Empaths ~ Adrenal Fatigue, Insomnia & Exhaustion

It is common for empaths to experience a sudden onset of chronic fatigue due to a significant crash in energy levels.

This can be caused by having a variety of emotional responsibilities, and also because we profusely leak energy when we do not remain present, consciously aware, grounded, and balanced.

Empaths often feel particularly drained when we have spent too much time in the company of other people, and these interactions can cause us to develop emotional exhaustion. Empaths need a great deal of alone time to retreat and recharge their internal batteries.

Our thoughts, emotions, and feelings can all play havoc on our internal system, causing devastating consequences that can become debilitating. If we have regular periods of solitude, we are able to process our emotions and feelings during the day and we will not become so exhausted, as we will frequently let go of any negativity that might play on our minds and weigh us down.

When we don’t have space to do this, we may find our minds are overactive at night when everything is still and quiet, and we are not distracted by external stimuli. This prevents us from being able to relax so that sleep can naturally occur.

We might also wake often through the night and be unable to get a restful night’s sleep, as our minds are constantly trying to process information and make sense of what occurred during the day and still lingering so it can be dealt with.

Our hyperactive minds cause us fatigue by continuously bombarding us with a deafening amount of stimuli, not allowing us the opportunity to rest, replenish, and recharge. This can cause us to have erratic sleep patterns, some days needing 10 or more hours, and other days only one or two, depending on how much energy is attached to our energy field and pulling us down.

If we are not able to find time during the day to make sense of our internal thoughts, feelings, and emotions, it is essential that we engage in meditation just before we go to sleep, so that we can allow our thoughts to lightly come and go without paying too much attention to them or igniting a hormone-induced physiological response.Emotionally charged feelings linked to our memories and experiences can provoke us to feel emotions such as fear, anxiety, resentment, panic, and paranoia—so our brains become convinced that we are under some kind of genuine threat. Therefore, they send signals to our adrenal glands to produce hormones, which then release a surge of energy.

When we experience intense or prolonged anxiety or stress, or our lifestyles are unhealthy—for example, too much or too little sleep, substance abuse, overworking, poor diet, stressful relationships, stressful family situations, or general life crises—we place excessive continuous demands on our adrenal glands.

Our adrenal glands are small kidney-shaped endocrine glands, approximately the size of a walnut, that are situated in the lower back area just above our kidneys. They are very powerful and beneficial when under stress, as they release hormones that help keep us alert, focused, and increase our stamina so that we are able to deal with pressure.

However, when we over-stimulate our adrenal glands, they will keep producing energy, which causes a conflict when we try to rest or sleep, as we will feel permanently wired and on high alert. This places excessive stress on our adrenal glands, causing them to eventually burn out and malfunction.

As our energy quickly becomes drained, we will be tempted to top it back up with quick fixes and may consume foods that are high in refined salt or sugar, which burn energy fast so that we receive an instant energy boost. However, this is a vicious cycle, as the junk food we crave burns energy extremely quickly leaving us needing more.

Our body craves salt and sugar, as it inherently knows what it needs. However, we feed it refined salt and refined sugar, which are found in most processed foods or junk foods, instead of feeding it unrefined sugar and unrefined salt, which are nutritious and in healthy doses can nourish and replenish our adrenal glands.

We might also try to raise our energy levels by consuming caffeine-based drinks, such as coffee or energy drinks; however, caffeine just irritates the adrenal glands further. We will then experience regular highs and lows, as our energy levels peak and drop throughout the day.

When our adrenal glands are not working effectively, we may feel constantly fatigued, run-down, irritable, anxious, dizzy, and overwhelmed. We may experience heart palpitations, sugar, or salt cravings, low or high blood pressure, and we will also find it very difficult to manage stressful situations.

If we are well balanced—thinking positively, exercising, eating, and sleeping well—our adrenal glands will not be easily overwhelmed.

During sleep, our cortisol levels (one of the hormones produced by our adrenal glands) rise naturally, peaking in the few hours before we wake. This happens to give us a good start to the day, and it is known as the circadian rhythm, as it elevates our energy levels so that we can function effectively by sleeping when it is dark and waking when it is light.

When our adrenal glands are exhausted, we will likely wake up still feeling tired, even if we have had a long and seemingly restful sleep. We may feel drowsy most of the day, but then our cortisol levels may peak late in the evening, making it difficult for us to enter deep sleep.

It can take a long time to run our adrenal glands down, so it can take some time to fully repair them. However, we can make changes that can have an immediate effect.

The most important thing to do is listen to the body and pay attention to how it feels. We can remain aware of how our energy levels rise and fall throughout the day. We will most likely find that certain times of the day are more exhausting than others, so we can make additional alterations as needed.

It is vital that we discover how and why we are placing so much stress on our adrenal glands. When we identify the root cause of our emotions and feelings, we can ensure that we don’t remain in a heightened state of alert, putting further pressure on these vital glands.

Meditation will help us to not only focus on the body so that we are aware of any sensations that are taking place, it will also help us to calm and soothe our mind to prevent us from repeating negative thoughts that ultimately cause chemical reactions.

Spending time with family and friends or being out for social activities can also regulate our cortisol levels, as they are known to increase after spending long periods of time alone—if we feel lonely, isolated, and separated. If we are content in our own company, we will feel balanced, and cortisol levels may not be such an issue.

Our diet and exercise regime can also place added stress on our adrenal glands. If we push ourselves too much, we place too much demand on the glands, which causes them to produce an overload of stress-related hormones.

Skipping meals, eating junk food, and intense workouts all cause these glands to overwork. If we have food allergies, they will place additional stress on our adrenal glands, so it is vital to pay attention to foods that we have intolerances to.

