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Avoid Cortisol and Stay Young

October 10, 2012

If you want to stay young, healthy and look good then you need to keep your cortisol levels low. Cortisol is a hormone that our bodies naturally produce. Our bodies release cortisol in response to stress and anxiety. In our modern lives there are far too many factors that lead to excessive cortisol levels.

What causes elevated cortisol?

Cortisol is known as the stress hormone. Here are several of the know factors that increase cortisol:

  1. Sleep Deprivation
  2. Prolonged physical activity
  3. Intense exercise
  4. Caffeine
  5. Excess Fat
  6. Stress

What is the purpose of cortisol?

sleep health womanCortisol is an essential hormone for the body. It is responsible for raising your blood sugar level and decreasing inflammation  In a healthy adult your cortisol levels are lowest at night before you go to sleep and are highest when you wake up in the morning. The high level of cortisol in the morning allows you to wake up easily and start your day. The low level of cortisol in the evening lets you fall asleep quickly.

The problems begin when your cortisol gets out of control. If you are living an unhealthy lifestyle then you will end up with high cortisol at night when you want to go to sleep and low cortisol in the morning. This means you will have a tough time falling asleep and will feel tired all day. This situation often leads people to have a glass of wine or a sleeping pill to help them fall asleep and drink coffee to stay awake. This only makes matters worse because the wine will prevent you from getting restful sleep and the coffee will lead to even higher levels of cortisol.

Downsides of excess cortisol

no coffee decrease cortisolThere are many downsides an elevated level of cortisol. High cortisol will not only mess up your sleep and make you tired but also lead to fat gain, especially around the belly. It is also responsible for sugar cravings and muscle break down. Cortisol decreases insulin sensitivity which makes you hungrier. And last but not least it lowers the rate of bone formation and drains the collagen in the skin leading to visible signs of aging.

In summary, cortisol makes you fat, hungry and look old. Lower your cortisol by eating healthy, getting 8+ hours of sleep a night, losing weight and avoiding stress and caffeine.

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