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Excess Stress + Excess Cortisol + Waking Up At Night = Serious Health Issues

Updated: Jan 25, 2023

How do you know if you have excess stress?! Do you feel overwhelmed like you don’t have enough time in the day? Are you forgetful, slightly irritated, jittery, fatigued, and unable to lose weight? Maybe you’re experiencing headaches, jaw pain, and tossing and turning during the night, brain fog throughout the day, and many other symptoms…? If you have any of the above, you have excess stress.

Excess stress, and the feeling of being overwhelmed and irritable will create excess cortisol that will affect your sleep. We have all heard about cortisol, our stress hormone, and how excess cortisol can affect our weight, mood, spike blood sugar, AND affect your sleep… but what we often don’t realize is that it also affects your future health!

Ideally, cortisol spikes occur naturally throughout the day and night as shown in the chart below. If you are dealing with excess stress or have anxiety, your cortisol levels will spike at the wrong time and cause you to wake up and not be able to get back to sleep.

Your body and brain go through 90-minute sleep cycles. During these cycles, your body goes through different stages of hormone and chemical releases, and your body functions adjust to support restful and restorative sleep. If these sleep cycles are disrupted due to cortisol spikes at the wrong time, you may notice you often wake up between 1:00 am and 3:00am. The hours of 1:00am and 3:00 am are governed by the Jue Yin meridians that govern over irritability, decision making, muscles, tendons, and the movement throughout the digestive tract.

All these bodily functions are disrupted when you toss, turn, and wake up throughout the night. Your sleep is not just about energy for the next day, it is about restoring your brain and body for your future.

How will Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture help with balancing your hormones, CNS, and sleep cycles?

By balancing the meridians that govern over these body and brain functions.

Nikki, owner of EastWest Acupuncture, has had advanced training in the Master Tung and Dr. Tan methods of acupuncture and uses these methods to support the adrenal glands to help decrease cortisol levels and improve sleep. Using acupuncture with herbal formulas, western supplements, and other tools to decrease the impact of stress on the body, our patients are noticing a major shift in their sleep, energy, and mood, and are ultimately decreasing their risk of health issues in the future.

Within 10 visits, patients notice they are not as overwhelmed, their sleep is better, their mood is improved, and their motivation is increased. Though you may notice these results quickly, full sleep cycle recovery does require some lifestyle tweaks and maintenance treatments to continue to support your health as new stressors present themselves!

Stress and some level of anxiety is a part of our daily life. This is why it is so important to take preventive steps to decrease the physical impact of stress and support your sleep for the prevention of illness and disease.


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