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May 2023

The Link Between Sleep and Overall Wellness


Sleep is an essential aspect of our daily lives that impacts both our physical and mental well-being. It plays a crucial role in supporting various bodily functions, including memory consolidation, hormone regulation, and immune system function. Despite its importance, many individuals struggle with sleep-related issues that can lead to significant negative consequences. In this context, it is essential to develop a better understanding of sleep and the factors that can influence its quality and duration. This includes exploring the impact of substances like alcohol, caffeine, and medications on sleep, as well as the role of behaviors such as exercise and meal timing. By examining these factors, we can gain insight into ways to promote healthy sleep habits and improve our overall well-being.


Alcohol can disrupt sleep in multiple ways. While it can help some people fall asleep faster, it also reduces the quality of sleep by disrupting the normal sleep architecture. It can interfere with REM sleep, which is essential for cognitive and emotional well-being. Additionally, alcohol is known to cause or worsen sleep apnea, snoring, and other breathing-related sleep disorders. Therefore, it is generally recommended to avoid alcohol consumption close to bedtime, especially if you have sleep problems.


Marijuana or cannabis use can have mixed effects on sleep, depending on the individual and the dosage. Some studies have shown that low to moderate doses of marijuana can help some people fall asleep faster and reduce the frequency of nightmares. However, it can also interfere with REM sleep, which can lead to daytime sleepiness and cognitive impairments. High doses of marijuana can cause other adverse effects such as impaired motor coordination, anxiety, and paranoia. It is recommended to consult with a healthcare provider before using marijuana for sleep purposes.

OTC and Prescription Sleep Aids

OTC (Over The Counter) and prescription sleep aids can be helpful for some people with sleep problems, but they should be used with caution and under medical supervision. Many sleep aids can cause drowsiness and impair cognitive function, and some can also be habit-forming or have side effects. It is important to follow the recommended dosage and avoid long-term use. Behavioral and lifestyle changes such as improving sleep hygiene, reducing stress, and increasing physical activity are often recommended as the first-line treatment for sleep problems.


Caffeine is a stimulant that can interfere with sleep, especially if consumed close to bedtime. It can also have a long-lasting effect, with half of the caffeine still in the system up to 6 hours after consumption. Therefore, it is generally recommended to limit caffeine intake, especially in the afternoon and evening.


Sunlight exposure can have a significant impact on sleep-wake cycles, as it helps regulate the body's circadian rhythm. Exposure to natural daylight in the morning can help improve sleep quality and reduce daytime sleepiness, while exposure to bright lights or electronic screens close to bedtime can have the opposite effect. Therefore, it is recommended to get regular exposure to natural light, especially in the morning, and limit exposure to bright screens before bedtime.


Regular exercise can have numerous benefits for sleep, such as improving sleep quality, reducing the time it takes to fall asleep, and reducing daytime sleepiness. It is recommended to aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week, but avoid exercising close to bedtime as it can interfere with sleep.


Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate the body's natural sleep-wake cycle, and some people use melatonin supplements as a sleep aid. While melatonin supplements can be effective for certain individuals, it is important to use them cautiously and only under the guidance of a healthcare provider. In some cases, melatonin supplements can cause side effects such as daytime sleepiness, dizziness, and headaches. Additionally, there is limited research on the long-term safety and effectiveness of melatonin supplements, particularly in children, pregnant women, and individuals with certain medical conditions.

It is also worth noting that melatonin supplements are not a replacement for good sleep hygiene habits. These habits include maintaining a regular sleep schedule, creating a comfortable sleep environment, and avoiding substances that can disrupt sleep such as alcohol, caffeine, and certain medications. Furthermore, it is recommended to practice relaxation techniques or engage in low-stress activities before bedtime to promote better sleep. If you are experiencing ongoing sleep issues, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare provider who can help identify any underlying causes and provide personalized recommendations for improving your sleep.

Timing of Meals

Timing of meals can also have an impact on sleep quality. Eating heavy meals close to bedtime can cause discomfort and interfere with sleep, while going to bed hungry can also disrupt sleep. It is recommended to have a light dinner at least 2-3 hours before bedtime, and consider having a small snack if hungry.


In summary, sleep is an essential part of our daily life and has a significant impact on our physical and mental well-being. To promote healthy sleep, it is important to establish good sleep hygiene habits, such as maintaining a regular sleep schedule, creating a comfortable sleep environment, and avoiding substances that can disrupt sleep such as alcohol, caffeine, and certain medications. Sunlight exposure and regular exercise can also help regulate the body's circadian rhythm and improve sleep quality. Additionally, proper nutrition and timing of meals can also have an impact on sleep. While OTC and prescription sleep aids can be helpful for some people with sleep problems, it is recommended to first try behavioral and lifestyle changes, and to consult with a healthcare provider before taking any sleep aids. Overall, by prioritizing healthy sleep habits, we can improve our overall health and well-being.

How much sleep do I need?

Sleep: The Secret to a Healthy Life

How much sleep do you need? The answer may surprise you. While the general recommendation for adults is around 7-9 hours per night, some people may require more or less sleep to function optimally. Furthermore, certain medical conditions and medications can also impact sleep quality and duration. As such, it is important to listen to your body and prioritize good sleep habits to help ensure that you are getting the restful and restorative sleep that you need.


