The Big Sleep, Part 1: why it matters for thyroid health

How’s your sleep?

Are you one of the fortunate ones with really good sleep?  Or are you one of the many who sometimes struggle during the night?

Sleep is such an important part of our health and it’s a big topic, so this is part one of a two-part article.  Next week I’ll share tips to troubleshoot and improve your sleep, but today I’ll share why sleep matters.

But first, why are sleep issues such an epidemic?  We’re getting an average of 1-2 hours less sleep each night than we did 50 years ago. Why is that?

Why are we not sleeping as well as we used to in our modern world?

  • light pollution (excess artificial light)
  • electronic media use (including TV)
  • changes in work habits (being productive people, not working in harmony with the natural rhythms of day and night)
  • highly increased levels of daily stress (freeways!)
  • lack of exercise
  • consumption of stimulants (alcohol, caffeine, drugs, cigarettes)


Hmm, ok, I can see that.  Then what happens when we don’t get enough sleep?

  • decreased immunity (such as easily catching colds)
  • decreased ability to handle stress
  • increased tendency for weight gain, obesity and diabetes
  • imbalanced hormones
  • reduced learning capacity
  • greater risk for chronic disease
  • increased fatigue and lowered productivity
  • mental health issues
  • systemic inflammation


Oh, that sounds bad.  So what actually happens while we sleep? Why does sleep matter?

All this awesome stuff happens:

  • Tissue growth and repair occurs
  • Energy is restored to the brain and the body
  • Hormones are released, such as: Growth hormone, essential for growth and development, including muscle development
  • Regulation of mood, appetite and libido
  • Support of daytime performance
  • Memories are made and retained; learning is supported
  • The brain more actively removes waste products


Pretty cool, huh?  But how much sleep do I really need?  I mean, I’ve got stuff to do!

The answer is that it varies for everyone.  Research shows that healthy adults need between 7-10 hours per night, and those healing an autoimmune or chronic disease may need more.

Bottom line:  If you’re not falling asleep easily, sleeping through the night, and waking up feeling refreshed, you need more sleep.


If this is you, stay tuned for next week, Part Two: Troubleshooting and Improving Sleep


Keep up the good work,


p.s. If you don’t want to wait until next week and need better sleep now, hit reply and we’ll set up a special 30 minute sleep consultation (currently only $45) with customized recommendations for your situation.


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