DUTCH Test Hormone Series
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE HORMONES WE SEE
ON THE DUTCH TEST + WHY TESTING IS NECESSARY
We talked about melatonin separately – see Post 4 of the Hormone DUTCH Test Series.
Here we are looking at the relationship between both hormones, which we see on the DUTCH test.
In a way, these two hormones have opposing circadian rhythm cycles.
When levels of one ⬆️ rise, levels of the other ⬇️ decrease.
🌕 CORTISOL starts rising in the morning and reaches peak level around 30mins after we wake up, after which time it starts declining. Good cortisol levels help us to get out of bed and face the day. Low morning cortisol creates a feeling of fatigue and we feel like we’re dragging our feet. 😫 Cortisol is at its lowest before bed and during the night. See the image above.
🌑 MELATONIN has the opposite curve. It drops in the morning and is low during the day. It starts rising in the evening when it’s time to wind down and go to bed. 😴
If these curves get dysregulated, we start experiencing fatigue, low energy, insomnia, waking up at night or too early in the morning. 😦
If we find ourselves wide awake at 4-5am, 😱 this means the nighttime melatonin levels have dropped earlier and cortisol has risen earlier, which is what has woken us up.
❓ Reasons for this? It could be sleeping conditions, mental & emotional stress or physiological stress – like blood sugar dysregulation, gut dysbiosis (bugs become active at night), food intolerances, toxins, mold.
TIPS TO REGULATE THE CYCLE
✖ Do not exercise close to bedtime – exercise stimulates the release of cortisol
🍒 Incorporate melatonin rich foods (see post on melatonin)
🧘♀️ Create a relaxing bedtime time routine & sleep supporting environment. Check this short guide about creating good sleep foundations.
📱 Stay away from blue light in the evening, it disrupts melatonin production
🛀 Incorporate relaxation practices and stress perception management
📍 Optimise gut and hormonal health
💊 Consider adding adaptogens (if appropriate)