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Thread: How do I reset my cortisol?? page

  1. #1
    jenn26point2's Avatar
    jenn26point2 is offline Senior Member
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    How do I reset my cortisol??

    I have been Primal since March. I've accomplished a lot of things in this short journey and I think I'm ready to tackle my next big obstacle: cortisol. I need to figure out how to get my cortisol to peak in the AM instead of in the evenings. Right now I think it peaks at about 8 pm because that's when I'm my most productive and have my strongest drive to DO something.

    Recently, my mornings have been hell. Even when I prepare everything I need the night before, mornings are still hell because I have to get myself ready for work, get my son dressed and fed for school, and get my daughter dressed and ready for daycare (she eats breakfast at daycare... son could eat breakfast at school, but he doesn't want to because he wants to play with his friends instead). If I could get up in the morning and have myself ready before getting my kids up from their slumbers, I could concentrate more on focusing my son's attention to his breakfast and getting dressed instead of spending the morning rushing trying to get him dressed and fed and having it be chaotic and frustrating.

    My ideal morning would be for me to get up early enough to get showered and ready (probably looking at 5 or 5:30), get my son up and dressed (ideally, 6:00), make him breakfast (ideally eggs and bacon and ready by 6:15-6:30), and be out the door by 6:45, ideally... of course, since my cortisol is all jacked up and all I want to do is hit the snooze button in the morning, it's impossible to make this ideal schedule work. And of course, if breakfast is ready and eaten by 6:30 he can watch cartoons without me yelling at him to get dressed every 2 minutes as he zones out at the tube, which is how things work now. He wakes up about 6:30, tries to watch cartoons and get dressed/eat breakfast all at once and it's non productive at best. The cartoons are on for my daughter who is usually already dressed and just waiting to leave. And heck, maybe I could even eat breakfast WITH him in the morning... It would certainly beat sitting my son down with a bowl of rice chex every morning, and I'm sure he'd approve of a different breakfast as well.

    This is my ideal. And I'm sure this ideal would make my day so much calmer. Having a high stress morning is probably part of the reason my cortisol levels are so jacked... Because I can't get out of bed when I need to, so I rush around all morning long, yelling at my son to get a move on it so we aren't late, and end up late anyway... plus, I'd like to be able to get to work at 7:30 so I can either add a half hour to my lunch so I can get in a really good run and stretch or so I can cut out a half hour earlier. A half hour longer lunch will be nice when it's time to train for my next half marathon.

    Right now, these are the irons I have in the fire:
    1. Typical mom/wife stuff of keeping a household afloat (failing miserably with this one, but at least my kitchen is clean).
    2. Work full time with a 2 hour round trip commute.
    3. Taking two grad school classes that take up 8 hours a week minimum in class time alone. Next semester will look the same. Classes start at 6pm and end at 10 pm. I will be graduating (barring any unforeseen crises) in May.

    I hope I've provided enough information for someone to adequately analyze the problem. I know I have too many irons and need to ditch one in order to find the best results, but the only one that can be dropped at this time is school and that's nearly done.

    Does anyone know of a cortisol protocol or something out there that helps to fix cortisol levels? Or can you point me toward a good cortisol source? The weight seems to be moving along just fine as long as I keep fat high and carbs low, so I don't think that's a necessary focus anymore. I need to instead focus on my stress levels and reducing my cortisol output so I can function as a human instead of a fire breathing dragon in the mornings. I'm sure my son would be appreciative if his mom would let him get his stuff done at his own pace instead of rushing him... and my daughter could probably do without the chaos too.
    Primal since March 5, 2012
    SW: 221 | CW: 182 | LPW: 166 | UGW: 140 (80 lbs loss)




  2. #2
    iniQuity's Avatar
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    Magnesium supplementation at night is the only thing that comes to mind, but I'm not sure you can really hack your body enough to dictate when your stress hormone is most active... as far as hitting the snooze button, just stop it - get into the habit of getting up and throwing some water in your face and starting your day as soon as the alarm first goes off.

