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Surprising Science

Why Sleep Might Save Your Life

Few things have become as underappreciated in recent years as sleep. Yet for anybody who sees this activity as more of a luxury than a necessity in our ever-plugged-in world, today’s guest, Jonny Bowden, has some telling words: a lack of sound sleep releases the hormone cortisol, which not only causes stress but can also lead to weight gain and a reduced life span

Bowden also outlines the somewhat unexpected dynamics of the aging process, explaining the role that one of the key agents, “free radical” molecules, play in the body’s maturation. These molecules have broken apart from their natural pairings and, acting much like overzealous bachelors, attempt to “hit on” healthy cells, thereby causing oxidation. There are however, a number of strategies for us to cope with this curious process.

Bowden also gives tips on the foods, exercises and habits that one can do to keep their mind sharp for a lifetime—including battling the brain-shrinking effects of stress. Bowden also defines the 5 most effective techniques for preventing the deadliest disease in America, Heart Disease: with strategies ranging from lessening one’s focus on cholesterol intake and reducing inflammation, to acknowledging the implications of the “Rosetta Phenomenon.”


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