I’ve certainly been a little slack on sharing information from my personal life as of late, and while anything I ever write about is generally spill over from my daily occurrences, I have neglected to mention that I am currently prepping for yet another show. While everyone’s body does tend to react differently to physical stress, prep insomnia Is a very common occurrence, so today I want to get into the details of why. It’s an incredibly frustrating feeling to feel physically exhausted yet wide awake. If you’ve been paying attention you’ll know this has a lot to do with cortisol, a catabolic hormone that’s incredibly elevates in times of stress, such as cardio, or the emotional reaction of forgetting everything down to your own name.
Dieting also does a number on your hormones, particular sex hormones in women competitors. You look incredible, yet the desire to use your body for anything but sleep and banging weights just isn’t there for a lot of competitors. This is because cortisol is released by the adrenal gland during the “fight or flight” response, you know, that same thing that gets you amped. When cortisol, along with adrenaline, is elevated your body is recognizing a stressor. However, our poor primitive systems can’t differentiated between a bear attack and sled sprints…..
When cortisol levels become out of balance the begin to wreak havoc on the nervous system, just breaking down everything, muscle and fat indifferent, they interfere with the restorative effects of REM sleep. This is why the closer you get to a show, and the more you’re probably freaking out inside your head, this only adds to the disruption of your sleep rhythms. High cortisol levels can also cause racing, panicky thoughts, heart palpitations, and even panic attacks…ls this sounding familiar to anyone? No, you’re not crazy, yes it’s ok to freak out, it’s not your fault, it’s cortisol. So next time you break down in tears because you spilt your last carb meal, you can tell your boyfriend to go suck it, you’re not being irrational, it’s science! At this point, likely a few weeks out, you are suffering from exhaustion and burnout. I’m not going to lie to you and say it’s all going to be ok (if I’ve prepped accordingly it will).. But there’s a certain amount of depletion to be expected.
You can however take measure to correct and adjust the times of day your cortisol peaks, based on nature rhythms and counter measures. I’d suggest avoiding stimulants aside from times you want bat burning maximized, like pre cardio and workout. And stacking supplements like the neurotransmitters gabba and PS. This is a great pre bed combo in conjunction with ZMA. Vitamin C is also great to up regulate mineral absorption, and reduce stress, as well as keep any immunodeficiency at bay. If you can still afford carbs In your diet, they’re also known to counter a cortisol spike, ideally post workout. This is especially pertinent if you work out I’m the evening. I’m order to get that tricky cortisol down pre bedtime. And with out busy lives who couldn’t use a little extra beauty sleep.