All of you must have more or less an idea of cortisol. Let’s talk about the relationship between High Cortisol and Sleep.
First of all, what is cortisol. It is a stress hormone and has a lot of different functions with the immune system for countering stress. It is a survival hormone and if it is too high it can definitely interfere with your sleep.
What is Really Cortisol All About?
Cortisol is a hormone. It’s produced by a complex network known as the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis.
The HPA axis includes your hypothalamus and pituitary gland, both of which are in your brain. It also includes your adrenal glands, which sit atop your kidneys.
To make cortisol, your hypothalamus sends a signal to your pituitary gland. It does this by releasing a substance called corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH).
CRH stimulates your pituitary gland to send another hormone into your bloodstream. That hormone is called adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH).
ACTH travels through your bloodstream to your kidneys and cues the adrenal glands to produce cortisol. Once the adrenals have produced enough cortisol, the hypothalamus stops releasing CRH.
It’s a complex and sensitive feedback loop, and it has profound effects on your body, mind, and sleep.
Normally when you go to bed at night ideally at 11 o’clock or maybe even10:45 would be a perfect time. Because that is when the circadian wave starts happening and I am talking about the sleep cycles. So it starts over here and you go through your different waves of sleep through the night from a superficial sleep which is the REM sleep to the deeper levels which end up to be the Delta wave sleep.
Now right around 12 o’clock midnight and – this is where you have the lowest cortisol. Ideally, it should be the lowest amount of cortisol the highest level of cortisol is between 6 to 8 and maybe 9 o’clock in the morning.
But what happens cortisol can start going higher earlier through the night to counter the depths of deep sleep. So what happens is you might sleep. But you are not getting the deeper restful rejuvenation sleep, you wake up feeling just as tired as when you went to bed. So the real problem behind a lot of issues with sleep is this darn high cortisol.
How Cortisol Is Regulated In The Body?
So I am going to talk a little bit about how cortisol is regulated in the body. So you have the hypothalamus up in the brain. It is like the master gland then you have the pituitary that is also in the brain. But it is slightly lower and then you have the adrenal so HP A. It is called the HPA axis. So there is a little tiny group of cells in the hypothalamus called the PBN para particular nuclei that send a signal down the pituitary in response to some stress reaction. And the communication between the master gland hypothalamus and the pituitary is called CRH just going to try to abbreviate some of the hormones right now.
Then the communication then goes from the pituitary down to the adrenal gland and that communication is called ACTA. So basically you can look at it like this. As here we have the coach on the football team.Then we have the quarter back. And then we have the players right here we have two players that is you have two adrenals. They are right on top of the kidneys right deep true and the cortisol is a stress hormone. There is a lot and so the core salt is a survival stress hormone.
Here is what you need to know If there is enoughcortisol being produced. Normally it works like a feedback loop like a thermostat .There should be signals that are sent back up here and over here to turn off this production of these hormones.So the goal is to send the signal we need more cortisol down through here the adrenal complies with that order produces cortisol and then there should be a turn-off switch in theory.
What happens When You Have more Cortsiole?
But what happens when this off switch is busted. Then you have more cortisol. More cortisol becomes a chronic situation. And if you have too much of anyone’s hormone the receptors in the cells start resisting those hormones and then you get cortisol resistance just like you would have insulin resistance. So that makes everything worse the body will start making more and more course all. Because the cortisol is being blocked. So the feedback signal never gets back up to here. So these guys never get the information to turn off the flow.
More About Sleep Mechanism
Of course, also it keeps producing more and more and more the sleep mechanism is composed of two things. One is the locus code rules and the other is the RafaNikola a nice little on/off switches in the back part of the brain stem work. One works to wake you up the other one works to help you go to sleep. And these centers are greatly influenced by this hormone here. Because this here raises noradrenaline and that would be a similar hormone to adrenaline which will wake you up. But we do not want it raised in the middle of the night especially at 2:00 o’clock or even at 4:00 o’clock. We want it to be as low as possible. So we do not want to stimulate this.
