Sleep = Repair and Detoxification

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The first thing I ask my friends, family and clients?

“How many hours of sleep do you get at night?”

If you know me, you know I have a non-negotiable commitment to an 8-hour sleep every night. I owe my healthenergyweight and motivation to this dedication to a good night’s sleep.

While it may be obvious sleep is important, people don’t realise just how important.

The benefits of sleep will enhance your health significantly! We need to take it more seriously.

Some top benefits…

It repairs. Your body produces extra protein molecules while you’re sleeping. These molecules build new cells and repair the damaged ones, in turn strengthening your bodies’ ability to fight infection.

It reduces stress. A good night’s sleep will lower your blood pressure and elevate the levels of stress hormone (cortisol) in your body. High levels of cortisol and blood pressure can lead to serious complications in our bodies. We won’t even go there now…!

It helps manage your weight. Ever felt like your are so much hungrier during jetlag or after a night out? Sleep helps regulate the hormones that affect and control your appetite. When we don’t get enough sleep, normal hormone balances are interrupted. Our bodies release the nasty hormone ghrelin that stimulates hunger quite significantly. According to The Sleep Diet by Pan Macmillan, “Chronic lack of sleep can also slow down the metabolism…”

It’s a mood enhancer. We all know how true this one is! Lack of sleep leaves us feeling irritable, moody and angry. Be careful because when limited sleep becomes a long-term situation, studies have shown it can lead to long-term mood disorders such as depression or anxiety.

It has beauty benefits. There is nothing worse than some one telling you that you look tired. Not to mention that it’s so rude! Never understood that one. Well, your 8-hour sleep will most definitely keep you radiating beauty and will diminish those puffy eyes and dark circles.  It will also keep your skin flawless and glowing as your skin cells have had the time to repair overnight and your hormones have had a chance to rebalance.

If you are finding it difficult to fall asleep at a reasonable hour, here are some tips:

Jess’s 10 Sleep Commandments: 

  1. Drink a cup of chamomile/chai tea with warm milk and cinnamon.
  2. Take a long, hot bath. I usually add a few drops of lavender oil or Epsom salts (it’s a relaxer and detoxifier).
  3. Set the mood – make sure your room is dark and clutter-fee and at a good temperature.          (Ideal sleep temp is 18 degrees C.)
  4. Electricity can suppress melatonin production (sleep hormone). Switch all electronic devices off at least 1 hour before bedtime. This is a must.
  5. Listen to some relaxation or classical music.
  6. Start a meditation practice.
  7. Eat dinner at least 2 hours before intended bedtime. Digestion slows down at night and the discomfort of a meal trying to digest can disrupt sleep.
  8. NO SUGAR BEFORE BED. This will cause hypoglycemia and wake you up at 4am.
  9. You have heard it before, and you will hear it again – AVOID caffeine close to bedtime. It takes up to 5 hours for the caffeine in your system to wear off.
  10. Don’t exercise too close to bedtime. Leave a 3 hour gap between your workout and lights out as exercise releases cortisol levels, a stress hormone that will keep you too alert for rest!

Remember: The best time to be asleep is between 11pm-4am. This is when the magic of repairing takes place.

Now, my friends, please get your 8-hour beauty sleep tonight! I promise it will be worth it.

Affirmation of the week: My body is important to me and I am committed to taking care of it.




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Nutrition 101 - A step by step nutrition guide to optimal health


Emotional Eating Guide - Learn how to rebuild your relationship with food and your body


The Clean Life - An Expert Guide To Health From The Inside Out


Restart Plan - Cleanse your system in 2 - 4 weeks & reveal a slimmer, healthier you


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Hi Jessica, I believe in synchronicity so when I was guided to you .on FB I was intrigued and inspired. I turned 46 last week and my husband bought me your book. I wanted to thank you for sharing your wisdom in such a beautifully presented way. My  copy is now filled with tabs and post it notes with actual notes throughout. I am dairy intolerant since having my gallbladder removed 15+ years ago, I don't eat meat, very minimal gluten and was told 12 months ago my gut was not digesting my food properly so I wasn't receiving sufficient nutrients and taking supplements would be a waste of time.  My weight fluctuates tending to gain rather than lose but now I believe I have a tool to help me bring my body back into balance that I need for my health and longevity of life - so again thank you. The first few steps to creating a stronger path forward for my health has found its foundation in your beautiful book, The Healthy Life.

