Non-Restorative Sleep for 20 Years

They started me off with a neurologist but I moved on to 3 other specialists over the years. 4 very expensive sleep studies later and all they know for sure is that I snore.

Last month I won a giveaway from Base and took their saliva test for sleep and stress since I believe that’s where it’s all connected. I’ve screenshotted my results and saved them in a Google Photos album. Has anyone else done a saliva test for melatonin & cortisol?


Interesting! We know that lots of people are now accessing saliva tests to measure their stress levels and since cortisol needs to drop to allow melatonin (the key sleep hormone) to rise, it can be a really good way to check whether stress is what’s stopping you from sleeping. Did you find it helpful to have these results? Has it made you change anything?


So interesting - I had actually never heard of saliva tests for sleep before!

@pamelaspence I remember you sharing with me in a conversation about stress that if cortisol levels have been too high for too long, your adrenals (the glands that produce it) can become exhausted and unable to make enough cortisol in the morning - making it really really difficult to get out of bed.

You explained that because of this, even low cortisol levels, depending on where they are in the day, can actually signify long term stress and exhaustion rather than low stress levels as I would be otherwise be inclined to think!

Really fascinating and I imagine many of us are depleting our cortisol trying to push through chronic (even if it’s low-level) stress.


Yeah, I used to be able to take a 10-minute nap to recharge. Now, whether I sleep 10 minutes or 10 hours I’m still exhausted.

Base recommended that I take adrenal gland supplements and melatonin. I’d tried melatonin before (don’t remember how many mg) but saw no change. I did pick up something from CVS over the weekend with ashwagandha. So we’ll see how it goes.

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It’s been interesting seeing my daily sleep stats on the FitBit app since I got it in October.

  • RESTORATION: How much my heart rate is above/below resting heart rate and how much I’m really tossing & turning.

  • DEEP & REM: Time spent in each stage of sleep

  • TIME ASLEEP: See how much I wake up throughout the night, whether or not I even know I’m awake.


I finally had my call with the Base team member this afternoon. My cortisol levels really are kind of stuck at a steady level instead of starting high and decreasing throughout the day.

We’re going to focus on raising my cortisol levels while ensuring that it’s a gradual decline throughout the day and not falling off a cliff. My plan will be following the lines of what’s done for adrenal fatigue.

Always so interesting to see what the levels are actually doing instead of guessing. Great that you have a plan - those adrenals need to learn how to switch off…! Do you feel better knowing what’s really going on?


Cortisol is something that my Dr had never tested (or even mentioned). So it’s good to actually have a starting point with something to focus on.


Depending on where you live, it’s not often part of the standard tests and many people where I am in the UK are testing their cortisol themselves using online kits. It is really so important to the sleep cycle - worth asking them if they will test yours for you.


My son who is 6 and has autism really struggles to get off to sleep and then stay asleep, he has just been prescribed melatonin 5 night on 2 night off and is working wonders for him.

As a child i was branded ADHD as autism wasn’t recognised like it is now days and like I’ve said before iv been gienev the z drungs, benzos, antihistamine, and antidepressants to help get over the insomnia last thing i was proscribed and for me seems to work the best so far🤞 beater blockers.

With reading the above it seems i have been fobbed off with everything but the teat that may show a simple explanation🤷‍♂️ i will try get tested in the new year.