Let’s take a breather and talk sleep.
I cover tips and research from various sources, including an excellent show with neuroscientist Dr. Matthew Walker of UC Berkeley on the Joe Rogan podcast. Walker hits us hard with some amazing stats about increased dysfunction and accident risk when you skimp on sleep. The function of over 700 genes are distorted when you skimp on sleep to the tune of six hours a night for a week. Walker says we all need 7-8 hours, countering a common assertion that a certain select few of us can function well as short sleepers. Walker also mentions how you can kiss your fat loss goals goodbye if your sleep is less than optimum. In short, you stimulate appetite hormones and mess up fat metabolism when you blast your eyeballs with artificial light and digital stimulation after dark.
I mention a Scientific American article from Dr. Tafti about sleeping more efficiently. One sign is that you have more intense dreams. Dang! That never happens to me! I talk about a recent show on Dr. Peter Attia awesome podcast, The Drive. He mentions a study from Eve Van Counter talking about how easy it is to become measurably insulin resistant due to sleep deprivation. I discuss a great article in Paleo Magazine that describes how sleep benefits to the brain (literally detoxing waste products from brain cells), and also provides a ton of practical tips to improve your sleep habits. Among then, getting direct sun exposure in the morning, having dark, quiet, calm evening ritual, keeping a simple, Spartan bedroom used for only two activities—definitely no screens! Finally, I talk about some of my favorite tips, like switching to vintage light bulbs with orange hue instead of the traditional white bulbs that blast you with the blue light spectrum that can harm your hormonal function in the evenings. Ditto for orange lenses, candlelight, salt lamps, and general using minimal light in the evenings. Enjoy the show and get motivated to bring your A game to the challenge of sleep!
Chronic sleep deficiency has been identified in modern population. Why? It’s the artificial light stimulation after dark that is an offense to your genetic function. [00:01:30]
Tips and Stats:
Half of the brain doesn’t sleep properly when you are away from home. [00:04:55]
700 genes are distorted when you sleep six hours per night for a week straight. [00:06:07]
There is only about 1 percent of the population who can function with six hours of sleep. (DEC2 gene) [00:08:51]
Twenty five percent increase in heart attacks and Alzheimer’s due to insufficient sleep. [00:11:19]
One hundred and seventy percent increase in surgical errors due to insufficient sleep. [00:11:51]
If dieting and lack adequate sleep, you are in trouble. Sleep deprivation affects testosterone levels. [00:13:18]
Dr. Tafti in Switzerland says if you want to sleep fewer hours, you need to sleep more efficiently with more intense REM states. [00:15:48]
Sleep deprivation can rewire your emotional circuitry. [00:16:38]
Paleo Magazine article on sleep says the main purpose of sleep is to detoxify the brain. [00:18:48]
Inadequate sleep worsens memory and problem solving. [00:22:14]
Athletes need adequate sleep due to the muscle damage caused by hard training. [00:23:38]
Tips to improve sleep: [00:24:04]
Make sleep a priority.
Get outside into direct sunlight first thing in the morning.
Exercise and keep moving.
Make sure evenings are dark calm and quiet.
Manage stress effectively.
Manage insulin production by having a diet low in carbohydrates.
Caffeine only in the morning hours.
Sleep Environment: [00:27:51]
Total darkness.. No night lights, no LED. Get blackout curtains.
Get a noise-cancelling machine.
Make sure temperature trends on the cool side.
The body temperature is supposed to drop.
Environment should be clutter free, simply and tidy.
Plug phone in outside the bedroom.
Develop the art of napping is valuable.
Eve Van Cauter, Ph.D. – Studied sleep deprivation
“During sleep brain cells shrink by 60 percent increasing the space between them, so that the toxin buildup can be flushed out more effectively.”
Welcome to the Get Over Yourself Podcast. This is Brad Kearns.
“Realize that any time you turn on an artificial light source after it’s dark in your environment, you are creating an offense and a front to your genetic function.”
[Brad Kearns Singing 00:00:30 to 00:01:18]
Okay, okay, let’s get to it. Let’s talk about sleep. The most important thing ever. The number one health priority because your diet and exercise goals will go in the tank if you don’t get sufficient sleep. Everybody nods their head, everybody knows this, and why is it such a widespread problem with chronic sleep deficiency identified in the modern population? Why? Why does this happen? Why can’t we unplug from the excess of artificial light and digital stimulation after dark?
