Many of our members report feeling “tired but wired.” While this feeling is more common now, it doesn’t have to be the new normal. In this article, we’ll discuss some possible root causes as to why you may be feeling wired and what interventions may help.
Feeling Wired: Root Causes
Chronic stress is oftentimes the underlying cause of feeling wired. However, overtime, untreated stress can cause other imbalances in the body that worsen this symptom and introduce other symptoms too.
Common symptoms of feeling wired may include:
- Physically exhausted but unable to fall asleep
- Brain fog
- Nervous energy
- Difficulty getting into a deep rest or relaxation state
- Feeling as if your mind “won’t turn off”
- Needing caffeine frequently throughout the day
Let’s review some of the most common causes of these symptoms.
Cortisol is a stress hormone produced by your adrenal glands. Cortisol levels vary throughout the day and are normally highest in the morning and lowest right before bedtime. In times of chronic stress, many individuals present with cortisol levels that are higher than normal throughout the day. If you find yourself feeling wired, your cortisol levels may be too high.
What May Help
Stress reducing exercises, like meditation, deep breathing, and journaling, are the most obvious yet effective way to lower cortisol levels. However, consistently sticking to these practices is often the hardest part. In order to maintain a habit, it must be relatively easy, enjoyable, and realistic. Start small! Even five minutes of deep breathing is effective. We like to use helpful apps like Calm or Headspace.
For people with high cortisol, we may also recommend adaptogen supplements. Adaptogens are herbs that have cortisol balancing effects. Ashwagandha
is our favorite adaptogen to support a healthy stress response.
Progesterone is a calming reproductive hormone produced as a result of ovulation. Some conditions, like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
, may cause you to irregularly ovulate or not ovulate at all. Other women may ovulate but still produce inadequate amounts of progesterone. Symptoms of low progesterone may include feeling wired, insomnia, short menstrual cycles, spotting between periods, anxiety, and difficulty getting pregnant.
What May Help
You must ovulate in order to produce progesterone, so implementing tips to support healthy ovulation is crucial.
First of all, avoid restrictive or typical “low-calorie” diets. Your body needs a proper balance of protein, fat, and fiber-rich carbohydrates for optimal hormone balance. Our PFC Balance Method
of meal planning helps you prepare meals and snacks that nourish your body and balance your blood sugar levels to encourage ovulation each month. If you have PCOS, consider a trial of Ovasitol
, a research-backed supplement that helps women achieve more regular menstrual cycles. Finally, getting enough sleep, stress management, and movement throughout the day also supports healthy ovulation and progesterone levels.
While poor sleep is often a symptom of various root causes, it can also be a root cause on its own. Sleep is an incredibly restorative process for the body. But, did you know that up to 30 percent of Americans report sleeping six hours or less each night? Poor sleep is a major contributor to fatigue, insulin resistance
, sugar cravings, and depression. Inadequate or poor quality sleep may also negatively affect hormone balance, your menstrual cycle, and an inability to “turn off your brain.”
What May Help
Implementing positive sleep habits is crucial to setting a healthy foundation for sleep quality, quantity, and not feeling wired. Beyond basic sleep hygiene, we may also recommend our Sleep Support supplement.
Sleep Support is a blend of calming herbs, like valerian root, and minerals, like magnesium, which promote quality sleep without causing drowsiness or the typical sleep “hangover.” Many of the ingredients in Sleep Support also aid in the production of a brain chemical called GABA, which helps you relax and get into a deeper sleep each night.
Both hypo- and hyperthyroidism can cause similar feelings to “tired but wired.” Hypothyroidism occurs when your body does not produce enough thyroid hormones to meet demand. Hyperthyroidism is when your body overproduces thyroid hormones.
What May Help
Ask your doctor to rule out a thyroid disorder by requesting a full thyroid panel to include: TSH, free T4, free T3, and (ideally) thyroid antibodies. Hashimoto’s and Graves’ disease are autoimmune thyroid disorders and the most common causes of hypo- and hyperthyroidism, respectively. Learn more about these conditions in our article: Hashimoto’s vs. Graves’
There are also two options to get your thyroid labs drawn with Root: Our Get to the Root Program and our Educational Group Visit with Labs.
Feeling wired is often the result of high cortisol levels, low progesterone, poor sleep, and/or thyroid dysfunction. Approaching this symptom from a functional medicine perspective may entail eating a balanced diet for your blood sugar, stress management, sleep hygiene, and supplements to support relaxation, like Sleep Support.