There is another player involved called the amygdala. And that is a little area in the brain that is similar to your adrenals. It is kind of like the adrenals. But in your brain, if you have a problem with this right here you can even get panic attacks. So it really is involved in a lot of stress responses. So this is also triggered when we have too much of this communication too. We have a problem with different parts of the brain that are activated that are going to prevent you from getting sleep. All because of this down cortisol will not turn off. Because cortisol is also supposed to turn off both of these as well in the feedback loop. But if there is a problem with it we never get the off switch.
What Do We Do With This High Cortisol?
Try to Find Out The Cause and must try to solve it to manage High Cortisol and Sleep.
So the question is what do we do with this high cortisol. You want to obviously try to find out what is causing your stress in life and do whatever you can to handle that.
Change The Stressful Environment
If you are in a situation with people and they are stressing you out change that environment is really quick. Because it is not worth it. You really need to create an environment that you have a lot of lower stress.
Go For Long Walks
Now there is something that you can do to manage High Cortisol and Sleep. One is going for long walks. And I am talking about 45 to 60 minutes every single day, not of high intensity. But long walks somewhere in nature where you’re not listening to a headphone. You are not on your cell phone. You need to disconnect, you need to get more space. This is probably one of the best things you can do especially. Since most people sit behind a computer for 8 to 10 to 12 plus hours all day long. And then they go to watch TV and then they go to bed. So we want to extract ourselves from that desk and get out there and get some space.
There is a Do It Yourself acupressure technique in which you can do it. And also can know how to extract stress from your body. So that is another thing you can do now and manage High Cortisol and Sleep.
Amino Acids for High Cortisol and Sleep
I want to talk about some other things that you can take to reduce stress. Now, these two right here are amino acids okay l-tyrosine in-theanine both of these help in the regulation of noradrenaline. So these two will make you feel calmer.
Some Minerals to Manage High Cortisol and Sleep
The other minerals that are involved in supporting cortisol to make sure it is not too spiked be calcium very very important. Magnesium as in calcium. Magnesium is a really good remedy and also potassium. You can get this from vegetables. You can get all of these from vegetables right here. And zinc very very important in a lot of different things especially sleep. So these are the minerals involved with regulating cortisol.
There is a neurotransmitter called GABA which is another good one and that is going to decrease that little area of your body called the locus coeruleus which is involved in triggering this right here. So when you if take GABA you can actually lower the adrenaline and the little center and hypothalamus, which starts the whole chain reaction. So this is why when people take GABA they feel less anxiety, calmer. They sleep better.
Ashwagandha is one of the best herbs to act as an adaptogen. So it helps you adapt to stress. It increases your stress tolerance and it has the ability to help inhibit adrenal hormones.
Magnolia to Manage High Cortisol and Sleep
Magnolia is another great herb that will increase DHEA which is like the buffer for cortisol.It will help inhibit highlevels of cortisol and there is another remedy called NAC that will also limit the noradrenaline as well.
When you go through stress believe it or not your body dumps vitamin C. So you lose vitamin C and you need vitamin C for the manufacture of certain hormones. So vitamin C is very important in supporting an adrenal gland that is stressed out. So do not forget to take more vitamins you consume foods that are high in vitamin C. By the way always take vitamin C and it is complete complex do not take it as a synthetic fraction of the vitamin C complex. Because you need the whole complex but this one is probably the most important right here.
And it is just simple B1. I recommend getting it from nutritional yeast. Why because B1 is necessary to make some of these neurotransmitters like GABA and it also helps calm the autonomic nervous system. Now and specifically the flight or fight mechanism which is called the sympathetic nervous system and also you are living off of coffee or tea with sugar and alcohol these are the things that will deplete B1.
The tannins in coffee and tea make B1 unavailable to you. So that is a big blocker right there and plenty of course sugar and carbs especially refined carbs will deplete B1and definitely alcohol will so, of course, avoid these things right here. But don’t forget to take nutritional yeast because that’s probably one of the most important things that you can do so the whole goal is not to keep cortisol at zero but to have normalized cortisol. So you do not have anything interfering with these very important sleep cycles yet you still have the function of course. So which is vital for all the survival mechanisms including the immune system alright thanks for watching so if you want more knowledge on how to create a healthy body subscribe now and get daily notifications.
