OWN YOUR HORMONES

OWN YOUR HORMONES

Believe it or not, there’s a way to capitalise on your hormonal mood swings so they don’t hamper your work or relationships. ‘By understanding your monthly cycles, you’re able to give mood changes a context and be aware of other hormone impacts such as food, sleep and stress,’ says Amy Thomson, co-founder of wearemoody.com, a website that offers advice on diet, supplements and how to balance cycle symptoms. Did you know, for instance, that the week after your period is the perfect time to book in for a peel, as the spike in oestrogen causes pain-quashing endorphins to kick in? Also interesting: ‘The reason you feel so sluggish and downbeat during the third week of your cycle is because lower levels of oestrogen can affect your serotonin and dopamine levels – one very good reason to hit the gym and boost these feel-good chemicals in the body,’ says Thomson.

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CATCH SOME Zs

Among the health-conscious, achieving eight hours of undisturbed sleep has become as aspirational as clean eating. In fact, we rate its wellbeing benefits so highly that a survey of thousands of Britons by Oxford Economics and the National Centre for Social Research found sleeping well was more important than a pay rise in the happiness stakes. But on nights when tomorrow’s to-do list or too much beforebed screen time is affecting your shut-eye, turn to magnesium in your bodycare. ‘This mineral can quieten the nervous system by binding to a calming neurotransmitter known as GABA [gamma-aminobutyric acid], which turns off your stress response,’ says Annee de Mamiel, founder of de Mamiel Botaniques. ‘It also helps to regulate melatonin, which guides our circadian rhythm [your internal body clock that regulates when you fall asleep and wake up].’

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