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Why You Need Sleep and What Happens When You Don't!


It has the biggest impact on your health that we often ignore. It is one of the 4 important pillars of health to keep your body going.


1. Eat well,  2. Move well,  3. Think well, and  4. Sleep well.


Two out of three  people don’t get enough sleep.


Watch Dr. Rob explain how lack of sleep can affect you.


The health impact of 6-7 hours a night is much worse than you think! While this might not seem like ‘not enough sleep’ those extra two hours can have a huge positive influence on your health!


People who get less than 8 hours have an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.


One of the easiest things to do to lose weight is to actually get the recommended 8 hours of sleep. When we’re sleep deprived we tend to eat more and make poor-er food choices. So losing sleep is actually working against all your diet and exercise efforts!


Lack of sleep can also contribute to a suppressed immune system, meaning you could be getting sick more often. So getting back on a good sleep schedule of 8 hours a night can actually help protect you from dreaded colds and coughs, just in time for September when bugs seem to thrive!


Clocking quality hours at night can also help with your learning and memory. So rather than going over that presentation for work one more time or staying up late to cram for a test, just go to bed! Studies show that those who got a good sleep before a big test or presentation actually did better than those who gave up sleep to practice or study.


So now that you know just HOW IMPORTANT sleep is. You might be asking, okay so how do I get more sleep? I want all these benefits!


Here are 5 tips to get you started on better sleep.


  • Limit your  daytime naps to 30 minutes. Napping does not make up for inadequate nighttime sleep! However, a short nap of 20-30 minutes can help improve mood, alertness and performance. This is especially true if it’s a regularly scheduled nap. When you have sporadic naps throughout the day it can confuse your inner clock but people who have naps at the same time every day don’t have this kind of internal clock confusion!


  • Avoid things like caffeine and nicotine close to bedtime! These can excite your nervous system and make it hard for your body to relax when you want to go to bed. Ever had an iced coffee at 4pm and then deeply regretted it at 10:30 when you’re wide awake lying in bed? No? Just me? Learn from my mistakes! Don’t do it! Everyone has different caffeine tolerances but generally avoiding coffee after 3pm will help you get a better quality sleep.


  • Exercise to promote good quality sleep. As little as 10 minutes of exercise, like walking or cycling, can drastically improve your sleep.  For the best night’s sleep, most people should avoid strenuous workouts close to bedtime. However, the effect of intense nighttime exercise on sleep differs from person to person, so find out what works best for you!


  • Make sure you get outside! Exposure to natural during the day, as well as darkness at night, helps to maintain a healthy sleep-wake cycle.


  • Establish a regular relaxing bedtime routine.  A regular nightly routine helps your body to recognize that it is bedtime. This could be as simple as taking a warm shower or bath, reading a book, or light stretches! Avoiding watching tv or spending time on your phone because the blue lights from these devices can actually disrupt your sleep cycle.

Tell us how you practice good sleep hygiene and ask how you can get a better sleep at your next appointment!


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