Sleep is highly related to the production of melatonin, the body’s most potent antioxidant, and a variety of other hormones. Proper sleep requires a drop in cortisol levels and a corresponding lowering of insulin – a wonderful natural weight regulator. Overactive adrenal glands (high cortisol) late at night are a common cause of insomnia leading to restlessness and an overactive mind. While many people use sleeping pills, this does not treat the cause of the problem and can create unwanted drug dependencies. More importantly, prescription sleeping pills have been shown to reduce production of melatonin, which has serious adverse consequences.
Insomnia and fatigue are described together, since one must have adequate restorative sleep for the body to function correctly. The physiological decline in cortisol at bedtime accompanied by a rise in melatonin once the lights go out leads to deactivation of the Reticular Activating System, and we fall asleep. We should not have to think about this. However, those with insomnia try hard to fall asleep at night, and we all know that it is essentailly an impossible task to tell the brain to shut down.
At Balance Medical Center, we can assess the caliber of your cortisol curve through the day, and see if there are deficiencies that can be addressed to aid in sleep and energy. Of course, not all energy problems are related to cortisol, but our physicians, through their years of addressing fatigue can address your individual treatment plan for fatigue.