Better Sleep & Health | OYNB Podcast 018

One Year No Beer Podcast Episode 018 – Better Sleep & Health with Shawn Stevenson

We get so many questions from OYNBers just starting out their 90-day challenge regarding sleep. Why can’t I fall asleep? Why can’t I stay asleep? Why is so sleep so hard to get? Everyone complains about poor sleep once they quit drinking, so we specifically invited Shawn Stevenson on the podcast today to help us answer fan questions and find some reprieve for our members!

Shawn is the author of Sleep Smarter and host of his own podcast The Model Health Show where he dives into all-important health issues in every episode. He is a guru for all things healthy and sleep-related. He was empowered by his own life-threatening diagnosis to influence and empower others to take control of their bodies and their health. He’s practically inspired the both of us to create and expand OYNB and OYNB+ to be what it is today, and we can’t wait to hear what he has to say about alcohol, health, and sleep.

“The bad news is that alcohol radically depresses your REM sleep.”

If you’re wondering why you can’t sleep once you quit drinking, it’s because you’ve thrown your body off of its normal cycle. You’ve conditioned your body to fall asleep with alcohol without realizing that it greatly disturbs your REM sleep cycle. REM sleep is extremely important for rebuilding your body, storing your memories, and detoxifying your body and brain. When you drink, you impede all these natural systems. When you stop drinking, your body tries to get back into the cycle but the alcohol has blunted its ability to do so.

So how do we fix it? Shawn recommends exercise. “A great night of sleep starts the moment you wake up in the morning,” he says. And he means it! As soon as you wake up, get active. A few minutes of jumping jacks, push-ups, or kettle bell squats is all you need to get your body moving and grooving and healing again. Shawn says that even just five minutes will get your cortisol levels back on track. You want to jumpstart them in the morning with a quick workout so that they are lower in the evening, making it easier for you to fall asleep and (most importantly) stay asleep.

“Be aware of your tendencies and direct that toward something empowering.”

If it’s not in your nature to work out that early – or even work out at all – it’s time to start changing the way you think. If it’s your tendency to be lazy, try directing that energy toward something more empowering. Changing your mindset is no easy feat (we definitely know that), but Shawn shares his “Tools for Transformation” with us on today’s episode. And it means a lot to us because we use these tools as the foundation of the OYNB transformation.

First, you need a trigger. You’ve already triggered yourself by choosing to quit drinking and join us at OYNB. That should be enough motivation to get you up and moving! Second, you need a map, a plan that will help you stay on course and get you back on it in case you veer off. We don’t expect anyone – not even ourselves – to be perfect when it comes to changing for the better. That’s why we’ve created the map for you at One Year No Beer. Tons of great people, especially those like Shawn Stevenson, have come before you and did just what you’re doing now. With OYNB and OYNB+, we’ve put plans into place that help you avoid the pitfalls we’ve already fell into and to keep you on the path toward a healthy transformation.

This episode is extremely important to us because of how influential Shawn has been to One Year No Beer. His amazing insight and influence changed our lives for the better and we really want to share that experience with you as you all work to transforming yourselves into the best you can possibly be.


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Book: Sleep Smarter

Podcast: Model Health Show

Website: Shawn Stevenson Model

TED Talk: Shawn Stevenson


Bluebird Publishers

Good Dad Project Podcast

Mind over Medicine by Lissa Rankin

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