  3. #3
    jenn26point2's Avatar
    jenn26point2 is offline Senior Member
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    I am currently taking 250 mg of magnesium nightly. Should I be taking more?
    Primal since March 5, 2012
    SW: 221 | CW: 182 | LPW: 166 | UGW: 140 (80 lbs loss)




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  5. #5
    iniQuity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jenn26point2 View Post
    I am currently taking 250 mg of magnesium nightly. Should I be taking more?
    I average 400mg, but I take some post-workout (in fact, I take most of my mg post workout and only about 200mg before bed) so maybe try upping to 400 to see how it goes but I'm not sure if it's going to make a world of difference honestly. I do it for performance purposes more so than any cortisol effect.

  6. #6
    jenn26point2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcadav View Post
    Their approach isn't very Primal... they want a bulk of the carbohydrates to come from grains - according to the website.
    Primal since March 5, 2012
    SW: 221 | CW: 182 | LPW: 166 | UGW: 140 (80 lbs loss)




  7. #7
    marcadav's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jenn26point2 View Post
    Their approach isn't very Primal... they want a bulk of the carbohydrates to come from grains - according to the website.
    I loaned my copy of the book out and never got it back. I don't recall the diet guidelines, but am not surprised to hear that grains, etc are recommended. The book was written in 2001 and probably CW based.

    What I do remember, that prompted the recommendation, had to do with sleep, exercise, lifestyle changes.. I also seem to recall supplements but do not recall the details.

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    RitaRose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jenn26point2 View Post
    I am currently taking 250 mg of magnesium nightly. Should I be taking more?
    I take 800mg because anything under that level brings my migraines back. I've been doing that (cheap stuff, too) for more than a year with no ill effects. The only issue you might have is a little looser stool (sorry for the TMI), but I fix that pretty easily by splitting it up and just taking 400mg in the morning, then 400mg before bedtime. If I forget the night one, then I tend to not sleep very well.
    My sorely neglected blog - http://ThatWriterBroad.com

  9. #9
    Paleobird's Avatar
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    The only thing I can suggest to make your mornings less crazy making is to unplug the TV and lock it in the garage. Or set a strict policy of no TV until after dinner.

    The kids can do something else like homework, a jigsaw puzzle, or coloring books.

    Seriously, the background noise level that is generated by cartoons on constantly would drive me completely round the bend. I can just imagine a much more peaceful beginning to the day by taking that one factor out.

    In my house growing up TV was only ever turned on after dinner and homework were finished and it was only something we did together as a family, like watching the news or Masterpiece Theater on PBS. It was never just ON as background and never used as a pacifier to keep kids happy. We watched a program together and then turned it off. No channel surfing. No "zoning out".

    Try it. It will help everybody's cortisol levels.

  10. #10
    jenn26point2's Avatar
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    I was going to implement iniQuity's suggestion of just getting up this morning, but neither of my kids slept well at ALL. Seriously, I think I got out of bed 10 times at a minimum between 1 and 3 to deal with them. Daughter had kicked the covers off (she's 2) and I had to cover her back up - at least 3 times, at one point she wanted out of bed and we had a power struggle over that, then son got to starting his "I can't sleep" crap and hollering for me every 10 minutes. By 3 am, I was frustrated and annoyed, and unable to fall back to sleep, then DH's alarm went off at 4:15 and 4:45, then he left for work and woke me to say goodbye. I reset my alarm for 6:10. I think I might have gotten 3 hours of unbroken sleep all night long. I feel ok, but didn't want to get out of bed, and because I had class last night, lunches weren't packed, clothes weren't laid out and son's breakfast didn't happen - not even the cereal. I feel bad for his teacher today...

    We'll try again for the 5:30 wake up tomorrow. A nice long hot shower will be nice.

    Anyone have any luck with a leptin reset? There's a gal who journals about hers and says she's waking up earlier and easier as a result. Just curious if that will do the trick.
    Primal since March 5, 2012
    SW: 221 | CW: 182 | LPW: 166 | UGW: 140 (80 lbs loss)




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