I think the first thing to get right is your sleep.
Averaging less than 7 hours a night wreaks havoc with your immune system, emotions and pain threshold and can often be a result of over work or over worry.
Either will cause you to become exhausted but the daytime stress usually leads to the sleep deprivation rather than the other way around.
I've copied a guide I wrote once on the signs of adrenal fatigue. As you can imagine it is a popular topic these days:
How to Recognise Adrenal Fatigue and Over-Training
Most of us will, at some time, have experienced the effects of stress, whether of an emotional or physical cause, short term or long term.
There isn’t really a specific point at which the ‘Resistance’ stage is reclassified as ‘Exhaustion’ (or burnout), but the number of symptoms listed below that are present and their severity will determine whether recovery takes days or months.
- Poor sleep and difficulty getting up in the morning
- Drowsiness, fatigue, poor memory and poor concentration during the day
- Low or unstable mood, irritability
- Cravings for sugar or stimulants and constant hunger
- Menstrural irregularities
- Low libido
- Fat gain around the middle
- Digestive difficulties
Add the following to the above in cases of more severe adrenal fatigue (exhaustion)….
- Rapid heartbeat
- Development of allergies and food intolerances
- Frequent colds/infections/tonsillitis/cold sore outbreaks/skin problems
- Dizziness upon standing
- Frequent need to urinate and cravings for salty foods
- Headaches or joint pain
The ‘at home’ pupillary dilatory test
In the absence of salivary hormone tests and blood pressure monitors which can be used to indicate adrenal fatigue, this simple test requires just a darkened room and a helper:
- Lie in a darkened room for 1 minute
- Shine a penlight or weak torch at the eye from a 45° angle and 30cm away and watch the pupil response
* If the pupils contact and stay contracted for 20 seconds, adrenal health is good.
* If the muscle cannot hold the contraction, the pupils will begin to pulse or dilate again……..
* Pupil constricts but then pulses after 10 seconds – adrenal health is fair
* Pupil pulses and then slowly dilates – mild adrenal fatigue
* Pupil pulses and then rapidly dilates – adrenal fatigue
* Pupil fails to constrict or actually becomes larger – pronounced adrenal fatigue
The reason this test is used is because the muscle responsible for the pupillary contraction is controlled by the sympathetic nervous system, which in turn is under the influence of adrenal hormones.
- Balance blood sugars with plenty of protein and moderate amounts of low GI carbohydrates
- Aim to eat 3 meals and 2-3 snacks a day
- Avoid and find alternatives to tea, coffee and caffeinated soft drinks
In cases of severe adrenal fatigue, where blood pressure is low, drink salted water to taste. The salt must not be table salt but sea salt or Himalayan rock salt, as it contains a mineral balance closer to our own. The body regulates the need for salt as required and will adjust taste to suit.
Addressing your sleep issues is the tougher of the two routes but it is the vital problem to resolve.
Our Dormeasan® has been successfully subjected to tests at sleep clinics, beginning to help improve the time spent in deep sleep in just a few nights but it can take a few weeks to resolve a poor sleeping pattern fully.
Taking remedies for daytime energy is really a shortcut in cases of prolonged exhaustion and will even worsen the situation if they are stimulant-based, such as ProPlus or coffee.
However, if you are desperate for help, then you could try a product called Ginsavena, a combination of Siberian ginseng and Avena sativa to support the adrenals and calm anxiety.