How cortisol impacts sleep and how to fix it...

What Is Cortisol?

You may not all be familiar with the hormone, but we can assure you that you're all definitely familiar with its impact on the body, both yours and your little one's!

Cortisol has also been referred to as the "stress hormone". It's one of the steroid hormones within the body that is produced in our adrenal glands. Yes, adrenalin! 

Did you know that high levels of cortisol, as it moves through your little ones body, can actually result in poor sleep quality and constant wakes - is this starting to sound familiar? Yeah, we thought so! 

The good news is, we can help.

How Does Cortisol Impact Sleep?

Cortisol and adrenaline are released in your little one's body just the same as yours, however it's important to remember that their threshold and 'baseline' for these triggers is much lower than a grown adult.

Simple things like being tired, hungry, thirsty, frustrated with a toy, excited about playing with a toy - all of these things cause adrenalin and cortisol to be released. 

Taking it one step further and looking at it from a sleep perspective?

Lack of sleep, broken sleep - things that cause you as the parent stress, yes, but it also causes stress in your child.

Add in other sleep issues like separation anxiety, night terrors, teething, regression, transitions etc, you can start to understand even further how this hormone (the stress hormone!) might be playing a major part in your child's sleep issues.

It's natural though, these releases, and the way you transition your bub into a good night sleep (or day naps) is really important to make sure that the sleep they get is uninterrupted and good in quality.

Now, we mentioned a solution, so let's talk about the Glow Dreaming and how it can help.


Our medicinal grade essential oils have been created by a world leading naturopath. These blends have over 15 years under their belts that show us they actually work.

Glow Lullaby is our sleep time blend that helps relax the mind and body (reducing stress), helping prepare your child for sleep. We always recommend running the aromatherapy and humidifier during wind down (about 20 minutes before sleep) to help your little one really reap the benefits of our blend.

Red LED Light Therapy


Red LED Light Therapy is the next big one. This really sets the scene on creating the optimal sleep environment. Red LED helps to stimulate the natural production of melatonin in the brain. We're not talking supplements and gummies, we mean that the Glow Dreaming helps your child develop their own, natural circadian rhythm.

Our Circadian Rhythm is something we need to develop as we grow, which is where the Glow comes in handy. As part of helping with that development, the Glow Dreaming is actively teaching your child how to lean to sleep on their own.

That's just a bonus though! The light with help your child understand that it's coming up to sleep time, the natural reaction in the brain will help them start to get tired and allow sleep to find them easier. This means not fighting bed time. No tears, no fighting and most importantly, no cortisol creation in the body due to stress.
And should they wake up, that comforting red glow will give them a sense of safety to roll over and go back to sleep - self settling!


Pink Noise


Pink noise is a sound frequency that naturally occurs in nature. It is the sound you hear in waterfalls, thunder, and heavy rain. It is a deeper sound. What pink noise does so effectively is relax and calm the mind (again, destress!). 

It actually helps to achieve a deeper sleep called Slow Wave Sleep - this is a really important part of our circadian rhythm and it's also the sleep that is really rejuvenating. You know when you wake up and you actually feel rested? Yep, you can thank Slow Wave Sleep for that one!

There's no way to get away from Cortisol, or from the natural reactions of the body that produce these hormones that inevitably impact sleep, but there are ways to help the body and mind move through them, to create a routine that welcomes sleep and a system that allows for a full night of uninterrupted sleep for the whole family - and that's system is the Glow Dreaming!


Don't have a glow, or just want to learn more?
Head to our website now!



Articles used for reference and information:

  • El-Sheikh, M., Buckhalt, J. A., Keller, P. S., & Granger, D. A. (2008). Children's objective and subjective sleep disruptions: Links with afternoon cortisol levels. Health Psychology, 27(1), 26–33.
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