Category: Sleep

Go to Bed! Surprising Effects of Sleep Deprivation

 

Sleep deprivation affects your brain, metabolism, immune system, and cardiovascular health, not to mention your day-to-day happiness and quality of life. Sleep should be one of our top health priorities. Yet all the research says the same thing: we are chronically sleep deprived as a society.

The CDC reports that one-third of American adults suffer from “short sleep duration,” meaning they consistently get less than seven hours per night. A 2020 Sleep in America poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation found that only 16 percent of us feel well rested every day. And this isn’t just an American problem. According to a survey conducted by the Philips corporation in 13 countries in 2021, barely half of adults worldwide are satisfied with the sleep they’re getting.

You have to wonder if some of these surveys underestimate the problem. After all, how many of us want to admit how often we stay up until 2 a.m. scrolling on our phones? More to the point, how many people know if they’re getting good sleep? Sleep deprivation isn’t just getting less than eight hours a night of sleep per night. You can also wind up in a sleep debt when your sleep quality is lacking and you aren’t getting the restorative rest you need.

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Why Am I Not Losing Weight?

“I’m doing everything right, exercising and eating well. So why am I not losing weight?” 

That’s the million dollar question, isn’t it? Or rather, it’s the $72 billion question, since that’s how much the diet industry apparently rakes in. I’ve spent enough years talking about food and exercise to know how common weight-loss plateaus are. It’s frustrating when something that seems like it should be simple isn’t working for you.

Let me start by challenging the assumption that weight loss is simple or easy. A 2007 report from the UK Government’s Foresight Programme identified 108 factors that affect weight loss. Of course food and exercise are represented on the list in various ways, but so are genetic, economic, social, and psychological influences. That’s why I roll my eyes when I hear people espousing “just eat less and exercise more” platitudes—as if it’s that simple. 

Anyway, anyone who’s bothering to ask the question that prompted this post already knows about eating less and moving more. They’ve probably tried multiple versions of eating “less” or “right” or “better,” plus a variety of exercise protocols. Yet, they’re still feeling stuck and frustrated. 

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Why Am I Waking Up at 3am?

Whenever I write about sleep, I hear from a chorus of people who struggle to sleep through the night. Anecdotally, it seems a far more common complaint than difficulty falling asleep in the first place.

These complaints are one of three types:

People who have trouble falling asleep
People who sleep fitfully, waking multiple times throughout the night
Those who reliably wake once, around the same time most nights

Understandably, this is a hugely vexing problem. Poor quality sleep is a serious health concern. Not to mention, sleeping badly feels simply awful. When the alarm goes off after a night of tossing and turning, the next day is sure to be a slog. String several days like that together, and it’s hard to function at all.

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All About the Liver, and How to Support Your Favorite Detoxification Organ

The liver is incredible. Most people think of it as a filter, but filters are physical barriers that accumulate junk and have to be cleaned. The liver isn’t a filter. It’s a chemical processing plant. Rather than sit there, passively receiving, filtering out, and storing undesirable compounds, the liver encounters toxic chemicals and attempts to metabolize them into less-toxic metabolites that we can handle.

It oxidizes the toxins, preparing them for further modification
It converts the toxins to a less-toxic, water-soluble version that’s easier to excrete
It excretes the toxins through feces or urine

Bam. It’s an elegant process, provided everything is working well back there. And it’s not the only process it controls.

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The Definitive Guide to Sleep

Sleep is the grand mystery of life. You get sleepy, you yawn, you lay your head down, and then you wake up. At some point, you drifted off to sleep and were unconscious, helpless, completely out of it for the better part of the night. Maybe faint glimmers of the moment before you fell asleep remain in your memory. If you remember your dreams, you’ve got those to fall back on—but they fade fast. No, for the most part we have no idea what happens when we sleep.

We do know what happens when we don’t. The list of maladies caused by and/or linked to sleep deprivation is long and exhausting.

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Ask a Health Coach: Why Can’t I Sleep?

Hello folks! Seasoned health coach and Primal Health Coach Institute Curriculum Director, Erin Power is back to answer all your questions about sleep, from why you’re waking up in the middle of the night to the best natural ways to improve your sleep cycle. Got more questions? Post them over in our Mark’s Daily Apple Facebook group or down in the comments below.

 
Jordan asked:
“I’ve been going to bed at 10 p.m. and waking up at 6 a.m. for a few weeks. For some reason, I’ve started waking at 3:15 a.m. and can’t go back to sleep. Any ideas on what’s causing it?”
Almost half of all adults struggle with insomnia to some degree, so, if it’s any consolation, you’re in good company. That being said, it’s not ideal to feel like you’re dragging yourself around all day, coping with sugar-laden snacks or venti-sized cups of coffee.

One of two nights of suboptimal sleep are manageable. But when it’s a nightly occurrence? It’s time to dig a little deeper.

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