The Cortisol Awakening Response
From the moment your eyes open in the morning, your cortisol levels should rise by 50 to 150 percent and then gradually decline throughout the day. In other words, you should wake up feeling alert, energized, and ready to charge into the day.
However, many people with chronic health problems struggle to get out of bed each morning and take hours to feel more alert.
One of the most important physiological tests that has been identified in the last 15 years is the cortisol awakening response, which measures a person’s cortisol levels in their saliva within the first half hour of waking up and how those levels compare to the rest of the day. This is not the same as an adrenal salivary panel.
Hundreds of published systematic reviews and meta-analysis papers have been published showing an abnormal cortisol awakening response is associated with a higher risk of mood disorders, depression, various neuropsychiatric imbalances, poor recovery from workouts, and poor energy usage and efficiency.
A healthy cortisol awakening response is vital for stable blood sugar
A healthy cortisol awakening response is vital not only for blood sugar stability, but also for general adrenal function and the integration of the entire neuroendocrine system.
It’s a complex system that involves the entire neuroendocrine system, the relationship between the nervous system and the hormonal system.
For example, once you open your eyes in the morning, light hits your optic nerves, which then fires into the pineal system, which regulates your hormones. Your pineal system then fires into the suprachiasmatic nucleus, a tiny centre in the brain’s hypothalamus that regulates your sleep-wake cycle and hormones, such as cortisol and melatonin. This entire process also helps regulate sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system function while integrating other areas of the brain that play a role in controlling the sleep-wake cycles, or circadian rhythm.
In other words, if this mechanism isn’t functioning properly, it is far more intricate and in depth than needing basic adrenal glandular supplements. In fact, the cortisol awakening response test is a way to measure the efficiency of the entire neuroendocrine system, and it’s surprising how many people have a dysfunctional cortisol awakening response.
How to restore balance to a dysfunctional cortisol awakening response
One key aspect of managing a blood sugar imbalance is that you have to re-establish the cortisol awakening response. One of the most effective things you can do is engage in five to seven minutes of high-intensity exercise within the first 10 minutes of waking up. [Good luck with that one! Ed].
Another option is to wake up using a sunrise simulation alarm clock. [Aah, much nicer. Like this maybe? And you can turn the clock display off, thankfully! Ed].
These two methods will help slowly re-establish the cortisol awakening response.
Original source: Regenerus