Poor SleepGood quality sleep and healthy energy go hand in hand. Often one affects the other causing a worsening of the symptoms and greater consequences the longer the pattern continues.
When was the last time you had a great nights’ sleep?
You know, the kind where you drifted off with ease, dreamed deeply, and woke up before the alarm, refreshed & revitalized?
If that sounds like you, great! If not – you might be one of the 70 million Americans who suffer from a sleep disorder, one of the 30% of adults who have experienced short-term insomnia at some point in their lives, or even one of the 10% for whom long-term insomnia has become a difficult reality. Bad sleep sucks, but did you know it might also be adding inches to your waistline, & shortening your lifespan, too?
The great news is that you don’t have to suffer any longer. If your goal is a great nights’ sleep – tonight and every night – alongside the ability to lose body fat more effectively and to be fitter on a long-term basis, then you’ve come to the right place.
Let The Doctors Studio help you turn the dream of a fitter mind & body into a reality!
Why Do I Need Sleep?
Sleep is essential for fat loss because, without it, we cannot regulate the hormone leptin that tells us when we are hungry & need to eat. Leptin plays a major role in body weight and is secreted by our fat cells, which signal to the hypothalamus in the brain the level of fat storage in the body. In normal cases, decreased leptin tells our brain that there is a calorie shortage & we need to eat, whereas increased levels promote energy expenditure. Increased leptin activity generally happens while we sleep, so if we don’t get enough sleep, leptin levels cannot rise sufficiently and we spend the next day constantly wanting to snack. Without adequate sleep, our body also has trouble deciphering signals from a peptide, ghrelin, which is secreted by the stomach and stimulates the appetite. Disrupted sleep also has the effect of disrupting ghrelin levels so we feel that we are hungry when we are not. The effect is so powerful that fat gain is clearly correlated in many scientific studies with sleep deprivation.
Sleep is also essential for our survival, strengthening our immune system, allowing the brain to function properly, regulating our libido, enabling us to stay emotionally balanced, & powering us up with the energy we need to get through each day with optimism, focus & positivity.
Without it, we cannot maximize and safeguard mental performance, alertness, memory, thinking (and, in fact, all cognitive tasks). You might not be as sharp in meetings, and your ability to think laterally, come up with solutions, make decisions & be creative will all likely be compromised if you haven’t been sleeping well. It can significantly diminish emotional health, which can leave you reaching for a donut because a low mood is caused by low serotonin & dopamine, which your body becomes desperate to replace. Sugar snacks offer a quick serotonin boost which is why they become so irresistible if we’re having a challenging afternoon at work & fatigue from last nights’ really poor sleep has begun to kick in.
If your daily life includes driving or operating heavy machinery, poor sleep quality can become dangerous, compromising focus, alertness & reaction speed. It might even impact intimacy with your partner, as poor sleep leads to mood swings, anxiety & a lower quality of sex life.
Research indicates that, overall, you will be more at risk of obesity, fat gain, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, psychiatric issues, anxiety & depression, and even premature death if you don’t manage to get your sleep back on track. Sleep represents a central, essential function for literally every part of the human body, so prioritizing a good nights’ sleep remains a central goal in the optimization of our health & happiness.
Exactly How Much Sleep Do I Need?
Whilst adults need about 7-9 hours sleep a night, don’t be mad with your teens if they’re still dozing in bed by 10 am – teenagers need a lot more sleep than we do, partly because of major hormonal shifts taking place around puberty!
Your sleep is governed by your circadian rhythm – a natural, in-built timer that tells us when it is morning (when we should wake up) and when it is time to sleep (prompting us to feel more tired as the day goes on and to go to sleep when the sun goes down). When we see light, a part of our brain called the hypothalamus uses that signal to decide that it is daytime and that we should be alert & awake, and when we see darkness, our brain takes it as a signal to power down.
Unfortunately, as many of us live in cities (awash with artificial light), extensively use computers, and work long hours, we have lost the ability to engage with natures’ natural circadian prompts. Instead, we now rely on automatic alarm clocks, screens, mobile phones, and work schedules to control our waking and sleeping hours. This sleep drive or ‘sleep-wake homeostasis’ (sleep-wake balance) is partly controlled by our adenosine levels, which are meant to increase through the day as we become more tired, before being broken down by our body as we enter light sleep. When we miss these natural sleep cues, adenosine levels are disrupted, leading to an inability to ‘power down’ every evening. When we feel too alert, we then experience issues in falling asleep, which can cause anxiety, leading to the release of stress hormones, which leave us feeling even more stimulated and alert.
Ultimately, many of us simply miss out on the sleep that we need because of the demands and habits of a modern lifestyle that disrupt our natural circadian rhythm.
Why Can’t I Sleep?
The causes of poor-quality sleep and insomnia are multi-faceted and often hard for us to deduce, which is where the Doctors Studio comes in. Let’s take a look at a few key triggers.
It might be that dietary & nutritional triggers, such as food intolerances or allergies, or deficiencies, lie at the root of your issues with sleep. For example, did you know that inadequate levels of serum magnesium are clinically associated with poor quality sleep and insomnia? Supplements (including magnesium and many others) can offer an important addition to a healthy diet in the provision of necessary nutrients, which can, in turn, exert a fundamental effect on sleep.
At the Doctors Studio, Dr. Roy carries a wide variety of physician-crafted, medical-grade supplements tailored to address all types of nutrient deficiencies, offering you an effective tool to address the dietary issues that are stopping you from waking, restored, and refreshed.
Sleep plays a defining role in regulating the appetite & metabolic-regulating hormone leptin, which is produced in the fat cells and lets the brain know when you are full. Without decent sleep, leptin cannot do its job. This leads you to seek out more sugar and fat-based snacks, promoting overeating & sabotaging diet goals. Worse still, poor-quality sleep leads to less energy, which in turn means that you are more likely to give that spin class, cycle, or Pilates session a miss. Even junk food can have a similar effect!
