How I fixed my sleep issues (without meds)

Many people suffer from sleep issues. If you struggle to fall asleep, this might help you…

Audio Transcript Below

Welcome back REBELs. It’s another episode of the Health REBELs podcast.

Now, I gotta be honest, it’s been a little while since we’ve done a podcast episode, I’ve actually been really, really sick. The last like month, I had this weird viral infection in my throat that just would not clear up no matter whatever I tried. But that’s not very important.

What is important, though, is that we’re back, we’re back to the Health REBELs podcast, we’re gonna talk a little bit about the illness, because that’s going to be today’s topic, it led to some sleep issues, which we fixed. And I’m going to tell you how we fix sleep issues during this little illness. That way, if you’re having some struggles sleeping, we can give you the tools so that you can fall asleep easily.

But before we get into the main podcast, we always want to recap the REBEL oath, right? The REBEL oath is the framework we use to shield ourselves from unhealthy habits, and to also guide us towards those healthy decisions. Right, it’s a five part framework, and it spells out REBEL

The REBELs oath says

  • Reject extremes
  • Energize ourselves through healthy habits
  • Break free from common standards
  • Excite ourselves about our potential, and finally,
  • Love ourselves and act accordingly.

Personal Training Spokane The Health R.E.B.E.L.s Oath helps fix sleep issues

But anyway, let’s dive into today’s episode because I was having some trouble sleeping. And I know you might have had the same instance sometimes, right? You lay down a bed, you’re ready. And…



You just lay there wide awake, and you turn, and you try to fall asleep and you try to force yourself to go to sleep and you just stays away.

You count some sheep and it doesn’t help. No matter how many sheep you count, you get to 372. And you’re like, “why? How many sheep can there possibly be?” And it just doesn’t come? Well, this happened to me. Right?

I got off my routines. I got off my habits, the illness that I had disrupted my routines, it disrupted my day. And at the end of the day, when I tried to fall asleep. I didn’t do the thing that sets up sleep.

Now what’s the thing that sets up sleep?

That’s a great question. And you might remember, a few episodes ago, Episode 112 112 of the Health REBELs podcast, we talked about how to fall asleep. And we talked about the three biological systems that your body uses to regulate sleepiness. And I wasn’t, I wasn’t supporting one of those when I was sick. When I was ill, I wasn’t doing anything to create sleep pressure. And that’s why when I lay down to sleep, I wasn’t that tired, I’m still wide awake, I was ready to go, I was really not tired.

And I was having issues going to sleep because I didn’t have that sleep pressure. Now, if you don’t remember what sleep pressure is, it’s the buildup of adenosine, a chemical called adenosine in your brain, that when it hits a certain threshold, tells the brain Hey, it’s time to shut down, it’s time to go to sleep. It’s time to there’s a lot of stuff that the brain does while it’s asleep, to help with with cleaning and detox. So the brain, the glymphatic system really goes and there’s a lot of fluids that wash you literally wash your brain when you go to sleep. And the buildup of adenosine is what triggers that. Now, I wasn’t doing anything to create a buildup of adenosine.

You know, adenosine might might be faintly familiar, you might have some slight recollection of that term from like a high school biology class. You know, I know for a fact you know, the expression, mitochondria is the power is the power factory of the cell, right? It’s the power plant of the salad creates all the energy. And the energy within your cells is a chemical called ATP adenosine triphosphate. And this this chemical, this ATP, the adenosine triphosphate, it’s used for every function in the body. Virtually every function. There’s a couple other ones like creatine and some other stuff, but your body most often uses adenosine triphosphate. And as it does that, the adenosine pops off, it goes into the blood and it comes up and it passes through the blood brain barrier and it accumulates in the brain as you do more stuff throughout the day, more ATP is used up more adenosine gets released gets built up in the brain. And then you get that sleep pressure.

Now when I was ill I was resting all day I was laying down, I was watching a couple more shows not quite the old school sick stuff. When we were little kids watching the prices rice with Bob Barker. It was a lot more Lord of the Rings because we have streaming services now. But I wasn’t active, right, I was resting and recovering. I wasn’t active, I wasn’t getting my non exercise activity with my stepson. I wasn’t moving around, I wasn’t going to the office, I was on the couch all day. I wasn’t doing much, right. I wasn’t having complex conversations. I wasn’t gesturing wildly with my hands on this video podcast, right, which if you’re on YouTube, Spotify or Facebook, you can see. If you’re listening to the audio, just Just trust me. I’m very, very “gesticular.” (Hopefully that’s a good word sounds little naughty.)

