How your cortisol fluctuates and how it impacts your energy

Following from yesterday’s email about cortisol and that it is an important ingredient for your energy levels:

Your cells need glucose, together with T3 hormones, to produce energy.  The glucose level in your blood is managed by cortisol.

However, cortisol fluctuates during the day, and our quality of sleep also affects our cortisol levels.  Here’s how it works [1]: 

  • Your adrenal glands produces cortisol, all the time, day and night.  But, but the largest amount of cortisol is actually produced between 04h00 and 08h00 (so your last four hours of sleep and when you wake up). 
  • As the day goes on, less and less cortisol is produced.
  • By the evening, your cortisol levels should be very low, to probably at around 10% compared to the high in the morning. 

This is what normal looks like.  

But if you are not sleeping as you should, your cortisol levels may go out of whack.  Your cortisol levels may spike at the wrong times, sending glucose into the cells and revving up your energy production.  This is leaving you excited, wired, and awake when you should be winding down.

Or, your cortisol levels are dropping too low during the day, and suddenly there isn’t enough glucose for your energy generators, and you feel sleepy and dragging your feet.  

Over time, this imbalance of cortisol levels can play havoc with your health, leading to metabolic disorders and increased stress.  

So if you are feeling this rollercoaster ride of fluctuating cortisol levels, take a step back and look at your bedtime routine and your sleep patterns.  It is as good a place to start as any. 


[1] Recovering with T3.  Paul Robinson, p 34

Adele du Rand

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *