Expert Defines: Sleep and Recovery

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Sleep affects mental and physical health in probably hundreds of ways. What really allows us to beat ourselves up through a day and come back and do it again the next day is our ability to recover. And sleep plays a huge role in that process. And we know that because we know that during certain aspects of sleep, we are entering into the stages that allow us to produce chemicals like growth hormone.

That growth hormone is everything in terms of maintaining our vigor, youthfulness, and health. We know there are direct correlations and ties between our sleep quality and quantity and our likelihood of getting sick. We've always known it I think it's much more recently, in medical history, that we've been able to understand why. Oh, of course, because when we sleep poorly or we sleep-deprived, these certain immune modulators become less available to us. So they don't work as well.

When we're not giving ourselves what we need, we're diminishing ourselves by a fraction every day. Over time, that bad quality, bad quality, bad quality, bad quality, those things add up and really impact our health and performance in truly spectacularly negative ways. Ask a doctor, any doctor, you spent four years in medical school, you spent three years in your internship residency, how many hours did you spend talking about sleep?

Of the seven top complaints that patients have for doctors, excessive sleepiness fatigue are two of the top seven complaints. And so we do know that, in addition to it making people recover faster, healthy sleep actually helps to prevent the injuries and illnesses as well too, which is really interesting.