenal glands tired (they pump out stress hormone cortisol). It can affect fertility and is harmful in pregnancy. It also makes hot flushes and night sweats worse for many women.
If you are gong to drink caffeine drinks, it’s best to do it early in the day so it doesn’t disturb sleep later though.
Or you could choose maca powder in your smoothie, if you need livening up in the morning. It’s a so-called superfood. I had some in mine today.
#6 SNARF A CARBFEST
For many women, breakfast is a couple of slices of toast spread in sugary jam. Or it’s a bowl chock full of sugary, carb-laden cereal.
And then you’re starving by 10am, right? And you feel like falling asleep? Or you want to rip off someone’s head?
Eating too many carbs also encourages fat-storing, which is the last thing you want if you’re trying to manage your weight.
It’s much better to choose PROTEIN for breakfast to balance energy, mood and hormones. With good fats and some fibre/fruit and veggies.
Think eggs, wild fish, nuts and seeds, chia seed, quinoa, organic meat and organic yoghurt – non organic will contain drugs and growth hormones that the animals were fed and they can harm hormones.
Which leads me to…
#7 SKIP BREKKIE
Yes, some women are brekkie-dodgers.
It’s better for energy, mood and hormone balance to eat something healthy in the morning. If you really can’t face eating too early, eat a little later.
There are plenty of healthy things that you can eat “on the go” if you really, really must. Like chia seed pudding in a jar. Maybe overnight oats. Or a protein packed smoothie. None take long to make, honest.
#8 TELL OURSELVES (LIE) THAT WE’LL EXERCISE LATER
I know it’s tough. It REALLY Is. Especially in winter, which will soon be here in the UK. BUT it really is better to exercise in the morning. It “gets it out of the way”. It wakes you up and sets you up for the day.
Or you could exercise at lunchtime or early evening, if that fits better.
Exercising in the evening does risk getting you too “pumped” to sleep well because you’ll have too much cortisol and adrenaline and not enough melatonin, the sleep hormone.
#9 CHECK WORK E MAILS
Back to stress!
If you’re checking your work e mails whilst slurping down a coffee and ironing your shirt at the same time, it’s not likely you’re that relaxed.
Also see tip #2.
Make yourself a more relaxing morning routine. You could make sure you’re ironing/making up lunches/getting bags ready etc the night before. AND make sure yo have plenty of time each morning for getting ready, getting your family ready and eating a healthy breakfast before you head out.
#10 LIGHT UP
If you’re a smoker, I don’t need to repeat the dangers to health. BUT did you know smoking can harm hormones?
Smoking lowers oestrogen, which can cause early menopause AND the symptoms of menopause like dryness, hot flushes, low sex drive and more and smoking is not great for female or male fertility.
If you recognise yourself in here, maybe start by changing one habit at a time? Get in touch if you’d like to find out how we can help you change your food choices and lifestyle habits for better health, balanced hormones or boosted fertility.