Why Sleep Is My Secret Weapon
I want to let you in on a little secret.
Being a doctor is hard.
Up until recently, I felt like a failure. I found myself in my fifth year of practicing and I honestly felt that I was failing my patients. Sure, many of them were getting better, but I felt like I wasn’t offering much more than what Google could. I have always been someone who has loved to sleep (one year my sister even gave me “I’m excited for bed” themed Christmas gifts). And sleep had always happened so easily for me – even to the point where I could take a “pre-bed” nap in the evenings and still have no problem falling and staying asleep that night.
I never pulled an all-nighter during university or med school and always prioritized sleep before exams or big events. Thennnn I got pregnant. Even during pregnancy I was fortunate enough to sleep well, but everyone just kept telling me to enjoy my sleep now because it would never be the same again. I was honestly terrified of the sleep deprivation that would come, but I knew it would be temporary and I could get through it. Right?
My baby slept great for the first three months and then went through the classic 3 month sleep regression – at the same time I returned to work. I pushed through and told myself each night would get better, but each morning I woke up feeling not just exhausted, but so many other things.
I felt foggy. I felt heavy. I felt anxious about things that never bothered me before. I felt negative and pessimistic. I became overwhelmed by the simplest things and completely emotionally unregulated. I cried when I spilled my coffee. I would wake up in the morning only wishing it was time to go to bed again, only to find myself in the same frustrating and incapacitating cycle of sleep disruption. I wanted to quit my job and escape it all. I probably had post-partum depression and just wouldn’t admit it. And the worst of it, I resented spending time with my baby because I was so tired and he was the reason.
And then my naturopathic doctor gave me the single most important piece of health advice I have probably ever received – do whatever you can to hack sleep.
I can save you the details of how our son got to the point of sleeping through the night. But, once he did, I still couldn’t.
I still found myself taking forever to fall asleep and waking up multiple times at night. Mind racing. Worrying about things that didn’t matter. Increasingly frustrated I couldn’t sleep and anxious about each passing minute on the clock.
Everyone told me that this would be my “new normal” and it was just a part of having kids. But the person I am when sleep deprived is not me.
And as I slowly started to emerge out of this fog, I finally realized and could appreciate that this is how so many people, not just new moms, exist all of the time.
I kid you not when I say I dove down the rabbit hole of everything sleep – from how and why sleep happens to how to track it and hack it. And then I had my proverbial light-bulb moment.
Sleep is arguably the most fundamental biological processes that we depend on. Faster than the deprivation of food or water, sleep deprivation will destroy us.
The research connecting the importance of sleep to almost every single medical condition is now undeniable. When we sleep, we heal. End of story, full stop, period. The condition, the diagnosis, the symptoms of disease – they heal when they have the opportunity.
But the opportunity is not just the quantity of hours you spend in your bed – it’s the quality.
The people who live the longest on this earth sleep less. And it’s not because they’re sleep deprived, it’s because their sleep allows their body to repair, restore and rejuvenate in the most efficient and effective way possible.
Sleep is my secret weapon because it provides me with the physical energy, the mental capacity and the emotional resilience to show up to what matters most. (And I’ll be honest, it’s always been a personal goal of mine to live to be 100!)
Optimizing the sleep of my patients has radically changed their quality of life and the outcomes we achieve.
Because here’s the thing… When you’re not sleeping, you’re not healing. S
o let’s fix your health from a different angle. Let’s fix your sleep, so it can fix you.
By joining my free, 21 Day Sleep Challenge, I’ll walk you through the steps you need to take to get your sleep back on track.
All you have to lose is more sleep! 😉