How to Manage Lower Cortisol?
Cortisol is a very destructive hormone. It is a stress hormone, it makes belly fat and there is a lot of theories and mixed, confusing ideas about cortisol. I am going to show you what is known about cortisol as far as how to lower it.
1. More sleep, more growth hormone, less cortisol
Things that you can do, things that you can avoid.Again, it is made outside the adrenal gland on top of the kidney and it reacts to stress.As you age, the opposing hormone called growth hormone, which is anti-aging, goes down.It bottoms out at age 50, so in other words the relative ratio of low growth hormone to cortisol, cortisol naturally goes higher because it’s unopposed.It has nothing to push it down.Anything that increases growth hormone will help lower cortisol.
Growth hormone is made by your pituitary gland and it works the liver. Guess what? It activates during sleep. So if you can get more sleep or do something to improve your sleep then you will help yourself lower cortisol. Whatever that means. More sleep but not necessarily taking a drug, but doing it naturally.More sleep, more growth hormone, less cortisol.Okay?That is number one.
What is IGF? Insulin-like growth factor. What is that? That is a hormone that is very similar to growth hormone but it’s produced by your liver. It is released by the liver and it regulates fat-burning. It actually helps regulate blood sugars when you are not eating. Insulin regulates sugar when you are eating, IGF regulates sugars when you are not eating and primarily when you are sleeping.
If you are just grazing all day, eating all day long, and never giving your body a chance not to eat, then you will not trigger growth hormone unless you are sleeping really well. I recommend do two to three meals a day, if you really want to stimulate this and not have too many snacks. You will find that your IGF will go up because anything that increases growth hormone will also increase this one here. So these kinds of work together right here.
3. Getting Sun Regularly
Number three, sun. Getting sun rays on a regular basis. That’s very, very, very powerful to lower cortisol. You know you go to the beach, you get sun, and you feel calmer. Then you take a nap. Sleep and sun lowers cortisol, so really what you need to do is go to the beach for about six months and get sun and sleep. Sun and sleep. I’m just kidding. If you can do that. We have sun and sleep, and then Vitamin D will also help you as well.
4. You need to get D3
D3 is really good to help lower cortisol but realize that when you take it, get it in daily dosages of about 10,000 International Units. If you’re getting about 15 to 20 minutes of sun every day you don’t need Vitamin D because you’re going to get it from the sun. On the days that it’s cloudy, take the D3. One 10,000 IUs but make sure you’re taking Vitamin K2 with it.I created a video on that. I’ll put a link down below because you need to get the full scoop of what to take if you’re taking that much Vitamin D just to balance it out. All right,
Walking is way better than any type of exercise to lower cortisol. Long walks, getting space, very therapeutic.
Acupressure, that’s one thing I do. I have found that all stress accumulates and you have to extract the stress manually on the body, so there are techniques to help pull the stress out of your body so your body can sleep, up here. We do acupressure to increase sleep.
Increase your potassium. Normally in your body, you need 4700mg a day. That’s seven to ten cups of salad a day. This will help to balance cortisol as well because potassium supports part of the nervous system that helps recovery. It’s called the parasympathetic nervous system. That opposes the flight or fight mechanism. That’s the anti-cortisol thing, so potassium is very, very good.
8. Vitamin B1
There’s also another thing. Vitamin B1. Very important. Make sure you get your B1 through nutritional yeast and not synthetic vitamins. Nutritional yeast is a natural form of B1 and take a teaspoon or a tablespoon, put it in some plain kefir or yogurt, mix it all up a little bit, and then eat it. If you don’t like the taste put it in peanut butter, something like that, apple sauce. B1 is a very, very, very, very good thing.
I thought of another one. Calcium. A little calcium before bed, calcium-citrate, calcium-lactate. Don’t consume calcium-carbonate. That’s a very bad one but calcium will also help before bed, it’ll help you sleep. That’s really, really beneficial to help that.
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