That’s my own personal characterization as the number one health offense of modern society. Probably up there in a dead tie with the crappy modern processed foods of refined carbohydrates and vegetable oils. But this artificial light and digital stimulation after dark is such an offense to our genes and our health, because for two and a half million years, humans and all other life forms on the planet earth have evolved to be tightly regulated, highly regulated, hormonal and genetic functioned by circadian rhythm – the light and dark cycles on the planet. An assortment of hormonal and genetic functions are highly attuned to the light and dark cycles.
So, when it got dark for the past two and a half million years, we got sleepy, we toned things down, we wound down and we facilitated a wonderful restful night’s sleep accordingly. Now, dark is when we make it dark. When we turn off the light or close the screen. So, we’ve completely confused our genes and disengaged from the powerful force of the rising and setting of the sun.
So, that’s the first objective in my estimation. My recommendation is to minimize artificial light and digital stimulation after it gets dark in your area. Yes, this means that in the winter months, you are going to have much more downtime, much more darkness in your life, much more sleeping hours than you might in the summer when the sun is up. Especially if you’re in the northern latitudes and you can enjoy long days, more energy, all kinds of summer adventures, especially the Scandinavians, Canadians, Alaskans that maximize that summer opportunity because winters are so dark and cold. And boy, this is how to live as a human.
So, if you’re near the equator and there’s not much difference, we still want to have these dark, quiet, mellow evenings after the sun goes down. Realize that anytime you turn on an artificial light source after it’s dark in your environment, you are creating an offense and a front to your genetic function. Especially the concept of dim light melatonin onset. This is what happens, the hormones take action when it gets dark. A couple of hours after it gets dark, you start to get sleepy. The melatonin floods your bloodstream. That’s the familiar sleep hormone that gives you that sensation of sleepiness.
By the way, melatonin is a powerful agent that affects something like 84 other critical health and restoration functions. It’s not just making your eyes sleepy, so that you rub them and fall asleep. But when we interfere with dim light, melatonin onset, we are compromising adequate rest and restoration, compromising peak brain function, physical performance and recovery, fat metabolism, all those things.
Let’s get into some tips and stats to cover Brad’s blather, huh? Okay. Matthew Walker from UC Berkeley had a fantastic appearance on the Joe Rogan Podcast in 2018. A couple million views on YouTube. Hail to the podcast world! Can you believe that? I mean that’s more viewers than the national evening news, 60 Minutes, the top-rated shows on Nielsen. Great stuff, unfiltered. That’s the beauty of the podcast medium. You can consume it conveniently, and thank you for listening to this show.
So, Dr. Walker, neuroscientist, getting in deep to the sleep scene. One insight he mentioned that was really funny, is that half of the brain doesn’t sleep deeply, doesn’t sleep properly when we’re away from home. So, if you’re one of those people that complains that you have a tough time, and even the luxury hotel room that’s nice and quiet and dark and cool, it’s sort of this genetic mechanism like threat detection, that your awareness is heightened when you’re away from the comfortable environment of home. And that’s possibly why you’re not sleeping well, despite everyone’s measures to make things perfect for your sleep.
700 genes are distorted when you sleep for six hours a night for a week straight. And we talk about these recommended hours that are bantered around by everyone. Usually, you hear that eight hours sleep is the optimal. You often hear that seven hours sleep as the minimum for humans. I love the book “Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar, and Survival” by Formby and Wiley. And they talk about this circadian rhythm concept whereby eight hours of sleep is a recommended optimum in the summertime. But in the wintertime, you might need up to nine and a half hours because you have shorter days and longer nights. So, your sleep requirement will vary over the course of the year if you’re away from the equator, obviously.
Secondly, it will definitely indeed vary by the level of physical and mental exertion you output during the day. My great show with Joel Jamieson, the recovery model of training, where the more work you do, the harder you work, the harder you need to recover, and the more energy you need to devote to recovery. And that would also include hours of sleep.
So, let’s say, for example, there’s a big-time triathlete out there training for the Ironman and they up their training from an average of 10 hours a week over the winter, spring up to 20 hours a week in the summer. Congratulations, probably you’re overtraining. But we’ll talk about that on different shows. But if you’re training more hours per week, you also need to increase your sleep hours per week, accordingly.
