At The Banyans we stock our library with a range of educational reading as well as entertainment. One of the books we have added recently is Sleep Smarter by Shawn Stevenson.

It’s an excellent book and is brimming with practical advice and fascinating insights.

Shawn has his own story of recovery from debilitating health and is an inspiring figure in the world of health and wellness.

Here are some of what he has to say.

On Stress and Sleep

“According to research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, upwards of 80 percent of all physician visits today are for stress-related issues…

Stress is one of the biggest culprits in our mental and physical energy crisis today yet only THREE PERCENTof patients receive stress management counselling…

One of the major things that stress takes a toll on is our energy levels.

Stress can actually suffocate your energy in a number of ways…

With chronically elevated stress, your adrenal glands are forced to operate in maximum gear, which keeps cortisol and other stress hormones high.

One issue with this is that cortisol blunts the function of beneficial, restorative hormones like melatonin (thus screwing up your sleep and making you even MORE tired)…

Another big issue is that excess cortisol has this staggering ability to breakdown your muscle tissue and turn it into glucose (a process called gluconeogenesis) in order to facilitate the perceived “fight or flight” situation you’re living in.”

 

The effect of sleep on hormones

“Our health, our mood, and our energy levels are largely controlled by our hormones.

And NO-THING impacts our hormones more than our sleep quality does. There’s actually nothing else that even comes close!

The antioxidant hormone melatonin is the big player in our sleep quality that most people are aware of. But there is another power-player hormone impacting our sleep that a lot of people aren’t talking about.

As we covered in our last message, Harvard researchers were able to find that each minute of blue light exposure from our favorite tech devices (computers, televisions, smart phones, etc) corresponds with greater and greater levels of melatonin suppression.

But the other end of the story that you’re not hearing about was highlighted in a study published in the International Journal of Endocrinology.

Scientists found that not only does blue light from our tech devices suppress melatonin, but it also ELEVATES OUR CORTISOL.

Cortisol is a glorified stress hormone that’s responsible for excess fat storage, inflammation, and even depressed brain function when it’s out of balance.

The study uncovered that blue light exposure was capable of bringing nighttime levels of cortisol up to daytime levels following approximately one hour of exposure.”

 

On Gut Health

“We’ve developed a symbiotic relationship with bacteria that literally sustains our life…

Bacteria make energy for us, control our digestion, assimilation, and elimination, and even influence our levels of body fat!

One of the most fascinating things about our gut bacteria is that they have a surprisingly strong influence over what we eat and how much we eat…

Your microbiome is essentially your bacteria cascade, or the unique ratio of bacteria species you have.

And these bacteria have roles that go far beyond digestion…

New evidence indicates that gut bacteria alter the way we store fat, how we balance levels of glucose in the blood, and how we respond to hormones that make us feel hungry or full.”

 

At The Banyans, we know that our health is interconnected which is why we developed the Southern Hemisphere’s most comprehensive and integrated residential approach to health and wellness. Providing proven solutions for recovery from mental health, depression, anxiety, stress, addiction or dependency, our team of Masters-qualified practitioners work together to focus on you.

If you or someone you know could benefit from our programs, contact wellness@thebanyans.com.au or call +61 1300 226 926.