The Lesson: When people think about the most important contributors of a healthy lifestyle, they might just say diet and exercise – but not many people know how vital a good night’s sleep can be for your mental and physical wellness. That’s why Shawn Stevenson, a nutritionist and athlete, talks about the 10 simplest ways for people to get a better night’s sleep, and why it is essential for their health.

Notable Excerpt: “Sleep is so weird though – and this is part of the reason why it feels our culture looks down on it in a weird way. Like if you have 10 things to do, and sleep is one of them, you’re going to neglect sleep, saying things like ‘I’ll sleep when I’m dead’, [like it’s a badge of honor] … and the only thing that that is accelerating is the day when you ARE sleeping because you’re dead. Because your body really transforms itself while you sleep … and at no point in my book do I say that you have to get ‘blank’ hours of sleep, it’s more about the quality. You know, making sure that your body is going through the stages of REM and non-REM sleep. Because that’s really what is changing you.”

The Guest: When Shawn Stevenson was a youngster, he was diagnosed with a degenerative bone disease that crushed his dreams of becoming a professional athlete. Not only did he overcome the disease by adopting a healthier lifestyle, but he went on to become one of the most acclaimed nutritionists in the country. His podcast, “The Model Health Show”, is listed as the #1 Health podcast in America, and his book “Sleep Smarter” holds a wealth of information on the importance of sleep.

The Host: After spending years of his young life and athletic career struggling with his own emotional wellbeing, a crippling injury left Lewis Howes without an identity and without any work. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, however, Howes recreated himself as a multi-million dollar media producer, motivational speaker, bestselling author, and podcast host. The ex-football player now spends his days chatting with the most inspirational icons of this generation on his School of Greatness podcast.

Podcast: The School of Greatness podcast is available for download on Soundcloud and iTunes. You can also watch footage of the interviews on Howes’s YouTube channel.

Books: Howes is the author of the New York Times bestselling book “The School of Greatness”: an in-depth collection of lessons and wisdom that he has gathered from interviewing hundreds of the world’s greatest role models and thinkers. Howes’s latest book, “The Mask of Masculinity”, is based on his experience with the dangerous stereotypes and expectations that are placed on men in modern society.

(LISTEN to the inspiring talk below) – Photo by Ed Yourdon, CC

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