Calibrate recently held a Sleep & Metabolic Health webinar hosted by Calibrate Chief Medical Officer, Kim Boyd, MD, and Calibrate Sleep Expert, Ellen Vora, MD, to discuss how and why sleep is an integral part of the Calibrate program. Kim brings over a decade of experience working as a clinical leader in innovative health companies, including Galileo and Nurx, and at Calibrate, Kim is responsible for the design and development of the clinical program and curriculum. Our Sleep Expert, Ellen, is a board-certified psychiatrist, medical acupuncturist, and yoga teacher who takes a whole person approach to care that addresses imbalance at the root, and at Calibrate, Ellen is responsible for developing program content that includes lessons, guides, and tips.
If you missed our webinar, read further to learn what you can expect from our One-Year Metabolic Reset, plus some of Kim’s and Ellen’s favorite sleep hygiene tips to improve your day-to-day.
Four Pillars of Metabolic Health
An integral part of Calibrate’s program is combining intensive lifestyle intervention with doctor-prescribed, FDA-approved, GLP-1 medication. Our first group of Calibrate members have completed their first year and experienced an average of 14% weight loss, producing 2-3 times better outcomes than GLP-1s alone, and outperforming clinical studies that like Calibrate include GLP-1s and intensive lifestyle intervention.
Through our intensive lifestyle intervention, supported by real-time 1:1 coaching and a 52-week curriculum, members set and track goals for the Four Pillars of Metabolic Health: food, sleep, exercise, and emotional health. Throughout your Calibrate year, you’ll read lessons about each pillar, learn why they are important to your overall health, and begin to make tiny tweaks to your everyday life. Your coach will also help you set goals in each pillar as you progress through your first year.
Today, we’ll be uncovering the biological connection between sleep and metabolic health.
Sleep and Weight Loss Go Hand-in-Hand
Sleep is when our bodies have the opportunity to restore and repair themselves––all the way from our immune system fighting off pathogens and nascent cancers, to our glymphatic system clearing the brain of metabolic waste. It impacts our immune health, mental health, metabolic health, cognition and mood, and long-term brain health.
Throughout the day, sleep impacts our appetite, cravings, and our cortisol or stress hormone levels, which in turn impact insulin sensitivity and fat distribution. It impacts our appetite by affecting the balance of two important hormones: leptin and ghrelin. When we get enough sleep, these hormones help us maintain a state of metabolic balance. When we’re chronically sleep deprived, that influences these hormones in a way to promote cravings for sweets and carbohydrates and to promote insulin resistance and fat deposition.
Your Calibrate Sleep Goal
During your Calibrate year, you will learn to develop a schedule to improve sleep quality and minimize cardiometabolic health factors with 7-9 nightly hours of restful sleep. To keep your coach updated on your progress, you can track your energy levels and sleep on a daily basis through Calibrate’s app.
Sleep Hygiene Tips
Now that we have an understanding of why sleep is crucial to our overall metabolic health and how it impacts us throughout the day, here are a few of Ellen’s favorite tips on how you can improve your quality of sleep:
- Start with Light: Our circadian rhythm or sleep wake cycle is cued by light. Ideally, you want to see bright light first thing in the morning and throughout the day, and then adjust to darkness after sunset. Due to modern life, though, this isn’t the case for many of us. Ellen recommends going outside first thing in the morning, even if it’s for a short time, and invest in blue blocking glasses to wear after sunset.
- Power Down: Shut off your devices––laptops and cell phones––relatively early in the evening, around 8-9 p.m., and keep these devices out of the bedroom to avoid disrupted sleep.
- Stop Scrolling: Phones are designed to be addicting, especially when we consume endless content and media. This puts our bodies in a stress response, making it difficult to fall asleep.
- Aim for a Slightly Earlier Bedtime: Yawning, falling asleep on the couch, or getting a second wind are just a few of the signs that you’re tired and ready for bed. Recognize your signs of tiredness and aim to go to bed soon after you notice them.
- Caffeine and Alcohol: Both caffeine and alcohol are known to disrupt sleep. We can improve our sleep quality by limiting these, especially near bedtime. Our friends over at Proper have a full primer on how caffeine impacts sleep, plus what your cutoff should be based on when you typically go to bed at night.
- Supplements: Ellen recommends a magnesium glycinate supplement to support sleep, rather than melatonin. Magnesium glycinate is a safe and helpful over-the-counter supplement that should be taken with water half an hour before bed time. The recommended dose is 100-200mg to start.
- Irregular Sleep Hours: Night shifts or unpredictable shifts can have serious effects on your metabolic health and the loss of melatonin release impacts nascent cancer growths. Ellen recommends resisting the temptation to feel awake after your shift by wearing blue light blocking glasses on your commute home from work, engaging in your bedtime routine, and going straight to bed. Also, listen to your body and catch up on sleep if you feel that it’s necessary.
- Sacrificing Sleep: Never sacrifice sleep for another activity, including exercise. Sleep is needed as a foundation for the rest of our metabolic system to work optimally.
- Revenge Bedtime Procrastination: This is when you put off going to bed to engage in activities you missed out on during the day. Ellen’s best tip is to create a life that you love living during the day to avoid this phenomenon at night.
- Maintain a Stable Blood Sugar Overnight: If you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night, it might be because your blood sugar levels are unstable. Ellen suggests a spoonful of almond butter or coconut oil (pure fat or protein) before bed to avoid a blood sugar crash.
Interested in learning more about a whole-body metabolic reset? Learn more today.