Cortisol: Sleep Enemy No. 1 for Busy Professional Women

If you’re a busy professional woman running your business, you’re no stranger to working long hours.

Okay. I get it. If you don’t get it done, who will?

But, do you get it? This relentless drive to ‘get it done’ is negatively impacting your health?

Specifically: Your sleep.


Because chronic stress elevates your cortisol levels. And since cortisol is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands, when your cortisol levels are elevated, day after day, your adrenal glands poop-out.

5 Signs Your Cortisol Levels Are Way Too High

As a busy professional woman, I’m sure you’ve experienced many of the following:

  1. You’re not sleeping well and tired when you awaken.
  2. You can’t lose weight.
  3. You’re moody and emotionally ‘sensitive’.
  4. You have ‘brain fog’.
  5. You’re using caffeine and sugar to get through the day.

How Cortisol Affects Sleep

Lack of sleep causes hormonal imbalances that affect brain activity and physiological responses.

Cortisol production should gradually decrease through the day until it reaches its lowest levels late in the evening when you’re ready for bed. However, if your cortisol levels don’t decrease in the evening cortisol production doesn’t get shut off and it leads to real sleep issues.

Five Simple Changes to Lower Your Cortisol Levels

  1. Eat protein first thing in the morning. Good sleep begins with the first meal of the day – breakfast. Eating protein for breakfast or having a protein smoothie in the morning sets your body up for restful sleep at night.
  2. Stop eating carbohydrates three-to-five hours before you go to bed. Since carbohydrates cause your blood sugar to spike, if you eat them right before bed you’ll experience low blood sugar during your sleep cycle and that may cause you to get up and eat. Thus, throwing you out of the deeper sleep that is so needed.
  3. Eat the right snacks at night. Eating the right kinds of snacks at night makes all the difference. Choose snacks that ‘relax’ the body such as:
    • Banana protein smoothie made with nut milk and whey or pea protein.
    • A bowl of kiwi.
    • Peanut butter on a spoon.
    • Walnuts and almonds.
    • Sugar-free, organic yogurt with flaxseeds and oats.
  4. Add supplements to your diet. There are supplements that help reduce cortisol levels and enable you to sleep better. Supplements vary for each person and depend on other health factors. Excellent choices are:
    • Valerian root
    • Melatonin
    • Magnesium
    • Magnolia Bark
  5. Work with a health consultant.One of the best ideas is to work with a holistic health consultant to develop a sleep plan that is tailored for you.

If you’re a busy professional woman, you’re no stranger to long days, working on the weekend, and bringing work home at night. The problem with this is you’re wreaking havoc on your adrenal glands and not getting the kind of sleep you so desperately need. If you’re ready to rehabilitate your adrenal glands and reduce your cortisol levels, then make these five simple changes to sleep like a baby again.

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