I referenced during my time as a professional triathlete, during that nine-year period when I was traveling around the world and training really hard to the maximum of my energetic output, I was asleep for half that time. So, for that nine-year period, I routinely slept 10 hours every single night and took a two-hour nap almost every afternoon. And believe me, if I miss that little nap, I was feeling it, I was cranky. If the line was too long at the DMV or the library or whatever, and I miss my nap time, oh poor guy, had a compromised swim workout in the evening hours.
But it’s pretty big time when you’re working really hard and pushing yourself really hard. Those are the type of people, the category of people that often find their sleep compromised and it absolutely does not add up to a complete equation. If you work hard and play hard, you need to sleep more. 700 genetic functions are distorted if you compromise on your sleep.
What about those all-stars that need less sleep? Well, there has been some science discovery of this DEC2 gene, whereby certain members of the population can function optimally on less sleep than others. The experts believe this is only about 5% of the population that can manage on a routine of six hours of sleep.
Dr. Walker says that it’s only 1% that have this rare genetic experience where they can thrive on a five to six-hour sleep average because of their genetics. And gee, I guess these people probably know who they are because they wake up refreshed and energized and feeling great and don’t have energy lows during the day despite not getting a lot of sleep.
On the other hand, I would venture to guess that there’s probably a larger percentage of the population that believes they have this DCE2 gene mutation where they can get by on less sleep. They argue that they’re one of those people, but they’re not really. And they’re cutting corners and experiencing compromised function and possibly longterm health consequences that aren’t playing out immediately because they’re locked into fight or flight patterns. Where they’re just burning the candle on both ends as they say, and will come pay the price when they hit age 45 or age 55 or age 65. That doesn’t sound like a fair trade or a good deal to me.
Oh, if you’re one of those people that doesn’t get enough sleep but is really good at nodding off at a moment’s notice, these are called micro sleeps. And Dr. Walker observes that these may not be very healthy. I’m not talking about someone who can close their eyes on an airplane and crash out for an hour and be expert at napping, because I’m one of those people. I’ve trained myself to become expert at napping. Especially when I get on an airplane, I put the blindfold on and I sleep very well on airplane flights. And I think it helps me manage the effects of jet lag.
I’m talking about those people that will nod off at their desk during a meeting or have a five-minute cat nap where they woke up and don’t even realize they fell asleep. Walker reports that oftentimes these happen behind the wheel with deadly consequences. So, micro sleep experiences might mean that you are deficient.
Here’s some more gnarly stats; 25% increase in heart attack due to insufficient sleep. Dr. Walker mentioned Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, those two world leaders raining around the same time, famous for their short sleep habits and also both contracting Alzheimer’s and having a disappointing demise. So, there is an association with increased Alzheimer’s risk and insufficient sleep.
How about this one? 170% increase in surgical errors by surgeons getting by on six hours of sleep or less. 168% increase in car accidents with medical resonance driving home after long stints at the hospital.
Here’s another shocking stat from Walker when he said, one in 20 residents kill a patient for a fatigue-related error. I shared that with my sister who happens to run a residency program for family physicians at a county hospital and also, my friend Dr. Steven – family physician (number one podcast show fan). We’re going to do a future show with him, recapping his favorite shows on the Get Over Yourself Podcast. And they called royal bullshit immediately on that. That there’s no way one in 20 residents are killing a patient because they didn’t get enough sleep. So, somehow that got lost in translation or sensationalized, but it definitely doesn’t sound realistic.
So, the inflammatory stats aside, I think the point is well-taken that residents have a really tough grind. I know that they’re making improvements to the horrifying stories of old times where the residents were, really were working around the clock until they collapsed and got a few hours of sleep and got back doing it. That’s not the type of person that you want presiding over a patient’s health. Because (back to the Walker show) if you have four hours of sleep, you are classified as legally drunk. Your decline in function is to that extent.
Oh, if you’re dieting and trying to lose weight, but you lack adequate sleep, you are in big trouble. And this is a super important concept for all the people in the primal paleo, keto, low-carb scene, trying really hard to restrict carbohydrate intake according to keto guidelines and get under 50 grams a day or try to get even into the primal zone, where you’re cutting out the grains and sugars and the quick energy foods. But if you are sleep-deprived, you’ll lose weight if you restrict calories and go on a strict diet, but it will be 70% lean body mass and not body fat. The body becomes stingy with its fat stores when you are sleep-deprived.
