Do you feel like you live in a haze until about 10am? You express gratitude to your local barista who has your gallon of extra strong coffee awaiting you as you roll into the office yawning.
What if I told you there was no such thing as a ‘night owl’ or an ‘early riser’ and in fact these very labels were simply reflective of when someone’s adrenaline decides to give them an added boost. In fact, our bodies are designed to be diurnal, waking us up as the sun rises in the sky, and releasing melatonin as the sun goes down coxing us into a deep and repair-rich slumber.
The culprit that makes it hard to go to sleep, makes it feel like being pulled out of cement to wake up and ensures our local coffee shop continues to survive – HORMONES.
Hormones aren’t simply the thing you felt raging as a teenager – and while those ones do count, they only represent a few of the numerous hormones in our body that regulate important processes including: sleep, metabolism, temperature, mood, libido, stress response and so much more.
So how does coffee help? Well coffee doesn’t really help, in fact it actually does us some harm. Coffee pushes our bodies into a state of adrenaline so we are now running through our day as though we were running from a fire, or being chased by a tiger. It pushes our body into this maximum state to help us get to safety. However, we don’t really ever slow down, do we? Instead of resting, we just push more on the gas and hope for the best.
Running in this hyper state shuts off some of the other functions in the body – the ones that don’t help us run from the bear. Functions like metabolism – every notice on the days you are super stressed that it feels like your lunch is just sitting there, or maybe you’ve forgotten to eat all together?
Somewhere mid-afternoon, we run out of adrenaline and suddenly our body crashes and the state of tired is overwhelming, like the want to crawl under your desk or hide in the coat closet just for a few minutes of rest.
The science behind this is pretty simple. Our bodies handle stress and day-to-day activity through a hormone called cortisol. As long as we have an adequate cortisol rise in the morning that slows down through the day we have enough gas to keep our body producing all the relevant hormones to get us through our day as well as feel like we can manage stressful situations as well as make good choices and decisions all day long.
When our cortisol is low (this can be for a number of reasons) our body funnels it into adrenaline, which pulls us up high enough to push through our day. But adrenaline doesn’t really have any other gear then high, so we get stuck in high, we have a highly productive period of time followed by a disastrous crash when the adrenaline shuts off.
If you see yourself in any of the pictures above, know that your hormones are probably not operating at optimal. It means that you could be having problems losing weight, staying focused, getting pregnant, staying healthy and so much more.
So, give me a call when you are ready to jump off the adrenaline train and get back to health.
Note: This blog provides general information and discussion about medicine, health and related subjects. The words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately-licensed health care worker.