Why don’t people get enough sleep? Well, there are lots of reasons and oftentimes it can be difficult to figure out. However, one of the main causes – and most overlooked reasons – is the hormone cortisol.
Cortisol has many important roles in our body; it’s our natural anti-inflammatory, regulates blood sugar, and plays a role in fat storage, among others.
Many times cortisol is billed as a ‘stress hormone’ because it, along with other hormones, becomes elevated during times of stress. Aside from stress though, cortisol levels typically come down at night and then rise in the early morning hours.
Cortisol helps our bodies to wake up, and at night when it comes down, allows us to sleep. But what if we are stressed? Cortisol levels then don’t come down as readily in the evening, or they can shoot up in the middle of the night – this scenario can prevent us from falling asleep, or cause us to wake repeatedly in the early morning hours.
In fact, alterations in cortisol levels such as these are one of the biggest reasons why people can’t fall asleep, or stay asleep through the night.
Another problem that elevated cortisol levels cause is weight gain, which occurs characteristically around the waist and stomach areas.
Fixing the Problem
Cortisol levels can be measured using a saliva test in order to help you figure out where your levels are. Testing involves simply collecting saliva into a tube four separate times a day. (Other hormones, such as estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and DHEA can be measured as well).
A report is then generated that can further guide you to understand the cause of your insomnia, and how to treat it.
One natural supplement that we use a lot of for elevated nighttime cortisol is Cortisol Manager. Cortisol Manager lowers excess cortisol levels using stress-reducing ingredients and cortisol-lowering botanicals. It’s non-habit forming and provides you with real sleep, instead of a drug-induced fake sleep that addictive prescription drugs cause.
Cortisol manager can help you sleep and limit abdominal weight gain by lowering cortisol levels. Getting cortisol levels down at night is important, because elevated levels can cause insomnia and a number of other health problems over time, such as those mentioned in our previous article about sleep.