Immunity Week 4 - Sleep


How long can you go without sleep?

No one really knows. They can't do a sleep study and keeping pushing it because people will go insane or even die.

  • After 24 hours you can experience serious issues, but they are often resolved when you do get sleep. Missing only 24 hours studies have shown you act like you have a .10% blood alcohol level. 🍻
  • After 36-48 hours you start to hallucinate. 😳

It’s a real thing. When you sleep your body releases proteins called cytokines. Certain types are used to fight infections, stress, and inflammation. If you aren’t sleeping, you do not produce them. There are also other cells and antibodies that fight infections, and those are decreased when you do not get enough sleep.

I hear this all the time. And it happens to me too. In Chinese Medicine, there is a concept called "The Body Clock" or "Organ Clock".  For 2 hours each organ is doing its thing.


3 AM  + 🍷🍸🍹🍺🍻🍾 + The Liver
I saved this topic for last.

I personally think the minimum for adults is 7 hours. The most common advice is 8. I shoot for 9. If you are sleeping less than 6 hours or waking up a lot in the night – let’s consider making changes. Your immune system depends on it. Serious issues are more prone to develop the longer you go with the lack of ideal sleep. Things like heart conditions, depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, and kidney disease. There is an age-old saying that “every hour of sleep you get before midnight is worth two after“.  Try and be asleep, at the latest, by 11 pm. From 11 pm-3 am is the most valuable and restorative time for the body. The first third of the night is the deepest and best. It’s when our stress hormones decrease and allow our bodies to really rest and recover.

How the h&!* do you get 9 hours of sleep you ask?
First, you admit you have an issue. Then you work at it. Some people brag about how they can function on only a few hours, like a badge of honor. We equate sleeping with laziness, we are such an odd group of humans in the USA, aren’t we? I am here to help you let go of the guilt, and equate sleep with your health. It’s vital for your immune system.

You might imagine I am not for these. But it’s not as if I’ve never taken them. When I have struggled to sleep, and just couldn’t get it under control, I wanted to be knocked out and I gave in to them. But obviously the side effects, waking up wrecked the next day, and not getting quality sleep are an issue.  When I research something I can usually discern which way they lean by who wrote the article, who funded the study etc. There are natural leaning sites and artificial leaning sites. Chinese medicine vs western medicine type of thing. We can google around and find a site that reinforces our beliefs for just about anything. I love to look at drug companies’ websites. I don’t need a natural leaning site to warn me away from sleeping pills, they list stuff on their sites!

The side effects of Ambien, which is a type of Benzodiazepine, are staggering.

  • Headache
  • Drowsiness, lethargy, or a “drugged” feeling
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Back pain
  • Allergic reactions
  • Sinusitis (sinus infection)
  • Pharyngitis (sore throat)
  • Dry mouth
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Palpitations (irregular heartbeat)
  • Depression
  • Rash
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Complex sleep-related behaviors (such as doing activities while asleep)
  • Hallucinations
  • Amnesia (memory loss)
  • Anaphylaxis (allergic reaction such as throat swelling and difficulties breathing)
  • Withdrawal after stopping the drug abruptly

Let’s be honest, we are the true ginny pigs for all these drugs. Since the invention of aspirin in the early 1900’s it’s been one drug after another. In 2019 the pharmaceutical industry made $1.3 trillion.
A trillion looks like this: 1,000,000,000,000. It’s 1000 billions. 💉💰

“Taking benzodiazepines on a nightly basis may cause physical or psychological addiction. Long-term daily use of benzos is not recommended. Suddenly stopping benzodiazepines after a period of daily use can lead to seizures and other physical withdrawals” Full article here.
There is a reason we aren’t sleeping……..
and that reason is what we need to identify and work on.


  • Too much light in the room – Humans evolved going to sleep when the sunset and woke up with the sunrise. We need the dark to create Melatonin. Light alerts our brain. OMG, this is so funny. I googled “how to blackout your bedroom”. These guys suggest tinfoil. We have blackout blinds, it looks quite a bit nicer.  This is a super cool magazine and lists some great tips for limiting light at night. The goal here is to let 0 light into the room.
  • Dogs in bed – I know, I know. Archie lays perpendicular to me and Bren and kicks me like a bucking bronco all night… and I don’t kick him out. Why!!!!???
  • Stress and Worry – Whenever I have a lot do I wake up thinking about it. Like writing newsletters. So I take these. They are homeopathic with 0 side effects. And they work! There are also natural supplements you can take. We have a bottle of these in Park City and they work. They make me dream crazy dreams, so I know I am in REM. This brand uses just a little bit of melatonin, which although natural, you have to be careful with. Here is a great article on why. It’s important for you to know I am not a doctor or pharmacist. I am only sharing a few products I’ve used.  I try and find natural ways of doing things and then research each ingredient b/c natural can have issues too.
  • Devices like your phone/tv/computer – Experts say you should shut them down 2-3 hours before bed. If the light in our room is off as well, how does one read? I use a kindle and reverse the screen so it is black with white font. Kindles emit very little light compared to an iPad “they” say…And it does work for me, I fall asleep reading my Kindle.
  • Snoring wife – #truestory
  • Caffeine – too much and/or drinking it past 3-4 pm.
  • Sugar  too much and too late. If you read our blog last week you know too much sugar will release too much insulin. Too much insulin will release cortisol and adrenalin, your stress hormones.
  • Alcohol  too much and too late

PS. Thanks a lot! Because I researched sites for sleep issues I now get drug ads for insomnia in my feed. 👩🏻‍💻🔨

I saved alcohol for last because it’s your favorite topic. I got so many funny comments last week about my drinking tips. Love you guys.

Here is a good article about why alcohol messes with your sleep.


Main reasons are

  1. Your body creates more urine to detox and removes the alcohol, so you have to pee.
  2. Alcohol weakens your airway passages making people snore more.
  3. Alcohol is a depressant, and when those effects ware off, your body rebounds and wakes you up.

At the end of the day……This book is the best on the topic, it changed my life!    
(get it….. "end of the day")!