Sleep Smarter by Shawn Stevenson

I am in LOVE with this book – almost done but I am learning a ton …. my husband is a bit tired of me referencing the book telling him how we need to make the room darker and go to bed at the same time but I think it is an incredible resource. Anyone that has trouble sleeping this is MANDATORY reading — and those like me who may here and there have a rough night of sleep or just want to live healthier- I recommend this !

It is extremely well written and has a ton of incredible data and ideas :

Thank you

Shawn Stevenson, BS, FDN(as seen on TedX, ESPN, ENTREPRENEUR, ESPN and more), host of the wildly popular podcast “Model Health Show” and Founder of the Advance Integrative Health Alliancefor this awesome guide to a better life ! 

In SLEEP SMARTER, Stevenson reveals the simple, surprising and highly effective strategies readers can start employing right away, including:

YOUR BRAIN NEEDS A DETOX EVERY NIGHT Scientists have found that our brains actually have their own unique waste disposal system, similar to that of the lymphatic system; it’s called the GLYMPHATIC system. All of the dynamic functions the human brain does result in a lot of waste products, all of which need to be removed. This waste removal literally makes room for new growth and development. Removing and recyling dead cells, tossing out toxins and shutting out waste is critical to brain function. If the waste removal system in your home backs up, then things get nasty. The same holds true if you’re not sleeping well and your glymphatic system can’t do its job – this is believed to be one of the foundational causes of Alzheimer’s Disease.

IT’S NOT ABOUT GETTING YOUR 8 HOURS, IT’s ABOUT GETTING TO BED AT THE RIGHT TIME It’s been shown that human beings get the most beneficial hormonal secretions and recovery by sleeping during the hours of 10pm and 2am—you get the most rejuvenating effects during this period, and any sleep that you get in addition is a nice bonus. Some people get eight or more hours of sleep but still don’t feel rested when they wake up; this is because their bodies are being deprived of the regenerative sleep they need between 10pm and 2am.

LEAVE THE OFFICE ON TIME “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” is a common refrain in our culture. Everyone is trying to work harder, burning the candle at both ends and forgoing sleep. But it’s actually making us less efficient: our quality of work suffers when we don’t sleep. Research shows that just 24 hours of sleep deprivation leads to an overall reduction of six percent in glucose reaching the brain. Simple translation: you get dumber.  Instead, work smarter and schedule sleep. If you know you’ve got a big task, project or event coming up, plan ahead and set it up so that you get an optimal amount of sleep and can do your best work.

DON’T ORDER YOUR LUNCH IN, TAKE A WALK AND GET SOME SUN It may sound counterintuitive that getting more sunlight during the day can help you sleep better at night, but science has proven that to be the case. Light exposure (specifically sunlight) triggers your body to produce optimal levels of daytime hormones and neurotransmitters regulate your biological clock; too little light exposure during the day and too much artificial exposure in the evening negatively affect your ability to sleep well at night. In fact, a recent study focused on the sleep quality of day shift workers revealed some shocking results. When compared to office workers who have direct access to windows at work, the office workers who didn’t have access to windows got 173% less exposure to natural light and as a result slept an average of 46 fewer minutes each night. Sleep deficits resulted in more reported physical ailments and lower vitality.

LISTEN TO YOUR GUT The food you eat can dramatically impact your quality of sleep. Scientists have uncovered that the human gut is a mass of neural tissue, filled with 30 neurotransmitters (like the brain). Additionally, the gut has 400 times more melatonin than the pineal gland in your brain.  It has been found that your gut bacteria also have a circadian timing system and there’s a virtual “changing of the guard” that happens every night to help keep the good guys in control. If you don’t sleep, or don’t sleep well, then it gives the opportunistic bacteria a chance to take over your gut and brain.

Throughout the book, Stevenson also weaves in his own inspiring personal journey to better health. As a teenager, he was diagnosed with a degenerative bone disease that crushed his dreams of becoming a professional athlete. After a period of depression, Shawn took matters into his own hands. Unwilling to accept the “un-curable” diagnosis his doctors gave him, Shawn took a functional medicine approach to his health, including upgrading his sleep, and completely reversed the degeneration. He graduated from the University of Missouri-St. Louis with a background in biology and kinesiology and went on to found the Advance Integrative Health Alliance, which provides wellness services for individuals and organizations worldwide. Shawn has dedicated his life to showing people that they have the power to become their strongest and healthiest selves and that it all starts with a strong foundation: sleep.

Get it today !

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