A good night’s sleep is absolutely essential for our health.  Cortisol, our main stress hormone and hormone of alertness, peaks at around 9am and then should drop to an absolutely low level at bedtime.  As the sun goes down and cortisol drops melatonin rises and our circadian rhythm is established. This basic rhythm is established by environmental and internal cues that have signaled our biology since the dawn of time.  Unfortunately, we had to come along with modern stress and technology and muck it all up! So what happens to our sleep if this rhythmic release of cortisol is distorted?

  • Feeling tired and wired when we lie down for sleep
  • Waking up alert between 1 – 3am like clockwork
  • Night Sweats so strong we need to change our t-shirt and invade our partner’s side of the bed!
  • Waking 1 – 2 hours before our alarm with no chance of falling back asleep.


Luckily, correction of the cortisol rhythm (HPA-Axis) is not rocket science.  But, it does require a simple salivary cortisol test to determine exactly what is happening with your hormones.  Once we know the unique nature of your cortisol dysruption it can be treated with a combination of lifestyle changes and supplements that gently signal the body to release hormones at the right time and in the proper amount.  


Our ancient physiology still wants to exist in harmony with our natural signals.  If we proper align the HPA-Axis we enjoy alertness during the day and calm restorative sleep at night.  If you are struggling with insomnia call us at Origins Medicine and let’s reset your stress hormones and give you back the biological right to a good night’s sleep!

For more information read the following summary from the Natural Medicine Journal.


Sleep tight!

Duncan Macdonald, L.Ac.

Phone: (415) 902-0771