Let’s talk about your adrenal glands, fondly known as your “adrenals”. They are 2 tiny glands, about the size of almonds, with the power to keep you going all day long. And when they are tired, boy can you feel wiped out. It’s the kind of tired that can make you forget what it is to feel good. Let me tell you how they work.

Normal Adrenal Function

Picture 1: Normal Adrenal Function

Their regular job is to give you your normal amount of “adrenalin”, or energy, for your day. If you area visual person, check out the first drawing I did. Your adrenals are supposed to give you a big boost of energy in the morning. This is to get you out of bed and on with your day. Then they give you progressively less energy as the day goes on, until they give you very little energy at bed time so you can actually sleep that night.

Picture 2: Adrenals Under Stress

Now add stress to your life. Take a look at the second picture. You still get that boost first thing in the morning, but then something happens, some sort of stress on your system. You are late for work? You skip breakfast? You eat a food you are sensitive to? You have an argument with a loved one? You get bad news? Pick anything that is a stress on YOUR system. In that moment, you adrenals jump into action. It is like soldiers coming to attention when commanded. They are preparing to help you deal with whatever “battle” you are about to wage. Each time they do that, they give you another little boost of “adrenalin”. So, instead of your adrenalin levels slowly declining throughout the day, they run up there on high all day. This can definitely cause problems with trying to sleep that night.

Unfortunately, our lives tend to run more like Picture #2 than Picture #1. So over time (and this mayPicture 3: Tired Adrenals take years), your poor little adrenals are worn out. Depending where you are at in this process, a couple of things may happen. As you can see in Picture #3, one thing that can happen is that you get a little boost in the morning, but it isn’t quite a full boost, so by mid-afternoon, you are exhausted. Occasionally, your adrenals can then rally again to give you a second tiny boost in the evening after dinner. Unfortunately this usually doesn’t bode very well for a good night’s sleep.

Let’s talk tomorrow about what you can do to help them!!