Here are a few tips for getting a good night's sleep:

  • Stick to a regular sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, even on weekends. This will help to regulate your body's natural sleep-wake cycle.
  • Create a relaxing bedtime routine. This could include taking a warm bath, reading a book, or listening to calming music. Avoid watching TV or using electronic devices in the hour before bed, as the blue light emitted from these devices can interfere with sleep.
  • Make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool. Darkness helps to promote the production of melatonin, a hormone that helps to regulate sleep. Noise and light can disrupt sleep, so make sure your bedroom is as dark and quiet as possible. A cool temperature is also ideal for sleep.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed. Caffeine and alcohol can both interfere with sleep. Caffeine is a stimulant that can make it difficult to fall asleep, while alcohol can disrupt sleep later in the night.
  • Get regular exercise. Exercise can help to improve sleep quality. However, avoid exercising too close to bedtime, as this can make it difficult to fall asleep.
  • See a doctor if you have ongoing sleep problems. If you are experiencing ongoing sleep issues, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare provider who can help identify any underlying causes and provide personalized recommendations for improving your sleep.

Sleep is essential for a healthy life. It helps to improve your mood, concentration, and memory. It also helps to boost your immune system and protect you from chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. So make sure you are getting enough sleep!

Here are a few fun facts about sleep:

  • The average person spends about one-third of their life sleeping.
  • The longest recorded human sleep was 11 days and 25 minutes.
  • Some animals, such as dolphins and whales, can sleep with only half of their brain at a time.
  • Sleep deprivation can lead to hallucinations, delusions, and even psychosis.

So next time you are feeling tired, remember that sleep is essential for your health and well-being. Get a good night's sleep and wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day!

Training and Nutritional Resources

KbHere are some resources I have found helpful in deepening my knowledge on training, nutrition, and recovery. The individuals listed are experts in their respective fields that offer a wealth of information and research that can benefit anyone interested in improving their lives. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list, and if you have any resources you would like to share, feel free to send them my way to be added.

Physical Therapy Resources

  • Squat University - Squat University - excellent resource on prehab, rehab, and exercise mechanics. They are constantly producing new content for their Instagram account and their YouTube channel.
  • Bob and Brad - Bob and Brad are physical therapists with lots of practical, hands-on techniques for managing most situations that require PT. They have a very comprehensive YouTube channel with almost five million subscribers. 
  • Gray Cook - Gray Cook is the co-founder of the Functional Movement Systems and a huge proponent of kettlebell and indian club training. His knowledge, and experience working with top-tier athletes, is unparalleled. He has over 35,000,000 videos on YouTube.
  • Dr. Kelly Starrett - Dr. Kelly Starrett is THE physical therapist to a generation of Crossfitters. His books, “Becoming a Supple Leopard” and “Built to Move”, are excellent resources for any trainer, as is his extensive YouTube channel.
  • Dr. Stuart McGill - Dr. Stuart McGill - universally known as the “Back Guy”, Dr. McGill is a master at understanding the back and how to prehab/rehab it. He also has numerous videos on his YouTube channel discussing back care and training.

Training Instructional Resources

  • Dan John - Dan John is an internationally recognized strength and conditioning coach, author of more than a dozen books, and podcaster. His knowledge and experience in the practical aspects of training and strength are encyclopedic. The Dan John University is a treasure trove of information for trainers and laymen alike.
  • Tim Anderson - Tim Anderson is the co-founder of Original Strength, a system of movement and breathing designed to help people rediscover their natural movement patterns and enhance their physical and mental performance. Anderson has written several books and also hosts a podcast called "Original Strength Podcast," where he discusses movement, health, and wellness with experts in the field.
  • Marty Gallagher - Marty Gallagher is a renowned strength and conditioning coach, powerlifting champion, and author. He has coached numerous powerlifters, weightlifters, and athletes in various sports, and has written several books on strength training and fitness. Gallagher is also a frequent guest on podcasts (RAW), blogs (Tim Ferriss) and radio shows. 
  • Michael Krivka - Michael Krivka is a Master RKC with over two decades of experience training with and teaching Russian Kettlebells. CrossFit Koncepts, Michael Krivka’s gym is the oldest CrossFit gym in Maryland, and has been in operation for over 15 years. The CrossFit Koncepts website is a great resource for training, nutrition, and sleep information and additional content and instructional videos hosted on his YouTube channel.

Nutrition/Sleep/Recovery Resources

  • Whoop - The Whoop is a wearable fitness tracker designed to help athletes and fitness enthusiasts optimize their training and recovery. It tracks a variety of metrics, including heart rate variability, sleep quality, and recovery status, and uses this data to provide personalized insights and recommendations for optimizing your training and recovery.
  • Dr. Andrew Huberman - Dr. Andrew Huberman is a neuroscientist and professor of neuroscience at Stanford University. Dr. Huberman is also a popular public speaker and educator. He hosts a podcast called "Huberman Lab," where he interviews other scientists and experts in the field of neuroscience., and he has also appeared on several popular podcasts and YouTube channels.
  • Dr. Peter Attia - Dr. Peter Attia is a physician and researcher specializing in longevity and healthspan optimization. He is the founder of Attia Medical and a prolific writer and speaker, having authored numerous articles, blog posts, and a book. He hosts a popular podcast called "The Drive", has a very popular YouTube Channel, and has given several TED Talks on the subject of longevity and healthspan.
  • Dr. Gabrielle Lyon - Dr. Gabrielle Lyon is a physician and nutrition expert with a focus on muscle-centric medicine. She is the founder of the Institute for Muscle-Centric Medicine and has been featured in various media outlets, such as Forbes and Women's Health, and has a very popular YouTube Channel. Her approach emphasizes the importance of resistance training and adequate protein intake to optimize overall health and longevity.