Biggest Winners – Are You Getting Enough Sleep?

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Hello Biggest Winners! How has your week gone? Are you feeling lighter weight, physically and mentally stronger, have more energy, and are you feeling more rested?

Summer has arrived! Are you finding ways to stay active, eat healthy, drink water, and get plenty of sleep, as the temperatures reach into the 90’s?

Health Issues and Lack of SleepAs temperatures soar, some individuals are unable to sleep the amount of time required for good health. Scientific studies report that sleep is essential to our mental and physical health. How many of us are actually getting enough sleep on a daily basis? Here are a variety of health issues that can occur by sleep deficits as small as an hour per night, and may place us at risk for health issues, as our immune system goes into overload, which can cause systemic inflammation. As all of our immune systems are unique, so is how sleep deprivation may affect you.

Here are some ways chronic lack of sleep can affect you and your health:

  • Impaired alertness, vision problems, blurred vision, floppy eyelid syndrome, and glaucoma
  • High blood pressure, heart disease, Insulin resistance type 2 diabetes, and Cancer
  • Increased levels of cortisol (hormone associated with stress)
  • Increased food cravings and hunger, disrupted metabolism, weight gain, and obesity
  • Hearing loss, hair loss, skin problems, rashes, and eczema
  • Muscle weakness and decreased athletic performance
  • Surges of pro-inflammatory molecules, such as cytokines (chemicals made by the cells that act on other cells to stimulate or inhibit their function), and C-reactive proteins (proteins found in the blood, which rise in response to inflammation), that can cause massive damage in the body

Weight gain and lack of Sleep

  • Research has found that the risk of weight gain can be influenced almost as much by our sleep as our eating habits!
  • Sleep deficits can trigger cascades of damaging hormones that flood our system
  • Sleep loss triggers the area of the brain associated with hunger and the desire to eat and overeat
  • Sleep deficits disrupts the daily drop-off of the damaging stress hormone cortisol

Successful Sleep

  • Better sleep = more alert, feel stronger, better grades for students at school, better athletic performance, better weight control
  • Most people need seven and half to eight hours, while some require up to ten hours of sleep per night
  • Determine how much sleep you really need by finding out what time you need to go to bed at night to wake up in the morning without any grogginess or an alarm clock, and feeling refreshed and ready to start your day!
  • Each week go to bed 15 minutes earlier, until you find out how much sleep your really need
  • Get most of your sleep in a single stretch, not in various chunks
  • Turn the TV off, and consider listening to quiet and relaxing music before going to bed and falling asleep
  • Sleep in a darkened and cool room, free of clutter and distracting sounds
  • Practice the art of meditation and diaphragmatic breathing to calm down for a restful night of healing sleep
  • Relax, get regular massages and chiropractic adjustments for better health and wellbeing

Our next “Biggest Winner” class is Wednesday, July 17, 2013, 5:30, at our Chesterfield Clinic.
For questions on how you can become the next “Biggest Winner” contact Diane Delf, RN, Director of Wellness and Weight Management, at

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