Furthermore, sleep deprivation will trend you back in the direction of carbohydrate dependency. Your body will suck at burning fat and be more likely to crave sugar and quick energy foods when you are not getting enough sleep. So, especially if you’re in the diet, weight loss ambitions, sleep is number one before you even fool around with diet.
Important stat, how about males trying to preserve or optimize their testosterone levels, which is everything as you get into the advanced decades in your ‘40s, ‘50s, ‘60s, trying to hang on as best you can to some semblance of masculinity and peak performance. Men who sleep five to six hours a night have testosterone levels of men 10 years their senior. You just chopped a decade off of your potential just because you don’t sleep enough. Testosterone and the optimization of the other sex hormones and stress hormones, much of that happens at night while you’re restoring and reenergizing and rejuvenating.
Speaking of testosterone, we usually think of it in the narrow reference of that male aggression, that kind of characterization, but as Ashley Merryman (future podcast guest) details so beautifully in her book “Top Dog”, “Testosterone is associated with peak performance. All manner of peak performance, including enhanced cognitive function for problem solving things that are not necessarily related to aggression. Testosterone makes you better at whatever you’re doing at the time,” was the brilliant quote from Ashley that I may have a distorted a little bit. But it was an interesting insight detailed in that book “Top Dog’.
There’s the article in scientific American that will be included in the show notes, quoting a Dr. Tafti from Switzerland, who speculates that if you want to sleep fewer hours, you need to sleep more efficiently with more intense REM states (Rapid Eye Movements) at the dream state. So, if you have intense vivid dreams, that’s a sign that you’re really sleeping well. And Dr. Tafti believes that this might be happening in those people that have the DEC2 mutation. Where they’re just getting super high-quality sleep. Happens to be for fewer hours.
Oh man, what a bummer to read that, because I never remember my dreams for some reason. So, I must be one of those people that needs more hours to get the job done. Then people like Mia Moore who sleep like a rock and wake up with fewer hours feeling great. Okay, whatever it takes to get it right. We’re going to talk about the optimal environment later.
The Scientific American article also suggest that sleep deprivation can re-wire your emotional circuitry. With Dr. Walker adding that almost all psychiatric disorders show some problems with sleep. Reflect on that for a moment. That’s pretty heavy. I wonder if the converse is true. That is, if you’re sleeping well, you’re going to be protected from a psychiatric disorder. I don’t know.
Quote from Walker. “The medial prefrontal cortex is the policeman of the emotional brain. It makes us more rational. That top down inhibitory connection is severed in the condition of sleep deprivation. The amygdala seems to be able to run amuck. People in this state seem to experience a pendulum of emotions going from upset and annoyed to giddy in a short time.” I think we may start to think about a new potential function for sleep. It does actually prepare our emotional brains for next day, social and emotional interactions.” End quote from Walker.
Peter Attia, my second podcast episode guest, and now host of the wonderful “The Drive Podcast”, did a show on sleep, quoting a study from Van Cauter 2012, saying that four days of sleep restriction, where you go down to four and a half hours per night, resulted in an insulin resistant state in fat tissue in healthy adults. Now, you can get insulin-resistant by eating poorly for a decade or two or three, but just four days of messing with your sleep, puts you in that disastrous disease state that is identified by many health experts to be the number one problem in modern society. Insulin-resistance, metabolic syndrome markers causing obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, in droves, in epidemic proportions.
Paleo Magazine – have you heard of that? They are a fine outfit, good distribution into health food stores. You can also order it to your door and be a true enthusiastic of the paleo movement accordingly. So, check it out. They had a great article on sleep recently. One of the mentions was that the main purpose of sleep is to detoxify the brain because metabolic byproducts accumulate during the day because you’re working this thing so hard, and it’s a huge energy demand organ.
Did you know that the brain only represents about 2 to 3% percent of your body weight? For me, it’s 3.3, but anyway, this small portion of your total body weight burns up 20 to 25% of your daily calories. And as we know, from basic elementary science that I flunked in middle school and high school, when you burn calories, you are producing oxidative stress just from burning energy, especially glucose. That’s why keto people have better brain function, cleaner burning brain field, but that’s an aside. When you’re burning energy and so much energy in the brain, a quarter of all your energy going on in the brain, you accumulate waste products from that intense caloric expenditure.
