Want to feel really great fast? Get more rest! Lack of rest may be the largest contributing factor to declining health in the developed world. Our national sleep deprivation (we’ve lost 2 hours per night since the early 1900s) may be as significant of a player as our love of refined carbohydrates when it comes to obesity. Poor sleep most certainly intensifies the symptoms of most any disease from anxiety to auto-immune disorders. Sleep, however, is just the beginning. In our national obsession with productivity, we have replaced downtime with the double-double — that’s a coffee with double sugar and double cream, in case you’re from out of town! Without quiet time and rest, our body continually runs in overdrive and overproduces stress hormones that adversely effect our entire endocrine system, resulting in problems with fertility, blood sugar management, and energy metabolism to name only a few. These very same stress hormones actually alter the shape of our lipoproteins causing them to clog our arteries. Without a serious assessment of our rest, all the diet changes in the world cannot save us from heart disease.
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