Cortisol Insomnia


The Negative Effects of Stress and Cortisol on Your Body

By Josh Schlottman

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10 Responses to Cortisol Insomnia

  1. Levi07 says:

    Medicines for Adrenal glands and insomnia?
    I’ve had chronic insomnia for several years now, and I recently had an adrenals test done. The test showed that my adrenal glands are producing cortisol in an entirely different pattern from normal, and a nutritionalist feels this may be the cause of my insomnia. He has told me to take a series of supplements, Licorice, Rehmannia, and Ashwaganda to treat this, but I was wondering if there is a medicine that would be able to help instead

    • Jen S says:

      A different pattern than normal indicates a loss of diurnal rhythm. Yes, it is causing your insomnia. Normal cortisol rhythym is to reach a peak at 8am, fall throughout the day to roughly half by 2 to 4pm, and and reach a low around midnight. If you look at at a lab slip, you see testing should be done at 8am or at 2-4pm or at midnight (saliva or blood).

      You need to see an endocrinologist – but a good one. Not every endo can pick up on the abnormal rhythm. I had it myself and it took an expert. But you need testing. The herbs you are taking may interfere with testing so discontinue them (especially the licorice) before testing.

      If you have high cortisol, medicines are in study, but typically surgery to remove the source is used if it is a tumor. There are medications but then you have to take replacement steroids and the medications are only temporary.

      I had to see over 10 doctors before I found a good one…

  2. Levi07 says:

    How can I regulate my cortisol levels?
    I’ve been a chronic insomnia, and none of the doctors have been able to figure out any possible reason for it. Recently I had a saliva test done and learned that my cortisol levels are completely reversed from what they should be. A doctor tells me this may be the cause, so does anyone know a way to regulate them?

    • Christin K says:

      Cortisol levels that are out of whack can indicate adrenal tumors, which can lead to Cushing’s syndrome–not a pleasant disease to have. Get a second opinion.

  3. mary k ♥ says:

    Whats the occupation called that deals with Psychiatry/psychology but from physiological viewpoint?
    I mean not that Freud nonsense,but about what goes physically wrong when someone gets traum,depressed,schizophrenia etc.Like when they then get insomnia or cortisol is always released etc.What profession/area that studies this is this called?
    Neurophysiology or Neuropsychendocrinology something like this maybe?
    I dont mean the ones that say that all these illnesses are genetic and over focus purely just on brain but one that takes hormones,gut peptides etc into consideration too.

  4. Anonymous says:

    stress and cortisol causing pseudo-cushing’s syndrome symptoms?
    Last May (2010), my life pretty much turned upside down and i was under extreme stress and continued to be under high stress CONSTANTLY until now (January 2011). my face broke out like it had never before, i gained weight around the face to the point of looking like a ninja turtle (though i’ve gained and lost up to 40 pounds in the past, i had NEVER gained it in my cheeks like this before), gained a lot of fat in my mid-section, purple veins on my thighs have become very noticeable, my menstruation stopped completely, blood pressure has gone up from 120/80 to 165/110, muscle loss in all areas of the body, constant fatigue, depression, mood swings, irritability, extreme sensitivity to cold, insomnia, been finding many bruises on skin, been losing hair on my head and noticing loss of hair on my legs as well, extremely dry fingertips, weakness in the knees, etc.

    i recently went to the doctor who put me on blood pressure medication. i also went to an obgyn who put me on progesterone to induce my menstruation. however, i was not diagnosed with anything else…

    after doing some internet research with my symptoms, i realized a lot of my symptoms were cushing’s syndrome – like. however, i don’t think i have cushing’s syndrome because all of these symptoms just happened to manifest at the most stressful time of my life. therefore, i think the stress caused my cortisol levels to rise to such a high point caused pseudo-cushing’s syndrome.

    now it seems like the stressors that pretty much ruined my health are going to go away. i no longer work at the AWFUL place that stressed me and my personal life has gotten a little better and will probably get better.

    my question is, if i am able to eliminate or substantially reduce my stress levels and my cortisol levels return to “normal,” how long will it be before i recover from this? i have been pretty much this way for the past 8 months. will it take months? years? the weight gain, i know, will take some time with exercise and better diet. however, will i lose the fat from my cheeks? will my blood pressure go down? will my hands not be as dry? will my skin thicken again? i want to know if people who recover from cushing’s make a full recovery and how long it usually takes. i can’t stand having this moon-face. i look in the mirror and i don’t see myself anymore and it’s quite depressing.

    i’ve come to realize stress is a very scary thing. if anyone can answer my question, it would be a lot of help. i am quite scared that i’ll never return to my former self.

    • Jen S says:

      Cortisol is a stress hormone – but it should only rise for a short time to address the stress and then go back to normal levels. If it does not drop, then the doctor needs to look at a disease process. Pseudo-Cushing’s is really rare and you did not mention being an alcoholic or so super depressed that you are debilitated – those are causes.

      I would talk frankly to your doctor and even though there has been stress, that this is not normal and that you would like cortisol testing. Most doctors will think Cushing’s is rare and may not want to but be persistent if you can show pictures to show drastic changes and many symptoms (no one has them all – I had it and know many people with it).

      The only way to recover is to remove the source of cortisol – so you have to find it. Unless you are taking steroids, it may be a pituitary or adrenal tumor.

      Please get testing.

  5. Dj Conquest says:

    Do High cortisol levels or Low cortisol levels cause panic, anxiety, stress and insomnia?
    I have researched and found that there are conflicting reports. I read that half the sources say High levels of cortisol are to blame for anxiety, insomnia , panic and stress and the other half say low cortisol levels are to blame. So which one is it ? Low or High?

    • Jen S says:

      The answer is not that simple. I have lived and live both. I had Cushing’s disease which is too much cortisol and when pituitary surgery failed, I ended up having to have my adrenals removed. So now I have too little cortisol.
      When I had too much, and I can say this was true for many of those I speak to – to give an example, when I was in a car, it felt like all the cars were coming at me. I had terrible insomnia because my cortisol was raised at night.

      Having too little, I am not able to react well to stress and get more emotional and stressed out in different ways. I also get insomnia. I have found that the symptoms of being low are pretty similar to being high except for the tossing of cookies.

      If I had to pick one, panic, anxiety, insomnia, and stress are more often associated with higher levels.

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