In our busy lives we often sacrifice our human need to get a good night's rest. We are not superheroes! If we don't prioritize sleep, our bodies will crash. This is why I want to talk about the importance of sleep in our third discussion on healing adrenal fatigue.
There are many methods to overcoming adrenal fatigue, including a healthy amount of exercise as well as lifestyle adjustments. Today, we'll discuss how getting a full eight hours each night will support overcoming adrenal fatigue and will improve your quality of life in general.
Updated 10/21/2020: For a deeper review of adrenal fatigue, read our recently released Whitepaper, "Considerations for Working Women and Stress: A Review of Allopathic and Ayurvedic Approaches to Treating Adrenal Fatigue".
Sleep Deprivation and Its Effects on Our Bodies
Ever notice that when you're rushing through the day, once you finally get home and go to bed, you can’t seem to fall asleep? Do you feel a second wind right as you're starting your bedtime routine? You are not alone. I'm going to share some techniques that will help you fall and stay asleep.
Adrenal fatigue essentially means that our bodies are telling us: we have overdone it. I often hear from women executives and other hard-working leaders that it's challenging to fall asleep at an appropriate time. This is because we so often push ourselves beyond our boundaries. The mentality of, "I'll sleep when I'm dead" is pervasive in our culture and detrimental to our health.
We need sleep in order to be successful in our work and in supporting our families. By making sure we get enough sleep each night we are one step closer to overcoming adrenal fatigue. Ayurvedic doctor, Dr. Claudia Welch wrote an incredible book on this topic that I highly recommend entitled Balance Your Hormones, Balance Your Life. She emphasizes rest as an effective cure to adrenal fatigue.
Are you wondering how long does it take to heal adrenal fatigue? Or, how can I feel better each day? I am here to help support you. There are many tips for supporting sleep, but these will specifically aid you on your path to overcoming adrenal fatigue.
Sleep Recommendations for Healing
If you find yourself reaching for another cup of coffee in the middle of the day, then I invite you to replace that extra caffeine intake with a short nap. Many of us are working at home due to COVID-19; this could be your opportunity for an afternoon catnap. If you are working through adrenal fatigue, you may feel exhausted at this time. Let your body rest!
How: When you start to feel exhausted during the day, take a short nap.
At 10pm, the day shifts into the Pitta phase. In these early hours (10pm-2 am), our bodies detoxify. If your body is working in an ideal state, all detoxification happens with good rest.
The liver is the “janitor" organ of the body and cleans up around 10pm each evening. How can it do as thorough a cleaning job if we are still awake at this time? Have you ever been to your office outside of standard after hours? The cleaning person comes to your cubicle, grabs the garbage and leaves. They don't vacuum or truly clean the area. The same goes for your liver. If you stay awake past 10 pm consistently, your liver will have to work harder to clean itself.
How: Create a pre-bedtime plan and make a strong effort to set wind down for 10pm. Engage in the activities that allow you to relax after a long day.
Sleep needs consistency. You may try to catch up on sleep over the weekend but that theory doesn't work. Too much sleep leaves us feeling heavy and groggy. Too little sleep brings about low energy and anxiety. The body craves routine. and stability. If you're addressing adrenal fatigue, this regularity will help the nerves find more peace.
How: Determine a set bedtime and wakeup time that varies no more than +/- 30 minutes. If you can, set wind down for 10pm. Make sure to hold yourself to it because consistency is key!
Overcoming Adrenal Fatigue
I invite you to hold yourself accountable to maintaining a consistent and healthy sleep routine. Your adrenals will thank you. Start to feel healthier and happier with these three simple adjustments to your sleep routine.