Wired but Tired?

Wired but Tired?

The adrenal glands are responsible for the production of our major stress hormones, cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones function to keep us awake, alert and responding quickly to external and internal influences. Our response to stress occurs in 3 stages. The first being an acute and short lived
response. This temporarily results in an increase in blood pressure, redirection of blood flow away from the digestive and reproductive systems and generally keeps us alert. When the stressor is removed, these
systems return to normal.

During sustained periods of stress we move into stage two. During this phase many of the above symptoms are experienced, however due to the ongoing stressful stimulus, it is difficult for our bodies to regulate and return to their normal state. This results in many people feeling “wired but tired” and symptoms such as sleeplessness, fatigue, depression, digestive and reproductive complaints often arise.

Third stage stress results in our system crashing. The body can no longer sustain the ongoing response to stress resulting in persistent fatigue and exhaustion. To reduce cortisol levels we must address lifestyle issues contributing to high stress.

Exercise and healthy eating are vital while herbs such as rhodiola, Siberian ginseng and withania work wonderfully to reduce cortisol levels. Essential oils such as lavender and geranium on a pillow at night help to relax the nervous system, while teas such as chamomile and peppermint are excellent if stress is
resulting in digestive upset.

Written by Sarah Durack
Published 19/02/2011

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