Whether you realize it or not, stress plays a huge role in your health! The stresses in life have changed dramatically over the centuries but our response still remains the same. Cortisol is a stress hormone that is secreted by the adrenal cortex that helps our body cope with stress by mobilizing stored energy sources and increasing the availability of substances for tissue repairs. Cortisol can be very helpful in the short-term but chronic stress (overexposure to cortisol) can disrupt many of your body's processes and increase risk for anxiety, depression, weight gain, insomnia, and digestive problems.
Below is a graph showing the normal cycle of cortisol and melatonin. (red = cortisol and blue= melatonin. Someone who is experiencing chronic stress this graph could look very different with cortisol increasing in the evening causing insomnia or decreased in the morning causing fatigue.
So, how can we get back into balance?
A very powerful way to decrease stress and improve energy is through diaphragmatic breathing exercises
Eliminate caffeine and alcohol
Adrenal Supportive Herbs (like Panax ginseng or Eleutherococcus senticosus)