Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Sleep better methods that work....

Today's Post:  Tuesday, 1-19-2016

1.  Introduction:

Enough good sleep makes you feel better, enables your body to repair itself including building exercised muscles better than they were before – and of most importance, it literally enables your brain to clean itself.  (We now know your brain actually shrinks and the cleaning channels between the parts open up to facilitate this cleaning during deep sleep.)

The growth hormone release that does all the other repairs happens most during deep sleep. 

So you want to get enough deep sleep each night you can do so for both reasons.

This cleaning substantially prevents Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia we now know. 

If you get less than 6 hours of sleep a night or average much less than 6 and a half hours, this doesn’t work as well.

If you have trouble falling asleep when you go to bed it doesn’t work as well.

If you have trouble staying asleep it doesn’t work as well.

Or if you sleep poorly with too little deep sleep, it doesn’t work as well.

Worse, if you feel this is happening when you can’t control it, your mental health and your sleep suffer for it.  You don’t feel as good as you would like.  And you will have poorer health.

Worse yet, if you take the hypnotic sleep drugs all this gets worse instead of better.  And worst of all, they are addictive and hard to stop taking plus your chance of dying goes up enormously from dying while sleep walking to much higher chances of cancer and more.

2.  The much better news is that there are an enormous amount of effective things you can do to solve these problems and sleep better.

a)    Exercise that is vigorous and early in the day.

This can be a brisk 7 minute walk.  It can be 9 to 21 minutes of high intensity cardio, either with rests in between for you to catch your breath or an easier pace so you can,  It can be a 10 minute to 30 minute session of slow rep strength training.

And, to make it easier to do almost every day, there are ways to do most of these or all of these at home.

This causes your body to release BDNF which grows new nerve and brain cells and makes repairs. 

And the data show that your body automatically assists this process by causing you to fall asleep much faster and more easily most of the time and to get more deep sleep also.

b)  Cool off as much as you can at bedtime.  Even a small cooling effect at bedtime helps people fall asleep quickly.  Conversely, if you body doesn’t cool off this may delay going to sleep. 

Turn down the heat to as low as 60 degrees as much as a half hour before going to bed.  Wear less to bed initially or use much lighter covers.  And if you can, use air conditioning or a fan or heat proof your bedroom so you can have your body cool enough at bedtime.

If you wake later and are a bit cold, that’s a good sign; and you can put on more bedclothes or add blankets.

c)  Avoid blue light from computer or TV screens after about half an hour before you go to bed.

If you can, have your bedroom really dark.  Get blackout curtains for the windows if you can.
 d) Find ways to watch less TV in general and in the last hour before you go to bed for sure.

AND, never have a TV in your bedroom!

e)  Write down what is bothering you or has your mind racing.  Plan when you will DO something constructive next about these things AFTER you are rested from sleep.  Visualize hitting an OFF button vividly.  And if you aren’t drowsy yet, close your eyes and think of a fun or pleasant day dream of some kind.  If you stay a awake a few minutes it’s enjoyable. But usually you fall asleep after just a bit of such daydreams.

f) If you are jet lagged or are over about 45 or 50 take a sublingual melatonin lozenge about half an hour before bedtime.  This induces sleep and cutting the light and blue light helps your body turn on melatonin itself.

Also, take cherry extract each morning and about half an hour before bedtime.  This boosts your natural melatonin release

-- AND by actual test adds a full hour of sleep each night even for people with bad insomnia

g)   The herbal supplement valerian has a double positive effect on sleep.

Because it can cut anxiety and severe stress it has value allowing you to sleep even if you are quite stressed; but the active ingredient has a very pungent almost stinky smell. 

I had some I was saving for really bad situations only.  And, I had the supplement bottle in a larger jar with a lid I could close when I wasn’t taking it.

(The Jews and other people in Europe during World War II took Valerian to be able to sleep with continuous war zone and bombing threats.  So it does work for that!)

THEN I found out that taking Valerian at bedtime much increased the amount of deep sleep you get and the growth hormone you release!  Now I take two capsules at bedtime every night.

Exercise works for this also.

And, another supplement that may help among many is to take 100 mg a night at bedtime of a supplement called GABA.  Most of the effect is in the first 100 mg and larger amounts can cause side effects.  So I think 100 mg or 150 mg of GABA each night is enough to get a useful amount more deep sleep without side effects.

h)  The new information I got from the sleep doctor that I was able to do AND which has worked!

Since I began using it every day, I HAVE slept better and had less daytime sleepiness!!

It’s not complicated but it DOES work.

Caffeine and alcohol in moderation do have value.  And many people including me and maybe including you, LIKE their effects.

But if you have to much of either too close to bedtime you sleep less, have more restless sleep, and get less deep sleep!

None of that is a good idea!!

Here are the two things she told me to do.  I’ve found them doable AND effective!

*Drink any caffeine you use before 1:30 pm or even better before Noon.  This includes tea, green tea, Oolong tea, and coffee.  These are wonderful for mental alertness and proven effective.

But they take something like 6 to 8 hours to wear off!  So, if you stop them every day that early, by bedtime they won’t keep you from falling asleep, wake you up early, or prevent you from getting deep NOT restless sleep.

