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© 2018 by Nisha Jackson

*this degree is from an unaccredited college and is not approved for use in Oregon

  • Nisha Jackson, PhD

The Rhythm of Cortisol

I sometimes call cortisol the “get things done” hormone. It is the secret ingredient that helps you wake up in the morning, focus on complex tasks, and power down at night for deep sleep.


And it comes with its own unique rhythm that is important to understand for allocating your energy and attention throughout your day. Ideally, your cortisol levels should be higher in the early morning; most of us are counting on levels of energy and focus in order to stay alert. This is why so many successful people tend to wake up early and prioritize knocking out higher priority tasks first thing; they understand that they can more effectively call on that reservoir of energy during the early or even wee hours of the day.

Conversely, your cortisol levels should be lower at night, which promotes deep sleep and recovery.

So what happens when you lose that natural rhythm?


Low cortisol in the daytime can quickly lead to figure, weight gain, and over-reliance on stimulants to stay awake. It can create a sensation of being both wired and tired – unable to sleep because your brain is moving a million miles a minute.


Keep the rhythm in place by being kind to your body and going what comes naturally. Eat healthy and balanced snacks, take plenty of Vitamin C, exercise, and only take the right supplements, such as vitamins and herbal adaptogens, to enhance your energy and stamina.

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