89: Why Sleep Is More Important Than Diet and Exercise Combined with Shawn Stevenson

Why Sleep is More Important than Diet and Exercise Combined with Shawn Stevenson

If you haven’t heard of Shawn Stevenson, you’re about to meet your new best friend in health. I’m excited because he’s also one of the most knowledgeable people on the topic of sleep, one of my favorite things to research. (And something I dream about as a mom!)

You can get to know Shawn by reading his international best-seller, Sleep Smarter, or checking out his podcast “The Model Health Show,” which is usually somewhere around the #1 spot on health podcasts on iTunes.

Shawn has been featured in Entrepreneur magazine, FAST Company, Men’s Health, and so many other outlets … and I can see why. He has this amazing way of explaining his technical knowledge in a way that’s really relatable and easy to implement.

He truly believes that health (and a good night of sleep) is within everyone’s reach!

Shawn Stevenson Shares His #1 Health Secret: Good Sleep

We don’t get far into the interview when Shawn makes a rather shocking statement:

Sleep has more impact on health than nutrition and exercise combined.

Of course, we instinctively know sleep is important. One night of bad sleep and how we feel the next day proves it. But we kind of expect to just lay down and sleep … and that there’s not much more to it.

There are countless ways to “eat right” and exercise. But isn’t there just one way to sleep?

Shawn doesn’t think so. Even if you manage to sleep a decent number of hours per night, you might not be getting the benefits of all that sleep … unless you learn how to optimize sleep by understanding how it works!

In This Episode You’ll Learn:

  • how Shawn overcame degenerative bone and spinal disease (it’s an incredible story!)
  • why sleep—not nutrition or exercise—is the foundation of all health
  • the 4 pillars of health according to Shawn … and why without these supplements are useless
  • how to get more out of the hours you do sleep (must-have info for all moms)
  • what “fake medicine” can actually cure you 33% of the time!
  • the “nocebo” effect: what it is and what it can do to you
  • stages of sleep and what they do to restore the body
  • what powerful anti-cancer hormone your body makes while you sleep
  • surprising connections between sleep and memory
  • easy ways to increase your odds of getting great sleep at night
  • why Shawn advises sleeping naked and braless (it’s all the interest of health!)
  • the form of exercise all women should try
  • an extra reason to exercise that most people don’t know
  • and more!

Resources We Mention

Do you struggle with sleep? What has helped you? Will you give Shawn’s tips a try? 

Special Thanks to Today’s Sponsors

Today’s podcast is brought to you by Four Sigmatic. I have been using and loving and Instagramming their products for years. They have an amazing instant mushroom coffee … yes! mushroom! Believe it or not, it’s not only the best instant coffee I’ve ever tried, it’s also pretty high up on the list of best coffee I’ve tried, period!

Four Sigmatic coffee is made with superfood mushrooms with big health benefits like Lion’s Mane, Cordyceps, and Chaga mushrooms. The result is energy and mental clarity without the jitters from traditional coffee.

If you aren’t a caffeine person, they also have a variety of mushroom teas and other caffeine-free products. I love them so much that I reached out and they agreed to give a discount to my listeners. So, go to foursigmatic.com/wellnessmama and use the code “WellnessMama” to get 10% off!

This podcast is also brought to you by Thrive Market. If you live in a real food desert like I do, it can be difficult to find certain organic foods, specialty foods, or allergy-friendly foods. Thrive Market helps me solve this problem. They carry thousands of the non-perishable foods that I use most often, and at discount prices!

I think of Thrive as a combination of Costco, Amazon, and Whole Foods. They are online like Amazon, have a yearly membership fee to unlock discounts like Costco, and carry high quality foods like Whole Foods.

I order from them regularly and highly recommend them. Check out all of their products and grab a free jar of coconut oil here.

This post contains affiliate links. Click here to read my affiliate policy.

Reader Interactions

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Reader Comments

  1. Looked, but not sure where/how to find about “how Shawn overcame degenerative bone and spinal disease (it’s an incredible story!)”… would like to share with my 75 yr old sister having neck surgery 8/10… she has spine problems… Help, please?

  2. My husband has been working the graveyard shift for over 20 years at the hospital. What can day sleepers do?

  3. Chilipads are too expensive for me at this point. Where can I find a good cooling cap?

  4. I just happened to spot some mushroom hot cacao mix packets at Sprouts by the coffee today and picked up a couple different ones to try because I remembered your mushroom drink comments. Turns out these hot cacao packets are made by the same company (Four Sigmatic) that makes your coffee! I’ll try the “dark & spicy” one made with cordyceps, but looks like I’ll have to return the “sweet cinnamon” one with reishi. According to my research, reishi can lower blood pressure. I have extremely low blood pressure and can’t have anything that’ll lower it more. In fact, I had to start looking for alternatives to some of my favourite herbal teas because most are made with hibiscus and were making me faint from lowering my blood pressure too much.
    It’s a really good idea to carefully research any new supplement. Remember that what works for one person may be dangerous to you.

    -T.

  5. Is there any concern about EMFs with the chili pad? I’ve always avoided heating blankets for this reason…

  6. Loved this whole thing from start to end. He is my new best friend. Thank you.

  7. two thoughts/questions…
    1. i cannot sleep at all if i’m slightly chilly. I do tend to run cooler (98.9 is a fever me), not sure if that has an effect or not– but I often have to get up and get an extra blanket and wrap it around me under our sheets and blankets! I do best with flannel and sweatshirts, long pants and shirt tucked in. What’s up with that? If I fall asleep chilled I wake up cramped from trying to huddle in a locked position for warmth! I will have back pain, shoulder pain and a headache!
    2. I sleep with a bra while nursing bc I leak so much if I don’t!! (that’s why some women wear bras to bed. Mine are comfy, no underwire, and I don’t really notice it when I have em on.)

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