sleep, sleep hygiene, sleep health, sleep deprivation, maricopa, az, harshe chiropractic, brandon harshe

What Sleep Deprivation Can Look Like

SLEEP is the absolute key to this change.

The picture on the left is from early December 2015, late one night at the gym after a very stressful day. Our sixth baby was in the throes of 10 straight months of teething, so January and I weren’t sleeping much at all.

Because of this lack of sleep, my mental health took an unbelievably bad turn for the worse.

But that’s really just a small part of the whole story.

Truthfully, I’ve slept terrible my entire life.

I have been lifting weights for the better part of my life since I was 13. I firmly believe that with the intensity and volume I have trained with over the course of 27 years, I should have at least 15-20 lbs more muscle mass on my frame.

AT. LEAST.

The reason I don’t? Simple. I never slept well.

To build muscle, it’s pretty simple: you train with a combination of compound and single-joint lifts, eat plenty of lean protein, and get plenty of sleep.

The first two are no problem. Sleep is where I have always, ALWAYS struggled. My muscles never got the proper rest they needed, and so I simply don’t look like I’ve been as much of a gym rat over the years as I actually have been.

Additionally, sleep deprivation contributes to weight gain, as you can see by my belly on the left (of which I was sucking in as much as possible!). Sleep deprivation keeps a hormone called cortisol elevated abnormally, which causes the body to cling to the weight. It didn’t matter that I was eating vegan, gluten free, and all organic. SLEEP TRUMPS ALL, and so does a lack of it.

The picture on the right was taken yesterday morning, after a good night’s rest; five months into the most consistent and most restful sleep I’ve ever had in a five month span in my entire life.

I actually only returned to the gym two weeks ago after taking two entire months off from the gym.

I do, however, go on walks every night with our oldest daughter and our dog Thor, but that was the extent of my fitness for two months! I eat fruit in the morning, but I don’t watch what I eat the rest of the day.

Why is my sleep better now?

The video below will answer that question.

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