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Insomnia is a common health concern for people with modern lifestyles. The main complaints for insomnia include:
The common cause for insomnia is the malfunction of the Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal system. Adrenal gland responds to our everyday stresses. Long-term stress eventually causes adrenal malfunction. Adrenal malfunction is classified into two stages, Stressed stage and Fatigued stage. The characteristics of the Stressed stage include:
Low thyroid function (suppress T3 conversion)
Low liver detox function
Low liver detox function
Slow bone growth (low calcium
Slow bone growth (low calcium absorption)
If the stress factors are not resolved, the malfunction of adrenal gland further develops into Fatigue stage, in which patients experience tired easily, low healing ability and other degeneration related symptoms. The characteristic of the Fatigued stage include:
To identify detailed stages of adrenal problems, a saliva test for cortisol pattern is helpful. To identify the stage of the adrenal system is the key to help insomnia because the treatment plan is going to be different for the two stages. The common complaints for insomnia and their associated adrenal stages are the follows:
(fatigue stage and possibly hypoglycemic)
(afternnon fatigue-stressed stage)
Most of the insomnia cases belong to the adrenal Stressed stage. The common therapies for this stage are:
However, to help adrenal recover, eliminating stress factors is always the first approach and supporting adrenal is secondary. Without solving the root issue, adrenal therapy will not work in the long run. The common causes for adrenal stress are:
Addressing above factors efficiently helps adrenal recover completely. The following is a guideline for those who have already been treating those stress factors. Lifestyle changes are necessary to help adrenal recover faster.
Lifestyle Changes for Adrenal Stress Syndrome
Avoiding Adrenal Stimulators
It is very important to avoid certain foods and chemicals in order to avoid excessive stress on the adrenal glands. Patients who do not comply with avoiding stimulators will not reach optimal results. The following is a list of foods and chemicals that need to be avoided as much as possible when attempting to normalize adrenal function.
Stabilize Glucose Levels
When blood sugar levels fall, healthy adrenals restore the levels back to normal. If blood sugar levels are not stabilized, there will not be optimal results when attempting to correct adrenal status. Here are the dietary guidelines to stabilize glucose levels:
Exercise in Aerobic
We have two systems of energy production in our bodies—aerobic and anaerobic. Anaerobic exercises include activities that require fast explosive movements such as weight lifting, fast paced jogging, and any other for of exercise that can not be performed for a long duration. This type of exercise will put excess stress on the adrenals. On the other hand, aerobic exercise includes long duration and slow paced activities such as walking, slow jogging, slow cycling, and any other for of exercise that involves endurance. This type of exercise will help decrease cortisol levels and will help to burn body fat as well. Aerobic exercise will benefit the patients who have stressed adrenal glands.
The stressful daily life can have an adverse impact on the adrenal glands. This is especially important with those who have a high load of emotional or mental stress. Simple and quick relaxation such as meditation, Yoga and Chi Gong can be very helpful in reducing mental effects of stress on those with adrenal stress syndrome. For each week, 3-4 sessions of 20-minute relaxation are necessary.