You can lose weight without changing what you eat or doing one minute of exercise! … Nutrition and exercise are important! But there’s another key to weight loss — and most people don’t even know about it. It’s sleep.”
In an article titled “Sleep Tips: How To Sleep Better, Lose Weight, And Live Longer”, Dr. Mark Hyman states that “besides eating whole foods and moving your body, getting enough sleep is the most important thing you can do for your health.” He further states that “On the flip side, sleep deprivation makes you fat — AND leads to depression, pain, heart disease, diabetes, and much more.”
He goes on to say that 70% of people have sleep issues. “The era of Starbucks has been surpassed by an era of prescription stimulants to keep people awake and functioning, like dexadrine and Ritalin — otherwise known as “speed” or amphetamines.”
At the Lifetime Health Weight Loss Centers, we have seen thousands of clients who are overweight and who have sleep issues. Generally, they either have trouble falling asleep or have trouble staying asleep. Many are on sleep medications. They may wake up several times during the night. In most cases, they complain of waking up tired in the morning and lacking energy.
Sleep Deprivation / Poor Sleep Quality
Those who are sleep deprived or have poor quality of sleep, may also be drinking several diet or regular sodas during the day (or sweetened tea, “energy drinks,” or other sugar laden drinks). They may not even know they are doing this for energy. Their poor sleep quality is a major cause of their fatigue or low energy. This in turn leads to increased weight, particularly around the middle.
When you are sleep deprived, your cortisol rises — and so do all its harmful effects, including brain damage and dementia, weight gain, diabetes, heart attacks, high blood pressure, depression, osteoporosis, depressed immunity, and more. In more severe instances, this can result in adrenal fatigue.
Classic symptoms of adrenal fatigue include (1) wake up in the morning tired, (2) need a stimulant (could be coffee) to get you going, (3) have difficulty performing daily functions and (4) have very low energy. See upcoming article on adrenal fatigue.
The reality is that most of us need at least eight hours of restful sleep a night. We may be able to function on more, but less is not healthy.
The Sleep Cure?
Unfortunately, there is no magic sleep cure. However, at the Lifetime Health Weight Loss and Hormone Centers, we have seen great success with the use of natural products, used singularly or in combinations. These might include a protein product that works to lower stress (very high success rate for improving sleep), natural magnesium that helps calm the body before sleep, and biodientical hormones in appropriate cases. We have found that even the “mother’s remedy” of Epsom Salt baths can help.
Hormone deficiencies or imbalances are an underlying cause of many sleep issues. It may be as simple as adding the correct level and type of melatonin to the night time regimen. Thyroid issues can lead to sleep issues. Low progesterone levels is a significant cause of poor sleep quality in women.
Since sleep issues to not respond to a one size fits all program, we examine and test each client to ensure that he or she is receiving the proper natural remedy to ensure success. Diagnostic testing can pinpoint many problems including sleep apnea. Sometimes, there may be a short trial and error period with our natural products. Our goal is not only a good night’ sleep but to eliminate the need for sleep medications (that often cause serious side effects).
If you are still having trouble sleeping, you may be evaluated for other problems that can interfere with sleep, including food sensitivities, menopause, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, heavy metal toxicity, and, of course, stress and depression. Also, testing for sleep disorders such as sleep apnea may be appropriate.
To learn more, read Dr. Hyman’s article “Sleep Tips: How To Sleep Better, Lose Weight, And Live Longer”.