Sweet dreams, Adrenals!
Proper bedtime hygiene is a key component to hormone support and balance, allowing the body to recover and repair from the day. Hormone levels follow a consistent biological rhythm, known as the circadian rhythm, signaling the body to slow down for sleep in the evening and to wake up in the morning. In order to cue the natural release of melatonin, a hormone responsible for sound sleep, budget one hour of bedtime rituals to encourage the mind and body to wind down. This includes: dimming the lights, snuggling up to that book you successfully cannot finish, and disconnecting from electronics with bright back lighting. Light activates stimulation in the brain, inhibiting melatonin production.* Doctor sanctioned naps are another great way to reset hormone balance.
*See article “Zzzzz…The Benefits of Sleep” for more information on sleeping to health!
What disrupts sleep?
The adrenal system is part of an internal alarm clock, releasing serum cortisol to peak in the morning between the hours of 6 and 8 AM. This peak stimulates the mind to enter a conscious state. Cortisol is responsible for motivation, clear thinking, and, most importantly, coping with stress. Cortisol begins to decrease secretion after the morning hours and further lowers around 2 to 3 PM, which is when many people feel a lull in energy. By 8 PM cortisol has reached its lowest point, where it remains while asleep. It is understood that there is correlation between stress and the disruption of diurnal rhythms of cortisol production, which can be seen in phase-shifted cortisol circadian rhythm producing an evening peak in cortisol secretion. Therefore, elevation in cortisol levels in the evening is responsible for insomnia and sleep fragmentation. Low blood sugar can also contribute to sleep disruption.
The Power of Protein
Protein is a source of energy used in the body to build new tissue and repair cells. To ensure adequate nutrient intake and smooth digestion in the morning, blend up a delicious power packed smoothie. In addition to fulfilling the protein regime, good fats, fiber, and vitamins can also be tossed into the mix, such as avocado, dark leafy greens, and berries. Protein recommendations vary per person and health status, but generally an individual needing adrenal support should include 20 to 30 grams of protein for breakfast. Happy blending!
Ingredients Measurement Benefits
|Avocado||¼ Cup||Good fats for cholesterol (hormone) production|
|Dark leafy greens
|3 Cups||B vitamins and trace minerals|
|Mixed berries||2 Handfuls||Flavonoids and antioxidants|
|Coconut full fat milk or rice/almond milk||As needed||Good fats and flavanoids|
|Protein powder (clean source)||As directed||Sustained energy|
|Ginger tincture||1 Dropper full||Warms digestive system|
See other nutritional information at whfood.org
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