Sleep hacking: How to control your mitochondrial clocks
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You can go a month without food, or three or four days without water, but try to go three or four days without sleep. “It’s at least as important as water. But you don’t see people going on water diets very often, but you do see people who just don’t get enough sleep all the time,” says Dave Asprey
Quality sleep is foundational to good health, helping to ward off diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer’s. It’s also a key strategy for anti-aging.
Dave Asprey shares what he’s learned about sleep hacking: Don’t eat after the sun goes down, turn the lights down as much as you can after the sun goes down, and black out your room – you’ll need more than regular black-out curtains. Watch the video to find out why.
Dave Asprey is a Silicon Valley tech entrepreneur, professional biohacker, the New York Times bestselling author of Game Changers, Head Strong and The Bulletproof Diet, the creator of Bulletproof Coffee, and the host of Bulletproof Radio, the Webby Award–winning, number one–ranked podcast. His new book is Super Human (2019).
DAVE ASPREY: One of the biggest things you can do that isn’t going to cost you anything is improve the quality of your sleep. It’s funny, because when you get a good night’s sleep regularly at the right time, your risk of cancer drops dramatically. Conversely, if you are a shift worker or you regularly fly all over the place and you don’t take care of your biology, your chances of cancer go up a lot. One night of bad quality sleep can change your ability to regulate your blood sugar by up to 40%. Now, that’s the path to diabetes. And what about Alzheimer’s disease? People who don’t get enough sleep and don’t regulate their blood sugar also have problems with Alzheimer’s disease. And the list goes on. So sleep is a foundational element. And if you really think about it, you can go three, four days without water maybe. You can go a month without food. But try and go three or four days without sleep. It’s at least as important as water. But you don’t see people going on water diets very often, but you do see people who just don’t get enough sleep all the time. This is one of the primary anti-aging things.
But the problem with sleep is that, actually, a lot of people don’t have time for sleep. And it’s OK to not have time to sleep, because you have a job, you have a family, you have a social life, and you have stuff you wanted to do. So what are you going to do? Are you going to choose to die earlier or to get sleep? Or maybe there’s a better way. And in Super Human, I talk about sleep hacking. And here’s an example. I landed in New York last night, and I flew from the west coast from Seattle. Now, that’s a recipe for a terrible sleep, for jet lag. But I changed the amount and the color of light that I allowed into my eyes on the airplane using patented glasses that I created called TrueDark. And in fact, if I look at my phone here, I track my sleep with a ring. It gives me a very detailed analysis. And I’ll tell you my real numbers from last night. I didn’t get as much sleep as I would have liked. But what I did get was five hours and 23 minutes of sleep. I didn’t get to my hotel until 1:00 in the morning. And I was traveling with one of my kids. But I got two hours and 11 minutes of deep sleep. That’s more deep sleep than a 20-year-old gets an eight hours. And I got 58 minutes of dreaming sleep. So I got better sleep than most Americans get on most nights even though I flew in the wrong direction three hours and was sleeping in a foreign environment. How the heck do you do that?
Well, the biggest thing is to turn the lights down at night. Just dimming your lights, turning off the bright white stuff in your kitchen and your bathroom after the sun goes down, it doesn’t change the length you’ll sleep necessarily, but it changes the quality of your sleep. And since I couldn’t do that on the airplane or in the hotel room, I wore glasses that took out the bright colors, the blue light. And you go back to the ’50s: We had incandescent bulbs, and not that many of them, and they weren’t that bright. Now that we have these fluorescent lights and LED lights, we can have incredibly bright light right before bed. In fact, most of us do. And that sends a signal to the ancient parts of our body, sub-cellular things that control our aging and control how our body responds to the environment — they’re …
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