We've talked a lot about food, diet, exercise. How important is sleep in the whole picture?
- Male 2: To me, this is how sleep is. Just like everyone's got a cell phone, and every single day you have to charge that cell phone. When you forget to charge it one night, the battery dies, and like "Aw, man. What am I going to do today?" That's what sleep does to your body. Your sleep is your battery charger. Unlike how your phone might die, your body won't.
Once your battery's on empty, stress is higher, your metabolism is slower, you over-release a hormone called cortisol, which makes you store fat. Sleep is your battery's charger. There's two types of sleep: there's deep sleep and there's REM sleep.
Deep sleep is in different stages. That's where your body gets repaired. REM is when your mind gets repaired.
My wife, Abby, had an injury, she has fibromyalgia. She doesn't sleep as deep as I do. The amount of hours you need is genetic. I can sleep six hours a night. Abby needs eight to nine hours because she doesn't get the same level of deep and REM sleep that I get. You have to make sure that you sleep well because it's not what you eat, but what you metabolize. You can do everything else right, but if you're not sleeping well, your body's not going to work for you.
- Male 1: You mentioned stress, too. How does that play into the picture, because we all feel it?
- Male 2: Stress is an interesting thing. To me it's the x-factor of everything. You could be sleeping well, eating well, exercising, drinking your water, filling your gaps with the right supplements. All of that could be fantastic, but if your stress is off the chart, you're going to struggle. When we look at stress, stress causes a release of adrenaline, which gives us energy initially. It's that initial thing. But then, it counters with cortisol.
Every time someone stresses it comes up, but then your body has to relax. What ends up happening is throughout the day we have these mini-moments. You're stuck in traffic, late for a meeting, these mini boom, boom, boom. What too many times happens is that you're not giving your body enough time to relax, so that cortisol stays in your blood and that becomes something where your body can't burn fat consistently.
So, I look at sleep and stress as the bookends. Number one is your food and exercise, and then water and supplements. And then sleep and stress are really the things that allow you to metabolize and optimize all of that. So, you have to manage your sleep and you have to manage your stress.
Nutritionist Mark Macdonald emphasizes the importance of sleep and how it affects different parts of your body. Mark also discusses the importance of managing stress and how the two go hand in hand to tie in the other aspects of your overall health.
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