Sleep to lose weight. No wonder Michael Breus is popular. A Virginia Beach clinical psychologist board-certified in clinical sleep disorders, Breus regularly promotes the connection between sleep and health, and in particular metabolism. He has written two books on the subject, and has made TV appearances on "Dr. Oz," "The Doctors" and "The View."
On Tuesday, May 8, he's taking his message to the Simon Family JCC in Virginia Beach as part of the Jewish Family Service of Tidewater's "Week of Healthy Living." The promotional materials promise that he will reveal to listeners how they can become "slimmer, smarter, sexier and happier" through better sleep habits; in addition, he will give specific tips on how to get more and better sleep.
Sleep deprivation is at the root of several health issues, but it's different for everyone and both sleep quantity and quality can contribute, Breus said in a phone interview. As a general rule, signs of sleep deprivation include "taking less than 10 minutes to fall asleep" and "if you hit the snooze button more than twice."
One side effect of sleep deprivation is weight gain. "The more sleep deprived you are, the lower your metabolism and the higher your levels of cortisol, which increases appetite," Breus says. It also triggers a hormone imbalance, reducing the amount of leptin (which tells you to stop eating) and increasing ghrelin (which tells you to continue eating).
In "The Sleep Doctor's Diet" (2011), he gives a simple five-step plan for achieving optimal sleep:
• Go to bed at the same time every night, including weekends. "It's the biggest mistake people make. They don't go to bed at the same time. It's a priority issue."
• Don't drink caffeine after 2 p.m. "It has a half-life between eight and 10 hours. People underestimate that it lasts as long as it does."
• Stop alcohol consumption three hours before lights out. "Though it makes you sleepy, it keeps you out of a deep sleep."
• Exercise daily, but stop approximately four hours before bed. "So, you're not too revved up."
• Get 15 minutes of sunlight every morning. "It helps re-set your circadian clock."
Breus endorses naps for anyone who's not an insomniac. He also has no problem with physician-prescribed sleep medication or over-the-counter sleep aids, if taken according to directions.
Want to sleep better?
Who: Michael Breus, aka the Sleep Doctor, is the author of "Good Sleep" and "The Sleep Doctor's Diet Plan: Lose Weight Through Better Sleep"; http://www.thesleepdoctor.com.
What: Free lecture
When: 11 a.m. Tuesday, May 8
Where: Simon Family JCC, 5000 Corporate Woods Drive, Virginia Beach.
Info: The talk is part of the Jewish Family Service of Tidewater "Week of Healthy Living." Register online at http://www.jfsrunrollorstroll.org/stroll/healthyliving.asp, or call 757-321-2222.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times