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How Stress Affects Your Sleep

Why You're So Tired but Can't Fall Asleep at Night

We are pumped to share one of our fave stories from Self here on FitSugar!

Have you noticed that you're tired in the morning and all day long, but you're so wired at night that you can't sleep? Nurse practitioner Marcelle Pick, author of the new book, Are You Tired and Wired?, has a theory for why you're snoozing and losing.

"When we talk about adrenal fatigue, we're talking about the two glands that sit on top of the kidneys. Without the adrenals we wouldn't live. They're meant to deal with the stress that comes and goes, but in our culture, the stress never goes. It's ongoing, with kids, work, the economy, aging parents, gadgets that we never turn off," Pick explains.

All of this stress causes the adrenals to produce stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. "Too much cortisol actually increases inflammation," Pick says. "A lot of adrenal cortisol disregulates your blood sugar, causes hormonal havoc and causes suppression of the immune system." In fact, if you've been dealing with a few stubborn pounds or digestive issues, it could be due to adrenal dysfunction. When the body goes in panic mode due to stress, you store everything — and therefore have trouble losing weight," Pick says.

Find out how to deal with insomnia-causing stress after the break.

So how do we deal with something as abstract seeming as our adrenal glands? Pick says it comes down to changing your lifestyle — and attitude. "You should be taking deep breaths throughout the day. Try yoga or just meditating for two minutes twice a day. Don't stay up too late — listen to the rhythms of your body. Don't be a perfectionist — lay off yourself. Be mindful of food — eat breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner. Cut back on refined carbs, gluten and sugar. Your adrenals will function differently." It's worth a try!

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