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Sleep is For the Strong


Have you ever had a bad night's sleep and felt the effects for 3 days after the fact? Me too. 

Feeling forgetful? Studies have shown that any less than 6.5 hours of sleep increases cortisol levels, decreases testosterone, and reduces short and long term memory.

Getting at least 7 hours of sleep is ideal.

Remember those hazy days when your kids were really little and didn’t sleep through the night? 

Me neither. 

At least not very well. 

(And maybe that one is by design 😆) 

Sleep is a necessary part of the process for the brain to consolidate recent experiences and learning to long-term memory. 

Adequate sleep reduces sugar cravings  - when you’re tired you may crave sugar in order to get a hit of energy; resulting in even lower energy after the sugar wears off. The dreaded sugar crash is amplified! 

With sleep deprivation, our ability to focus is reduced, and our stress and anger resilience is reduced.  

When people are adequately rested, they tend to have a higher anger threshold. Have you ever had someone snap at you and then say, “Sorry, i’m just so tired” ? It’s so common.


Sleep helps the brain to eliminate toxins, some of those toxins can cloud our judgement, make us feel lightheaded and even out of control if we experience prolonged lack of sleep. During deep sleep, our brains actually get washed with cerebrospinal fluids that pulse in and around the brain, carrying toxins and dead cells with it as it exits back into the rest of the central nervous system to be processed.  

Lack of sleep reduces testosterone production, which is why you may feel muscle fatigue faster when you aren’t adequately rested. One study found that in just one week of sleep deprivation, healthy subjects’ testosterone decreased an average of 10-15%. And though we think of it solely as a male hormone, it’s important for women too! Testosterone is important for energy, motivation, and muscle strength.

Just how many days of “bad sleep” does it take to effect your body? 

One Study showed that in people who received only 4 hours of sleep for ONE night, their “killer” immune cell activity dropped 70%! Without adequate shut-eye, your immune system can’t fight off viruses, bacteria or other parasites. 

Sleep supports healthy immune function in a similar way to supporting brain detox - sleeping is a time that the body can focus on eliminating waste, rebuilding tissue, and cell turnover. Lack of sleep also leads to increased cortisol, which can lead to permeations in the gut lining (“leaky gut”) which allows immune cells to get out into surrounding organs and tissues - where they don't belong - and start causing general inflammation. We often will not see or feel the effects of this “leaky gut” until the symptoms are so strong that they disrupt our lives! So don’t wait until it’s too late! 

It’s so easy for me to tell you to “get more sleep,” but what if you really feel like there just aren’t enough hours in the day? What can you do? 


You can focus on tactics to improve the quality of your sleep and look for alternative ways to get the restorative benefits of sleep.

Stay tuned for the next article where we’ll talk about what to do when you feel like you just can’t get enough sleep!  

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