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Don’t do what I do… but sleep.

In the past I have written about the importance of sleep.  The necessity of getting a good nights sleep, and what it does for your health.  Personally, I have always found myself to be one who could function on little sleep, though I do not believe that allows me to reach my greatest health potential.  So at 6-7 hours of sleep a night, I am under what research suggests is wise.

Fortunately, I am in a “period” in my life that will come to an end, and I will get more!  I guarantee it.  But for now, I am going to have to sacrifice some, because the needs of the responsibilities that I have, are greater than my time.  There recently was a new published study, shedding light on how important sleep is however, and that is why I am interested.

Over the years I have seen lack of sleep associated with aging, cancer, inflammatory disease, brain dysfunction and heart disease.  Now there is a new study that associates it with obesity.  Researchers performed a brilliant analyses on twins, and on their genetic expressions for weight gain.  What they found out, was this:

  1. In those who slept less than 7 hours per night, genetic expression accounted for 70% of weight gain, weight retention issues.

  2. In those who slept more than 9 hours per night, genetic expression accounted for only 32% of weight gain or retention.


Funny thought: so if you have thin parents, and you need to lose weight, stop sleeping!  Just kidding, that isn’t the conclusion I want you drawing from this.  There are plenty of ways to look at the data, but the simple one that the researches saw this… that sleep influences your genetic expression.

See, the problem with genetic expression controlling your destiny, is that you don’t.  If your genetic expression is running rampant all over you, then you don’t get to set the bar.  Now this gets real tricky… genetic expression is heavily influenced by your lifestyle, but it isn’t your lifestyle.  So an example, if you have a perfect diet, and you influenced your genetic expression by 80%, yet your genetic expression was 100% of your health, then sadly, 20% of your PERFECT diet is LOST!

So ultimately, we want to have more potential for our decisions to rule the day.  And sleep is obviously an answer according to this study.  We need to sleep more!  Me especially.  OK, let’s take this a little further, so we can see how far reaching this genetic expression thing is.

You know I like to discuss Leptin!  In a prior study, it was shown that the excretion of Leptin dropped an average of 18 percent when  sleep deprived.   In addition Ghrelin (a hormone that causes you to feel hunger) increased an average of 28 percent.

If you forget what leptin does, it is the hormone that causes you to stop feeling hungry but to feel satiated, and causes you to burn fat.  It is KEY in weight loss, and is the reason why so many hundreds of thousands of Americans are overweight.   The reality is that leptin is the most  important hormone for ALL weight loss, and it is possibly the most important hormone for all other hormone function.  Female issues?  Leptin.  Menopause?  Leptin.  Thyroid?  Leptin.

So be sure to get all of the awesome direction we provide on Leptin issues, and to watch out for the Suero Challenge coming up in August, lastly to look out for Total Food Makeover coming in September!  We are going to change some lives!

Sleep more (I am going to start), Be well and Be Blessed!  –  Dr. E