Why sleep is the foundation of wellness

May 12, 2021 | Sleeping well

In 2005, well into my first decade of helping people get quality sleep, I connected with local doctors in my then hometown of Nelson, New Zealand to let them know about my work. One of the physicians was an older man who welcomed me into his clinic with smiling eyes. After listening to me describe my work, he affirmed what I had always believed:

“Sleep should be our top priority when it comes to health. Everyone focuses on nutrition and exercise, but without quality sleep, it’s impossible to eat well and exercise beneficially.”

This struck a chord with me and inspired me to shed some light on the topic in this blog post. 

The Impact of Sleep Loss on Diet:

When we’re sleep-deprived, we tend to make poor food choices and experience reduced digestive power. Sleep loss disrupts glucose metabolism and appetite regulation, increasing the risk of weight gain, obesity and diabetes. It’s challenging to eat well when we lack sufficient sleep.

The Bidirectional Relationship between Exercise and Sleep:

Exercise and sleep share a unique and intertwined relationship. When we don’t get enough sleep, our motivation and energy to exercise decline, and the lack of physical activity further contributes to poor sleep. It’s a vicious cycle. Sleep-deprived individuals may find themselves resorting to exercising at inappropriate times or pushing themselves too hard in an attempt to compensate, which ultimately strains their adrenals and worsens their sleep quality. Lack of sleep and inadequate recovery can have immense consequences for the body, such as; Impaired muscle growth and repair; Increased risk of injuries and Reduced exercise performance.

The Urgency of the Global Sleep-Loss Epidemic:

In our fast-paced lives, quality sleep is often neglected which not only impacts nutrition and exercise but also affects our overall well-being, quality of life, and productivity. It’s a far-reaching issue with profound implications. Recognizing the urgency of the current global sleep-loss epidemic is crucial for safeguarding our health and maximizing our potential for a vibrant and fulfilling life.