Lack of Sleep Means Pain, Weight Gain

Why is this a problem? Well, white sugar and caffeine stimulate the adrenal glands, which can in turn release the hormone cortisol. And since cortisol takes part in how our body metabolizes fat, protein and carbohydrates, our body does not function as well as it used to after continued use of these stimulants.

A vicious cycle develops. Lack of sleep hinders your body's attempts at proper repair and restoration. Then you start feeding your body with processed foods that let you hang for even more. Additional calories are the result. And because you are not feeling refreshed, a workout is the last thing on your mind.

Solutions for Sleep-Related Ills

The simple solution to breaking this cycle, of course, may be getting the missing sleep that could be at the root of your aches, pains and exhaustion.

Sure, easier said than done. But try following these checkpoints for proper rejuvenation:

Try to go to bed by 10 p.m., and aim to wind down and be asleep by 10:30 p.m.

Check your bedroom for light sources. These sources can be as seemingly minor as the light from a phone or from your alarm clock. Remove these light sources or cover them.

An eye mask might be helpful in blocking out additional light — plus, it's a great tip for airplane trips.

Try establishing a consistent sleeping schedule.

Avoid caffeine. If you must have caffeine, have it before noon and not later in the day.

Exercise can release endorphins, helping you look and feel youthful. Always remember that exercise is an important component in rejuvenation and to feel great about yourself.

If you are experiencing aches and pains, you might want to try to go to bed as mentioned above. See what happens. While there are many potential causes for aches and pains, solving the lack of sleep brought about by our many modern "conveniences" might be a good first step.

Stefan Aschan is a leading expert on lifestyle, health and fitness, who has helped more then 30,000 people get fit through advice on nutrition, fitness and lifestyle changes. To listen to Aschan's free one-hour seminar "How to Have 10 Times More Success, Stay on Top of Your Goals, and Accomplish the Change of Body and Appearance," visit

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