It has been a busy week for me, how about you?
This week I was in NYC working with Serovital Advanced, they have a very interesting anti-aging supplement which increases growth hormone (aka the fountain of youth) and seems to subsequently improve some sleep parameters.
I woke up on Thursday to get my flight back to LA and it was 3 degrees! I was certainly happy to get back to LA where it was warm (sorry if you suffered through the Polar Vortex). I had the good fortune of being on one of my favorite daytime shows, Home & Family. We filmed a piece on sleep and the Microbiome and talked about foods that are good for sleep (The show airs Monday at 10:00am PST- check your local listings it’s on the Hallmark Channel). I was able to tell the group about my favorite nighttime snack NightFood. Here is a cool secret- they now have ice cream- try it, it is nothing short of delicious.
I also filmed with world renowned neurologist David Perlmutter (author of Grain Brain) for an upcoming series on Alzheimer’s Prevention, I’ll share more about that with you soon.
It’s time to turn to a subject that is near and dear to my heart, and a topic of conversation for a big majority of people in the United States, the Super Bowl.
Thinking about the Super Bowl brings up all kinds of memories for me. I will admit, having been born and raised in Atlanta, my team has always been the Falcons. The 2017 Super Bowl was both a heartbreaker and a nightmare (pun intended). Now living in Los Angles, I am faced again with the Pats vs my newly adopted Rams! (I’m still a diehard Falcons fan, but a Rams win, would be epic).
I know you are wondering, what on earth does the Super Bowl have to do with sleep?
Well, I thought you might enjoy knowing a couple of interesting things about how NFL players sleep (C’mon, I KNOW sleep trivia is part of your party agenda today).
NFL coaches report they are replacing sleep with a float tank.
In a recent article on The Bleacher Report, it was reported: “The Patriots offensive coordinator revealed to reporters Thursday that the Patriots coaches have a room at Gillette Stadium with a float tank that simulates four to five hours of sleep in 40 minutes.”
Wouldn’t that be amazing?
I love float tanks. In fact, I have worked with a company called True Rest and their float tanks are amazing. However, there is NO DATA to suggest that a 40-min float is worth 4-5 hours of sleep.
I started thinking about how this idea could even be possible. Feeling like you slept longer than you did does not mean that you got the value of ACTUAL sleep time.
Like many things, ideas like this are not based in science, it is a lot of little things, pieces of which may be accurate pushed together, then some sales and marketing people come up with something that sounds good. Viola! Something that sounds plausible and exciting. But, when things are too good to be true … they often stick and get repeated until someone exposes the truth. Today, I’m that guy.
Yes, float tanks are an amazing way to relax, reduce stress, and even rejuvenate, but as the old saying goes “ You simply can’t fool, Mother Nature.” Our bodies do not all need the same amount of sleep but how to replace sleep with something other than actual sleep is simply not clear science yet.
Do pre-game jitters cause NFL players to experience insomnia? Apparently NOT!
In a recent article in Sports Illustrated current players who are playing for either the Rams or Pats and who had been in a Super Bowl before were asked that question. They all seemed to say the same thing: it was not that big of a deal.
According to the article “One in four Americans develop insomnia each year. None in four NFL players have trouble sleeping before the Super Bowl. The MMQB polled Rams and Patriots players who have previously played in the Super Bowl to find out how they get a good night’s sleep before the biggest game of the year. Apparently, it’s not hard.”
The article goes on to show that these players are disciplined, they follow a routine and it works. Everyone has a bit of a different routine, but they all seem to have something they do, which helps them sleep.
Today, many of you will do things that will impact your sleep. One of the biggest contributors is over consume sugar and alcohol which will result in difficulty getting a good night of sleep. I want to focus on just one of those right now because I’ve focused on alcohol many times; I want to focus on sugar. I just wrote a full article called Four Ways Sugar Wrecks Your Sleep, I strongly encourage you to read it. The short version is this:
- Sugar reduces sleep quality
- Sugar increases appetite and cravings
- Sugar increases inflammation
- Sugar hurts a healthy gut
During parties, you tend to overeat foods that contain sugar and drink sweet drinks (often with alcohol). The result is that you feel hungrier later and often eat more before you go to bed and that results in poor quality sleep. Poor quality sleep leads to disrupted hormone production and when you wake up, you crave more sugar and often feed the craving which begins a cycle of bad habits and bad sleep.
Try to limit your sugar intake today (and every day really), have a good ritual you can follow each night like the NFL players do, and if you are on the East Coast, slip on your blue light blocking glasses at half time so that you are negating the effect of blue light and allowing your normal rhythm of melatonin production to occur so you can go to sleep and sleep better tonight.
Whoever you like today, I hope your team wins but I’ll be pulling for the Rams!