Sleep – We all know how important this time of the day is for us! Some of us could sleep all day, some of us find it hard to get the eyelids to droop enough to slip into that much-needed slumber.
What is it about sleep that we need? So much so that it’s intrinsically hardwired into our body’s in the form of miniature clocks? The Circadian rhythm has been known for centuries, to say the least, but how intricate is its role in getting us to hit the hay…
Sleep – Circadian Clocks
These clocks control our sleep/wake cycle 24 hours a day and are sensitive to mood, energy expenditure, light/dark, appetite. All cells of our body have their own little circadian clocks!
Research has shown that sleep deprivation can contribute to a plethora of physical and mental complaints such as:
- Poor Memory recall.
- Poor Concentration.
- Delayed Healing.
- Inefficient Detoxification.
- Altered Metabolism.
- Poor Digestion.
- Hormone dysregulation and release.
+ More! (1)
The central clock known as the ‘Suprachiasmatic Nucleus’ (SCN) located in the brain within the hypothalamus and the secondary set of oscillators that control our sleep and wake cycle can be found in multiple areas of the body such as the Heart, Liver, Lungs, Intestines, Kidneys, Skin, Lymphocytes, esophagus, spleen, thymus, adrenal gland, olfactory bulb, and prostate. These all contribute to a relay of our surrounding environment which governs our ability to switch off. Pretty intricate isn’t it!?
What messes with our rhythms?
In approximately the first 3-4 months of life, once the baby has been born, it establishes its sleep and wake cycle from exposure to external stimuli around it. (2) One of the most sensitive indicators for the body’s development from external exposures is core body temperature, taking in information of temperature changes before sleep and upon waking, rapidly implements a sturdier sleep cycle for infants. So why do we struggle as adults?
Because ‘adulting’ is rough on the old sleep cycle –
We have more responsibilities, bills to pay, people to keep happy, children of our own, tight schedules, exercise to fit in and a balanced diet that isn’t always so balanced. We have stress, not always life-threatening, although our body doesn’t always know how to decipher the difference, we have stress nonetheless. What does stress have to do with our ability to sleep I hear you ask? Well, a whole lot actually!
Cortisol’s Role in Sleep
Cortisol is released in response to a stress trigger and also surges as part of our wakeup ritual. Cortisol levels should naturally begin to drop throughout the course of the day to help wind us down to a natural ability to fall asleep at night and initiate all of those critical pathways we mentioned above. Once we are asleep, usually about 2-3 hours after, cortisol levels naturally start to slowly rise to prepare us for the wake up in a few hours’ time. What can happen, is that we become hyper exposed to high levels of cortisol release from stress triggers and inflammation. This can throw out our rhythm and deviate us away from a balanced state of homeostasis, which can have a flow-on effect into the next day creating an HPA axis (Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal axis) deviation and further issues with sleep states until the balance is brought back.
Is that why we made Cort Rx?
Cort Rx ingredients have been traditionally used for thousands of years to support a healthy adrenal gland function and maintain healthy sleep-wake cycles.
As an “adaptogen” Cort Rx can help support the healthy stress response, reducing the severity of your stress response and relieving stress symptoms and mild anxiety. Promoting your body’s adaption to stress helps maintain a general sense of mental wellbeing.
Cort Rx is formulated to help you maintain a healthy stress response.
If you are going through a stressful period with busy days that are leaving you feeling “wired but tired” and unable to switch off; you can take Cort Rx 1 capsule 3 times daily with food.
If you find that the more tired you get the harder it is to get a good night’s sleep than take 2 Cort RX before bed.
Most people may find they hover between these two phases going from an overflowing cup to empty. Cort Rx can help and you can change the way you take it to suit your current lifestyle.
The holistic view take-home message…
At ATP Science, we have always had the ‘whole picture’ type of mindset, you cannot simply have one avenue without affecting those linked and surrounding. So, here are some tips from the crew to approach your sleep cycle with easy to implement actions that may just make it that much easier for you to get some much-needed shut-eye and wake up refreshed:
- Reduce stress where possible, are there bills you can add to a schedule instead of letting them pile up before the deadline?
- That stressful phone call, can you meditate before or after, perhaps approach it differently mood-wise. Why is it stressful for you?
- How often do you make time for just you, to sit down with a cup of tea or coffee and read a book? Unplug from devices and people and make ‘you’ time? You time is a number 1 priority.
- What foods do you eat that leave you feeling puffy and inflamed? Is the short-term satisfaction of them worth the long-term discomfort and crappy sleep and recovery?
- Staring at that screen so close to your eyes for hours of an evening mindlessly scrolling through cat videos… set the phone/screen down for at least 1-2 hours before bed the light from our phones and devices has a dramatic impact on our ability to not only fall asleep but travel through the many fluctuating sleep phases once we are asleep. The critical ones for recovery!
- Scrap that alcohol before bed, consumption of alcohol dramatically impacts the balance of neurochemicals required for recovery that your body is capable of making, messing with your sleep cycles, repair states, and hormone secretion. (3)
If you feel you have cortisol dysregulation, try to reduce the stressors in your life. Seek help from medical professionals and discuss Cort Rx as an optional tool to help with your holistic lifestyle strategy.