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Excerpt from the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260

Discussion between Jason Gregor, Jason Strudwick, Marc Majeau, and World Health President Blake MacDonald on “Why SLEEP might be getting in the way of the Body you want” 

Jason: As always – Monday Afternoon we are joined by Blake MacDonald – President of World Health. Today we’re looking to discuss sleep and the importance of sleep when it comes to looking and feeling the way you want.

So Blake – we’ve talked a tonne over the past year about exercise and even a bit about importance of Nutrition. But you’re saying now sleep is kind of important too now?

Blake: Actually Guys – I’m not kind of saying that – I’m TOTALLY saying that.

Think about for a second a couple people you might know who both have the same goals of looking and feeling great. In many cases, they may even do the same thing:

  1. They eat meals that focus on lean protein and vegetables.
  2. They exercise at least three times per week, focusing on both weights and cardio.
  3. They know which foods are truly healthy and which they need to limit—and they do.

However, at the end of the day one might look like a fitness model and the other, no matter how hard he or she tries, they struggle with the process and doesn’t have the body they want.
The problem might seem obvious at first. After all:

  • Maybe one strays from his/her diet more than the other
  • Maybe one just doesn’t really know how to train.
  • Maybe they are lazy or they lack willpower
  • Maybe it’s genetics…

BUT More than likely – diet or exercise aren’t the real problem. The real problem is LIKELY that one of those people isn’t getting enough sleep.

Jason: I’ve heard before that sleep is important to recovery, but really? Your talking like it’s as important as diet and exercise themselves.

Blake: Actually guys – that’s exactly what I’m saying. Consider this:

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 35 percent of people are sleep deprived. And when you consider that the statistic for obesity in North America is nearly identical, it’s pretty easy to see that the connection is NOT a coincidence.

In fact, NOT sleeping enough— which is less than seven hours of sleep per night—can ACTUALLY reduce and undo the benefits of dieting and exercise. In the study conducted by the Annals of Internal Medicine, dieters were put on different sleep schedules.

  • When their bodies received adequate rest, half of the weight they lost was from fat.
  • However, when they cut back on sleep, the amount of fat lost was cut in half—even though they were on the same diet. What’s more, the sleep-deprived group felt significantly hungrier, were less satisfied after meals, and lacked the energy to exercise. Overall, those on a sleep-deprived diet experienced a 55 percent reduction in fat loss compared to group who received adequate sleep

Jason: So HOW is that possible? Does a lack of sleep cause problems with your metabolism?

Blake: Well guys – there’s actually a few things going on:

FIRST  – Poor Sleep Changes Your Fat Cells
Think about the last time you had a bad night of sleep. When you woke up – you felt Exhausted. Dazed. Confused. Maybe even a little grumpy?

It’s not just your brain and body that feel that way—your fat cells do too. When your body is sleep deprived, it suffers from “metabolic grogginess.” In other words without proper sleep, your body’s ability to properly use insulin becomes completely disrupted.

Here’s why that’s bad: When your insulin IS functioning well, fat cells remove fatty acids and lipids from your blood stream and prevent storage. When you become more insulin resistant, fats circulate in your blood and pump out more insulin. Eventually this excess insulin ends up storing fat in all the wrong places

SECOND – Lack of Rest Makes You Crave Food
Many people believe that hunger is related to willpower. But that’s incorrect. Hunger is controlled by two hormones: leptin and ghrelin.

Leptin is a hormone that is produced in your fat cells. The less leptin you produce, the more your stomach feels empty. The more ghrelin you produce, the more you stimulate hunger while also reducing the number of calories you burn (your metabolism) and increasing the amount fat you store. In other words, you need to control leptin and ghrelin to successfully lose weight, BUT sleep deprivation makes that nearly impossible.

AND THIRD: Sleep Sabotages Gym Time
No matter what your fitness goals are, having some muscle on your body is important. Muscle is the enemy of fat—it helps you burn fat when you’re at rest. But sleep (or lack thereof) is the enemy of muscle. Scientists from Brazil have NOW found that not enough sleep actually decreases your body’s ability to make muscle, causes muscle loss, and can lead to a higher incidence of injuries.

So, with a lack a lack of sleep – it’s really tough to start looking and ultimately feeling the way you want.

Jason: Wow – I had no idea that sleep was SO important in the scheme of looking and feeling great? But one last question, what if I can’t sleep? Am I screwed?

Blake: No, You’re not guys! What most people don’t understand is that people aren’t just naturally good or bad sleepers. RATHER – Getting a good night’s sleep is ACTUALLY the product of everything you do in your day – right from the moment you wake until you head hits the pillow. There are certain staples that people should follow every day in order to get great rest – things like:

In the morning

  1. Waking at the right time – once you’ve had between 7-8 hrs. of sleep.
  2. Get moving right away – don’t hit the sleep button
  3. Find the Sun – this helps you wake up and get moving

During the day:

  1. Exercise
  2. Eat a Small to Medium Dinner
  3. Avoid Caffeine after Noon

Before you go to sleep:

  1. Limit Fluids
  2. Go to sleep before midnight – every hour of sleep before midnight is worth 2 after midnight
  3. Avoid Alcohol
  4. Remove electronics at least 30 min. before going to bed
  5. Make the room as dark a possible.

At the end of the day – we have to make sleep a priority. Not only does it help us look and feel the way we want – it also important for more commonly known benefits such as general alertness and productivity during the day, preventing sickness and disease and a whole whack of other benefits.




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