How Sleep Can Help -- and Heal -- During This Really Weird Time A good night's rest gets rid of the "gunk."
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Jason Brown said to me recently, "Health is wealth." Never has this been so true.
Brown is the CEO of Persona, which provides customized vitamin-pack subscriptions to consumers. He's a big fan of nutrition, obviously, but he's also a big fan of sleep. "A good night's sleep, managing stress and physical exercise all contribute to a healthy immune system -- something that is especially top of mind in today's unprecedented time in history."
Related: Why Missing Sleep to Work More Isn't a Badge of Honor Anymore
Here's how sleep can help you get the most out of your brain and body.
Resting, Growing, and Learning
Brad Stulberg, like Brown, knows the importance of a good night's rest.
Stulberg is the co-author of Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success and The Passion Paradox: A Guide to Going All In, Finding Success, and Discovering the Benefits of an Unbalanced Life. He trains world-class athletes in body optimization, and it includes a lot of shuteye.
"Some of the most positive growth-promoting hormones are primarily released when you sleep. And your brain combs through, consolidates and connects everything that you've come across during the day not while you're awake, but in your sleep," said Stulberg.
He also believes a strong immune system is a rested immune system. "I remind clients that sleep isn't separate from their work, it's not something that they do as a sacrifice in place of work, but rather, it's an integral part of their jobs."
Related: Have a Hard Time Sleeping? The Solution Might Be a Weighted, Cooling Blanket.
What is everyone's number one job right now, around the world? Staying healthy. Following the sleep advice of Stulberg can help you:
- Strengthen your immune system
- Consolidate and connect your experiences
- Grow your mind, and muscles (stress + rest = growth)
Even if you're not training for a marathon or looking to break Olympic records, the right amount of sleep can help you stay healthy and productive.
Entrepreneurs Need Rest, Too
Brown isn't a world-class sprinter, but he is a lifelong business builder who knows good health isn't a sprint but a marathon. "I'm sure I'm like most people. I want to have the energy to do what I love, and that's growing companies. To do that at 63, I need a clear mind," he said.
And he's right — or maybe he means he needs a clean mind when he wakes up.
"We develop both psychological and physiological 'gunk' buildup during our waking hours, which is cleaned up while we sleep," said Austin Perlmutter, M.D., an internal medicine physician and co-author of Brain Wash: Detox Your Mind for Clearer Thinking, Deeper Relationships, and Lasting Happiness.
"Research has shown that we increase activation of a metabolic waste clearance mechanism called the glymphatic system when we get deep sleep," Perlmutter added. What does this mean? Just think of that great feeling when you pull out of the car wash and all that grimy salt is no longer caked on your vehicle. It's kind of like that, but for your brain.
Related: How to Avoid Feeling Overwhelmed During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Health Is Wealth
Staying active, eating right and getting good sleep isn't anything new to staying healthy. But with the current crisis we're facing, a good night's sleep is a key component to attacking the day.
If you're a writer, a good night's sleep will help you connect ideas when you're in front of a Word document. If you're an entrepreneur, a good night's sleep will give you more energy to make that important pitch to investors. And if you're living in the world we're in now, a good night's sleep will help keep you healthy. You don't need an entrepreneur, a coach or a doctor to tell you that.