Growing up in my house, sleep was the first topic of discussion every morning
Anyone who knows my family on my father’s side knows that SLEEP is a huge topic. Every morning, we would wake up, and the first topic on the table is, “How did you sleep last night?” The conversation continued with details of when he finally fell asleep and how long it lasted… usually didn’t get past 4 AM, and that was sometimes with the need of Tylenol PM or something similar. Then we would laugh about what infomercials he watched at 4 AM or what Don Imus was saying at that hour, haha!!! Following the morning routine discussion, the night time was surrounding what not to eat before bed to help the odds for a decent night’s sleep.
You may run into people throughout the day, wondering, “I can’t believe how disinterested they were in me, or how rude that person was driving, or how “brainless” the lady in front of you at the market was…” They all may just be sleep deprived!
I know I feel AWFULLY Sleep Deprived, but So What?!
Most of my clients complain about sleep among the list of issues they are trying to address. But health and sleep are so intertwined, there is no mystery as to why most people who are fighting some health issue — whether it is Weight, Blood Pressure, Stress, Anxiety, Concentration, Fatigue or the more serious issues of Diabetes, Heart Disease, and even Cancer — usually have poor sleep patterns. Even if you don’t know much about health, most people can feel the detrimental effects of not sleeping well.
What happens when you don’t get proper sleep?
- Lowers your Immune System
- Raises your Risk of Type II Diabetes
- Makes your Hunger Hormones wacky leading to overeating and putting your body into “Fat-Storing” mode. Even without increasing your caloric intake, you will gain more weight with a lack of sleep then if you get an adequate amount of sleep. That result is worsened when you do overeat because of the increased waking hours
- The Brain doesn’t efficiently “detox” which has been connected to an increase risk in Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
- Raises your Blood Pressure and increases your risk of Heart Disease
- Worsens behavioral disorders in children
- Compromises your brain’s ability to regulate emotions, making you more prone to crankiness, Anxiety, and unwarranted emotional outbursts.
- Contributes to premature Aging by interfering with your growth hormone production, normally released by your pituitary gland during deep sleep
- Oxygen intake is lessened and anaerobic power is impaired, which affects your Athletic potential. You may also lose coordination, and start to forget words when speaking.
- Increases your risk of dying from any cause
- Aggravates chronic pain. In one study, poor or insufficient sleep was found to be the strongest predictor for pain in adults over 50.
- Alters gene expression. Research has shown that when people cut sleep from 7.5 to 6.5 hours a night, there were increases in the expression of genes associated with inflammation, immune excitability, diabetes, cancer risk, and stress.
- In a nutshell, whether you’re physically stressed, sick, or sleep-deprived, your immune system becomes hyperactive and starts producing white blood cells — your body’s first line of defense against foreign invaders like infectious agents. Elevated levels of white blood cells are typically a sign of disease. So your body reacts to sleep deprivation in much the same way it reacts to illness.
I could go on and on, but I think it is clear that sleep can heal the body…
YIKES, but how DO I SLEEP?
As a general rule, most adults need around 8 hours of sleep.
Tips for Improved Sleep:
- Take a Magnesium supplement. It relaxes the body and helps with falling asleep, in addition to being utilized for over 300 functions in the body
- Take a Vitamin D supplement in the morning. Ideally your body would wake up with the sun which is the natural source of vitamin D. So mimic that schedule by supplementing with Vitamin D in the morning hours.
- Optimize your light exposure during the day, and minimize light exposure after sunset
- Calm the mind before going to bed. Anxiety, feelings of being overwhelmed, and anger will prevent good sleep.
- Keep the Temperature below 70 degrees
- Keep your tech devices out of the bedroom!
- Correct your Gut Bacteria with Accelerated Leaky Gut Bundle
Sara Banta is a Stanford University Graduate with a Degree in Economics and Psychology, and a certified Natural Supplement Expert & Graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Sara is the Founder of Accelerated Health Products and host of the health & wellness podcast, Accelerated Health Radio.