Cortisol: is a hormone that is released by the adrenal glands in response to stress. It plays an important role in the body’s stress response system, helping to regulate blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and immune function.
Cortisol levels typically follow a natural rhythm, peaking in the morning and declining throughout the day.
Sleep can have a significant impact on cortisol levels, as sleep and cortisol are closely
intertwined. During sleep, cortisol levels should be low, allowing the body to
rest and recover from the day’s stresses. However, disruptions in sleep
patterns, such as insomnia or sleep deprivation, can lead to higher cortisol levels at night.
Additionally,cortisol levels can also be affected by the timing of sleep. Studies have shown
that people who go to bed later and wake up later (i.e. night owls) have higher
cortisol levels in the evening compared to people who go to bed earlier and
wake up earlier (i.e. morning larks).
Chronic sleep deprivation or disturbances can lead to chronically elevated cortisol levels, which can have negative effects on health. High cortisol levels have been linked to a range of health issues, including weight gain, high blood pressure,
immune system suppression, and mood disorders such as depression and anxiety.
Therefore, it is important to prioritize healthy sleep habits to help regulate cortisol levels and maintain overall health. This includes sticking to a regular sleep schedule, creating a relaxing sleep environment, avoiding stimulating activities before bedtime, in addition to addressing any underlying sleep disorders.
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