Sleep and the Connection to Cortisol and Weight Gain

Normal cortisol curve - daily fluctuations in average cortisol levels - stress, sleep, weight gain

When you have healthy, restful sleep, cortisol levels are reduced to their lowest levels (typically around midnight). If cortisol doesn’t drop appropriately, this contributes to fat production and provides very little fuel (glycogen) to the muscles. So, you’ve got weight gain. And you’re tired.

GOOD sleep happens when cortisol levels are low at night. And if your blood sugars aren’t regulated well enough, they might be dropping during sleep – so your cortisol will spike to raise those blood sugars. That jump in cortisol will wake you up – and then you’re waking up unnecessarily during those early hours.

 The key is to moderate cortisol and have it low at night, and have it at it’s highest levels after 6 a.m., in order to help you wake up and seize the day.

Cortisol imbalance is important in weight management - if you feel like you’re doing everything right but can’t seem to lose the weight, it might be worth looking into.