By Glen Depke, Traditional Naturopath
So what do I mean by wired, tired and stress out?
Well, the wired is being wired and stimulated by sugar and its affect on blood glucose levels.
Tired is the response of the wired, as we look at how elevated blood sugar impacts sleep.
Lastly the stressed out is the long term affect that the wired and tired have on your adrenal gland function.
So wired, tired and stressed out! Is this YOU?
You may be thinking that you do not fit this picture but let’s take a closer look.
Do you find yourself with low energy during the day? Due to this low energy do you find yourself reaching for stimulants all day? A piece of candy, some fruit juice, an energy drink or maybe even looking for fruit all day? This is a tell tale sign that you are in the wired stage, due to the fact that you are constantly looking to stimulate energy by raising blood sugar. I am sure you notice that after you indulge in your little stimulant, you feel a bit more energy in the moment, right?
So what do we do with this? You probably guessed, we simply continue this pattern again and again. The problem is that this stimulated energy is short lived, as fast as you stimulate your blood sugar and energy, it almost depletes just as quickly.
This yo yo effect with the “wired” from sugar that spikes insulin, leads to hypoglycemia, A.K.A. low blood sugar, which then leads to another craving for sugar.
And round and round we go! You’ve all heard of the hamster wheel right?
Next is tired, and wow are we talking tired with most people these days. Fatigue is one of the biggest complaints I hear with clients almost across the board. This is due to the fact that the “wired” blood sugar issues are creating sleep issues for almost everyone.
If you raise your blood sugar before bedtime, this will often leave you stimulated and unable to sleep. If you raise blood sugar around dinner time or shortly after, you will have enough time to crash and burn with the low blood sugar levels as you’re attempting to sleep, a whole other issue.
Low blood sugar is an issue when you are trying to sleep because of your brain. Understand that your brain is fueled by glucose, or as we’ve been discussing, your blood sugar levels. But your brain truly requires a very narrow range of blood sugar. This is why we our pancreas will create the steroid hormones of insulin and glucagon.
I am sure that most of you have heard of insulin, which is the hormone that removes excess sugar (glucose) from your blood and moves it into storage for future use. At least, if your system is working properly and you’re not stuck in insulin resistance, which most often leading to diabetes. Glucagon is the hormone that most have not heard of. The job of this hormone is to inhibit insulin and stimulate the release of stored glucose to help raise blood sugar. This will work fine until you’ve reached the point of wired, tired and stressed out, because over time for those with more chronic blood sugar issues, the glucagon release can raise blood sugar too high, thus another insulin response.
Round and round we go AGAIN!
So, ultimately, if at any time that you are either attempting to fall asleep or if you are already sleeping and your blood sugar drops too low, your brain will absolutely wake you up. After all, your brain simply wants fuel and your brain takes priority. It wants you to get up and eat. I am sure there are more than a few people reading this that recognize the craving when you wake in the middle of the night.
Yes, this could be you!
The problem though is that with low blood sugar we are typically craving sweets or processed carbohydrates, which as you already know by reading this article, this is just leading you into the hamster wheel.
So far, we recognize that our fatigue leads to the “wired” which then leads to the “tired.”
So what about the stressed out?
The stressed out is the effect that the wired and tired and have on your adrenal gland function and interestingly enough, the affect your adrenal gland function also has on fatigue and sleep.
So here you go with the “stressed out.”
When we are stimulating with sugar, we are actually stimulating adrenal function. This stimulation raises cortisol, our primary adrenal stress hormone, which then provides us with stimulated energy. This is not a healthy core state of energy, but rather a quick fix for your fatigue. Interestingly enough, when you stimulate the adrenals with sugar (caffeine too for information sake) this is actually further exhausting your adrenal function and leading to deeper levels of fatigue.
Yes, it may seem like a good idea in the moment but long term this is tragic.
When you are not sleeping well, you are also exhausting your adrenals even further. The kicker here is that the further depletion of adrenal function will cause issues with sleep also. This is tied into a few different factors with the biggest being the low cortisol production of stressed out adrenals. Your cortisol production helps increase your low blood sugar when you sleep and this cortisol will work in tandem with the glucagon mentioned above to assist in raising blood sugar to the point of keeping your brain happy and energized.
Remember, a fatigued brain will wake you at night looking for a snack.
So if your adrenals are exhausted from the stimulation and sugar along with a lack of sleep, your lack of cortisol production will leave you up at night also.
I’m getting exhausted just writing about it!
But this is not all.
The wired, tired and stressed out directly affects these health challenges also.
- Menopause symptoms
- Poor metabolism
- Hair loss
- Digestive issues
- Weight gain
- Aches and pains
- Poor mental clarity
- Overall poor mental function
So you can see that this is so much more than just wired, tired and stressed out.
The big question is, what do you do to turn this around?
- Assess your adrenal function.
- Add vitamin B5 into your daily routine which is at the core of adrenal hormone production.
- Include an adrenal protocol that assists your body in balancing adrenal hormone production.
- Consume a small protein snack before bed to help regulate blood sugar and improve sleep.
- Stop the sugar stimulation by eating balanced meals and snacks that include protein, fat and vegetables.
- Replace any liquid sugar such as fruit juice, sodas, energy drinks and like, with purified water.
- Get a healthy level of sun exposure between 11:30AM and 1:30PM.
- Complete 6 minutes of burst training upon waking.
- Practice deep belly breathing by taking 3-5 deep belly breaths once per waking hour.
- Make sure you are in bed by 10:30PM at the latest
Take these steps above and rid yourself of the wired, tired and stressed out lifestyle. You’ll be happy you did!