Are Any Sleep Supplements Worth Taking?

We know that those on a whole foods plant-based diet will be deficient in Vitamin B12 without a supplement and therefore need it for optimal health. We also know that most people will be deficient in Vitamin D3 without consistent sun exposure and therefore need a supplement for optimal health. But what about sleep? Are there any deficiencies we commonly see that could hurt our sleep and be improved with supplementation? Could extra doses of melatonin, magnesium, and tryptophan which are important for sleep, improve our sleep quality? And what about some of the new and trendy supplements like CBD, L-Theanine, and Valerian Root? It’s made me wonder… are there any sleep supplements worth taking? Well, I spent hours combing through the findings of sleep and supplement experts Matthew Walker, Andrew Huberman, and Michael Greger and found some… Read More

Sleep Efficiency – Are You Sleeping Enough?

We should all be getting 8 hours of sleep, right? Kind of, sort of, yea that’s mostly right depending on your age. It’s a rule of thumb we all understand. So, if I go to bed at 11pm and wake up at 7am then I’ve hit my 8-hour sleep goal, right? Wrong. Today I’m going to explain sleep efficiency, why you’re likely calculating your sleep duration wrong, and why you may need to spend more time in bed. And I’m going to do that all with some fancy charts, fun facts, and maybe a joke or two. Let’s get into it! Our sleep duration is the amount of time we spend asleep. And below are the sleep duration recommendations provided by both the CDC and the National Sleep Foundation. Although everyone’s sleep requirements are slightly different, there’s a 99% chance you fall within these guidelines. But there are a few genetic mutations of DEC2, ADRB1, or NPSR1… Read More

The Optimal Sleeping Posture

So, you’re interested in optimizing your sleep. To wake up feeling refreshed and energized. To start your day without aches, pains, and tight joints. To jumpstart your morning into a productive, motivation filled, running on all cylinders joyous filled day! And you’re willing to look through every article, study, and journal to find every tip, trick, and best practice to do so. And you began to wonder how your sleep posture effects your health and happiness. What role does spending one-third of your life in one static position have on your circulation, digestion, and breathing. What the heck is optimal sleep posture and how can you achieve the perfect spinal alignment to prevent disease, death, and disability all while fostering abundant health and happiness?! Ok so maybe that wasn’t your exact line of thinking, but it was close to mine. And in doing so, I… Read More

What I Learned in the Emergency Room. Part 3.

We’ve made it to the final post in the series of what I learned in the emergency room. First, I discussed how nutritionally poor the food is in hospitals. Second, I talked about how misdiagnoses can happen and how you can prevent them. And third, today, I’m going to cover three more essential topics in health and wellness, and how they were affected by my emergency room visit: Sleep, Physical Activity, and Finances. Let’s get into it! Did you know that people who live next to airports have significantly lower quality sleep than those who don’t? This is because the noise at night from the planes overhead can disrupt sleep cycles even if they don’t wake us. Did you know that people who live in the city that keep their curtains open and let streetlight in their bedroom have lower quality sleep than those who don’t? This is because even dim light in our… Read More

Sleeping Habits > Sleeping Pills

In college, when I was living in the dorms, I had a neighbor that I was good friends with who put a lot of effort into school. Often, they’d stay up way later than me to finish projects, complete homework, and study for tests. The next day I’d find out that they went to bed anywhere between midnight and 3am the previous night depending on their workload and energy levels. That was always interesting to me as I never had enough work, or maybe enough drive to complete work at the expense of sleep. But what I found even more interesting was that they were a frequent user of sleeping pills to counteract insomnia. Insomnia is a sleeping disorder which makes it difficult for someone to fall asleep in a reasonable time frame. How could they have trouble falling asleep after they’d been awake so long already? And how could they have trouble falling asleep when they were… Read More

Alarm Clocks, More Harm than Good?

Back in college when I was on the baseball team, our winter practice schedule had us starting every weekday at 6am. We needed to be there about 15 minutes early to get dressed and warm-up though. And since the baseball gym was a 15-minute outdoor walk from my dorm, it required that I be awake even earlier. Plus, I preferred to shower and grab a bite to eat beforehand which left me waking up around 4:45am each day. This early start time was not something I looked forward to. My circadian rhythm has me naturally waking up around 6:30-7:00am everyday so these 4:45am mornings were not ideal. There was only one way I was getting up that early and making it to baseball on time. By using an alarm clock. Now, I’ve used an alarm clock for nearly my entire life. Every school day, workday or early morning sporting event. If I needed to get up in the morning… Read More

Are You Too Busy to Sleep?

In the United States and many other developed nations, it’s cool to be busy. It’s almost become a competition for people to be as busy as possible. But for us to be so busy, the first thing we tend to cut back on for time is sleep. And most of us are happy and proud to sleep less and even boast to others how much we’re accomplishing because we’re only sleeping 4 or 5 hours a night. The problem with this is that it’s a self-perpetuating cycle. When we sleep less, we become less productive. When we become less productive, we accumulate more work that needs to be completed. When there’s more work to be completed, we cut back on sleep again to work more hours. And in turn, we become even less productive. In this post, I’m going to detail the effects of sleeping less on productivity and how you can avoid the self-perpetuating cycle. Most of us start cutting back on sleep when… Read More

You Should Manage Your Melatonin Levels

Let’s say you follow a sleep schedule where you go to bed at 10pm and wake up at 6am every single day. Great. I recommend it. Now, let’s say you’re required to go to bed two hours earlier at 8pm to wake up for an early meeting. You may find it difficult to fall asleep two hours earlier than normal. This is because your body produces melatonin, which induces sleep, based partially on daily routines and partially on your actions and environment. If you have a routine of going to bed at 10pm every night, your body will start releasing melatonin just before that to help induce sleep. So, if you’re required to break that routine and fall asleep at 8pm then your body likely isn’t producing much melatonin for this new sleep schedule yet. This is why its difficult to fall asleep earlier than usual and why the quality of that sleep is quite poor… Read More

Improve Sleep by Limiting Consumption

Do you have an afternoon coffee or tea to combat drowsiness? Do you consume alcohol or believe nightcaps help with sleep? Do you check your phone for any last updates before you fall asleep? If you do any of these, you’re like almost all Americans. You partake in things for pleasure, or habit, or believe you’re helping yourself when in reality you’re doing more harm than good. What you consume hours before your bedtime can have a sizable impact on the duration and quality of your sleep. In this post, I’ll detail the four main sources of consumption that are wreaking havoc on your sleep… Read More

Four Pillars of Sleep

Do you fall asleep while sitting in a waiting room, bored without any outside stimulus? Do you tend to nod off on long drives or while watching movies? Do you need an alarm in the morning to wake you up? These are three common signs that you could be sleep deprived. And just because you’ve slept 8 hours or went to bed at the right time doesn’t mean you’re not failing to meet your body’s sleeping requirements. In this post, I’ll be discussing the four pillars of sleep and how you can optimize each one for the best sleep of your life… Read More

1 2