Why am I always so tired but I cannot sleep at night?
Updated: Feb 23
Are you exhausted all the time? Could you easily take an afternoon nap or fall asleep at your desk but find you cannot get to sleep at night. You’re restless, you toss and turn, or you wake repeatedly. You struggle to get out of bed in the morning. You need your caffeine fix to get going. You’re irritable, your brain just won’t shut down. You may get sick frequently, or are you mysteriously gaining weight? If this sounds like you, then it may be that your adrenal glands are not working as well as they should!
Your adrenal glands sit just above your kidneys. Their role is to release the hormones that help you manage both physical and emotional stress. Like adrenalin when we get a fright or have to run out of harms way quickly and cortisol which copes with the everyday stressors like sitting in traffic, work-related deadlines or family problems. Long term physical or emotional stress, whether we realise it or not, can lead to our adrenals ‘burning out’; they can no longer respond with the correct balance of hormones required for the situation. The release of other hormones like oestrogen, progesterone, testosterone can also be affected. Consequently, we may experience tiredness, poor sleep, insomnia, migraines, weight gain, inflammation, skin problems, frequent illnesses, anxiety, concentration problems and more. Everyone is different!
What can you do to help yourself?
If you think this sounds a bit like you, I recommend you first try to:
Drink at least 2L water per day.
Eat a balanced diet, with few processed foods and limited sugar. Ensure you eat protein at every meal, including breakfast, healthy fats and plenty of vegetables.
Try to establish an adequate sleep routine, even if you can’t actually get to sleep. Go to bed at the same time, get up at the same time. Remove electronic devices from the room. Minimise nightly disturbance (which can of course be difficult if you’ve got little kids in the house too)
Allow yourself time every day to simply do nothing or do something you really love eg read a book, paint, chat to a friend, go for a walk, sit quietly in the first sunshine of the day.
What can you do if this isn’t enough?
For many, this may not be enough. Often, we need to cover several bases to ensure the best progress. You may need additional advice and support from a nutritionist or naturopath to get your health back to normal. Generally, I would suggest the following:
finding out what is actually going on with your hormones – I can organise simple tests to check on your hormone levels like cortisol
remove triggers – sometimes it is obvious to us why we are stressed e.g. work, relationships, money, however, sometimes it is difficult to recognise e.g. food sensitivities, parasites, negative thoughts – I can help you identify any stressors and work out ways to reduce/minimise their impact on you
support with nutrients – for your adrenals to function properly, they will need certain nutrients like Vitamin C, Vitamin Bs and Magnesium. Eating foods rich in these can help maintain adrenal function but often it is necessary to support you further with good-quality supplements whilst the gland heals.
Overcoming adrenal fatigue will not happen overnight, especially if you’ve experienced these symptoms for a long time. It will require dietary and lifestyle modifications, and supplemental support as recommended for you.
If you would like to discover more about how I can help, please get in touch. A free 15-minute discovery call can be booked here.