The Truth About Sleep, Weight Gain, and Chronic Inflammation [Part 1]
“Even a soul submerged in sleep is hard at work and helps make something of the world.”
With bloodshot eyes and the lethargy of an aging sloth she impatiently waits in line at the drive-through, already feeling anxious over the sugary caffeinated beverage and glazed donut she knows she’s going to order. She pops a couple of ibuprofen into her mouth and washes them down with a 5-hour energy drink. Her head is throbbing again and she feels yet another cold coming on.
The waistband of her stretchy black leggings are obnoxiously digging into her abdomen and she makes a mental note to buy the next size up next time she goes shopping, knowing that she will probably forget because she can’t seem to remember anything these days. Her brain perpetually feels like a foggy fall morning and that depresses the heck out of her.
“What can I get for you today?”
- Weight gain
- Elevated poor food choices
- Elevated blood sugar
- Increased cortisol
- Mood disorders
- Poor impulse control
- Low energy
- Brain fog
- Memory loss
- Chronic inflammations
- Cardiovascular issues
- Low immunity
Unfortunately (and unsurprisingly) ⅓ of Americans get less than the recommended 7 hours of sleep a night. Many people pride themselves on how little sleep they get and wear that as a badge of honor:
“I only need 5 hours of sleep to function the next day!”
“I feel fine with very little sleep.”
We feel like less sleep means we can be more productive, but the exact opposite is true! Sleep deprivation will almost always make you feel tired and less motivated to perform quality work and incorporate activity into your day to day routine.
When we don’t sleep well it can adversely affect many areas of the body. In Dr. David Perlmutter’s book Brain Wash, he explains the negative implications poor sleep has on our health, our relationships, and how we approach life and make decisions. He shares how sleep has the power to positively or negatively influence:
- Our brain
- What we eat
- How much we eat
- Our metabolism and how fat or thin we are
- How creative we are
- Our immune function
- How we cope with stress
- Our memory and our ability to process new information
- Our hormones and our gut bacteria
Dr. Perlmutter shares some mind-blowing stats on what poor sleep can do to our health:
- Sleep duration of less than 6 hours is associated with a 29% increase in cardiac- related events.
- In prediabetics, less than 6 hours of sleep per night will result in a 44% risk of full- blown diabetes, and less than 5 hours of sleep per night will result in a 68% risk.
- Inadequate sleep results in an increase in inflammatory cytokines which increases the risk of developing depression.
- Sleep deprivation causes hormonal changes to occur that contribute to intense cravings for high-calorie, sugary foods that promote weight gain. Sleep deprived people tend to consume hundreds of extra calories per day.
- Sleep deprivation plays a large role in negative emotions, bad decision making, and poor memory because it diminishes our ability to use our higher-level brain (the prefrontal cortex).
At an absolute bare minimum, poor sleep will lead to fatigue and poor memory. If you think sleep medication is the answer, think again! Every month, 10 million Americans take sleep medication.These medications increase the risk of dementia, cancer, infections, depression, and they increase the risk of dying early.
Don’t allow yourself to be part of the demographic of constant hustlers and poor sleepers! Instead, make it a top priority in your life to get better sleep.
I’ll show you how in my next blog (which, by the way, is way less doom and gloom and actually uplifting, actionable things you can easily implement in your life to assure quality sleep)!
In the meantime, you can schedule a Metabolic Discovery Call with me today so I can learn about what symptoms you’re having, and together we can co-create a plan for success!
Continue reading: The Truth About Sleep, Weight Gain, and Chronic Inflammation [Part 2]
- Perlmutter, D., Perlmutter, A., & Loberg, K. (2020). Brain Wash: Detox Your Mind for Clearer Thinking, Deeper Relationships, and Lasting Happiness. Little, Brown and Company.
- Photo by Andrea Piacquadio
Author: Dipa Chauhan
Dipa Chauhan is a certified R Ph, CFMP, FLT Therapist, Functional and Lifestyle Medicine Provider.
Dipa’s love for cooking and helping people led to the creation of the "Doctor's Orders: Your Essential Cookbook To A Plant Strong Anti-Inflammatory Diet". Here you can find over 250 healthy and easy recipes, weekly shopping lists and menus. Through this website Dipa has benefited thousands of people all around the world.
Dipa enjoys spending time with her family, especially her son Devin. Dipa also enjoys exercising, walking and other outdoor activities.
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Our Mission at The Living Proof Institute is to address the root cause of your health issues and restore your health and vitality. Through partnering and education, you will receive the tools and direction to live an extraordinary life.
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