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Sleep! The Sleep Deprivation Epidemic That’s Slowly Killing Us

It’s estimated that around 50% of the population is sleep deprived according to Nature Magazine, or at least have Circadian Rhythms that are out of sync with their natural environment. I’m fairly sure all of us can relate to being tired or sleep deprived, possibly as recent as yesterday. Our Circadian Rhythm is what is said to make us want to sleep when it gets dark and leads us to wake when it gets light. This is a beautiful example of how our environment has a huge influence on our day-to-day life and health. 

Within the Circadian Rhythm there are two factors to consider – the Circadian Clock, that is what is cued from daylight or activities that may keep us awake, and our Sleep-Wake Homeostatic Process, that is the ‘accounting of the amount of sleep experienced in recent days.’  Your body knows when to rest and sleep. It’s our ability to fight against it that can land us in a world of trouble.

Your body is always on a constant highway to return to balance, which directly relates to deficiency or debt.  It is said that people with disturbed circadian cycles are more likely to develop mental and physical disorders as well as sleep disorder as a direct hit from lack of sleep.  These same people are more likely to also experience metabolic syndrome and gastrointestinal or G.I. issues. How so you might ask?  It all comes back to the stress that is being placed on your body when you can’t sleep or don’t sleep well, be it by choice or environment.

I’m totally obsessed with sleep and its affects right now.  On Monday, I sat down to prepare for our Wellness Collective Members Webinar. The topic (you guessed it!) – How Sleep Deprivation Is Slowly Killing Us.  Of course I love to create catchy titles, but I never bend the truth.  The research is right there for us to see. Sleep deprivation is in fact killing us.  When I researched and listed all the associated symptoms of sleep deprivation including insomnia, here’s what I found;

There is an increased risk of the following:

  • Obesity – linked to altered metabolism where leptin (the hormone that is associated to satiety) falls and ghrelin (the hormone that signals hunger) rises.
  • Emotional Disorders (anxiety and depression)
  • Cancer – it’s believed that sleep deprivation exacerbates tumour growth due to melatonin disruption
  • Harm to our brains – we went into good detail of this in the webinar as it fascinates me!  In a nutshell, our brains can’t detox (a totally new finding) when we are tired.
  • Heart attack and Heart Disease
  • Diabetes – when we are sleep deprived we may be in a pre-diabetic state, making us feel hungry even though we’ve already eaten.

AND the scariest of all…

  • Death of any cause

Death of any cause!?  Sleep deprivation increases the risk of injury, poor decision-making and sees us put ourselves in positions where in our more ‘sane’ and nourished mind, we wouldn’t otherwise entertain.  Sleep deprivation, I say, is therefore making us crazy!

I put a lot of effort into researching the topic because I found it so wildly fascinating. The new findings were the most intriguing, the whole idea of brain detoxification and how that is upsetting our hormones – a game changer!

The solution – we need more sleep.  We can create better sleeping habits (because apparently, it’s about consistency when it comes to sleep) or at least look into why we aren’t sleeping to get answers about our overall health.

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In the webinar I go into great detail about sleep, the phases of sleep, brain detoxification, Chinese Medicine and sleep patterns, as well as dig into some ideas and tools you can implement to address sleeping issues.  Best of all, YOU’RE INVITED – webinars are just one slice of the goodness served up in the membership. You also get to listen to exclusive Radio Shows (you should hear our next one!!), as well as access to the membership community alongside a swag of other goodies like discounts and gifts. YES PLEASE!

I so badly want to see you in there!  To learn more, please head here.  I’m off to catch a few more z’s and make my body that much healthier!

If you want to look a little more into sleep, you might also like to check out Arianna Huffington’s latest read, The Sleep Revolution. It’s what sparked all this and more for me.  Whichever way you look at it, you can’t loose – an extra hour or so might just save your life.

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