Here’s a quote from the Paleo Magazine article. “During sleep, brain cells shrink by 60%, increasing the space between them so that the toxin buildup can be flushed out more effectively into the bloodstream and processed out by the liver and the kidneys.” Get it, because your brain’s not working, you’re finally closing your eyes and turning off for the night, that’s when brain restoration occurs. So, the shrinking of the cells, allowing the toxins to flow out, and then you wake up in the morning, take a leak, and your brain is clear and ready for more peak performance.
“Without sufficient sleep (this is quoting the article again), the toxins build up and cause trouble with cellular function, neuro transmitter firing, hormonal problems and the big bad, horrible inflammation in the brain. When you have inflammation in the brain, this is a precursor to cognitive disease states like Alzheimer’s and dementia that are characterized, that are marked by inflammation in the brain.”
Are you scared straight yet to prioritize sleep? I know that I am because I don’t want to experience that horrible fate of finishing off the journey of through life with cognitive decline. And increasing science is supporting the idea that these advanced rates of cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s dementia, are strongly associated with a crappy diet, particularly consuming the sugars and grains that burn dirty in the body and not being adept at fat and ketone burning. And then secondly, by insufficient sleep, excess artificial light and digital stimulation after dark. It’s no argument from any scientist that this popoff who’s hosting the show would say that you are shortening your lifespan when you don’t get enough sleep.
More talky talk, inadequate sleep, worsens memory. And three different kinds of memory would be working memory, declarative memory and procedural memory. It also hinders problem solving, decision making and makes you more accident and error prone. And the trippiest thing about it is, because you’re sleep-deprived, you don’t realize your decline in cognitive function because you’re a slacker all of a sudden, and you can’t tell that everything’s taking more time and you’re losing and misplacing more things. And oh boy, that’s one place where I really catch myself. Is that if I start doing goofy stuff and losing and misplacing too many things in the course of one day, I know something’s off. And I will take a step back and reflect and go, “What’s going on that I left my wallet in the shopping cart? Made a U-turn, rushed back to the Nugget market, ran in there and smashed my toe on the doorframe.”
Oh, things are starting to add up. You know what I’m talking about? Yes, I know you know what I’m talking about. Those are times to check our ego at the door, realize we need to slow down. We’re not the master of our destiny. We have to do built-in safeguards and strategies to make sure that we get enough sleep and don’t screw things up by trying to do too much.
Oh, how about that? Okay. Athletes do need more sleep due to the muscle damage caused by hard training. Also, knowing that in many sports where this is important, just about every sport, when you are deficient in sleep, you mess up your reaction time and you have a dramatically increased risk of injury because you’re not operating at peak neuron firing in the brain and sinking in harmony and in the zone with your mind, body connection.
So, the magazine throws out 15 pretty cool tips. Let’s go through them quickly and then wrap up this breather show before we get cut off and miss the breather category, because I promise these to be brief. Hey man, this is an important topic. So, if you don’t have time to listen to a show about sleep and get motivated and focused, wow, let’s reprioritize. Yeah, here’s 15 tips.
Number one, make sleep a priority.
Number two, get outside into direct sunlight during the day, especially first thing in the morning. Really interesting. This is recalibrating your circadian rhythm and hormonal function. So, when you expose yourself to direct sunlight first thing in the morning, you are getting that optimal spike of serotonin, cortisol, and the other hormones that make you feel alive and awake and energized. And indeed, this will affect your ability to fall asleep gracefully later that evening. So, direct sun first thing in the morning.
Also, exercising and keeping moving throughout the day will help with the aforementioned dim light melatonin onset. In contrast, when you blast your eyeballs with light in the evening after dark, it will help with the spike of the prominent fight or flight stress hormone – cortisol. And that will totally mess up dim light, melatonin onset. And the spike of cortisol is associated with sugar cravings and being more likely to store those evening food binges as fat rather than burning it.
Yes, evening, light exposure, insufficient sleep spikes the prominent hunger hormone – Ghrelin, and also disregulates the signaling of the prominent, say, tidy fat storage and reproductive hormone – leptin. So, when your leptin signaling is messed up, you tend to eat more than you need and store it as fat. And when Ghrelin is spiked, you tend to have that appetite that often is discovered late at night.
I talk about my brother often with this anecdote where he told me that he’s eating pretty well. He’s in the nice paleo groove with his wife, making good meals. He says his one remaining problem is that every night at 11:00, he has a strong desire to hit a bowl of cereal while he’s finishing up his emails or watching a show, whatever he’s doing. He’s like, “How can I get this handled? It’s so disappointing.” And I said, “I have an absolute foolproof guarantee that you’ll never do that again. Go to sleep at 10:00.” Okay, back to the list from the magazine article.
