Adrenal Fatigue|Is Your Brain Tired?

Is Your Brain Tired? The Connection Between Adrenal Fatigue and Insomnia

tired woman with coffeeAre you tired of tossing and turning at night?  Do you wake up in the morning a wishing you could get another 3 hours of “good” sleep.  You are not alone!  Frustrations with poor sleep are all too common.  You may have already tried several different medications.  Sleep medications can work for a short time but they lose their effectiveness.  Sometimes medications don’t work at all…then what do you do?

If you want to know how to get to the underlying cause then you have to know the reason you can’t sleep in the first place.  Medications just don’t address the underlying problems, they at best cover up your symptoms.

There are two very common problems that can rob you of a satisfying night’s sleep…

#1:  An area in the brain known as the Mesencephalon can be over firing.  This is very common in people suffering with Fibromyalgia and Thyroid Problems. The mesencephalon is a small area partly responsible for keeping you awake (don’t worry about this big word just what it does).  The mesencephalon should be firing at its highest during the day and at the lowest in the middle of the night.  If this “wakefulness” area of the brain is over-firing you will often wake up throughout the night.

Oh, by the way, those with a high firing mesencephalon often have chronic pain.  Let’s face it…when you sleep…you heal and just feel recharged.  If your brain doesn’t know how to slow down and drift into dreamland (and stay there all night), you could be facing more problems than just poor sleep.

#2:  Your Adrenal Glands (small hormone producing glands on top of your kidneys) may not be working properly.  If your adrenal glands don’t produce enough cortisol, your blood sugar can drop too low causing you to wake up.

You can learn more about your adrenal glands here

Many times insomnia is directly related to blood sugar imbalances, in particular to adrenal function. The adrenal glands are two small glands located above the kidney, which secrete hormones that help the body stabilize blood sugar, inflammation, immune system and hormones.

A common pattern we see clinically with patients that have adrenal hyper-function (overactive) is an inability to fall asleep. With adrenal hypo-function (under-active), the symptom is exactly opposite; they can fall asleep, but not stay asleep.

Therefore both hyper and hypo adrenal function can impact insomnia.

Dr Hagmeyer CFS GuideWith the first pattern, the adrenal HYPOFUNCTION patient, the body does not have enough cortisol to maintain blood sugar levels throughout the evening fasting period (we all go through a typical 8-10 hour fast when we sleep).

As blood sugar levels drop during the night, the body goes into a stress response, and without adequate cortisol to bring blood sugar levels up, the body releases norepinephrine and adrenaline to try to stabilize blood sugar. These are stimulatory hormones that will wake the person up during the night. This is the person who seems to wake up, wide awake, at the same time every night. Researchers are also finding this to be linked to depression.

The second scenario, the adrenal HYPERFUNCTION patient, will cause the person to have higher than normal cortisol levels at bed time. This will cause the person to not be able to fall asleep due to the excitatory nature of cortisol on the nervous system.
In either case it is important to look at all the factors that contribute to adrenal dysfunction. A sleeping pill will never fix the problem in this scenario, and this scenario is common.That means evaluating gut function, hormone levels, adrenal levels, thyroid function, neurotransmitters and neurological function.
Brain Based Therapy and Advanced Metabolic Testing (BBT) allows us to target and address the neurological and metabolic reasons you can’t get a good night’s sleep. Call Today and schedule a Free 15 minute Phone Consult.

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