Combating Adrenal Fatigue With Adequate Sleep
A hidden part of Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS) is its impact on premature aging. We know that chronic inflammation and other pathological symptoms can greatly affect our long-term health. We’re learning more and more about the importance of sleep, and this can be a big part of combating Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome. The age old saying goes get 8 hours a day if you can and we’re told it’s healthy. We’ve all slept longer or shorter than that at different times and despite the next-day effects of either of those, without doing some reading, we don’t really know how to pinpoint the long-term effects of poor sleeping. A new study aims to do just that.
Sleep issues are pervasive in our world. Whether it’s trying to fall asleep, or being able to actually stay asleep, those with AFS often experience more difficulty than most. Oftentimes they’ve already tried prescription sleep aids, which may have worked early on only to have gradually became ineffective as the body developed a tolerance to the powerful drugs. Meanwhile others have tried relying on natural sleep aids only to find they had little or no effect. Lumosity, a website collecting data of those concerned about their brain health, argues that 7 hours is a good number to aim for in sleeping, based on cognitive test results of nearly 200,000 adults.
Much research remains and many studies to investigate, but judging on our own feeling after a poor night of sleeping and this longitudinal study, it’s clear that sleep affects us in a day to day way. In a group of adults, aged 55 or older, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was done every 2 years, along with records kept of sleep patterns. The research showed that over time, ventricles or blood vessels of the brain were widened in those who sleep less, and their cognitive function may be impaired more. Some of the statistics included a 10% change in cognitive function. If we lived to be 100, and slept poorly that whole time, we could potentially lose brain function at age 90. That’s a dramatic statistic and perhaps a bit simplistic to think of that way, but it’s important to reiterate the point: sleep is crucial for our long-term health, and it’s more crucial for those with AFS.
Though the decline in cognitive function and the ventricle sizes aren’t one of direct correlation, it’s generally thought that a slower widening of brain vessels over time is better for lifelong cognitive function. Furthermore, according to the test authors, many previous test results have shown an association between lack of sleep and impaired cognitive function in the long run. We’ve all dealt with aging relatives, and sometimes it’s very difficult as we see their mental capacity decline at the end of life. We have also known friends or loved ones that seem almost perfectly lucid near the end of their lives. Habits play a huge part in who we are as people, and it’s such a simple concept to understand. We need to perfect these habits throughout our life, and sleep is a good place to start.
The Importance of Getting Enough Sleep When Combating Adrenal Fatigue
Sleep is also beneficial to those recovering from or combating Adrenal Fatigue, as well as correcting an imbalance in the NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress Response?. While sleep issues are generally a symptom of AFS, and can have detrimental long term effects as discussed, it can also be a sign that there are imbalance in a system wide response in the body. This is the NEM Stress Response. The NEM Stress Response includes six major response systems in the body, these are the hormonal, neuroaffective, cardionomic, metabolic, detoxification, and inflammation. In combating Adrenal Fatigue and regaining optimum health, such as normal sleep habits, it is important to understand the full picture.
We believe that sleep issues are a symptom of general body malaise in those with Adrenal Fatigue. Trying to lead a healthier lifestyle, choosing wiser things to eat, and using supplements with the acumen and follow-through of a coach can improve these sleep patterns long-term, but again – we stress that for change to occur properly, it must be a gradual and thorough one. Ultimately we’re all trying to maximize our lives to their fullest and longest, and dealing with issues properly will contribute to your anti-aging plan.