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Lori is a Nurse Practitioner, Board Certified Health Coach & Creation Coach who specializes in getting to the root cause of your symptoms

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Welcome to National Sleep Awareness Week! Sleep is not just a period of rest; it’s a vital component of our overall health and well-being. In this simple guide, we will delve into the intricate relationship between sleep and various aspects of our physical and mental health. From the brain to hormones, vitality to mood, energy to cognition, let’s uncover the secrets of sleep.

The Importance of Sleep:

Sleep is often undervalued in our fast-paced society, yet its significance cannot be overstated. Numerous studies have highlighted the crucial role sleep plays in maintaining optimal health. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults should aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night to support overall health and well-being. If sleep is so important, why on earth are we so willing to sacrifice it? Why is it still a badge of honor if we say we can get along with much less? Sleep is Vital to Vitality!! There, I said it.

Impact on the Brain:

Sleep is essential for cognitive function and emotional regulation. During sleep, the brain consolidates memories, processes information, and clears toxins accumulated during wakefulness. Research published in the journal Neuron suggests that sleep is vital for synaptic plasticity, the brain’s ability to adapt and learn.

Furthermore, lack of sleep has been linked to impaired decision-making, reduced creativity, and increased risk of neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. It’s clear that prioritizing sleep is crucial for maintaining optimal brain health.

Impact on Hormones:

Sleep plays a critical role in regulating hormone levels, including those that control appetite, metabolism, and stress. In fact, Sara Gottfried, MD, a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Integrative Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University states: “When ignored, poor sleep will make you fall down a hormonal flight of stairs… That’s true whether you’re 30, 50 or 70.”

Ghrelin and leptin, two hormones involved in hunger and satiety, are disrupted by sleep deprivation, leading to increased appetite, potential weight gain, and diabetes.

Moreover, insufficient sleep disrupts the balance of cortisol, the stress hormone, leading to heightened stress levels and impaired immune function. Increased cortisol also disrupts the delicate balance between Progesterone and Estrogen, which can also increase weight gain.
Prioritizing quality sleep can help regulate hormone levels and support overall hormonal balance.

Impact on Vitality and Energy:

Quality sleep is essential for sustaining vitality and energy levels throughout the day. Adequate restorative sleep allows the body to replenish energy stores, repair tissues, and rejuvenate the mind. In contrast, chronic sleep deprivation can result in persistent fatigue, lethargy, and decreased productivity.

Furthermore, sleep quality is just as important as sleep quantity. Conditions such as sleep apnea and insomnia can disrupt sleep patterns, leading to fragmented sleep and reduced vitality. Addressing underlying sleep disorders is crucial for optimizing vitality and energy levels.

Impact on Mood and Emotions:

The relationship between sleep and mood is bidirectional – sleep influences mood, and mood affects sleep. Research has shown that individuals with sleep disorders are at higher risk of developing mood disorders such as depression and anxiety.

Conversely, inadequate sleep can exacerbate mood disturbances and emotional reactivity. The amygdala, a key brain region involved in emotion processing, becomes hyperactive in response to sleep deprivation, leading to heightened emotional responses.

Prioritizing consistent sleep patterns and practicing good sleep hygiene can help regulate mood and emotional well-being. Strategies such as maintaining a regular sleep schedule, creating a conducive sleep environment, and practicing relaxation techniques can promote better sleep and improved mood.

Impact on Cognition and Performance:

Sleep is essential for optimal cognitive function and performance. Research has shown that sleep deprivation impairs attention, concentration, and problem-solving abilities. Furthermore, insufficient sleep compromises memory consolidation, affecting learning and information retention.

In a study published in the Journal of Occupational Environmental Medicine researchers found that sleep-deprived individuals performed as poorly on cognitive tasks as those who were legally intoxicated. This underscores the importance of prioritizing sleep for maintaining cognitive function and performance.

Optimizing Your Sleep

In recent years, I’ve been exposed to the great work of renowned sleep expert Michael Breus, PhD. In this book “The Power of When” he outlines the importance of honoring our own Chronobiology – which includes honoring the best time for each of us to sleep. I highly recommend his quiz to my clients so that they can optimize their sleep-wake cycles or individual biorhythms.

Additionally, to have optimal sleep hygiene or sleep rituals consider following these simple steps:

  • Use your bed for only two things—sleep and sex.
  • Sleep in a dark room. If you can’t get it dark, use shades over your eyes.
  • Keep the room cool—less than 65 degrees is best.
  • Limit the noise or… have some ‘white noise” like a fan.
  • Use earplugs if you have a noisy bed partner.
  • Avoid heavy meals before bed.
  • Avoid sugary or caffeinated drinks before bed.
  • Turn off the Wi-Fi when you go to bed.
  • Keep electronic equipment away from you.
  • Keep your cell phone plugged in another room.
  • Keep your screens on night mode at least after 7pm.
  • Wear blue light-blocking glasses after dusk.
  • Create a “digital sunset” by turning off devices an hour before sleep.
  • Keep the same sleep-wake schedule on the weekends.
  • If you do sleep poorly, limit your sugar intake the following day to compensate for disrupted insulin levels.

Personally, I wear an oura ring at night (with the Bluetooth off to avoid EMF’s) to track my sleeping. It’s been so advantageous over the years to see what activities, what supplements, what food, and what stress-reducing activities impact my length of total sleep, deep sleep, REM and dight sleep. The physiological benefits of good sleep are worth this kind of tracking!


As we celebrate National Sleep Awareness Week, let’s recognize the profound impact sleep has on our health and well-being. From the brain to hormones, vitality to mood, energy to cognition, quality sleep is essential for every aspect of our lives. By understanding the importance of sleep and implementing strategies to prioritize restorative sleep, we can unlock the secrets to a healthier, happier life.

BTW – this topic was requested by my readers and followers on Social Media. If there is a topic that you’d like me to write about, to honor and support your efforts to increase your vitality, please feel free to send me a DM or email me at

Do you feel like your body is working against you?  Are you frustrated with a lack of knowledge and providers who will not listen to you? Then take my Free Hormonal Assessment today to finally get some answers!

Stay tuned – my new book, “Create the Vitality You Crave- Unlock Your Healing Powers by Optimizing Your DNA,” will be released in early April. If you’d like to be one of a small group of women to whom I gift a PDF version of my book in exchange for a review (5 stars would be awesome, just sayin’), then please reach out via or via my website. Thanks.

This Free Quiz was created to help you gain clarity about some of your most aggravating symptoms and to help you get on your healthy hormone path.

FREE Hormone Symptom Quiz!