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How much sleep do you need?
May 24, 2015

This is the everything-you-need-to-know-to-be-as-healthy-as-possible newsletter, brought to you by Kristy Russ, pharmacist and health consultant. I have over 20 years experience in helping people improve their health.

I help people get healthy, and more importantly, stay that way so they're not miserable and just slowly dying for the last 20 years of their lives, which IS the "norm" today.

For even more information go to


Is anyone else as excited as I am that summer has FINALLY arrived? (I'm pretty far north, so I have to wait through about 8 months of winter to get it).

Being so far north, it also means that the sun is out until almost 11pm and starts getting light shortly after 4am. I LOVE the long days of light, but it DOES cause some issues with sleep sometimes. Judging from the number of questions and complaints I'm getting in the pharmacy, it is a common issue for us all.

Being one of those people that needs more sleep than average to function well, I dedicate this newsletter to my fellow snoozers...

Stop Procrastinating!
Your Health Won't Wait...

How well are you sleeping? Really. Answer these questions to get an objective idea:
  • Do you wake up several times a night?
  • Is there light coming into your room during the hours you sleep? (including streetlight & even moonlight)
  • Do you need a blaring alarm clock to wake up on weekdays?
  • Do you need caffeine in the morning to function?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may not be getting enough rest.

That's a serious problem, because lack of sleep doesn't just make you tired, it can shorten your lifespan and increase your risk of disease.

Sleep is important to regulate body temperature, blood pressure, secretion of hormones, brain activity and lots more. Probably its most important function though is cellular repair. That's why without it, you're shortening your lifespan, etc.

On a side note, that's also why it's important to take a twice daily multivitamin with plenty of minerals, like Usana's Essentials, so that there are plenty of the nutrients necessary for repair available to your body while you're sleeping. An added bonus is that some minerals actually have a relaxing effect that may help you sleep. Coincidence? I think not.

Here's just a few of the physical effects of a lack of proper sleep:

  • Fatigue (obviously!)
  • Slowed reflexes
  • Blunted senses (touch, taste, sound, etc.)
  • Impaired memory and concentration
  • Dizziness
  • Mood swings & irritability
  • Chronic sleep problems can lead to depression, diabetes, high blood pressure & even hallucinations
  • And much more...

How much sleep do you really need?

We've always heard that you need 8 hours of sleep a night, but in actuality the number can vary from person to person. Some people need 9 hours to feel rested, while others may only need 6.

Here's a simple way to find out your magic number: One weekend, go to bed on Friday night at your regular time without having anything that affects sleep, like caffeine, stress, alcohol, sleeping pills, etc. The first time you wake up Saturday morning (on your own), take a note of the time (even if you decide to squeeze in a bit more sleep). Do the same thing Saturday night and by Sunday morning, you should be able to tell how much sleep your body is naturally requesting. So if your natural waking time came after 7 hours of sleep, that's what your body needs.

And turns out my Mom was right about what time those hours of sleep start at. 8 hours of sleep from 10:00-6:00 is more restorative than from 12:00-8:00. Here's why: most of the hormones that are responsible for repair are released earlier in the evening, starting an hour or two after sunset. If you're sleeping during the time when they would normally peak (between 9 & midnight), you'll have much better repair.

One of the most important of these hormones that peaks early in the evening is Human Growth Hormone (HGH), which stimulates cell growth. It's very important for weight control as well because it tells fat cells to release the energy they're storing and to reduce additional storage. Unfortunately, this doesn't mean you can sleep yourself thin (wouldn't that be awesome?) BUT you can certainly help your cause by timing your sleep properly.

Yes, this is all wonderful news you say, but how do I actually get more restful sleep?

Stay tuned... next newsletter will include lots of specific helpful tips to help you get more zzzzzzz's!

Another Grateful Customer...

"The thing that keeps surprising me the most is how easy this is going for me. From day one I have not craved any of my old addictions."

"My weight kept creeping up and I knew I should do something about it, but with my busy schedule, I just didn't have time for a "diet" that I knew wasn't going to work. Kristy's program seemed like the permanent solution I was looking for.

I lost almost 70 pounds in 6 months and I wasn't even able to commit to a regular exercise program. I can only imagine how much I will lose when I can fit that into my schedule."

Steve H.

Because Laughter Really IS Good Medicine...

23 Adult Truths:

1 Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.

2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

3. I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.

5. How on earth are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

6. Was learning cursive really necessary?

7. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on # 5. I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

8. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

9. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind-of tired.

10. Bad decisions make good stories.

11. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.

12. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray? I don't want to have to restart my collection...again.

13. I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page technical report that I swear I did not make any changes to.

14. I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

15. I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

16. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Light than Kay.

17. I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option.

18. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

19. How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear or understand a word they said?

20. I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and sisters!

21. Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.

22. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey - but I'd bet everyone can find and push the snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time.

23. The first testicular guard, the "Cup," was used in Hockey in 1874 and the first helmet was used in 1974. That means it only took 100 years for men to realize that their brain is also important.

Ladies.....Quit Laughing.

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