Adrenal Fatigue ---Why You Wake
Up Tired

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Last updated December 21, 2017, originally published December 18,
By Susan M. Callahan, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist

[Health and fitness articles are reviewed by our team of Doctors and
Registered Nurses, Certified fitness trainers and other members of
our Editorial Board.]

Millions of Americans are constantly tired. According to the
National Sleep Study, millions of us are slogging through
our work days, desperately exhausted.  We struggle to find
a good night's sleep. And, often, even after we think we've
had a full, good night's sleep, we still wake up tired.

The causes of this national epidemic of sleep deprivation
are varied: undiagnosed
diabetes, anemia, shallow sleep.
But there may  be another culprit.   If you find yourself
tired in the mornings and unable to establish a regular
pattern of sleep, you could be suffering from a newly-
identified syndrome called "adrenal fatigue". What is
adrenal fatigue? Can a change in foods or habits help to
remedy adrenal fatigue?

Adrenal glands play an important in hormone regulation of
stress. As we wrote in
Foods That Reduce Stress, the body
acts through the adrenal glands to release hormones that
either signal your body to fight or get ready to run or they
signal our body to relax, the danger is over.  

When the body is working as it should, there is a harmony
between the adrenal glands and the amount of "stress fuel"
we need to combat our daily struggles.  Need to run to
catch a train? The adrenals send up enough stress juice to
pump you up to run. Need to finish a project in a hurry? No
problem. The adrenals send out a rush order for more
"stress juice" to get you excited enough to work faster.

Over time, as you can imagine, this takes a toll. The
continuous release of cortisol and other stress hormones
damages our adrenal glands, and damages our
system, rendering us more vulnerable to chronic infection,
auto-immune diseases, heart disease and stroke and

Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue

Some of the symptoms of adrenal fatigue include craving
salt, waking up tired and general fatigue.

Is Adrenal Fatigue the Real Cause of Burnout?

Our bodies were never designed to endure continuous
doses of stress hormones. In fact, recent studies have
suggested that adrenal fatigue from stress overload is the
actual cause of clinical "burnout".  This causal link was
made in a 2012 study from the Department of Occupational
Pathology and Toxicology in Bosnia and Herzegovina.]

Adrenal fatigue results. The adrenals were simply never
designed to deal with the kind of constant, low-grade
stress that never quits. The kind of stress that pervades
our modern lives.

Here is a routine that can help to restore your adrenal

Get enough sleep. You simply must get at least 8 hours
of sleep a night. If you are snoring, one of the most
common causes of interrupted sleep, then do something
about it. Here is a list of
tips that work to stop snoring and
combat adrenal fatigue. (Read more about
tips that help
you get a good night's sleep.)

To improve sleep hygiene, find out if you are either too hot
or too cold at night. Your body is designed to wake you up
if your skin temperature becomes too cold or too hot. For
example, a 2008 study from Netherlands Institute for
Neuroscience, Institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy
of Arts and Sciences,Amsterdam found that raising skin
temperature just 1 degree induced deep, uninterrupted
sleep in participants.  If you wake up sweaty, turn down
the thermostat at night or sleep with a lighter cover.
Conversely, if you wake up cold, wear heavier pajamas to
avoid waking up at night.

Eat fish. Research studies have discovered that foods
that reduce stress also combat adrenal fatigue. Eating fish
and taking fish oil pills is about the very best thing you can
do to combat the release of stress hormones in your body.
Aim for 3 to 6 servings of fish a week. Take fish oil

A recent study confirms the usefulness of fish in combating
stress. The study, entitled "
Long-term ω-3 fatty acid
supplementation induces anti-stress effects and improves
learning in rats
" confirmed that taking omega-3 in the diet
helps to combat the release of corticosteroid hormones that
are released when lab animals are put under chronic stress.

Drink water. There is a key connection between water
and adrenal fatigue. The body simply cannot function
without proper hydration. As we get older, we lose more
and more of our body's water. We literally dry up. This
drying up hurts us in many ways but one of the worse is
that we no longer feed our adrenals with life-nourishing
water. (Read more about
how much water you should
drink and why.)

Stretch/Yoga. Yoga works. Stretching works. These
simple movements have been around for centuries as aids
to living because they work to relieve stress.


In fact, even a little bit of yoga can reduce the levels of
stress hormones in your body. A 2012 study from the All
India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, India
found that a 10-day yoga intervention that included
practicing yoga postures and deep breathing as well as
counseling about stress actually reduced the level of
cortisol by 13.4%.]

Eat Potassium Rich Foods. Just as salt can damage your
adrenal glands, potassium can act to counteract the excess
salt in your system. Potassium rich foods include baked
potatoes with skin (925 milligrams), bananas (425
cooked spinach (420 milligrams per half a
papaya ( 780 per cup) and prune juice (740 per cup).

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