ZEN+ : Helping you Stay Young and Age Well

The impact of sleep loss on your health

By Marcus Santer

In the morning’s I create.

In the afternoon I do nuts and bolts work requiring little creativity.

It’s also when I like to ‘Fill my tank’.

The tank is where I keep all of my ideas for future emails, blog posts, articles, reports and Journals.

Yesterday I came across more research suggesting a link between sleep-loss and trouble with weight and metabolism.

And let’s stop right there…

Before we go any further I’d like to quickly take a detour to give you the definition I like to use for the word metabolism. Because I don’t know about you, but it’s one of those words people think they know the meaning of, but don’t.

So here’s my definition:

MetabolismThe chemical processes that occur in a living organism in order to maintain life.

Now you can see why anything having a negative impact on your metabolism will have a negative impact on your health.

Okay, onwards.

Not getting enough sleep is linked to:

Researchers from Pennsylvania State University looked at the impact of sleep loss on weight and energy balance. They reviewed studies from 1996 and 2011 and discovered getting less than 6 hours sleep a night was linked to:

And the amount of sleep you get has also been shown to be an independent risk factor for your chances of developing Type 2 diabetes. In 2010 a study of men aged 20 – 35 showed that just 7 days of reduced sleep (5 hours a night) was all it took to significantly reduce insulin sensitivity.

Low insulin sensitivity is a sign your body is struggling to correctly process glucose and it can be an indicator of wider health problems such as high blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels.

With all this in mind you can see why I wasn’t too surprised when I found more recent research linking a lack of sleep with weight and metabolism problems.

But what did surprise me about this study was how little a ‘sleep debt’ was required to lead to health problems.

Professor Shahrad Taheri from Weil Cornell Medical College in Qatar commented:

“We found that as little as 30 minutes a day sleep debt can have significant effects on obesity and insulin resistance.”


So just 30 minutes sleep debt a day can have a serious impact on your health.

Now consider this: Most people need somewhere between 7 and 9 hours of sleep and yet the average Brit gets only 6.5 hours.

That’s not good.

Based on the evidence so far available – can you see how not getting enough sleep isn’t doing your chances of living a longer, healthier and happier life much good?

I hope so.

During Fantastic Sleep February, one of the many discoveries me and my fellow FS Pioneers made was the importance of changing our view of sleep. Instead of seeing it as something flexible and open for negotiation, we viewed it and treated it as we would a very important meeting.

One that had to kept.

If you’re interested in living and ageing well, I suggest you do the same.

Bye for now


P.S. I’m just putting the final touches to the Fantastic Sleep project.

I’ve turned it into a 50 page, 28-day program that can help you to avoid the negative consequences associated with sleep loss.

It will be available for purchase next week.

So keep your eyes open for it.

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