What would you say if I told you that SLEEP or lack thereof, is THE biggest driver of our overall health? Not nutrition. Not exercise. Not a supplement or medication. Just sleep. Would you believe me?
The truth is, the amount of sleep we’re getting has a direct impact on every facet of our physical and mental health. If we aren’t getting enough sleep, it’s incredibly difficult to fix or change anything else.
Sleep impacts our food choices. When we’re tired and sleep deprived, we tend to reach for things high in sugar, caffeine or highly processed carbohydrates and snack foods for a quick pick me up, instead of something that provides long lasting energy, is good for our gut health and makes us feel good long term.
Sleep impacts how we move our bodies. If we’re tired, the tendency is to skip out on exercise or intentional movement to conserve energy. In reality, intentional movement actually improves our energy and sleep. Win win.
Sleep impacts our mental health. When we aren’t sleeping well or enough, we tend to feel more irritable and anxious, have more of a down mood and have more mood swings. We have less patience and tolerance for stress and don’t manage our stress well either.
Sleep, or lack thereof, impacts our physical health in many ways. We know that too little (and sometimes too much) sleep can increase our risks for heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer. It also increases rates of obesity, affects our hormone balance and other metabolic diseases like polycystic ovarian syndrome and can affect fertility. Not only that, but lack of sleep impacts our decision making skills and response time, and new research shows is the equivalent to being legally drunk
And for many of us, the solve when we're struggling to get or stay asleep is an alcoholic night cap to relax and take the edge off, which also negatively impacts our sleep and overall health.
Now I know we live in a society that glorifies “busy” and gives us a badge of honor if we can survive on little to no sleep, which can make prioritizing 7-8 hours of restful sleep hard. Especially for parents…and especially those with young kids. But it IS possible to squeeze in those extra zzz’s when you can.
As a reminder, you aren’t lazy, unproductive or boring if you are prioritizing sleep. Getting enough sleep makes us more productive in the long run and improves our overall health and well being. So here’s your permission slip if you needed it. Go get those zzz’s.
Struggling with sleep and not sure what to do? We can help! Just click the link below to schedule an appointment today! After taking some time to get to know you, your history and current lifestyle, behavior and sleep patterns, we will provide our recommendations on further lab monitoring, high quality nutraceuticals, lifestyle and behavior modifications, as well as pharmaceutical options customized for you.