Treat Adrenal Fatigue: The Advantages of Early Risers
A new study, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, found that those who stay up late are more likely to suffer from diabetes and other conditions, regardless of the amount of time they actually slept. These findings may also correlate in how to treat Adrenal Fatigue as malfunction of these systems in the body are often where the vicious cycle begins.
Researchers from the Korea University College of Medicine and led by Dr. Nan Hee Kim learned about subjects’ sleep habits of more than 1,600 people between the ages of 47 and 59, using the Morningness-Eveningness Questionnaire, and conducted various tests of their health. The test subjects included 95 night owls and 480 early risers, while the rest were intermediate.
Dr. Kim and his colleagues found that night owls were at increased risk of diabetes, reduced muscle mass, and a number of other health conditions, compared to their early rising counterparts.
The authors point out that early risers are more likely to enjoy higher quality sleep, while night owls are more likely to smoke, lead a more sedentary lifestyle, and indulge in late night eating, which could also contribute to their poor health outcomes. In addition, other studies have shown that morning people are more likely to work out, are generally more cheerful, and are more proactive than those who are more active at night.
While night owls tend to be younger than early risers, they also tend to have higher body fat and more fat in the bloodstream than early risers. Night owls were also found to be at increased risk of having a condition known as sarcopenia, which causes patients to lose muscle. Women who “burn the midnight oil” have more belly fat on average than early risers and are at increased risk of metabolic syndrome.
Other studies have shown that early risers get more done, report feeling happier, and are more successful than their late-night counterparts. If you are a night owl, there are a few things you can do to shift your sleep cycles, including:
- Develop a bedtime routine: turn off the TV and computer a couple of hours before bed and go for a walk or read a book. Save the strenuous exercise for early in the day, though, as working up a sweat will make it harder to sleep.
- Avoid eating anything heavy or drinking alcohol just before bed.
- Limit your intake of caffeine and avoid it altogether after about midday.
- Keep your bedroom cool and as block as much light as possible.
- Get plenty of fresh air.
- Gradually set your alarm clock back; even one minute each day will have you waking up a half hour earlier by the end of the month. Be sure to avoid hitting the snooze button!
Dr. Lam’s Adrenal Health Perspective on Sleep and How to Treat Adrenal Fatigue
Sleep is one of the most important activities for keeping the body healthy, and proper sleep is critical to maintaining the body’s internal balance day after day. The stress you experience day to day is supposed to be washed away each night as your body rests and recovers. This research suggests that going to sleep late, even if you end up sleeping for the same length of time, may limit the effectiveness of sleep.
If you are a late sleeper, you may therefore be unable to fully recharge and recuperate overnight. So stress from the previous day may have a larger impact on your mental state, physiology, and internal balance. As stress continues to build up, your body’s systems that ordinarily deal with stress are forced to contend with an increasing workload. Over time, a body burdened with chronic stress sees its stress response systems begin wear out and break down, pushing the body into Adrenal Fatigue.
For those already suffering with Adrenal Fatigue, this is exactly the situation you want to avoid, since any kind of stress will slow, or even set back, recovery. Sleep is a vital component in making sure your body and its internal stress response system is able to recuperate and regain health over time, while missing or getting bad sleep is often a common factor that exacerbates and prolongs the condition of Adrenal Fatigue. So when approaching how to treat Adrenal Fatigue and designing your recovery plan, consider your sleep schedule and make sure you get to bed early!
Here are three key tips to treat Adrenal Fatigue:
- Remove all electronics within 10 feet of your bed, including appliance such as clocks (even if they are not turned on). Plugs to the wall should be removed.
- Keep your room completely dark
- Go to sleep before 10 p.m.
Source: JCEM The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism