There are three fundamental reasons why we sleep. One is we’ve recently discovered it helps to flush out plaques called beta amyloid plaques; it’s a build up of these plaques that is believed to contribute to Alzheimer’s and other kinds of dementia. What we now know is that during the process of sleep, we flush out a lot of those plaques from the brain, therefore, staving off, or even reducing, or eliminating, the risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease. It’s certainly a principle to consider. Just by getting more sleep, we could mitigate the risks of early onset dementia, or Alzheimer’s later on in life.

The other components of sleep, a sleep cycle, is composed of light sleep, deep sleep, and REM sleep. We know that light sleep is the sleep that cycles us through the other stages. Deep sleep is where we write data to the disk, it’s where we download everything that’s gone on in our brains in the day. REM sleep is where we sift through memories and learning, and consolidate all of that.

They both perform really important functions. I quite often talk to people about sleep, and you hear a lot of people saying that they’re great on six hours, they thrive no problem at all. However, it’s actually a tiny percentage of people that have this genetic variation, according to Matthew Walker (author of Why we sleep: The new science of sleep and dreams), who thrive on six hours sleep a night or less. In fact, if you rounded it up or down, it would be 0%. That’s how few of us have that genetic variation that allows us to thrive on six hours sleep or less. Most of us need between seven and eight hours sleep. Many of us aren’t getting that.

I hope that’s helpful. If you need anything, or if you’ve got questions on any of this, you can email me at [email protected].

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Leanne Spencer is an entrepreneur, coach, TEDx Speaker, author of Remove the Guesswork, and founder of Bodyshot Performance Limited. Bodyshot is a health and fitness consultancy that helps busy professionals get more energy by removing the guesswork around their health, fitness and nutrition. Visit or email [email protected] to register your interest in our services and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


  • Leanne is an award-winning entrepreneur and the founder of Bodyshot Performance Limited. She delivered a TEDx talk on 'Why fitness is more important than weight', is the author of bestselling books 'Remove the Guesswork' and 'Rise and Shine', and hosts a podcast called ’Remove the Guesswork‘. Leanne is the founder of Bodyshot Performance, an award-winning health and wellbeing company. Bodyshot Performance work with businesses of up to 500 people who want to create a culture of energy, vitality and performance through the business and position wellbeing as a competitive advantage. Bodyshot intersect the latest science and technology to provide unique solutions to the challenge of wellbeing in the workplace that have a direct impact on the bottom line. Our clients have won awards for wellbeing and recognise it directly improves employee engagement and retention and attracts talent into the business.  We also work with chronically stressed or burned out professionals to get you back in control of your health and able to do the things you want to do in life. My expertise is around health, fitness and wellbeing, specifically focusing on sleep, mental health, energy, body composition, digestion and fitness. I host a popular podcast on iTunes called ’Remove the Guesswork ‘, and in November 2016 I delivered a TEDx talk on 'Why fitness is more important than weight'. I’m the author of the bestselling books 'Remove the Guesswork' and 'Rise and Shine' and I regularly speak to corporates on health and wellbeing. My personal values are to live truthfully, considerately and to "suck all the marrow out of life" as Thoreau said. I support the charity Diversity Role Models which works to combat homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying. I recently completed the world’s toughest ski race to raise £10,125 for Alzheimer's Research as my father-in-law was profoundly ill with Alzheimers, and I am on a constant mission to find ways to live in a way that is sustainable and environmentally friendly. I love sport, fitness, reading, gardening, business, podcasting, and being with my cat and our scampish little rescue dog, Kami from Romania.