Does the following story sound familiar?
Your schedule is packed from the moment you wake up in the morning to the moment you lay your head on the pillow at night. You're a parent, professional, spouse, coach, cook, chauffeur, caretaker and more...
You've gained weight and can't seem to lose it. You feel anxious, foggy-headed, and stressed. All-day long, all you can think about is sleep....sweet and restful sleep. Yet despite your sheer exhaustion, at the end of the day, you cannot sleep!
Think it's just because you have too much on your mind? Think again. Chances are good there are multiple causes at play. This dilemma is commonly referred to as being "tired and wired" and is due, in some part, to hormone and neurotransmitter imbalances.
Your adrenal glands are on duty all day long, with the cortisol peaking in the morning, then gradually in decline over the course of the day, allowing you a restful night's sleep. However, when the body and mind are under persistent stress, the demand on your adrenals for cortisol is constant. Over time, this results in dysregulated cortisol production. With this constant stress (both real and perceived) the adrenal glands become over-worked and unable to secrete adequate amounts of cortisol, throwing your system out of whack.
Common patterns associated with "wired and tired" include:
- Reversal of the diurnal cortisol curve (depressed cortisol levels in the morning and elevated cortisol levels at night).
- Low evening cortisol levels with a compensatory secretion of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and epinephrine. These cause your heart to pump faster, blood pressure to rise, and breathing to be faster and deeper. This scenario results in anxiety coupled with the feeling of being "wired" late in the day and the evening.
- An imbalance between inhibitory and excitatory neurotransmitters which results in sleep disturbance as well as a sense of being "wired" and anxious.
While any imbalance between excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters could contribute to the symptoms of being "tired and wired," another common issue is an elevated norepinephrine/epinephrine ratio. Elevated levels are indicative of poor conversion of norepinephrine to epinephrine. Additionally, low cortisol levels may be contributing to the symptom picture, as cortisol stimulates the enzymes that convert norepinephrine to epinephrine. But how do you know how to treat your condition without testing both the hormones and the neurotransmitters?
Canary Club proudly offers the Hormone/Neurotransmitter Test Kit from ZRT Lab which provides you with both a view of adrenal hormones and neurotransmitters to determine the cause behind your anxiety and sleep issues. The key to a good night's sleep is to balance your cortisol throughout the day and to balance your neurotransmitters. Knowing where an imbalance lies will allow you to utilize targeted treatments.
Pick, Marcelle. Are You Tired and Wired? Carlsbad, California: Hay House, Inc., 2011. Print.
Wilson, James L. Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome. Petaluma, California: Smart Publications, 2001. Print.