Stress and sleep problems are some of the most common issues the Naturopathic Doctors at Whole Health Naturopathic Clinic see. Whether these are the main concerns patients come in with or they are the byproduct of other health concerns, these are areas which are always addressed in assessment. Our modern world can be very fast paced and if we do not have effective coping strategies to help us get through our busy days, we can start to feel stressed. In response to stress, our adrenal glands produce cortisol along with other hormones such as adrenaline and norepinephrine. At first, stress can be adaptive, causing our cortisol to rise and help us have the energy and strength we need to face our challenges. When our daily stressors start to pile up, however, and we do not cope with them effectively, our response can be maladaptive and cause us to lose sleep.

Our cortisol can continue to rise to unhealthy levels, or just quit on us, producing unfavourable symptoms such as:

High cortisol

  • Feeling wired and tired
  • Feelings of anxiety or nervousness
  • Sugar cravings
  • High blood sugar
  • Difficulty falling and staying asleep
  • Struggle to calm down, especially before bed
  • Quick to feel anger
  • Memory lapses or feeling distracted
  • High blood pressure
  • Increased abdominal fat
  • Bone loss
  • Indigestion, GERD, ulcers
  • Difficulty recovering from injury
  • Stretch marks on your belly or back
  • Irregular menses
  • Fertility challenges

Low cortisol

  • Feeling stressed most of the time
  • Fatigue or burnout
  • Salt carvings
  • Low or unstable blood sugar
  • Frequent night waking
  • Loss of stamina, especially in the afternoon
  • Crying spells for no reason
  • Decreased problem solving ability
  • Low blood pressure
  • Postural hypotension
  • Weakened immune response – difficulty getting over infection
  • Asthma, bronchitis, chronic cough, allergies
  • Muscle weakness
  • Hemorrhoids or varicose veins


Traditional Chinese Medicine focuses on rebalancing qi, or vital energy, throughout the body. Acupuncture as well as dietary changes, specific exercises, and herbal remedies are utilized to balance the flow of qi throughout the body. Acupuncture involves very thin needles placed at specific points in the body along organ meridians to help with a wide variety of conditions including stress and sleep issues. Acupuncture can be an excellent adjunct to any naturopathic treatment protocol, and is especially helpful for stress and sleep concerns.


  • Insomnia (trouble falling asleep and/or staying asleep)
  • Adrenal fatigue (difficulty regulating your response to stress)
  • Cardiovascular conditions
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • And much more!

Our naturopathic doctors have had a lot of experience and success in treating sleep issues and stress concerns. Your first step to feeling better is to Make an Appointment today!


The naturopathic doctors at the Whole Health Naturopathic Clinic believe in treating the whole person in order to achieve optimal health. We will perform a thorough assessment including detailed medical history, evaluation of signs and symptoms, and any relevant test results. Our naturopaths always take into consideration the unique individual, their personal priorities, and where they are in their lives to create an individualized treatment plan. Diet and lifestyle are always reviewed to ensure they are being optimized to the best of the patient’s ability. Stress management often includes developing healthy coping strategies as well as creating a healthy sleep routine to optimize health. Nutrients, herbs, homeopathics, and other treatment options may be utilized based on the patient’s symptoms and test results.


With stress and sleep issues, our Naturopathic Doctors gain insight into the whole picture by checking the status of key nutrients in the blood, saliva, and/or urine. Salivary testing is an easy, at home way to assess cortisol throughout the day. This test is beneficial because it represents the hormonal levels, which are actually being utilized by the tissue. Dried Urine (DUTCH) testing is also an easy at home test, which measures the cortisol pattern throughout the day that has been used by tissue. The advantage to DUTCH testing is that it provides the metabolites of cortisol as well as your melatonin levels and organic acids, which show levels of key nutrients and neurotransmitters.  Our Naturopathic Doctors can help choose the most appropriate testing for each individual case.