Should You Nap Regularly? Here’s Why I Don’t

There are some people who nap in response to sleep loss. This is called replacement napping. If you only got 4 hours of sleep last night, then you may nap to replace that loss. That might not work but more on that later. There are other people who nap to prepare for sleep loss. This is called prophylactic napping. If you know you’re only going to get 4 hours of sleep, so you nap in preparation for that loss. That might work, but again more on that later. And there are others who nap for enjoyment. This is called appetitive napping [1]. If you nap because you have absolutely nothing better going on in your life. Then you’re just lazy. Just kidding, I’m 30 so I don’t judge people anymore. Nap away! But no matter your reason, does regular napping have evidence-based benefits? What is the optimal nap duration and time of day? And why… Read More

I Don’t Use Blue Light Blockers for Sleep

A few months ago, my brother asked me about wearing blue light blocking glasses in the evening to help with sleep. And what I’ve realized is that unless I’ve taken the time to research and post about a topic on the myHealthSciences website, I’m not always sure of the answer. Sure, I’ve heard all the advertised benefits of blue blockers for sleep, eye fatigue, and macular health but what does the research show? Should you wear blue light blockers every night before bed to improve sleep quality? And even if you should, what’s my gold standard alternative that’s kept me from making the purchase? Let’s get into it! Previously, I’ve talked about morning light exposure in a post called A Morning Routine Must. In that post, I explained how exposure to early morning outdoor light helps set your circadian rhythm, halt melatonin production for the day which… Read More

In Bed. Can’t Sleep. Now What?

It’s 10:30pm. I’ve crawled into bed exactly when I wanted to. The lights in my house have been dimming over the past 2 hours simulating an apartment wide sunset. My thermostat is cooling my bedroom down to a chill 65 degrees and it’s as quiet and calm as it could be. I abstain from caffeine and alcohol, I haven’t eaten in hours, and I’ve put myself in the ideal position for a great night’s sleep. Here I am, primed and ready for the most restorative sleep of my life and my brain is somehow still on. It’s thinking about work, it’s thinking about golf, it’s thinking about improving my already ideal sleep routine. It’s thinking about the stock market and my next vacation. It’s 10:45pm and I’m still not asleep. I’m less sleepy now than I was 15 minutes ago. I’m starting to worry why I’m not falling asleep. I’m counting so many sheep it feels like… Read More

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

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