I often talk about the interconnectedness of the body. After all, Functional Medicine is all about looking at the way our systems function together, rather than focusing on one part of the body at a time. The steps you take to support whole-body health work in the same way. Diet, exercise, stress reduction—they simultaneously affect more than just one aspect of your health—and new research has revealed that choices around these things can have major impacts on our sleep, and how that cycles back to support overall optimal health.
On this episode of The Doctor’s Farmacy, I discuss all-things-sleep with my guest Shawn Stevenson. Shawn is the author of the international best-selling book Sleep Smarter and creator of one of my favorite podcasts, The Model Health Show. A graduate of The University of Missouri – St. Louis, Shawn studied business, biology, and kinesiology, and went on to be the founder of Advanced Integrative Health Alliance, a company that provides wellness services for individuals and organizations worldwide.
A life-changing event led Shawn to realize his health was in his own hands. He made a decision to get better, rather than pointing the finger at others for not being able to help him feel his best. For Shawn, a lightbulb went off, showing him that sleep, nutrition, exercise, and mindfulness were all essential focus areas in his path to recovering and creating sustainable health.
Shawn’s research led him to a profound understanding of lifestyle and sleep. You might be surprised at some of the connections he shares, like how the gut microbiome plays a role in sleep quality, or how wifi, our sex lives, and even what time we decide to exercise all tie into our ability to experience a great night’s rest.
After consistently hearing patients with a wide variety of health issues complain about sleep, Shawn realized he could zero in on that as a root cause for many states of dis-ease, from blood pressure and blood sugar imbalances to weight, mood, and more.
Sleeping well is all about taking the right steps throughout the day, not just focusing on those few hours before bed. This episode is full of useful, approachable tips to hack your own sleep and feel more rested.
Wishing you health and happiness,
Mark Hyman, MD