What is Cortisol Sleep Disorder?

Hi. This is Dr Moses Goldberg. Today I want to talk to you a little bit about sleep, and specifically about a cortisol sleep disorder, which is when one wakes up in the middle of the night. A lot of times, people need help falling asleep. Many people that have trouble staying asleep often wake up in the middle of the night. This little incident we have found is due to a certain hormone called cortisol. Cortisol usually peaks in the morning, and then slowly goes down throughout the day. Sometimes people have their circadian rhythms of cortisol a little out of balance, and the cortisol peaks in the middle of the night. This is a cortisol surge.

When this happens, cortisol is a sympathetic dominant type of hormone that kind of gets you up. And when this gets you up in the middle of the night, it gets your mind going. You think about your to-do list, you think about your chores and whatnot at work, and life, and family, and you cannot fall back asleep.

Some of the remedies that we think about for sleep, melatonin, 5-HTP, GABA, herbs like valerian, passion flower just don’t seem to touch this part of the sleep disorder with this cortisol surge. So one thing we found is by testing people’s adrenal glands through saliva testing, we can kind of measure one’s own circadian rhythms of cortisol. And then based on that, find out do they have this cortisol surge? And if they do, there’s different nutrients we can use to help lower that.

This is something we consider when we evaluate your sleep patterns and your health. What’s going on? Can you stay asleep in the night or not? And if not, cortisol surge might be a part of the problem you have. So if have any other questions regarding cortisol sleep disorder or sleep problems in general, please give me a call or email me. This is Dr Moses Goldberg, Santa Rosa Naturopathic doctor, taking care of you. Have a great day.