Why Sleep Is The Most Crucial Component To Biohacking, According To An MD
A good night's sleep can do wonders for our health, from helping improve blood pressure to helping keep your gut healthy. But a conversation with Molly Maloof, M.D., gave us another relationship between sleep and health to consider, bringing up its potential for helping us identify other health problems.
Maloof is a personalized medicine physician who works with high-performing executives to apply healthy principles across all aspects of life. She specializes in extending our "health span" and helping individuals take more ownership of our health. When we spoke to her on the mbg podcast, she said that sleep is one of the most crucial components of biohacking: It can be an indicator for when our bodies are in need of a little extra hacking and also is a useful tool in addressing gaps in our health.
"If I don't dream or if I have nightmares, that's a signal that something in my life needs to change," said Maloof. "If I wake up in the morning anxious, there's a signal something in my life needs to be addressed. So use sleep as a diagnostic tool about the health of your life. If your sleep is bad, something needs to be looked at."
Maloof sees sleep as a part of a wellness routine, and it's one that is based on her own experiences optimizing her routine for health.
"It was the first thing that I started optimizing because I feel like if I don't sleep well, then everything else is downhill," she said. "My metabolism is thrown off. I don't have as much energy. So I always make sure I get to bed and get eight hours of sleep."
Those eight hours provide a strong base for health and well-being, helping to isolate other things that might be going wrong when sleep is carefully maintained.
Once you notice the association between your sleep and other health indicators, it becomes easy to realize the value of adding more sleep to your routine. Sleep has actually been shown to be as important as other health essentials, like working out or nutrition, meaning you can look both to quality sleep as a diagnostic tool and as an important component of supporting a healthy routine.
If you are struggling with sleep, or feel like you're tired all the time, it could be an indicator of other things being off-kilter. And if it's stress that's keeping you up, check out these tips for sleeping better when your mind has (too many) other ideas.
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