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The Importance of Sleep: Part 1

Elissa Goodman

Yes, even I have a few sleepless nights: I stay out too late with friends or I’m up all night packing for that 6 AM flight I ignored until midnight. I’ve also had a lot of sleepless nights tossing and turning endlessly, hoping to fall into a deep sleep but instead staring at the ceiling, wide-eyed with my mind racing. I do my best to live my healthiest life but there’s no green juice or supplement in the world that can counter a bad night’s sleep. You see it instantly on my face and I feel it instantly in my bones. How could I sit in front of my clients and tell them what to do to get healthy when I have new wrinkles popping up by the second, no color in my face, and barely enough energy to greet them? Yes, food, supplements, and exercise help to repair your body, but sleep is the #1 necessity when it comes to healing and restoring you to your best self.

When my cleansers ask me what’s one thing they can do to enhance their program, I say sleep. Of all the supplements and extra activities I recommend, that comes first. We cleanse because we want to clear our bodies of toxins and live the purest, healthiest life possible. I believe in an ongoing cleansing lifestyle which is impossible to achieve without a good night’s sleep every night. Write this down and don’t take this lightly: YOU NEED SLEEP!

I’ve been listening to some webinars through the Sexy, Younger, You website and they are all incredible, but co-host Robin Nielson’s episode on sleep was truly sensational.


Here are 10 fascinating sleep facts:

  1. Until 1910, when the light bulb became affordable to everyone, our bodies functioned in our natural state: we slept when it was dark and woke when it was light. During that time people slept 9-10 hours a night! Since 1910, on average, we are getting 500 fewer hours of sleep a year.
  2. Melatonin, the sleep hormone and a major antioxidant in our body, is decreased when we get less sleep. Shortening this output puts you at risk for a lot of major diseases: obesity, heart disease, inflammation, diabetes, sore joints, and immunity dysfunctions. The colors of the sunset actually trigger your body’s production of melatonin – nature is literally signaling your body to rest.
  3. 75% of adults have at least one sleep problem such as waking during the night or snoring, and 54% experience symptoms of insomnia.
  4. You can’t blame it on a small bladder: if you are sleeping well and your body is in balance, you shouldn’t have to get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
  5. Signs of insomnia: trouble falling asleep, considering yourself a “night owl,” inability to sleep past the crack of dawn, waking up during the night for any reason, taking more than 10-15 minutes to fall back asleep if you wake up, waking up anxious or worried, waking up and needing to exercise or work before you can get back to sleep, waking up and needing to eat before you can get back to sleep.
  6. Some researchers feel that every hour of sleep before midnight is equal to two hours of sleep after midnight.
  7. Lack of sleep is the #1 stressor on your body. If you have the choice of sleeping in or getting up super early for a workout, choose to sleep in.
  8. Sleep promotes your body’s production of antioxidants, our natural “killer cells,” keeping your immune system strong.
  9. The phrase “sleep on it” is actually great advice – sleep improves memory, helps you solve problems better and makes your mind sharper.  While we sleep our brain actually categorizes all of the things it encountered the day before.
  10. According to the National Institute of Health, 9 1/2 hours of solid sleep at least seven months out of the year (particularly during the fall/winter when our bodies most crave hibernation) is the minimum required to beat cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and depression.

    After finishing this blog post, an interesting article came out in the NY Times about a new study called, ”Lost Sleep Can Lead To Weight Gain.” This is worth reading!

    I have so much great information on sleep that I had to split this into two parts. Next time, I’ll give you some scoop on how to improve your sleep and get snoozing!

    Night Sky Night Sky