Adrenal Stress Syndrome: A Major Cause of Insomnia
Dr. Richard Hagmeyer, D.C. Naperville Institute For Neuro Metabolic Solutions Naperville, IL Explains What Happens When Adrenals become Overactive
Unfortunately these sleeping pills and medications do not address the actual dysfunction or the underlying cause of the sleeping problem. Sleeping pills fail to solve why we are struggling with insomnia and adrenal stress.
In addition these medications often carry heavy side effects, and are not tolerated well by the overwhelming majority of people.
Sleeping Problems and The Adrenal Glands
The adrenal glands are two small glands located above the kidney, which secrete hormones that help the body stabilize blood sugar throughout the night. These Hormones Adrenaline, Cortisol and DHEA all have a tremendous impact on sleep.
Sleep Is Defined By Cortisol Levels Produced By Your Adrenals.
Your sleep is defined by your cortisol levels produced by your adrenals. Cortisol along with melatonin creates your circadian rhythm. In the morning your adrenal glands release large amounts of cortisol to help you get up and start the day. As the day goes on, these cortisol levels decline and prepare your body for resting and repair. Just before bed, your cortisol levels should be at their lowest point. But thats not what happens for many people struggling with sleep.
Instead what we see is something similar to the pattern below elevated Cortisol levels at night. What I would like you start thinking about, is how cortisol is a fight or flight hormone. In times of stress, inflammation, infection, fear, emotional trauma, this hormone is released in higher amounts.
Looking at the picture below you will notice that this patient is High in morning, High at noon, High in the evening and while its not flagged as high at nigh if you look at the range .4-1.0 ng/mL you will see that it’s high as well. This patient is in a major fight/flight state.
6 Things You Need To Pay Attention to….. If You Want Better Sleep
- Excess cortisol and adrenaline which damage the sleep centers of the brain.
- Repair the damage in the brain/hippocampus from excess cortisol and adrenaline.
- Decrease any evening or night time elevated cortisol and/or adrenaline levels.
- Increase GABA levels and other calming neurotransmitters when high cortisol and adrenaline levels are identified. .
- Ensure the proper production of melatonin and growth hormone.
- Prevent swings and fluctuations in Blood Sugar caused by high and or low cortisol levels
Let’s Talk About Blood Sugar and Sleep For Just A Moment
Your brain is very much dependent upon a steady supply of glucose or sugar. If blood sugar levels drop during the night, the Brain stresses out and goes into an alarm state. During this stress response, Cortisol and Adrenaline are pumped out in the effort to mobilize and bring blood sugar levels up.
Both Cortisol and Adrenaline are stimulatory hormones that will wake the person up during the night. Remember Cortisol and Adrenaline are your Fight or Flight hormones.
Whats Causing Your Sleeping Problems?
When it comes to sleeping problem there could be many causes, today we talked about Adrenal glands relationship to Insomnia, however in another video, I recently released I talked about the “6 Overlooked Areas Causing Your Sleep Problem and How to Fix Them” I suggest you watch this as soon as possible.
In either case it is important to look at all the factors that contribute to adrenal dysfunction. A sleeping pill will never fix the problem in this scenario, and this scenario is common. The brain’s ability to regulate the circadian rhythm of cortisol and melatonin is absolute necessity for better sleep.
A Few Tip For Better Sleeping
- Tonight before going to bed, try eating a high protein, high fat snack before bed. This helps to stabilize blood sugar and prevent a dip that sets off the internal alarm in the body. Remember drop in blood sugar is a stress response.
- While this may seem counter productive because many adrenal patients often find themselves waking up several times a night using the washroom. Try drinking 1/4 tsp of sea salt with 6 oz of water 2-3 hours before bed. Sea Salt and all its minerals can help you retain or hold onto water.
- Avoid eating sugar or grains before bed. The faster sugar goes up, the faster it goes down. When it goes down the blood sugar drops and this can cause waking.
- Try these tips for 2-3 weeks and see if they make a difference.
Final Point To Remember
- Remember, always ask what is the mechanism? What’s causing my problem? Simply taking something that only treats the symptoms (poor sleep) ignores the complexity of the body. Replacement therapies don’t work long term and they will not restore proper function and feedback loops within the Nerve system.
- Learn more about the Adrenal Glands here. If you find yourself relating to many of the symptoms you will learn about, it may be time to get testing to understand how to best support your adrenal glands.