A common complaint with men and women as they age is that they don’t sleep as well.
But even if they do sleep as well, as people age they lose muscle mass.
The size of their heart, and their liver, and their organs and their muscles declines.
Sometimes men or women even shrink as much as 2 to 5 inches as they age.
Today’s newsletter focuses on one reason why men and women have more sleeping problems and lose mass as they age.
This study measured cortisol levels across the 24 hour day with aging men and women.
They found that in general, cortisol levels get higher and higher as we age.
And, cortisol levels spike at much higher levels, late at night, and early in the morning — from 10 PM to 1:30 AM.
One reason for this may be that as we age, many of us find that our thyroid function declines.
Thyroid is necessary to maintain body temperatures and high metabolism.
If we are low in thyroid, then we get cold.
This is one reason why it is common for elderly people to have the heat on higher because they’re just colder.
Their thyroid is not functioning as well, and they need to maintain body temperature by being in a hotter environment, or by wearing warmer clothes.
You can’t just lower cortisol.
The cortisol is doing a job.
But it is possible that by raising thyroid and general metabolism, that cortisol levels will not spike as much.
It’s also possible that cortisol will generally be lower through the entire day.
The researchers emphasize that none of these study subjects had a medical condition leading to high cortisol.
The increased cortisol was regarded as “normal” for aging people.
Elevated cortisol is not a healthy fact here.
Higher cortisol, as we said, not only decreases your mass, but it also increases your chances of getting diabetes.
Higher cortisol levels cause gluconeogenesis, which is the digestion of your own tissues.
And they also cause more free fatty acids in the blood, which increases insulin resistance and may lead to diabetes.
So it’s essential as we age to make sure our cortisol levels are as low as possible.
But is increasing cortisol levels as you age inevitable? Can you lower cortisol? And if so how?
Almost anything that lowers stress, and makes us feel better will lower cortisol levels.
For example, massage therapy lowers cortisol levels.
I’m sure you’ve heard that laughter is the best medicine.
It’s true because having a good time and having fun lowers cortisol levels.
There are also supplements that can lower cortisol levels.
For example, the amino acid l-theanine lowers cortisol levels and also lowers allergies.
L-Theanine is also very safe.
This study found tremendous cognitive benefits to combining L-Theanine with caffeine.
Tea contains both L-Theanine and caffeine, and this may be one of the reasons why drinking tea feels good.
And l-theanine, in general, lowers stress a great deal, as shown in this study.
In the study, they were stressing out mice.
They found that mice who were stressed had high cortisol levels and lower lifespans.
However, mice that were stressed but had L-Theanine lived just as long and experienced better cognitive function and less depression.
There are a lot of other supplements that can lower cortisol levels.
Perhaps one of the most important things for a person as he or she ages is to eat enough.
Eating lowers cortisol levels.
But many people eat a profile of foods that are wrong for them.
These are foods that increase cortisol rather than lower it.
Intermittent fasting raises cortisol.
Dieting the way most people do it also raises cortisol.
It is essential as we age that we do everything you can to lower our cortisol levels.
This will maintain our lean muscle mass, the size of our organs and skeleton and muscles, and improve our mood.
And we can age more gracefully and perhaps live longer.
With aging in humans the activity of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal system increases and its diurnal amplitude flattens
CORTISOL DECREASES AND SEROTONIN AND DOPAMINE INCREASE FOLLOWING MASSAGE THERAPY
The effects of L-theanine, caffeine and their
combination on cognition and mood
Theanine intake improves the shortened lifespan, cognitive dysfunction and behavioural depression that are induced by chronic psychosocial stress in mice