Is adrenal dysfunction disturbing your sleep?

Did you know feelings of fatigue and insomnia (difficulty sleeping) are often linked to adrenal gland dysfunction? If you are under a lot of stress the adrenal glands over time can become dysfunctional and not produce enough cortisol and other hormones which leads to fatigue. Conversely sometimes because of stress the adrenal glands become dysregulated and produce too much cortisol. When this happens people have great difficulty falling and/or staying asleep. Then poor-quality sleep leads to fatigue. At either rate, if you are suffering from fatigue that you just can’t shake you need to do some deeper investigating into your adrenal glands.

Saliva-based testing seems to be the most accurate way to test the adrenals. Four different saliva samples are taken at different times of the day to check your cortisol levels. In addition, we like to test melatonin levels in patients with insomnia. Melatonin is the main hormone that helps you fall and stay asleep. Cortisol should drop in the evening and overnight and melatonin should rise at night. For many people these two hormones are out of balance which leads to sleep issues.

The bottom line is look to treat the cause of these symptoms. Don’t just rely on sleep aids as they are addictive. Don’t treat fatigue with loads of caffeine – that is a losing strategy long-term. Get the right testing and find and treat the cause. For more information, check out the drop down menu items under the Functional Medicine tab at the top of our website.