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  • Writer's pictureJodelle Fitzwater

Lack of Sleep & It's Consequences

How'd you sleep? Did you get your recommended 7-8 hours? Trouble falling asleep? Or waking frequently?

Sleep issues affect over 75% of the population at one time or another and negatively affects one more than just making you drag through the day. Here's just some of the consequences of  continuous poor night's sleep:

  • Irritability

  • Headaches

  • Hearing and Vision loss over time

  • Skin issues

  • Slowed metabolism, leading to hypothyroid

  • Adrenal issues

  • Compromised Immune System

  • And elevated cortisol and blood sugar leading to weight gain, cravings and hunger…(see below)

Recent research shows…...Just losing one hour of sleep per night creates an insulin resistant body on the following day.

Even sleeping just 6 hours per night, people are 25% more likely to be obese. Why? Not getting enough sleep actually triggers the brain towards hunger. The less sleep you get, the more of your hunger hormone "ghrelin" is released. For ghrelin, think "gremlin"...that gnawing little hungry monster that flares every now and then.  Ever notice how hungry you are on days when you are trying to function on a poor night's rest? That gremlin is amped up, blood sugar and cortisol become elevated, and this is the link between sleep and weight gain.

So, is there anything one can do to remedy sleep and keep the body from feeling the effects in the meantime? Yes! Here’s a few of our favorite tips when it comes to overcoming sleep issues, and dealing with the effects:

  1. Eat a balanced macronutrient rich diet.  Avoid going too low in carbs which causes a stress response with your cortisol and can prevent you from falling asleep. Having a little fat and protein as well will calm the brain and balance your blood sugar to avoid blood sugar crashes in the night that can wake you up. 

  2. Try Supplementing with Magnesium at bedtime. Magnesium is burned through under chronic stressful times, or even if you aren’t stressed, but just busy and sleeping less, and working out more. Supplementing with magnesium, which is a natural sedative mineral to the body is very beneficial before bed.  We love our sleep-promoting product called Hypnos by Jocko Willink that we carry at the gym which has a good form of Magnesium in it as well as other vitamins and herbs. NOTE: Always talk to your doctor before adding any supplement to your regimen.

  3. Create a Bedtime routine: Just like you do for a small child, our brains and bodies need routine and we need to create a wind-down routine for bedtime. Turning off all electronics an hour before bed, taking a warm bath, reading an inspiring book, rather than a thriller which can raise your adrenaline, making yourself warm but turning the air conditioner down to 68 or lower, and blacking out your sleep space, all these things can be a new quiet evening routine you develop that helps you relax into “sleep mode”.

  4. Avoid caffeine after noon. Think caffeine doesn’t seem to affect you, and yet you have trouble staying asleep or falling asleep at night? Think again. While caffeine may not make you jittery, it will still be in your system when you lay down at night.  Caffeine has an 8 hour half life, (meaning half the caffeine is still in you 8 hours later), so avoiding caffeine after your morning cup or better yet switching to a "Swiss water process decaf" will ensure a more relaxed sleep state. 

And this is only the beginning of Jodelle's sleep tips and optimization protocol, so if you want more, consider setting up a customized nutrition therapy consult with Jodelle, our onsite nutritionist.

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