Sunday, September 6, 2009


Sleep loss is the new American deficit. This deficit is a yawning chasm we can't hope to close. Apparently, when we lose sleep it's like chasing a moving train on foot. The problem is, with sleep, you really CAN'T catch up. Why not?

Your hormones don't spring back like that.
Hormones and SLEEP? That's a new one.

Hormones like estrogen and, occasionally, testosterone are always in the news. DHEA and HGH even surface once in a while now, but these hormones are always in news stories about AGING. The only hormone ever connected with sleep to make the news is good old melatonin, and everybody knows you can buy that over the counter. If you need it you can get it, right?

So why let sleep loss keep you up nights?

Because when you sleep less than you're meant to, melatonin isn't the only hormone affected. There are at least ten different hormones, as well as many more neurotransmitters in the brain, that go sideways when you don't sleep enough. Melatonin is just the tip of iceberg, so to speak. It is all the other shifts that change appetite, fertility, and mental and cardiac health.

So why isn't everybody talking about hormones and sleep?

Perhaps it's because the news is buried separately in five to six different disciplines in academia. For example, Dr. Eve Van Cauter at the University of Chicago calls the hormonal shift she records in her sleep-studies lab "sleep debt". Catchy sound bite. Now losing sleep may get some attention. Somehow relating sleep loss to being owed something or owing someone something, just like money, gives it a new importance. Money always talks: that sleep debt you're acquiring has a direct annual cost to the nation of $15.9 billion, and an indirect cost of more like $100 billion in lost work time and accidents. But we're going to tell you that the cost is really much higher.

It's your life.

Sleeping through your alarm, or falling asleep as the keyboard and knocking your coffee over on your desk, is not the major disaster facing the sleepless, it's death.

And I don't mean in a car crash.

As a nation, we are sick because we don't sleep. We are fat and diabetic because we don't sleep. We are dying from cancer and heart disease because we don't sleep. An avalanche of peer-reviewed scientific papers supports our conclusion that when we don't sleep in sync with the seasonal variation in light exposure, we fundamentally alter a balance of nature that has been programmed into our physiology since Day One. This cosmic clock is embedded in the physiology of every living thing that exists.

Read "Lights Out, Sleep, Sugar and Survival by TS Wiley and Bent Formby. They prove that obesity and the major killers correlated with obesity--heart disease, diabetes, and cancer--are caused by short nights, by working ridiculously long hours, by, literally, burning the candle at both ends, and by the electricity that gives us the ability to do it. The cause is most certainly not overeating fat or a lack of exercise.

When extended day length created by artificial light-and-dark cycles became the NORM a short SEVENTY YEARS ago with the widespread use of the lightbulb, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer suddenly became the official causes of death on the coroner's reports, instead of the usual widespread use or injury common before the advent of the lightbulb.

Ever since these diseases began to surface as major killers around mid-century, the efforts on the part of science and medicine to explain the startling rise never examined any other overwhelming environmental change except diet. And all these years later, as Americans continue to die, the doctors and the researchers all continue to fish in the same pond.

It's time to see the light.

Call my office to set up an appointment or email me 815-476-5210 or


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Thanks for joining my revolution to educate women about their hormones! Let's work together.