I am 56 I and pretty active use to do HIIT 3 or more times a week for years and havent been last 5 months.. just working around the house.. I have had horrible sleep patterns for years, I found out my cortisol levels were high at night and early in the morning hence the bad sleep pattern.. Plus menopause.. so according to everything I have read working out for that long ( hour a day hard core ) is not good as after 30-40 mins it raises your cortisol levels.. That being said I also read that fasting when you have high cortisol isnt good as that also raises the levels.. I love to do intermittent fast..But have stopped as I am afraid now that will raise the levels.. Any insight??
While I'm not an expert on cortisol, I would encourage exercise mid-morning or early afternoon to help with sleep. And I also just did a quick PubMed search that revealed fasting does indeed raise cortisol levels. As such, it might be better to eat regularly during the day but perhaps fast from early evening until morning.
Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
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