Why We Sleep

Scientist have discovered a revolutionary new treatment that makes you live longer. It enhances your memory and makes you more creative. It makes you look more attractive. It keeps you slim and lowers food cravings. It protects you from cancer and dementia. It wards off colds and the flu. It lowers your risk of heart attacks and stroke, not to mention diabetes. You’ll even feel happier, less depressed and less anxious. Are you interested?

If a new drug came out making these claims, would you believe it? And if you did, how much would you pay for even the smallest dose? The “ad” above, straight out of the book “Why We Sleep” by Matthew Walker, PhD, isn’t describing some magic pill or miracle potion. The “cure” for the long list of health concerns listed above is FREE and available to all—SLEEP!

When going over health concerns during a wellness consultation, many, many people reveal a struggle to get enough sleep. I used to be one of them. My “racing brain” left me dreading bedtime. I thought I would have to be on a potentially addictive prescription for the rest of my life. Thankfully, with the help of essential oils, supplements and a nighttime ritual, I rarely have issues anymore. So I was already on a mission to help others get more and better sleep before I read this book. Walker provides the science and research to back up his claims, so grab the book and nerd out, but in the meantime, here’s some highlights:

METABOLISM–Diabetes & Weight Gain: short sleep will increase hunger and appetite, compromise impulse control within the brain, and increase food consumption (especially of high-calorie foods.) Research groups found far higher rates of Type 2 Diabetes among individuals that reported sleeping less than six hours a night routinely (the book explains the how and why in detail.)

IMMUNE SYSTEM: sleep deprivation vastly increases your likelihood of infection and reduces your response to the flu vaccine.

CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM: one night of modest sleep reduction—even just one to two hours—will speed the contracting rate of a person’s heart, hour upon hour, and significantly increase the systolic blood pressure within their vasculature.

CANCER: a large European study of almost 25,000 people demonstrated that sleeping six hours or less was associated with a 40% increased risk of developing cancer, relative to those sleeping seven hours a night or more.

ANXIETY/DEPRESSION: the under-slept brain swings excessively to both extremes of emotional valence, positive and negative (no peace of mind in this scenario…)

DEMENTIA: it is now recognized that sleep disruption and Alzheimer’s disease interact in a self-fulfilling, negative spiral that can initiate and/or accelerate the condition.

And this is just a small portion of what is covered in the very dense book with small print that makes it a challenge to read, but so worth it. Every single person needs to understand the importance of not only getting enough sleep but enough quality sleep (hint—if you’ve slept eight hours and you wake up tired, it wasn’t quality sleep.) People in positions of power especially need to read this book, from parents, to school officials, to government officials and so on, so that appropriate changes can be made to promote the value of healthy sleep. Much like some companies reward employees for weight loss, why not initiate rewards for more sleep?! Sleep isn’t a cure-all for what ails our country, our world, but it’s something within our control and it’s free and it’s a start. Read the tips below and please share which one(s) you’re going to implement to ensure more and better sleep for YOU!


1.  Stick to a sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.
2.  Exercise no later than two to three hours before your bedtime.
3.  Avoid caffeine and nicotine.
4.  Avoid alcohol drinks before bed.
5.  Avoid large meals and beverages late at night.
6.  If possible, take medications earlier in the day (some interfere with sleep; don’t assume it must be taken before bed; check with your doctor.)
7.  Don’t nap after 3pm.
8.  Do relax before bed.
9.  Take a hot bath before bed.
10.  Dark bedroom, cool bedroom, gadget-free bedroom!
11.  Have the right sunlight exposure. Daylight is key to regulating daily sleep patterns
12.  Don’t lie awake in bed. The anxiety of not being able to sleep can make it harder to fall asleep. Get up and do something relaxing, then try again.

Did you know that several essential oils can actually calm the brain? That where you apply the oils matters? If you would like to know more about my nighttime routine, including what essential oils are known to help with sleep issues, let’s chat!

In my quest for better health as I age, I’ve discovered many natural solutions that support my body toward wellness. It’s a fact that the fewer medications you take, the more hope you have of a quality of life as you age. If you’re open to a more holistic approach, contact me, Rebecca Russell, for a FREE wellness consult and we can discuss which doTERRA Essential Oils and other modalities may help! 

Leave a Comment

Get the Incredible Towns App!

Scroll to Top