The Hard Way w/ Joe De Sena

What is sleep? Why do we sleep? And what does sleep really do? Even though sleep is a fundamental part of of our daily routine the scientific community still debates many topics about our sleep. But, a few things are clear: we need it and can’t function without it. And, it’s a powerful way to support mental and physical health. Our brains do a lot when we sleep. In this episode, we’ll talk about why you need your Zzzzzz’s!



Low energy, poor memory, irritability, and weight gain…what do these things have in common? Not - enough - sleep!

  1. Why do we sleep? Despite years of research, we still don’t know all the aspects of why we sleep but scientists do know we need it and can’t survive without. Even though we all know we need a good night’s sleep I in 3 adults in the US don’t get enough of it.
  2. How much do you need?

             - most of us require between 7-8 hours but some may need closer to 9. Anything less than that and you’re robbing your body of much needed down time to regenerate, recharge, heal and for the brain to consolidate learning from what you’ve done that day. A lot happens while you sleep from hormone release to learning and storage of information from that day’s activities.

  1.  If you don’t get enough sleep it can contribute to:

             - poor learning and memory

             - decreased stamina

             - increased stress hormone cortisol (not good, it can increase inflammation and negatively impact immune function)

             - Increased blood pressure

             - weight gain! Your body is more likely to gain weight because your metabolism is less efficient and you have more ghrelin – a hormone that can increase appetite.

Bottom line, catch your Zzzz’s so your body and mind are primed and ready for your next race!



  • Sleep is critical to our health yet 1 in 3 adults in the US don’t get enough of it.
  • 7-8 hours of sleep per night is the average most of need for optimal health benefits.
  • Sleep helps us learn, store memory, perform healthy cellular repair and regeneration
  • Poor, disrupted or not enough sleep decreases stamina and physical performance, negatively affects memory and raises stress hormones, blood pressure and can cause weight gain



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“Clues to the functions of mammalian sleep” Nature 2005 Oct 27; 437 (7063), 1264-1271.

“Sleep deprivation: Impact on cognitive performance” Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2007 Oct; 3(5): 553–567

“The impact of sleep deprivation on hormones and metabolism” Medscape, Neurology, Insomnia and Sleep Help, Nov 2018.


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Producer: Marion Abrams, Madmotion, llc.

Writer and Host: Nada Milosavljevic MD, JD


© 2018 Spartan

Direct download: 4_Sleepand_the_brain_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EDT