There are two hormones that counterbalance each other to create a normal circadian rhythm. Melatonin is the master sleep hormone. This is make in a small gland within the brain that registers darkness and light. The other hormone is call cortisol. This is a hormone made in the adrenals, also known as the stress hormone. The cortisol is highest in the morning, slowly decreases throughout the day until bedtime, when melatonin starts to rise. Stress can interfere with these hormone levels, disturbing daytime energy and restful sleep. There are different types of stress, ranging from physical (pain, infection, allergies, chronic illness), emotional (family, work, relationships, finances, grief), and environmental (foods, chemicals, toxicity). Acute stress will initially increase blood sugars to support brain and muscle, increase heart rate and oxygen delivery to muscles presenting as a “flight or fight” feeling. Chronic stress can cause insulin resistance with prolonged glucose release and start to interfere with other weight management, bowel irregularities, and possible disturbance in other hormone levels. The “flight or fight” profile transitions “wired and tired” that causes fatigue during the day and sleepless night. With no support of the adrenals or correction of hormones, the burnout phase is entered with complete exhaustion. When the hormones of the adrenal organs are not balanced or supported, the body is not able to support the most basic functions, interfering with cellular health, inflammation, and the proper healing  


Paige Deters, Functional Medicine Provider