top of page
website high res.jpg

20 Sleep Thieves Robbing You at Night

Sleep is so valuable, that's why lots of thieves try to steal it

In this article you will learn:

  • Many "sleep thieves" that can rob you of precious sleep every night

  • What you can do to be aware and work preventively

Take this stuff to the next level:

Many of these items are simple, but some may need a more detailed exploration (like hormones) and understanding. This is also by no means an exhaustive list of everything that can fuck with your sleep, so keep that in mind. To get a comprehensive guide (1600+ scientific references) on this material and a lot more resources, grab a copy of my landmark book here and let's dive into a new journey.

The Details

The following is a line item list of common supplements, foods and biochemical causes that can upset your sleep. They are based on dozens of citations, all available in my book, "Dance Your Way Through Life: A No Bullshit Guide to Hacking Your Body, Mind & Soul for Success." Here I am just going to outline them for you. Remember also there are over a dozen nutrients you need for good sleep, listed here, and deficiencies in these can also lead to sleep problems. Isn't adulting fun?

Hormones & Neurotransmitters

All of the below listed hormones and neurotransmitters need to come into concert to for your sleep onset (time falling asleep) and sleep duration to work properly. Although you can't really take hormones as a solution, it's good to know so that you can intervene indirectly through nutrition and other therapy (like thyroid or cortisol issues) to balance them out naturally most of the time.

  1. Cortisol is your stress hormone and it is responsible for keeping you alert. An excess can lead to waking up at night to urinate or difficulty falling asleep, or waking up early in the night and being unable to sleep.

  2. Dopamine is similar to cortisol, and can be stimulated by various herbs, medications or supplements (like ALCAR). If you are staying up late at night playing videogames, bingewatching a show or working - you may be increasing your dopamine too much and screwing yourself in the process.

  3. Thyroid Hormones are intimately related to everything in our body, including sleep. If you are hyperthyroid it will affect your sleep and if you are hypothyroid it will also lead to insomnia in some cases (believe it or not).

  4. Estrogen/Testosterone are your sex hormones, and imbalances here can lead to sleep problems. Women who are around menopause will suffer from estrogen imbalances, and too much testosterone can actually lead to higher risk for obstructive sleep apnea due to a complicated relationship. Men getting TRT are often at risk for this, so always use a good sleep test and an oximeter (oxygen measurer) to see where you're at as a baseline.

  5. GABA is your relaxation neurotransmitter, but some people genetically are more deficient or have a harder time producing enough of it. You can take GABA as a supplement, but my first place to look would be nutrition so that the body can do it's thing. In the next section you'll see a link for an article on the 12+ nutrients needed for sound sleep. Start there.

  6. Serotonin is your comfy, happy, connecting chemical. Interestingly, too low or too high of levels can interfere with s