By Staff Reports
(DGIwire)– It’s 3 o’clock in the morning. And yet, you’re still awake, pacing the house. Again.
And it only gets worse from there. When you do manage to get back to sleep, you’re still exhausted when the alarm goes off.
So you pull yourself out of bed in that all-too-familiar fog. You brew a pot of coffee. And you hope it’s enough to help drag you through your day, until you finally tumble back into bed, exhausted
…and completely unable to sleep.
With more than 9 million people reportedly taking prescription sleep aids in 2013 alone, this vicious cycle is all-too-common in the U.S. But according to one prominent Manhattan-based physician, Fred Pescatore, M.D., these pharmaceutical remedies are little more than temporary “fixes” that actually mask the real problem.
In fact, according to Dr. Pescatore, inability to sleep is just a symptom—not a disease.
“In my clinical experience,” he says, “adrenal gland exhaustion is the most common culprit behind insomnia.”
In simple terms, adrenal exhaustion sets in when stress overwhelms these glands’ ability to generate key fight-or-flight hormones, like adrenaline and cortisol.
Your body releases these hormones to put you on alert in the face of danger—whether it’s a physical threat, illness or injury, a family crisis, or just rush-hour traffic. “It’s all the same to your body,” says Dr. Pescatore.
When your adrenal glands are working properly, they stop releasing these hormones shortly after the perceived danger has passed. But if you’re under too much stress for too long, things start to go haywire.
Your cortisol levels stay high. Your body stops responding to it properly. And eventually, your adrenal glands “burn out” and stop producing enough stress hormones, even when you need them.
And, Dr. Pescatore asserts, it’s this confused state that really drives most insomnia.
A whole new take on tackling insomnia
According to this theory, getting better sleep hinges on bringing the body’s stress response back into balance.
And prescription sleep aids simply can’t do that. But Dr. Pescatore has developed a unique adrenal-repair protocol that his patients have had tremendous success with.
“There are eight supplements I recommend to all my patients who need strong adrenal support,” says Dr. Pescatore.
- DHEA. “This is a hormone that will give your adrenal gland a much-needed rest,” says Dr. Pescatore. (But he cautions pregnant or lactating women should not take DHEA. Nor should anyone currently diagnosed with a hormonally related form of cancer.)
- Rhodiola rosea. Rhodiola is an adaptogenic herb. Adaptogenic herbs are known for their ability to help the body adapt to various situations. In this case, it can help the body more effectively manage stress.
- Schizandra chinensis. Another adaptogenic herb, which is also known to help stabilize adrenal glands.
- Ashwagandha extract. Yet another adaptogen that guards against stress, and enhances immunity.
- Eleutherococcus sinensis root extract. Also known as Siberian Ginseng—and another adaptogen.
- Panax ginseng. This is also a classic adaptogen.
- Phosphatidylserene. This is a primary component of cell membranes that also helps to heal damage done by stress.
- Licorice. “This recommendation refers to licorice root—not the candy,” warns Dr. Pescatore. In its natural state, licorice has many therapeutic applications, including detoxification, which can help the body eliminate buildup of chemical and environmental stressors.
You’ll likely need to continue to take these supplements until you get your adrenals back on track, and your energy—and sleep quality—starts to recover. Which Dr. Pescatore notes can take six months to a year.
“Your adrenals didn’t burn out overnight…and they won’t recharge overnight either,” says Dr. Pescatore. “So I always encourage my patients to stick with the protocol, even if they think it’s not working. Because it will pay off in the end.”