You — skinny fat, unattractive to potential mates and a sh*tty employee, that causes staggering…

Why we sleep. Book review.

I stopped having dreams.

It’s not like it was a diseases or sickness, life didn’t feel much different, health seemed to be fine… but something felt wrong. I’d definitely experienced less creative flow states in the past few… months? … not coming up with awesome out-of-this-world ideas for life and work.

But I had more important life issues, sh*t to-get-done — I set it aside.

And then all these books, podcasts, studies continued popping up in my life — “Sleep: The Myth of 8 Hours, the Power of Naps… and the New Plan to Recharge Your Body and Mind” (by Nick Littlehales), “The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time” (by Arianna Huffington) and the latest, “Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams” — I felt I absolutely had to read that one after Kevin Rose’ show with the author Matthew Walker, PhD, a sleep geek and a sleep scientist.

I finished the book and I learned that…

“Each and every night, REM [when we dream] sleep ushers you into a preposterous theater wherein you are treated to a bizarre, highly associative carnival of autobiographical themes. When it comes to information processing, think of the wake state principally as reception (experiencing and constantly learning the world around you), NREM sleep as reflection (storing and strengthening those raw ingredients of new facts and skills), and REM sleep as integration (interconnecting these raw ingredients with each other, with all past experiences, and, in doing so, building an ever more accurate model of how the world works, including innovative insights and problem-solving abilities).

A danger resides in this sleep profile wherein NREM dominates early in the night, followed by an REM sleep dominance later in the morning, one of which most of the general public are unaware.”

The Architecture of Sleep


Maybe my dreams, disappearance of them (along with the REM sleep when it happens), my creativity going down, maybe after all I do need more sleep with all my crazy lifestyle, trainings, competition prep, work with clients, creative work and, well, just living as a human being?

Maybe I do need to sleep 7 and more hours to get to the next level in my life, physical and mental performance?!

Maybe we are all getting stuck often because we compromise the very thing that gives us a chance to get to the next level offering better, more creative solutions, better recovery to perform better the next day?

Maybe we are all getting stuck often because we compromise the very thing that gives us a chance to get to the next level offering better, more creative solutions, better recovery to perform better the next day?

Heck, it’s worth it, why not give it a try tonight, right?

Equipped with the best knowledge and practical how-tos from the best sleep scientists, coaches and practitioners — I was all in!!!

Shutting down my phone and computer an hour before bed, putting all the tech into light “night mode” two hours before sleep, not exposing myself to any blue light, shutting the blackout curtains blocking every possible crack for the street light to break in, not drinking much of liquids to avoid getting up to pee compromising the quality of my sleep, taking a shower to bring my core temperature down, even warming up my feet with a heater for that — I was ready for bed and in bed at 9PM, falling asleep with Alexa and “Healing Sounds” with a sleep timer set. My alarm was set up for 4.30AM, I didn’t intend to wake up a minute earlier! I knew my mind could trick me into getting up earlier, an ambitious ego-driven mother f*cker my mind is sometimes…

I woke up, as it turned out, a few minutes before the alarm, remembering in such vivid details such a bizarre movie-like dream!

One night! That was all it took!

I got my dreams back just like that.

Since then? Every night!

Every night I’m in for a movie better than any Netflix new edition — after all, I’m usually the star there!

And performance in the gym, at work, my sense of well-being and creativity, me leanness, my “easiness” to stick with my pre-competition diet — it all kind of got really better without me doing much. I can manage myself better. I feel … good. Just good and well. All the time.

But my dreams — that got me. I WAS indeed missing something I was not aware of. I wonder how it affected ALL my decisions through so many days, months and… maybe years of my “crushing it” life?

Are you having dreams regularly?

How is your creativity?

Sense of being well?

By the way, are you perfectly well and functioning without your morning coffee? (When was the last time you had a no-coffee morning? Maybe it’s time for a one?) Do you feel alert and focused without it? I know I know, I LOVE my coffee too! But, I don’t NEED it to function. I’m perfectly functional without it, having my workouts, working with clients each morning very often with nothing in my stomach but water till noon (True intermittent fasting anyone?)

“Second, can you function optimally without caffeine before noon? If the answer is “no,” then you are most likely self-medicating your state of chronic sleep deprivation.”

Speaking of workouts, fitness and, as long as we are at it, about weight loss and weight gain, healthy eating habits.

Did you know that sleeping 5–6 hours of sleep can make you 10–15 pounds heavier a year?!

10–15 pounds heavier a year?!

That you eat on average 300 calorie more daily when slightly sleep deprived? That you eat more junk? That you actually feel hungrier sleep deprived just a little?

