America is sleep-deprived. One third of American adults don’t get enough sleep, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Lack of sleep is associated with long-term health consequences. It’s not surprising that according to estimates reported in this WebMd article, 90% of people with insomnia also have another health condition.

According to the Mayo Clinic, chronic insomnia is usually a result of stress, life events or habits that disrupt sleep. Treating the underlying cause can resolve the insomnia, but sometimes it can last for years. It also doesn’t help that if stress often causes insomnia that the state of insomnia itself then layers on additional stress.

I’ve mentioned before that stress is the cause of 95 percent of illness and disease. Just as the underlying causes of insomnia must be uncovered to properly treat sleep deprivation, the underlying heart issues that hold us back from living our very best lives must also be uncovered. Living in a constant state of stress throws our systems off balance. The Healing Codes help you become balanced. I’ve seen it firsthand in people adopting my methods, as well as in medical testing results.

In my best-selling book, The Healing Code, I discuss how the Heart Rate Variability test is the best medical test for measuring physiological stress in the autonomic nervous system. The results from testing the success of The Healing Code have been phenomenal, showing that when people were administered a pre-session HRV test, did a Healing Code, and then had a post-session HRV test, 8 to 9 out of 10 of them were in balance after one Healing Code session (within 20 minutes or less). After 24 hours 7 to 8 of them were still “in balance,” meaning their body was not under stress. When your nervous system is balanced you WILL sleep better, feel better and think better.

Think sleepless nights don’t impact your health? Think again. Here are six ways lack of sleep sabotages your health and wellness:

Sleepiness Causes Accidents

Sleep deprivation and drowsiness can slow reaction time as much as driving drunk. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that fatigue is a cause in 100,000 auto crashes and 1,550 crash-related deaths a year in the U.S. Studies show that sleep loss and poor-quality sleep also lead to workplace accidents and injuries. In one study, workers who complained about excessive daytime sleepiness had significantly more work accidents as well as more sick days per accident.

Sleep Loss Dumbs You Down

Sleep plays a critical role in thinking and learning. Lack of sleep hurts these cognitive processes in many ways. First, it impairs attention, alertness, concentration, reasoning, and problem solving. This makes it more difficult to learn efficiently. In 2009, American and French researchers determined that brain events called “sharp wave ripples” which occur mostly during the deepest levels of sleep are responsible for consolidating memory. The ripples also transfer learned information from the hippocampus to the neocortex of the brain, where long-term memories are stored.

Sleep Deprivation Can Lead to Serious Health Problems

Over time, sleep disorders and chronic sleep loss can put you at risk for multiple health problems including heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes. Studies have also shown that people who average between seven and eight hours of sleep per night have lower mortality rates than people who get considerably less – or considerably more – hours of sleep per night.

Lack of Sleep Kills Intimacy

Sleep specialists say that sleep-deprived men and women report lower libidos and less interest in sex. For men with sleep apnea, a respiratory problem that interrupts sleep, there is another factor. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found that nearly half of the men who suffered from severe sleep apnea also secreted abnormally low levels of testosterone during the night.

Sleeplessness Feeds Depression

In a 2005 Sleep in America poll, people who were diagnosed with depression or anxiety were more likely to sleep less than six hours at night. The most common sleep disorder, insomnia, has the strongest link to depression. In a 2007 study of 10,000 people, those with insomnia were five times as likely to develop depression as those without. In fact, insomnia is often one of the first symptoms of depression. Insomnia and depression feed on each other. Sleep loss often aggravates the symptoms of depression, and depression can make it more difficult to fall asleep.

Lack of Sleep Prematurely Ages Your Skin

Chronic sleep loss can lead to lackluster skin, fine lines and dark circles under the eyes. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body releases more of the stress hormone cortisol. In excess amounts, cortisol can break down skin collagen, the protein that keeps skin smooth and elastic.

Sleep loss also causes the body to release too little human growth hormone which helps increase muscle mass, thicken skin and strengthen bones as we age.

The stress/sleep connection is real and it impacts thousands of us daily. Holistic healing of the body and mind isn’t possible until you dig deeper into your heart issues. The Healing Code can help you heal the source of all that is feeding your internal turmoil and stress. Living better, feeling better, sleeping better...it’s all possible and I can’t wait to hear about your progress on this journey!

Alex

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