Are you Tired but Wired?
Lying in bed, mentally and physically exhausted, waiting, tossing and turning but unable to fall asleep. All too often do I meet patients coming to my office for the treatment of this exact problem. The underlying cause of this common type of insomnia is usually adrenal fatigue brought on by unusually high stress. Patients often describe their experience of having thoughts racing through their minds as they are aware that what they need most is to “switch off” these thoughts and get much-needed rest.
The adrenal glands, one situated above each kidney, regulate the release in our bodies of the hormone cortisol, the main hormone involved in responding to the many types of stress. When they are working overtime to handle not just the episodes of peak high stress but rather a lifestyle that brings a baseline level of moderate to high stress, adrenal glands cannot make enough cortisol and the regulation of its release into the blood is disrupted. The ideal release of cortisol will have the highest levels in the morning with gradually declining levels throughout the day until night when the levels are the lowest but spiking levels at inappropriate times are usually the result.
What you can do to reverse this state:
- Minimize situations that cause you stress and anxiety.
- Increase activities that bring you more happiness and are relaxing.
- Make sure you are getting moderate levels of exercise 3 times per week.
- Decrease your intake of adrenal stimulants–the most common are refined sugar and caffeine-containing beverages.
- Work with an acupuncturist who has had success with treating this condition.
You can fight it or you can get smarter than it.
- Possible: Fight it.
- Impossible: Beat it.
- Repossible: Outsmart it.