**Drink any alcohol you drink, preferably just one or two BEFORE dinner only.  Your body can process about one an hour.  And by only drinking before dinner, you drink less overall but still enjoy the effects at dinner.

AND, by the time you go to bed 90% of their sleep disruptive qualities are gone!
I never thought the first one was needed.  And I didn’t think the second one was either.

But I found each of them surprisingly easy to do.

Best of all, they are EXTREMELY effective!  Do them; and you WILL sleep better in every way.  

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Blogger David said...

Michael Matthews is an effective strength training coach and writer on how to gain muscle without gaining fat and how to lose fat without losing muscle.

His clients who put in the work literally look great. To be sure most of them are younger. BUT they LOOK MUCH leaner than when they started. And, the ones who want to get MUCH stronger.

He has many women clients also with the same results.

He used to recommend supplements and got to know which ones were helpful. More recently, he came out with his new sleep supplement, LUNAR. I missed how to see what was in it. So I emailed him asking about it.

He sent me back this link: " https://legionathletics.com/products/supplements/lunar/ "

This includes Mike's own sleep article. I've posted on some of his methods and it's a different style from mine.

BUT if sleeping well is an issue for you, read my post AND read his article too. If you find things you can do from each one and do them, I think you will be astounded at how well you do! The combined information is unusually good.

At this link also are the ingredients in his LUNAR sleep supplement some of which I already take and two significant ones I do not take!

It has why he included each one.

And, it's inexpensive per bottle and there are live links to buy it at that URL.

For his other supplements and articles here are his other links:








3:01 PM  
Blogger David said...

More on Michael Matthews sleep supplement.

Have you ever had a day where for some reason you had too much coffee or had more after NOON than your body could process and had really restless sleep the night after?

Because some of his clients work out in the evening and take extra caffeine or drink extra coffee first for better performance, he included a little known caffeine antidote in his LUNAR sleep supplement.

Would you like to have a good sleep supplement that ALSO has this caffeine antidote?

You might find Michael's sleep supplement that has this caffeine antidote really valuable.

3:08 PM  
Blogger David said...

Here are Michael's sleep tips: [I've added a few comments in these kind of brackets.]

"Avoid caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, and other chemicals that interfere with sleep.

We all know that caffeine and nicotine are stimulants, but alcohol can disrupt our shuteye as well. It can help bring on sleep but then act as a stimulant and increase the number of awakenings during the night. [16]

As a general rule, don’t consume any sleep-disrupting chemicals four to six hours before going to bed. [My sleep doctor convinced me to try this one. It's doable AND works great!]

Make getting enough sleep a priority.

The more you view getting to bed on time as a non-negotiable part of your life, like diet and exercise, the better your sleep hygiene is going to be.

Keep your bedroom dark, quiet, and cool, which are all cues for the brain to put the body to sleep.

Don’t expose yourself to bright lights while you’re getting ready for bed, which can suppress the production of melatonin, a hormone that induces sleep. [17]

Don’t watch TV or use a computer, tablet, or smartphone for at least an hour before bed.

These devices emit a type of light known as “blue light,” which is a powerful melatonin suppressant. [18]

Establish a relaxing pre-sleep routine.

Soothing activities like taking a bath, reading a book, listening to calming music, and stretching or doing breathing exercises can help you sleep better.

Avoid stressful or stimulating conversations or activities before bed.

Don’t just lie in bed staring at the clock.

This can heighten stress and cortisol levels, which can keep you awake.

Instead, ignore the clock, and if you’re unable to fall asleep in a reasonable amount of time, get up and occupy yourself with a quiet, soothing activity like reading or listening to music until your eyes become droopy. Then go back to bed.

[I disagree because if you think of a good daydream or know a relaxation method you can do with your eyes closed, you'll get more sleep if you stay in bed. My take on it is if I'm relaxed with my eyes closed, I'll be better rested if I stay in bed even if I stay awake. But I find that even better I usually do go to sleep sooner than if I get up. What I do sometimes if it's worse than usual is get up and take extra of the sleep supplements I take. But that is rarely needed.]

Keep your body’s internal clock regulated by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day.

Waking up at the same time despite when you went to bed is the best way to set your body’s clock and maintain it." [This one is very effective. I endorse it heartily. And I'm more able to get things done in the morning also.]

3:21 PM  
Blogger David said...

It DOES help quite a bit to have dark for sleeping. Your body release melatonin better and you are less likely to have light cause you to wake up when for best sleep staying asleep would be better.

BUT, to get blackout curtains costs time to design and set up and do or supervise the installation and $200 to $300 or more plus in an emergency it takes a bit to get to a flashlight with no light at all.

But for your eyes and better sleep you can get quite effective darkness with a sleep mask.

The sleep mask can arrive quickly. It also works. It's super cheap. And it can be removed almost as quickly as the pillow I put over my head now.

The blackout curtains may be desirable too, Particularly if they block infra red and heat from entering in the summer; but I can have the mask next week!

The mask also means that clock or alarm clock numbers don't affect your sleep even in a totally dark room otherwise.

I've wanted black out curtains, and even priced out the cost for our bedroom, for some time but never could justify the time and hassles and expense.

Today Nick Pineault in his email suggested the sleep mask he uses and provided this link:


So for a bit less than $18 including shipping I'll have one by a week from today!

12:17 PM  

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