Cortisol, The Wake Up Clock in your body from 6-8 AM

Your body has a wake up clock that rings from 6-8 AM every morning.

While exploring sleep, I found this body alarm clock, that evolution has set up for us. We are biologically set up to wake up between 6-8 AM due to the circadian cycle of cortisol.

Cortisol cycle charts



Cortisol is highest from 6-8 AM. Then it drops between 8-11 AM. Then there is a gradual decline throughout the day till 2 AM. Cortisol is lowest at 12-2 AM.


What does cortisol do? (some quotes from online)

Cortisol plays a number of important roles in health. It turns on the light switches in your body so you can get moving in the morning. It elevates when you exercise so you can perform at a higher level without friction, assisting you to get a refreshing response to exercise. It buffers the stress you are under, and like oil in a car engine it enables you to operate at a higher pace with proper lubrication so you don’t overheat.

Cortisone, a glucocorticoid, and adrenaline are the main hormones released by the body as a reaction to stress. They elevate blood pressure and prepare the body for a fight or flight response.
Cortisol is released in response to stress, sparing available glucose for the brain, generating new energy from stored reserves, and diverting energy from low-priority activities (such as the immune system) in order to survive immediate threats or prepare for the exertion of rising to a new day.
Cortisol also has potent anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties – both of which are important in regulating normal responses of the immune system.


My suggestion is that for optimum health, we recognize this circadian cycle, and adjust our sleep time to fit it as best as we can. Also I find it interesting that there is a little cortisol increase at our typical mealtimes of breakfast, lunch and dinner. Why would that be?

Wake up clock.

Catabolic and Anabolic evolved, but they did not blend.

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One Response to “Cortisol, The Wake Up Clock in your body from 6-8 AM”

  1. musea Says:

    For some reason the stress hormone, cortisol, raises to a high point through the night, to waking. So is testosterone. So why are these hormone so active during sleep and so high when we wake up? Why are they no longer made during the day? What is so stressful in sleep and waking?

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