Sleep is the regular period in every twenty-four hours when we are unconscious and unaware of our surroundings. There are two main types of sleep. Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep comes and goes throughout the night and makes up about one fifth of our sleep time. During REM sleep our brain is very active, our muscles are relaxed and our eyes move quickly from side to side when we dream.
During non-REM sleep the brain is quiet but the body may move around. Hormones are released into the bloodstream and our body repairs itself after the wear and tear of the day. This is the time when adrenal hormones may interfere with our sleep.
Many people have a hard time falling asleep in today’s active society. Medications addressing insomnia carry heavy side effects and are not tolerated by most people. In addition, medications do not address the underlying causes of insomnia. Many times insomnia is directly related to blood sugar imbalances, especially adrenal function.
A common pattern with overactive adrenals is the inability to fall asleep. These people usually have elevated cortisol late in the evening. Cortisol is a hormone used to help stabilize blood sugar levels during the day. It is released between meals to keep blood sugar levels balanced. When blood sugar levels drop, cortisol is released, which causes the liver to release some of its stored sugars (glycogen), thus restoring normal blood sugar levels. When cortisol levels are high at night instead of low, the person will not be able to fall asleep due to the excitatory nature of cortisol on the nervous system.(see adrenal saliva testing)
With under-active adrenal function you might fall asleep O.K. but not be able to remain asleep. In adrenal hypo-function individuals frequently will miss meals, eat and drink lots of sweets and are fueled during the day by caffeine. They typically have low energy and are irritable. The end result is chronic stress to the adrenal glands with a loss of function to maintain blood sugar levels, especially when asleep.
If a person has blood sugar problems they will not be able to tolerate an overnight fast and their bodies will go into a stress response when their blood sugar levels drop. Normally this would never occur with healthy adrenals because they would produce plenty of cortisol to stabilize the blood sugar. This stress response will cause the adrenal medulla to secrete adrenaline to try to mobilize glucose to compensate for the lack of cortisol. The release of these stimulatory adrenaline hormones will cause the person to wake up later on in the night.
Body Restoration Technique (BRT) has a diagnostic method to help find the source of your sleeping problems and a treatment plan to return you to a restful sleep.
Sleep issues can also be related to stress and unresolved emotional conflicts. All of these strong emotions also have a detrimental effect on the adrenal function.
A Personalized Program is a great place to start! At Balanced Body Wellness Centre each person is treated as a unique individual. Our personalized programs promote natural hormonal balance with nutritional supplements, endocrine support formulas, dietary and lifestyle guidance.
Call 770-425-6068 or e-mail us today to get started!