But I, I wave my hands around, right? That’s more activity that’s more adenosine, that’s more sleep pressure at the end of the day. And as I laid on the couch, I didn’t do anything. Even when I felt better, right, there’s still wasn’t back into the routine still wasn’t as active as I normally would be. And I didn’t have that sleep pressure. So after a few days, I would lay down in bed, and there’d be nothing putting me to sleep. Right, I’d lay down and I’d be wide awake.

Now a lot of people get this because unfortunately, modern society is a very sedentary lifestyle, right. And if you, if you go on to the Health REBELs blog, I’ll put a I’ll put a link in the show notes in the description so that you can find it. But there’s a blog called too much juice, and not enough squeeze. And it highlights a lot of the changes that we’ve done to create a culture of convenience, so that we don’t have to do activity, right. And we’ve engineered a lot of activity out of our lives to create more sedentary habits. And for some people that’s causing sleep issues as well, right, because you’re not getting that buildup of adenosine, right.

So there’s things that we can do if you’re having troubles falling asleep, if you lay down, and suddenly you’re not tired, you don’t have that pressure to go to sleep. There’s things that we can do not necessarily you don’t have to crush yourself with a workout, you don’t have to do a ton of labor, but some small activity throughout the day, being deliberate about getting off your butt cheeks throughout the day, whether that’s for a light stretch for a five minute walk, or whatever it is, that will help build up some sleep pressure so that you can go to bed. Right. And when I noticed this when I noticed that I wasn’t getting that sleep pressure.

The next day I did a two mile walk just kind of lunchtime sounds like a lot is about 40 minutes, a 40 minute walk. And I slept like a baby, right just a little bit of movement just a little bit more than the day before was enough to release enough adenosine to give me that sleep pressure to help me fall asleep the next day. And I know a lot of people are reliant on sleep medications. But we might want to evaluate whether we’re doing the right things throughout the day to accumulate adenosine and give us the sleep pressure at night. Now there’s a couple other reasons why people would have troubles falling asleep, either their mind’s racing or some other stuff. And remember, Episode 112 talks about all three systems that help us fall asleep. Today we’re just talking about sleep pressure, right? We’re just talking about sleep pressure, because it’s that thing that pushes us asleep. And it’s it’s easy to tell when you’re lay down and you just don’t feel tired. Right and it’s a very easy one to fix just by being a little bit more deliberate throughout the day. You don’t have to do anything out string outrageous or extreme or, or really, really fanatical to get that sleep pressure.

But a little mindfulness throughout the day to be a little bit more active to fidget a little bit more to do just a little bit more to just move around instead of sitting still. It can do just enough to help us improve our sleep. And if you’re having sleep issues, I hope this helps you if you know someone having sleep issues. I hope this helps you and if you need more sleep information. Remember our coaching at Health REBELs has a holistic approach that focuses on all six components of a holistic lifestyle right mindset activity, sleep, nutrition, stress management, and supportive accountability.

If that’s something that you’re interested in, I encourage you to head on over to to my website, you’ll see there’s a special offer on there to get your initial coaching session, high, high protein recipe pack and a starting workout guide, all for $1. It’s a fantastic deal, you should definitely take advantage of that. And speaking of fantastic things if you’ve enjoyed today’s podcast, it would be fantastic if you could leave a review. It helps it spread around so that more people can get sleep help. So if you would be kind of you’ve enjoyed the podcast Have you enjoyed today’s episode? Wherever you’re listening, whether it’s Facebook, Spotify, YouTube, anchor Google podcasts, Apple podcasts, if you can leave a review. I would love that. In fact, if you leave a review, send me a screenshot of your review or comment to Steven at health and I’ll send you a free gift. I’ll send you a free gift if you just leave me a review and send me proof.

Anyway, that’s all I got for you today. So I want to leave you the same way we always leave you until I see you again next week for another episode of the Health REBELs podcast. Keep the oath