Over the weekend I was talking with a woman who absolutely confirmed what I’ve known for a long time about why we don’t get enough sleep. Without even knowing it, she said the exact same words so many of my clients use as their reason for not going to bed on time.
Another reason I wanted to talk to you about your sleep today is that when I recently asked you what goal you’ve set for yourself and your well-being in 2017, you said:
It was in the top 3 goals of everyone who replied to my question!
So today, I’m sharing:
- Why sleep is important and what happens when you short change yourself on sleep
- The top 3 causes of insomnia
- The exact words this woman was telling herself about staying up late because you probably tell yourself this too (and I’ll give 5 ways to shift this pattern)
Here’s what happens if you don’t get 7-9 hours of sleep each night:
- Sleeping less than 6 hours at night causes a lack of blood flow to the brain which results in slow thinking, poor concentration and diminished cognitive skills the next day.
- Studies have linked insufficient sleep with heart disease, heart attacks, diabetes, and obesity. One study simulated the effects of the disturbed sleep patterns of shift workers on 10 young healthy adults. After a mere four days, three of them had blood glucose levels that qualified as pre-diabetic. This can cause cravings and irritability as well.
- According to a poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, up to 26% of people say that their sex lives tend to suffer because they’re just too tired. There’s evidence that in men, impaired sleep can be associated with lower testosterone levels — although the exact nature of the link isn’t clear.
- Sleep is an essential nutrient needed for your brain to make feel good chemicals like Serotonin and Dopamine.
- Many studies have shown a link between sleep loss and lower pain threshold.
- A lack of sleep makes you gain weight. A lack of sleep slows production of the hormone leptin which plays a key role in making you feel full. When you don’t get enough sleep, leptin levels drop. This means you feel hungrier more often and crave high-fat and high-calorie foods.
- Studies have shown that while we sleep, our brains process and consolidate our memories. If you don’t get enough sleep, evidence suggests those memories might not get stored correctly, can be lost or that you may even construct “false” memories in place of what really happened.
Clinically speaking, there are 3 main causes of Insomnia:
- Low Serotonin levels
- Low Gaba levels
- Poor Adrenal Function
There are also emotional and environmental factors that contribute to sleep struggles.
That’s where the words this woman spoke come in.
“I used to think I wasn’t a morning person, but really I struggled to get up in the morning because I stayed up too late and I wasn’t getting enough sleep in total. I realized I was staying up late to squeeze in some ME time in the day. Once I gave myself ME time during the day, I was able to go to sleep on time and wake up easily and my brain fog is gone.”
Are you staying up late to squeeze in DOWN TIME or ME TIME?
It’s only a matter of time before this pattern catches up with your memory, your energy, your body and your happiness.
Here’s what you can do to get better sleep:
- Make downtime or me time a priority in your day. Schedule it. Minimum 1 hour. Early morning is great for this. (that’s what I do)
- Start preparing for sleep 1 hour ahead of the time you actually need to be asleep.
Shut off noise. Go into the bedroom. Read or put on soft music and literally get into the bed at least 20 min before your sleep deadline. (get your family on board with the same routine).
- Take our brain chemistry assessment to see if low Serotonin levels or low GABA levels are causing your sleep disturbance because this is correctable.
- Check any medications you take for side effects of insomnia. This could be the culprit.
- Journal before sleep time to release racing or obsessive thoughts.
Sleep is an essential nutrient for your body and your brain.
Every health challenge including depression or anxiety is IMPROVED when you improve quality of sleep.[Tweet “Not only do you deserve good sleep, you need it.”]
You need it to think and make decisions, you need it for energy and you need it to feel happy and satisfied with life.
Don’t let the mind tell you otherwise.