Make sleep a priority, get outside to direct sun, exercise during the day. Make sure that your evenings are dark, calm, and quiet.
Manage stress effectively. Cortisol and melatonin have that antagonistic relationship. Manage your insulin production by consuming a diet low in refined carbohydrates. High insulin production disregulates all manner of hormonal function, especially the sleep hormones and the fat metabolism hormones.
We also talk about using caffeine only in the morning hours because when you have caffeine near bedtime, it blocks the sleep signal transmitted by adenosine. Which is a protein waste product that accumulates over the day. Oh, interesting. So, when your adenosine levels are high, I imagine you’re getting tired and ready for a period of restoration. But if you hit a little caffeine and override that, that is going to throw off the natural graceful pattern of getting the rest that you need.
As far as the sleep environment, commonly cited guidelines for your bedroom is that you want this thing totally dark, no nightlights, no LED admissions. Get blackout curtains. Make sure that it’s a completely dark environment. Otherwise, your brain will be tricked into thinking that it’s light.
Remember, our human genes are not used to any form of blue light after the sun sets. So, it has to be dark, it has to be quiet. If it’s not perfectly quiet, get a noise canceling machine like an air purifier or an app on your phone. Anything that makes consistent noise that will block out the barking dogs or the occasional honking horn, the disruptive noise. So, noise canceling machines – fantastic. I have a nice air purifier and deionizer going all the time.
Make sure the temperature trends on the cool side rather than the warm side. Same with using too many blankets. The body temperature is supposed to drop in preparation for sleep. So, if you’re wearing warm pajamas and under a ton of covers and turning up the heat because you’re a little uncomfortable at night, try to trend down to a lower temperature experience that will facilitate a good night’s sleep. That’s why I will take a cold plunge at night and then head straight to bed afterward. Because the lowering of the body temperature, due to the cold plunge will facilitate a good night’s sleep.
We want your sleep environment to be clutter-free and simple and tidy. No paperwork, no work environment of any kind, junk mail, piles of stuff to do, unfinished home improvement projects, none of that stuff. It has to be simple and spartan and tidy. We want your brain to associate the bed, the bedroom with two activities only as Spicy Paleo Magazine coughs up during their article. Indeed, we want to make sure that you associate the bedroom with rest relaxation. No digital screens in there, no catching up on work on your laptop or your pad or your phone. Because doing so in a habitual manner, might confuse the brain for the true purpose of the bedroom. The bedroom is a sanctuary. The bed is a sanctuary to get rest.
Okay, so total darkness, quiet, maybe a noise canceling machine. Cold temperatures, tidy, simple. No clutter, no work, no screens. Remember Dr. Kelly Starrett at saying that he sets himself up for success by making sure that he plugs his phone in outside the bedroom. Yes, if you’re on call and you’re a physician delivering babies, you get a free pass and you can have your phone at your bedside. But the rest of us, really, how about that for a success formula. Just unplug the charger, plug it back in in the hallway, and that becomes your doc.
Then finally, last but not least, the art of napping to dial in your total sleep experience. Naps are extremely valuable when you detect those declines in cognitive function. That is a natural consequence of circadian rhythm. We all experience that circadian dip in the afternoon. The Siesta cultures know this and close their shops and routinely have that downtime to align with our genetics and help us to return to our peak cognitive or physical tasks with more energy.
Like the triathlete guy who slept two hours every afternoon, that enabled me to go out there and have a kick ass swim workout that night. Whereby having biked and run many miles for many hours over the course of the day, I might’ve been a little too tired without that nap to go throw down another workout. So, whatever you’re doing, if you notice even the slightest decline in peak cognitive function in the afternoon, you can discipline yourself to go take a 20-minute period of downtime.
So many people tell me they can’t fall asleep. They’re terrible at napping, it just doesn’t happen for them. That’s fine. Just go into a quiet area, preferably dark, cool, the whole thing. But whatever you can do, even if it’s your car in the parking lot, in the shade, and take some downtime. You can close your eyes. You can turn on a raindrop app, like Rainmaker Pro. And as soon as I turn that app on, I am programmed to fall asleep and have these wonderful 20-minute naps where I can return to work feeling a distinct improvement in my cognitive function, in my discipline against distraction. All those great things that seem to unwind when you don’t give yourself any downtime, you don’t give yourself regular movement breaks from sitting at the desk. You start to become less and less productive.