With kindest regards Samantha

I'm writing this email because I wanted to tell you how much I love your blog and how you really helped me in my health journey. Thank you for sharing all your advices and experiences.

When I started my studies, I was drinking lots of coffee and I was eaten the wrong foods, and feel bad about it, I wasn't at my best. So I had done some research on the net but at first I didn't found advices that are for me, and then I found your blog. It was exactly what I was looking for, good advices and healthy recipes. Now I'm following your advices on rest more, and snacks between meals and prep the meals and take time for myself to reconnect with my body and let go my anxiety, etc, and I have a more balanced life and have a new relationship with food thanks to you.

I bought your book and it's honestly the best book I have ever bought. I suffer from IBS and anxiety. I have paid so much money seeing naturopaths however after reading your book and all of your tips I'm noticing so much of a difference, so simple and easy to follow. And symptoms have dramatically decreased. Also you have helped me to relax. Currently drinking the protein health smoothie! Thankyou your amazing.


Hey Jessica!
I haven’t yet brought ‘The Healthy Life’, but I do have the clean life and your slim down plan! I would like to thank you so much for the knowledge your share and the message you put across about health and wellness. I’m studying Nutritional Medicine in Melbourne and absolutely love the philosophy that you share with your JSHealth community. The work you’ve done to show people that leading a healthy lifestyle isn’t boring, tasteless, difficult or depriving is amazing and hope to share the message myself one day. You’ve inspired me to start my own blog , to share the message and have taught me so many things about my own health! You should be proud of your achievements! Thank you again

- Jacinta

I searched for help and tips through the Internet and found Jessica Sepel. This is seriously not exaggerated, but she was the reason why I have dared myself to eat again, to have snacks in between, to nourish my body. I could slowly improve my negative thoughts about my body image and my stupid anxiety of gaining weight. Besides, The Cleanest Gut was awesome too! A huge thank you! Especially from my mum. Seriously, without you I wouldn’t be where I am now!


Congratulations on your new book! It looks absolutely gorgeous. I’ve been following you on Instagram for a few years and you’ve inspired me to slowly but surely eat healthier without giving myself a hard time when I don’t. It made me so happy (and weirdly proud) to see the Daily Mail article on The Healthy Life. I remember trying out your recipes before you even had your eBook out! I can’t wait to get my hands on the book. Keep up the great work.

– Sophie

Cooking in this way truly brought out the foodie in me and has instilled a huge passion for health and wellness! Life throws you hard and frustrating things sometimes but I truly believe that this is where we learn more about ourselves and what our passions in life are! Thank you for inspiring me on my journey to health and wellness!


I am a yoga teacher in Johannesburg and am thrilled to have bought your book today. I love making healthy, nutritious food for my family, friends and fellow yogis! Thank you for this book and your inspiration (had to share a pic of my book on my recipe stand in the kitchen).

– Helene

I bought your beautiful book during the week and told my bestie to go out and buy it also! I love love love it. It is the book I would give to my younger self if I could (I am 41 years old). Everything is just so sensible and informative and is definitely a book all teenagers should have. This should be a text book for girls becoming teens. I will love going back and re-reading it many many times and can't wait to make more of the recipes. Thank you Jess - you are an incredibly inspiring woman and you should feel so proud

Michelle Curtis

My fiancé bought your book and we have cooked some of your meals. Amazing! I love your outlook on a healthy lifestyle and your hints and tips with preparing tasty meals are fantastic. Thanks for reviving us to live a healthier lifestyle and get our bodies wedding ready.