Did you know that sugary treats might be contributing to your insomnia? A 2016 study reported that individuals who ate a high sugar diet were far more likely to experience sub-standard, restless sleep.
You might already know that drinking caffeine too close to bedtime can mess with sleep, but did you know why?
Caffeine stimulates the nervous system, keeping you awake, but when you do manage to fall asleep, it messes with your ability to stay asleep, too.
Smoking has a similar effect, powerfully stimulating the nervous system, increasing the risk of sleep apnea, snoring and fragmented sleep, making it harder to fall asleep, lessening REM sleep, and lowering overall sleep duration. The takeaway? If you don’t smoke… DON’T START. If you do smoke, try to STOP. We can help you with smoking cessation if that’s your goal – it’s one of the most powerful steps you can take in improving wellness.
Andropause: The Male Menopause
You might have heard of menopause but far fewer people talk about the male version – the andropause. A major hormonal shift around your 40’s and 50’s can lead to a drop in testosterone, with one side effect potentially being disrupted sleep and insomnia.
You may also have noticed your partner tossing & turning at night more than usual. It could be perimenopause or menopause in her case – the female version of andropause. During perimenopause, a woman’s ovaries start to produce less estrogen and progesterone, often contributing to insomnia. Fatigue remains the most common symptom of hormonal imbalance, affecting as many as 80% of women during perimenopause and menopause, so you might need to help your partner think about options for hormone therapy if she is really suffering from bad nights, night sweats, or insomnia, especially if she is usually a great sleeper!
The Doctors Studio offers a comprehensive suite of tests designed to pinpoint the exact cause of your hormonal disturbance or feelings of fatigue and in doing so can empower you to regain control over andropausal symptoms – and help your partner manage hers.
Insomnia sometimes manifests later in life, with studies linking age to the onset of sleep problems (people over 60 are more likely to suffer from insomnia, or conditions that can lead to insomnia, such as restless legs syndrome, disordered breathing, or other medical illness or conditions). Aging doesn’t have to be accompanied by poor sleep, though – you deserve – and can achieve – the same amazingly restorative quality of sleep that you enjoyed in your younger years. Let us help you so that you don’t need to settle for less, just because of age. Your golden years should feel, and remain, golden!
Did you know that your body’s sleep and stress response share the same pathway? This shared pathway is called the HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis). One of its key functions is to regulate cortisol, a major player in our ability to respond to stress and to achieve a great nights’ sleep. It is released when we experience stress but also released at various points during each day to regulate our circadian rhythm (the body’s natural ‘timer’, as mentioned earlier).
When our HPA axis is over-stimulated (e.g., by ongoing work stress, or illness), the normal secretion of cortisol is majorly disrupted, meaning that we can no longer regulate our circadian rhythm correctly, losing our natural ability to know when to sleep & wake. This causes further emotional & hormonal disruption that can increase stress & anxiety, leading to the over-production of cortisol, causing a damaging long-term cycle that can lead to insomnia.
Here at the Doctors Studio, we are extremely knowledgeable in dealing with this kind of hormonal dysfunction. Let us help you restore your HPA and adrenal function to their most healthy state. The results can be life-changing!
Did you know that 10% of people wake up and check their mobile phones in the middle of the night?! You might not be that extreme, but most of us could probably admit that checking our mobile phones is often one of the very last things that we do at night. This kind of poor sleep hygiene (or sleep health) can be very disruptive to our brains when it comes to falling asleep.
Habits such as staying up too late, too much screen time, eating big meals too close to bedtime, or the room being too warm (or cold) can all seriously impact sleep quality. Let us talk you through better habits that can make an immediate impact!
Sleep & Your Sex Life
Did you know that a great nights’ sleep has been linked in scientific research to better sex life and that better sex life can lead to better sleep? Now that’s what is known as a win-win!
Here’s an example. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a condition where disrupted breathing occurs during sleep. OSA is correlated with a significantly raised risk of erectile dysfunction in men, and sexual dysfunction in women, so successfully treating OSA will not only lead to far more restorative, satisfying, life-altering levels of sleep quality, but might also vastly improve sexual function, performance & enjoyment, too!
Here’s another fascinating fact. After orgasm, the body releases oxytocin and prolactin, which makes us feel drowsy, comforted, satiated, and primed to drift off to sleep (a reason why some people fall asleep so fast after sex!), promoting vastly more restorative sleep.
As specialists in sexual performance, sexual health, & overall health & wellbeing, the Doctors Studio can talk you through this fascinating relationship between sleep and sex, maximizing and restoring your performance in both areas.
Contact the Doctors Studio Today!
In sum, insomnia and poor sleep quality are extremely common, and even one poor nights’ sleep can leave us feeling frustrated, isolated, and upset. It can sabotage our weight loss goals, leading to stubborn kilos around our midsection that just won’t shift – and make us feel miserable. Yet it can be hard to isolate the root cause of poor sleep and many of us tend to just soldier on in silence, relying on another coffee, or sugary afternoon snack or two to keep us going.
That’s where we can help you. From peptides, hormones, supplements, dietary, lifestyle, fitness-focused and sleep-hygiene focused interventions, we have the testing capabilities, knowledge & experience to get to the root of your problem quickly & efficiently, giving you the tools to enjoy a deep, rich, reparative sleep every night for the rest of your life.
You deserve an amazing nights’ sleep. You need an amazing nights’ sleep, and there is often no greater feeling than waking up in the morning rested, rejuvenated, and powered up to fully enjoy the day ahead. Let us help you achieve that goal!
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