Mindful Living

Not Seeing Results? This Could Be The Reason

Written By: Kripa Jalan

Not Seeing Results? This Could Be The Reason

“I’m eating well and working out vigorously, but I’m not seeing results.”

I hear this story far too often. Day after day, I’ve seen patients walk into my clinic, burnt out and frustrated, on the brink of giving up.

Take Meera (name changed,) my 34-year-old client, who was running a thriving marketing business and raising two young children. Despite her busy schedule, she made it to the gym at least four times a week and for the most part, ate fairly balanced meals. 

So, what was the deal?

A deep dive into her lifestyle revealed one glaring default. She was having major sleep issues. So much so that it was interfering with her work and home life.

Her story is sadly too common these days. And maybe, if you’ve found yourself in her story, you’ve been told by family, friends, and even doctors, that there’s nothing you can do about it (except, perhaps, quit your job and go on an extended vacation – which isn’t exactly feasible.)

However, this is common, not normal.

But, what’s so great about sleep?

For many people, sleep time is whatever time is left over at the end of the day.

Life is busy. Sleep can easily become a last priority. The reality is, especially within a busy life, taking ownership of prioritizing sleep is vital. We can't be healthy and happy without it.

  • Sleep restores everything in our bodies: Our immune, nervous, skeletal, hormonal, and muscular systems.
  • Sleep helps regulate our metabolism, including blood sugar and insulin levels. 
  • Sleep helps us make and recall memories. People think, learn, and make decisions better when well-rested. 

Importantly, sleep impacts how we feel and consequently, how we eat!

A person struggling with a lack of sleep is most likely going to experience issues in other areas, too. In some cases, poor sleep might be the root cause of the negative behaviors they want to change.  A few rough nights of sleep could trigger a cascade effect that seriously gets in the way of progress. 

Example A

Inadequate sleep --> Poor mood --> Argument with your partner --> Emotional distress --> Bingeing on ice-cream

What’s more, it might not be over after the ice cream is gone. All this stress could then affect that night’s sleep… creating a sinister cycle that happens over and over again.

Example B

Inadequate sleep --> Poor mood --> Argument with your partner --> Emotional distress --> Bingeing on ice-cream --> Inadequate sleep

It might not feel like a big deal to miss out on a couple of hours of sleep. (And now and then, it probably isn’t—plus, it’s inevitable for most of us.)  

But a poor sleep cycle is likely to have a negative emotional impact.

On the flip side, a small positive change, like consistently adding an hour or two of sleep (for folks who are able to but haven’t been prioritizing shuteye), might be more helpful than most people realize.