Everyone deserves a good night’s sleep to rest and recharge, but it can be challenging to sleep well with adrenal fatigue. But those with adrenal fatigue need enough quality sleep in order to recover and prevent more severe symptoms. That’s why having the right adrenal fatigue sleep tips in your recovery toolbox is so important.
What Is Adrenal Fatigue?
- 1 What Is Adrenal Fatigue?
- 2 7 Adrenal Fatigue Sleep Tips
Adrenal fatigue, also known as HPA-axis dysfunction, is a hormonal imbalance involving your adrenal glands and their production of cortisol.
When you face stress, your adrenal glands produce cortisol as a stress response. But under chronic, long-term, or immense stress, your adrenal glands can become overwhelmed.
When this happens, your body’s essential functions slow down or stop working. That means everything from digestion to sleep is impacted. Adrenal fatigue can impact anyone, and each person dealing with adrenal fatigue will face different symptoms and severity of symptoms.
The key to reducing the impact of adrenal fatigue is to lower your stress levels, heal your symptoms, and focus on prevention. And adrenal fatigue sleep strategies are one of the most fundamental parts of each of those!
Making subtle adrenal fatigue sleep shifts will help you minimize the impact of your symptoms and feel better each day.
Why Is Adrenal Fatigue Sleep Important To Focus On?
Adrenal fatigue is your body’s way of telling you that you’re overworking yourself. It can make you feel like you’re barely getting through the day. Even worse, adrenal fatigue can throw off your body’s natural circadian rhythm to leave you feeling restless at night.
Sleep is important to everyone. But if you’re struggling with adrenal fatigue, sleep is even more important! Especially if you find that being productive and accomplishing your goals is hard due to adrenal fatigue symptoms, you need to adopt an adrenal fatigue sleep routine.
7 Adrenal Fatigue Sleep Tips
Overcoming adrenal fatigue doesn’t mean you have to make drastic changes to your lifestyle. These seven adrenal fatigue sleep strategies will help you feel rested throughout the day and improve your symptoms both short- and long-term.
1. Go To Bed At The Same Time Every Day
Your body naturally follows routines (and loves consistency). After all, each of us has an internal clock that maintains a pattern of sleep and wakefulness called the circadian rhythm.
If you set and consistently follow a regular bedtime routine around the same time every night, your body will adjust accordingly and prepare for sleep even as you get ready for bed!
It’s okay if you’re unfamiliar with the idea of a consistent bedtime as an adult. But it can really impact your body’s ability to get into a healthy adrenal fatigue sleep routine! To build this habit, set a daily reminder or alarm on your phone to begin your nightly routine.
2. Take A Nap During The Day
Adrenal fatigue can make you feel like you’ve run out of steam in the middle of the day. It’s hard to be productive when you feel exhausted. But instead of turning to coffee or energy drinks, try taking a nap instead.
Taking a quick power nap in the middle of the day can help you feel rested and ready to go for the rest of the day. Don’t be afraid to prioritize your health and your unique needs.
Of course, if you’re working in-office, you can’t just leave to take a nap. Try to pack nutritious snacks and lots of water, and avoid caffeine if possible.
3. Reduce Screen Time Before Bed
Do you use your phone, laptop, or tablet in bed before you go to sleep? If so, this may be part of the reason you have trouble falling asleep at night. Electronics expose your eyes to blue light, which keeps your brain awake even when you’re trying to fall asleep.
Try to avoid using electronics for at least two hours before you’re planning to go to sleep.
We know—sometimes, catching up on the latest episode of a Netflix series or scrolling through social media is relaxing before bed! But since it’s doing you more harm than good, try to find other ways to wind down at night.
Focus on self-care and relaxation without the screens. Read a book, do some meditation, journal, or even just spend time with family chatting or playing a board game. You can also take time to pamper yourself, plan for the week or next day, or clean up your space.
If you absolutely need to be on screens before bed, it’s important to focus on reducing your blue light intake.
You can purchase a blue-light shield for your devices, snag a pair of blue-light glasses, or simply adjust the settings on your devices to reduce blue light during certain hours.
4. Reduce Your Caffeine and Alcohol Intakes
Drinking too much caffeine can contribute to adrenal fatigue. We already mentioned that rest is a better alternative to caffeine during the day. But it can actually put more stress on your adrenal glands and worsen your symptoms.
Even worse, caffeine can throw off your circadian rhythm. If you’re already struggling with adrenal fatigue sleep issues, caffeine has the potential to make everything even worse.
Of course, if you’re a coffee-lover, cutting it out entirely might seem overwhelming.
Instead, try to reduce the amount of caffeine you drink gradually. If you’re someone who sips on multiple cups of coffee per day, try to lower that amount slowly over time. If you just have one cup each morning, try to lower the amount or even switch to every other day.
Another great strategy is to switch to half-caffeinated or decaffeinated beverages, especially in the afternoon.
These small changes make a huge impact on your adrenal fatigue sleep routine! Try reducing your caffeine intake by switching to half-caffeinated coffee or teas instead.
You can also combat adrenal fatigue by reducing your alcohol intake. Alcohol affects your REM sleep, which is the deep, restorative sleep that happens when you’re dreaming.
Drinking less alcohol (and especially sugary alcoholic drinks) will positively impact your adrenal fatigue sleep patterns. That way, you’ll feel more energized throughout the day and wake up refreshed and rested.
5. Exercise During The Day
Exercise clearly helps you maintain a healthy lifestyle, and it plays a role in recovering from adrenal fatigue. But the time you exercise actually impacts adrenal fatigue sleep challenges.
When we exercise, our bodies release endorphins that make us feel awake. That’s why exercising right before bed isn’t the greatest idea. It can leave you feeling restless and even lowers your blood sugar, leaving you feeling even more exhausted the next morning.
Try to get your daily exercise in earlier during the day. If you can’t, make sure to exercise before you have dinner!
If the only free time in your schedule to exercise is right before bed, try some low-intensity exercise like yoga or stretches instead of more intense exercises.
6. Avoid Eating Right Before Bed
If you’re a late-night snacker (or find yourself forgetting about dinner until right before bed), you could be worsening your adrenal fatigue sleep issues.
Try to stop eating two-to-three hours before bedtime.
When you eat, your digestive system works to break down those foods into fuel for your body. If you eat right before bed, your body could experience blood sugar imbalances that disrupt your sleeping patterns.
7. Create A Nightly Routine For Yourself
When you develop a nightly bedtime routine, your body will start to get ready for bed as you do! A nighttime routine really makes such a difference for so many chronic illnesses and especially influences adrenal fatigue sleep patterns.
Build a routine that works for you. Feel free to experiment with things like reading a chapter of a book, meditating, or even using more elaborate skincare. As long as you find something that helps you relax, your routine can help improve your adrenal fatigue sleep issues.
Making changes to your lifestyle or daily routines is always a challenge. But when it comes to improving your adrenal fatigue sleep routine, you’re going to feel so much better with these subtle changes!