Heal Adrenal Stress with Good Sleep

The other day a patient described to me that she is “the healthiest not-feeling-well person ever!”

Perhaps you can relate…

This patient has completely normal results on her bloodwork, and yet she is tired, achy, irritable and can’t lose the weight she’s been trying to lose for 6 months.

How can that be?

One possible explanation is food intolerances…read more here.

Another possible cause is adrenal stress. And often, I find, the two occur together.

Adrenal stress is the results of stress, a subject I cover in depth in my upcoming book, The Stress Remedy.

We all have stress in one form, or many, so the solution is not to blow it off, or to think you can out do it.

Our human bodies are built with a stress response system. The thing is that as we are exposed to stress (life), then our stress response adapts. And at a certain point (depending on genetics, life circumstances, and more) your body will become less and less resilient to stress.

At that point, any stress can trigger things like fatigue, achiness, irritability, weight gain, sleep issues, anxiety, hormone changes, immune issues, and more.

This all occurs due to a stress hormone called cortisol, which is our friend in many ways, but our foe when it becomes unbalanced by stress.

The good news is that cortisol levels can be corrected by certain activities, as well as with nutrients and herbs*.

But before you purchase the latest product to raise or lower your cortisol, check with an expert who can help you. Based on my research, it is not possible to determine whether your cortisol is too high or too low simply based on symptoms.

One of the best things you can do to support your body back to optimal cortisol levels is to get good sleep every night.

Optimal cortisol levels create our circadian rhythm, which tells our body to wake up in the morning, and to go to sleep at night. By getting into bed at about 10 pm and sleeping 7.5 to 9 hours, your body will have a chance to “reset” your stress response and your cortisol levels.

Research shows that when people get good sleep, they lose weight more easily, have better energy and feel better. Sleep also helps improve your memory!

Here are things you can do to ensure a good night of rest:

  • Plan on going to sleep by 10 pm (or 9 hours before you have to wake up)
  • Use the hour before bed for less stimulating activities (turn off the TV and iPad)
  • Lower the lights because they stimulate hormones that wake you up
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and large amounts of food in the evening, all of which can disrupt sleep
  • Support your body to lower cortisol with a product such as Stress-fix TM by Aveda. It is made with organic lavender and sage, and comes as a lotion, bath salts and oil. Lavender has been shown to lower cortisol levels, which is what we all need for good sleep.
  • Use an app such as sleep cycle to track your sleep

You’ll know that you got enough sleep when you wake up without an alarm and feel rested.

If you struggle with getting to sleep or staying asleep, please let me know so that I can help you.

Sleep is a high priority when it comes to stress recovery, and can help you to become the healthiest feeling-awesome person ever!

–Dr. Doni

*Please keep in mind that any and all supplements—nutrients, herbs, enzymes, or other—should be used with caution. My recommendation is that you seek the care of a naturopathic doctor (with a doctorate degree from a federally-accredited program) and that you have a primary care physician or practitioner whom you can contact to help you with individual dosing and protocols. If you ever experience negative symptoms after taking a product, stop taking it immediately and contact your doctor right away.