So, that wraps up a very long record length breather show on sleep. Thank you so much for listening. Hopefully, you’ll be inspired to prioritize this stuff. You’re only as good or bad as your last sleep session. So, go to bed early tonight.
Speaking of keeping the environment as dark as possible in the evening, guess what? Guess what’s back in action? Vintage light bulbs – the old-time tungsten light bulbs with the orange filament visible inside. Thank you, Tania Teschke, future podcast guest and author of Bordeaux Kitchen for pointing this out. Went online, went over to Home Depot. These are so cool and I think there are back due mainly to the fashion aspect, because they look cool, they look retro. But they also dispense a wavelength of light that’s on the orange-yellow spectrum. The filament inside lights up to be yellow rather than the highly offensive white, which is actually the blue light spectrum and the flickering LED bulbs that are so popular now.
So, go find some vintage light bulbs and switch out the light bulbs in your house. If you’re really bold and daring, you can go get the orange light bulbs, which are super fabulous and mellow. They often call them bug light bulbs, you know, bug repellent. But those are found in any home supply store as are orange or yellow tinted lenses.
So, the lenses must have UV protection. If so, they will block out a lot of the offensive blue light. You might be familiar with blue blockers, is a popular eyewear. But when you wear these after dark, it minimizes the offensive effects of blue light spectrum light bulbs, screens and so forth.
So, if you’re up at night watching Netflix, doing whatever, at least wear some glasses. At least, switch out some key light bulbs in your home to the vintage bulbs or the orange bulbs. Get one of those super popular salt lamps or use more candles. Or if you’re going to read instead of a big giant lamp on, use one of those miners’ lamps that you can wrap around your forehead and shine a small beam of light onto the book pages. And yes, reading a real book is vastly superior to looking at a screen.
We just want to mellow the experience into our central nervous system. Remember, light hits the retina, goes into the SCN – Suprachiasmatic Nucleus and sends a message that it’s still daytime to our genes, suppressing melatonin, spiking cortisol, all that crazy stuff. So, get your room, get your environment in the evening as dark as possible. And you are on your way to becoming a sleep champion. Good luck. Thanks for listening.
Hi, it’s Brad to talk about Ancestral Supplements. Question for you, how is it going with the critically important health objective of consuming some of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet? Namely bone marrow, collagen and nose to tail organ meats like liver, heart, kidney, and more? Yeah, how is it going? Pretty poorly? How did I guess?
I have to admit the same. I’m sorry, folks. I’ve known for a long time since Dr. Cate Shanahan in her wonderful book “Deep Nutrition”, emphasized that this is a sorely missing element of the modern diet, but a huge part of the ancestral diet that made humans the healthy creatures that they are today.
Now, we have a fantastic and convenient solution from Ancestral Supplements, because they make New Zealand sourced bone marrow and nose to tail organ meats, liver, heart, kidney, pancreas, spleen, and more, delivered in simple convenient gelatin capsules. Oh my gosh, I love this product and I love what this company is all about. Go on their website, ancestralsupplements.com. Read one of the most impactful and inspiring mission statements you’ll ever see from a company.
Listen to how they describe their product. “Traditional peoples, native Americans and early ancestral healers believe that eating the organs from a healthy animal would strengthen and support the health of the corresponding organ in the individual. The traditional way of treating a person with a weak heart was to feed the person the heart of a healthy animal.”
Sound hokey to you? I’m sorry, but this is extremely well supported with scientific evidence confirming that these are the foods that are DNA-evolved with and are sorely missing from the modern food supply. That’s why Ancestral Supplement says that they’re putting back in what the modern world has left out to return people back to strength, health and happiness. And hey, if you’re a clean-living person that kind of doesn’t like the idea of popping a bunch of synthetic vitamins in the name of health, going over to GNC and buying 12 bottles, this is an entirely different story.
This is real food packaged conveniently so that you don’t have to worry about your liver making skills or how to best cook a kidney. Just swallow the pills, man. I throw them in my smoothie every morning. So, I’m taking about four or five capsules of the various Ancestral Supplement products. I’m throwing down the beef organs, the beef liver, the bone marrow. There are so many other ones on their absolutely fabulous and educational website. Thanks for trying it. Ancestralsupplements.com, you will love it.