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Updated: Jun 13, 2019

Do you often wake up at 3am ‘tired but wired’, head spinning with the magnitude of life problems and obstacles (stress)? Then take hours to get back to sleep ….. just in time for your alarm to go off and wake you from a deep slumber ?

Lack of sleep has its own devastating cascade of effects on the body. Feeling tired and stressed out about being tired, can create a vicious unending cycle.

The “tired but wired” phenomenon is something we often do not publicly talk about. But it effects many of us in this fast paced society we live in.

Why Stress Causes You to Wake Up at 3am….

Stress causes the adrenal glands to fire off adrenaline. This gives you a burst of energy to deal with stressful situations. Adrenaline also raises the heart rate, increases respiration, dilates the pupils, slows down digestion and causes muscles to contract. It’s like caffeine on steroids!

So if you are stressed or upset it can be impossible to fall asleep. But why does it always wake you up at 3am?

3am is when your liver regenerates. To do so, it needs glycogen. The problem is that adrenaline causes your cells to use up glycogen. So if you are often stressed, your body may not have enough glycogen for the liver to regenerate at 3am. If your liver cannot get the glycogen it needs, your adrenal glands will compensate by releasing adrenalin, which is why you are wide awake and ready for action, not exactly a state you want to be in at 3am.

This is exasperated by modern day living. We go to bed much later, we don’t ‘wind down’ before bed like we used too. Instead we work on our laptops or watch TV until lights out. Not the best way to process the days events and relax in preparation for sleep.

The below book, is a phenomenal read. Lots of tips and insightful information into tackling this modern day epidemic.

Tired But Wired: How to Overcome Sleep Problems Nerina Ramlakhan

Happy Sleeping 😴

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