To keep our adrenal glands nourished, we can try to eat an organic, well-balanced, and nutritional diet with plenty of protein and a healthy dose of vitamins A, B, and C, allowing time for the body to absorb all the nutrients before any physical activity takes place. We can also try to avoid large consumption of alcohol and reduce or eliminate our refined sugar, refined salt and caffeine intake.

Creating security, stability, inner peace, being optimistic, and getting a restful night sleep all contribute to rebalancing our adrenal glands. Just the thought of going to bed can bring on mild anxiety if we think we are going to lie awake for hours, drifting in and out of light sleep, but rarely reaching the highly sought-after delta state.

When our adrenals are exhausted, we may wake during the night highly alert, often from high-stimuli dreams that just add to our overanxious state.

Sleepless nights are particularly common when we endure a stressful or anxious period, because even if we enter sleep, we can wake through the night feeling the adrenaline circulating through our body—but without knowing why.

Disturbances in sleep are most often linked to biochemical reactions due to high levels of stress hormones flushing through our system between approximately 2:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m. The spike in our hormones dramatically affects our ability to remain calm, which is why our sleep is interrupted.

We can rectify this by making up a magical, therapeutic little potion consisting simply of organic honey and unrefined salt.

We can also place a Himalayan salt table lamp by the side of the bed, as it removes the positive ions from the environment and replaces them with negative ones, mimicking the balance found in nature. This also removes the electric smog that is caused by electronic devices such as laptops and mobile phones, so the air is clear and we will have improved air circulation and healthier, fuller breathing.

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Main Image Nachelle Nocom

Disclaimer: This website is not meant as a substitute for medical or professional advice and guidance. For any health related concerns please always seek the advice of a medical or health professional.

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  1. Leslie Aday says:

    There is so much information in this website

    1. Great information. A few years ago my adrenal fatigue was high and was effecting everything one of the most frustrating aspects was “you don’t look sick” from everyone. As I struggled to make it through the work day friends and family just couldn’t understand the depth of the exhaustion I felt and were so critical of me it wasn’t helpful and was extremely hurtful. Glad to see this information getting out there!

  2. Anonymous says:

    This is remarkable Information, this is so me its shocking! My jaw is on the floor!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Wow ! I didn’t know but relate !

  4. McKenna Vaughan says:

    This has been me since childhood! My mom would say she didn’t like me around many people because I soaked up their energy like a wet sponge. She’s a HSP herself. She has hers monitor. I myself am still trying. One of many illnesses I suffer with is chronic fatigue. And migraines, I’m on several medications including a salt pill because my blood pressure drops when I sit or stand.

    1. Meghan says:

      Have you looked into Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome? You may want to look into it. Heart rate rises, blood pressure drops when standing etc.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for this website. It explains a LOT of my fear-based behavior and seeking an environment that is quiet, where I can be alone and “recharge”. I will be studying this information thoroughly so I don’t feel quite so much the “wierd” one. Very grateful!

  6. Joanne says:

    I’m everything you have described been off work for 2 months going through divorcentre and house sale. All what I wanted but so sensitive it’s knocked me out of balance & not slept well for months now.

  7. Joan Louise Morgan says:


  8. I have been absorbing others energy more amd more over the last 10 years and thought I was going crazy… I rarely get sick too but over the most recent 6years I ha e been having more and more outbursts of overwhelming emotions that I 100% cannot control and it is extremely draining. It has caused tension btwn my husband & I as he is not able to wrap his head around what a HSP goes throigh… good bad and everything inbtwn.
    This was a good article

  9. Bonnie says:

    I need recharging when being among people. I seek solace and rest. It seems as if stimuli creates havoc on and in my body.

  10. kim watts says:

    I don’t know if this has been discussed before, but do you think ADD symptoms are attributed more to Empaths? I know I am an Empath and I also know I have what “they” call ADD. My son also does and it’s obvious to me that he is an old soul. I think our ADD attributes are wonderful and wondered if you had never heard of a correlation?

  11. kim watts says:

    ‘ever’ heard of a correlation…:)

  12. David Straker says:

    Thanx for the tips about dealing with the physical symptoms. On the subject of the stress causing the problem, what do others think of Eckhart Tolle’s book The Power Of Now? I am finding his teachings on presence to be very helpful in dealing with that stress… and using them is solving a LOT of these problems for me.

  13. Delfina says:

    Thank you for this information. It has helped me understand a lot about myself and some friends.

  14. Vinnie Conte says:

    Excellent information. As far as my own experiences, this narrative describes my situation completely.

  15. Anonymous says:

    What is the honey- salt potion

  16. Anonymous says:

    What do you do with the honey and salt potion? Swallow it?
    Mix with water?
    Only if you wake during the night?
    I find magnesium to help too!
    Great article!

  17. tamara fry says:

    i have been looking for an explanation to these symptoms. i used to think i was in introvert…but i’m not, so i thought i just didn’t like people drama. i thought that “things” were from early childhood trauma, which some are, but not all. this article explained so much for me. i’ll be looking further into the world of being an empath. there’s really no one i could speak to of these things…but i’m imagining that the road of an empath is rather solitary and i’m good with that. i do have a chosen lifestyle that suits an empath…lots of solitary time…so at least some of my instincts are intact. thank you for this article.

  18. Amanda says:

    Wow, this describes me perfectly. I haven’t had alone time during lockdown and the physical symptoms I feel because of this are so profound. It’s exhausting! It’s reassuring to know I’m not alone in this experience. Thank you!!!

  19. Anonymous says:

    Is there a high correlation with empaths and having a diagnosis of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?

  20. Anisa says:

    To all who think you are an introvert or just an empath, on many occasions the introvert is also a empath. It’s not uncommon to be both

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