“short sleep (of the type that many adults in first-world countries commonly and routinely report) will increase hunger and appetite, compromise impulse control within the brain, increase food consumption (especially of high-calorie foods), decrease feelings of food satisfaction after eating, and prevent effective weight loss when dieting.

When short sleeping, the very same individuals ate 300 calories more each day — or well over 1,000 calories before the end of the experiment — compared to when they were routinely getting a full night of sleep. Similar changes occur if you give people five to six hours of sleep over a ten-day period. Scale that up to a working year, and assuming one month of vacation in which sleep miraculously becomes abundant, and you will still have consumed more than 70,000 extra calories. Based on caloric estimates, that would cause 10 to 15 pounds of weight gain a year, each and every year (which may sound painfully familiar to many of us).”

And then you wonder, why you are such a sucker at keeping your diet resolutions — wonder no longer!

Maybe it’s time to hit a pillow?

Did you also know, that sleep deprivation, a slight one, decreases the amount of circulating hormone cortisol that increases muscle tissue breakdown and fat accumulation, especially in your mid section area and around your internal organs?

AND lack of sufficient sleep decreases the amount of testosterone and growth hormone, that further keep turning you into a skinny fat kind of person for no good reason it seems…


they have a dulled libido, making an active, fulfilling, and healthy sex life more challenging. Indeed, the self-reported mood and vigor of the young men described in the above study progressively decreased in lockstep with their increasing state of sleep deprivation and their declining levels of testosterone. Add to this the fact that testosterone maintains bone density, and plays a causal role in building muscle mass and therefore strength, and you can begin to get a sense of why a full night of sleep — and the natural hormonal replacement therapy it provides — is so essential to this aspect of health and an active life for men of all ages. Men are not the only ones who become reproductively compromised by a lack of sleep. Routinely sleeping less than six hours a night results in a 20 percent drop in follicular-releasing hormone in women — a critical female reproductive element that peaks just prior to ovulation and is necessary…”

Fascinating isn’t it?

Maybe you don’t look like a fitness model not because you don’t eat well enough, don’t exercise enough, or at least not honestly trying to but… because it’s THE time to hit a pillow a couple of hours earlier each night?!

Maybe you don’t look like a fitness model not because you don’t eat well enough, don’t exercise enough, or at least not honestly trying to but… because it’s THE time to hit a pillow a couple of hours earlier each night?!

“Despite knowing nothing about the underlying premise of the study, thus operating blind to the different sleep conditions, the judges’ scores were unambiguous. The faces pictured after one night of short sleep were rated as looking more fatigued, less healthy, and significantly less attractive, compared with the appealing image of that same individual after they had slept a full eight hours. Sundelin had revealed the true face of sleep loss, and with it, ratified the long-held concept of “beauty sleep.” What we can learn from this still burgeoning area of research is that key aspects of the human reproductive system are affected by sleep in both men and women. Reproductive hormones, reproductive organs, and the very nature of physical attractiveness that has a say in reproductive opportunities: all are degraded by short sleeping.”


You are saying you have too much work, life, things on your to-do list? NO time to sleep?

“Early studies demonstrated that shorter sleep amounts predict lower work rate and slow completion speed of basic tasks. That is, sleepy employees are unproductive employees. Sleep-deprived individuals also generate fewer and less accurate solutions to work-relevant problems they are challenged with.

People often tell me that they do not have enough time to sleep because they have so much work to do. Without wanting to be combative in any way whatsoever, I respond by informing them that perhaps the reason they still have so much to do at the end of the day is precisely because they do not get enough sleep at night. Interestingly, participants in the above studies do not perceive themselves as applying less effort to the work challenge, or being less effective, when they were sleep-deprived, despite both being true. They seemed unaware of their poorer work effort and performance — a theme of subjective misperception of ability when sleep-deprived that we have touched upon previously in this book. Even the simplest daily routines that require slight effort, such as time spent dressing neatly or fashionably for the workplace, have been found to decrease following a night of sleep loss.

Individuals who sleep fewer than seven hours a night on average cause a staggering fiscal cost to their country, compared to employees who sleep more than eight hours each night. Shown in figure 16A, inadequate sleep costs America and Japan $411 billion and $138 billion each year, respectively. The UK, Canada, and Germany follow.”

Basically guys, when we don’t sleep enough we might get more “awake” time (how awake are we though?), but we definitely not getting more done, definitely not better, and absolutely definitely we are not living a better life, the life that could be…

Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker, PhD.

We know what we are reading before bed tonight, right?

*And no blue light allowed!!!

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