In Stress, Thyroid

That Wired and Tired Feeling is finally getting the attention it deserves.

Have you ever felt like you are radiating energy to other people, but inside you feel exhausted?  If so, you are not alone.  The concept of being “wired and tired” has gained significant attention lately in the medical community.  You feel tired as soon as the day begins.  You’re able to function as long as you’re working and keeping active, but when the evening comes, or when you stop your activity, you crash.  Used to happen to me all the time.  (Parents of young children will relate – you finally get the kids to bed, then sit on the couch feeling completely spent.)

Most people chalk this feeling up to “aging” or “stress”; or just plain “over-scheduling”.  But it turns out there’s a very good, scientifically-supported, reason for the wired and tired feeling.

Your adrenal glands are responsible for producing a hormone called Cortisol.  Cortisol is produced throughout the day – usually at its highest level in the morning, then decreasing slowly throughout the day.  Normal levels of Cortisol keep us functioning during the day, and then get low enough at night to let us fall asleep.  And then the cycle starts again the next day.

The adrenals will also produce extra bursts of Cortisol to help us handle stress.  This is a very old, and very effective, system known as the “Stress Response”.  But when stress becomes continuous (which happens to almost everybody), the adrenal glands start to adapt by producing more and more Cortisol.  When Cortisol levels are higher than normal, we will feel wired – i.e., able to handle stress – but if they remain high at night, we won’t sleep well.  Thus, we end up tired the next day.

So, chronic stress leads to too much baseline Cortisol, which causes us not to sleep well so we’re tired the next day.  During the day, bursts of Cortisol give us that wired feeling that allows us to function – to a point.  When we stop, those bursts go away, and we are left with exhaustion.  But our baseline Cortisol levels are still too high to allow restful sleep, so we wake up tired.  And the vicious cycle repeats itself.

But there is good news!  There are ways of breaking the “wired and tired” cycle.  Call us to find out how!

Want to read more? Check out these articles:  The Adrenals – A Forgotten Organ! and It’s Your Thyroid

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