#55: Sleep: The Missing Key To Your Optimal Health?

By , On , In Lifestyle, Podcast


Sleep is an amazingly powerful, but commonly overlooked element of creating a healthy lifestyle.

This is precious time that allows our bodies to heal and rejuvenate. Without enough sleep, soon your health will start to suffer.

Paying close attention to the quality of sleep you are getting is just as important as eating a clean diet and regular exercise.

So if YOU find yourself waking up groggy, barely making it through the day and turn into a total zombie before sun goes down – we want to HELP YOU change that! Believe us, it’s absolutely possible to wake up feeling energized, focused and ready to take on the day and yes, still have enough energy left to enjoy the evening.

Read on (or listen to the AV 055 podcast episode) and learn how sleep quality effects your health as well as steps you can take right now to improve your night time rest.

Scary Side Effects Of Depriving Yourself of Sleep

Did you know that sleep deprivation or poor quality of sleep are a catalyst for the disease and obesity issues we are dealing with today?

Studies have shown that just one night of being sleep deprived can make you as insulin resistant as someone who is a type-2 diabetic. As a response, this will cause you to age faster and store more body fat.

Remember sleep is (or well should be) a part of our everyday routine. Imagine what happens after weeks, months, and even years of consistent sleep deprivation?

Another Study suggests that if you sleep fewer than 6 hours per night, you will gain almost twice as much weight over a 6-year period as apposed to people who sleep 7 to 8 hours per night. Now, we are not suggesting that sawing logs for 10 hours is the solution to the ultimate health, weight loss and staying beautiful, remember everything in moderation 😉

Excessive sleep isn’t necessarily better:

If you sleep more than 9 hours per night you will have similar outcomes as if you were to sleep less than 6 hours.

So what’s the right amount of sleep?

“I had this concept that the earlier I woke, the more hours I had to accomplish things that day. Then I realized that it’s more about the quality, I may be accomplishing more, but if I am tired what type of energy is being put into these extra tasks? Sure I may be able to check them off my list, but likely they are done mediocre. Since making sure I am getting an adequate amount of sleep, I am way more energized, productive and not to mention I notice my mood is much more balanced through out the day.”

While sleep requirements vary slightly from person to person, most healthy adults need between 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night to function at their optimal level.

Know the value of sleep (Science-y Stuff For The Health Nerds): 

“Sleep is a naturally recurring state of mind and body characterized by altered consciousness, relatively inhibited sensory activity, inhibition of nearly all voluntary muscles, and reduced interactions with surroundings. It is distinguished from wakefulness by a decreased ability to react to stimuli, but is more easily reversed than the state of being comatose. Sleep occurs in repeating periods, in which the body alternates between two highly distinct modes known as non-REM and REM sleep.” 

Let’s look at it a from a different perspective; Generally, being awake is catabolic (breaks you down) and sleep is anabolic (builds you up). Whereas, sleep is actually an elevated anabolic state. Therefore it increases the growth and rejuvenation of the immune, skeletal, and muscular systems. Not to mention it will help balance your hormones, boost your metabolism, increase physical energy, and improve the function of your brain – especially your memory!

You may be sleep deprived if you…

  • Need an alarm clock in order to wake up on time
  • Rely on the snooze button
  • Have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning
  • Feel sluggish in the afternoon
  • Get sleepy in meetings, lectures, or warm rooms
  • Get drowsy and tired when driving
  • Need to nap to get through the day
  • Fall asleep while watching TV or relaxing in the evening
  • Feel the need to sleep in on weekends
  • Can’t last through the first 15 min of a movie

Effects you may experience with sleep deprivation…

  • Fatigue, lethargy, and lack of motivation
  • Moodiness and irritability; signs of possible depression
  • Decreased sex drive; relationship problems
  • Impaired brain activity; learning, concentration, and memory challenges
  • Reduced creativity and problem-solving skills; difficulty making decisions
  • Inability to cope with stress, difficulty managing emotions
  • Premature skin aging
  • Weakened immune system; frequent colds and infections; weight gain
  • Impaired motor skills and increased risk of accidents; hallucinations and delirium
  • Increased risk of serious health problems including stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and certain cancers

Let us expand on 2 of the more serious concerns we mentioned earlier – Obesity & Type 2 Diabetes

How sleep deprivation can make you gain weight:

Ever noticed how when you’re short on sleep you crave sugary foods that give you a quick energy boost? There’s a good reason for that. Sleep deprivation has a direct link to overeating and weight gain.

There are two hormones in your body that regulate normal feelings of hunger and fullness. Ghrelin stimulates appetite, while leptin sends signals to the brain when you are full. So, when you don’t get the sleep you need, your ghrelin levels go up, stimulating your appetite so you want more food than normal, and your leptin levels go down, meaning you don’t feel satisfied and want to keep eating. The more sleep you lose, the more food you will crave and likely the more you will eat.

How sleep deprivation can increase the risk of Type 2 Diabetes:

Sleep deprivation is an often overlooked risk factor of developing type 2 diabetes, a disease where the body is no longer able to efficiently deal with sugar intake, and that usually leads to even more serious health issues.

The primary reason that lack of quality shuteye can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes is because your hormone levels get thrown out of whack. Particularly, with ongoing sleep loss, less insulin (a hormone that regulates blood sugar) is released in the body after you eat. Meanwhile, your body secretes more stress hormones (such as cortisol), which helps you stay awake but makes it harder for insulin to do its job effectively.

To sum it up:

Too much glucose stays in the bloodstream, which can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

So what do you think after reading all the above?

Do you feel like you may be sleep deprived?

Let’s work on changing that!

We have put together for you 12 habits and divided them into 3 parts of the day – Morning, Daytime and Evening. Once you start to adopt these habits you will realize that everything from the moment you wake up until you lay your head on a pillow can have an impact on your sleep quality.

Click to learn about these 12 Habits To Ensure A Good Night’s Sleep

Dedicated to your health & wellbeing,


2 responses to “#55: Sleep: The Missing Key To Your Optimal Health?”

  1. “a disease where the body is no longer unable to efficiently deal” Surely that should read “no longer able”? I went through a long period of sleep deprivation. It is frustrating when you’re doing all the things conducive to good sleep and still can’t get rest. Somehow, within the last few months, the pattern has come back into balance.

    • Corrected- Thanks for pointing that out Stefani. Balance is definitely an important factor – we hope it continues to provide you with a good nights rest. 🙂

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