Cryotherapy And Sleep And Does Sleeping On Your Back Increase Alzheimer’s Risk?

It was hard to get a great cryotherapy image that I could use but I think the one above gives you the idea of what I’m about to talk about, cold and sleep!

It was a crazy week for me. I was in Toronto, lecturing for a company that is interested in the relationship between Cannabis and Sleep (if you want to know more about that one check out my post on the subject. I was home for a night and then went to San Francisco to meet up with CALM, the meditation app company that is taking the world by storm! And while on the plane there were a few new articles I read that YOU might find interesting…

Can Sleeping on your back lead to Alzheimer’s? One research group say YES.

A recent study published in The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease looked at two groups of people: those with neurodegenerative disease (Alzheimer’s) and those without. What they discovered was that in people who slept in the supine position (on back head face up), for more than 2 hours a night were much more likely to be in the ALZ group. And yes, they considered age, sex, and even if they had sleep apnea.

While this is not proof that sleeping on your back causes ALZ, it does confirm a recent animal study which found similar results. You may remember I have written about ALZ and Sleep previously, and the role sleep plays in this difficult disease. Basically, during stages 3 and 4 we see the brain flushing out the APOE which is a protein that accumulates in the brain and basically strangles the neuron.

While I would not run out and buy a new sleep positioner pillow just yet, if you or someone you care about is showing ALZ signs, be sure to look at their sleep.

Can being a Night Owl like me, give you slower brain connections? New research says: YES

In a recently published study in the journal SLEEP, authors looked at brain function at rest and linked it to cognitive abilities of people who identified as either a night owl or an early bird. Here is what was reported by Sleep Review:

Volunteers identified as morning larks reported to be least sleepy and had their fastest reaction time during the early morning tests, which was significantly better than night owls. Night owls, however, were least sleepy and had their fastest reaction time at 8 pm in the evening.  Although this was not significantly better than the larks, it highlights that night owls are most disadvantaged in the morning.

Interestingly, the brain connectivity in the regions that could predict better performance and lower sleepiness was significantly higher in early birds at all time points, suggesting that the resting state brain connectivity of night owls is impaired throughout the whole day (8 am-8 pm).

This is not the best news I read that day, for sure, but it does continue to show how much your chronotype plays a role in our functionality during the day.

Could standing in a chamber with freezing Nitrogen help with your sleep? Answer: Maybe!

If you have seen any of the newer longevity and health treatments making the rounds, one of my personal favorites is Cryotherapy. This is where you get into a chamber (like a standing tube) wearing socks and mittens and not much else, for about 3 minutes and the surrounding tube fills with super cold nitrogen.

Your body gets very cold very quickly!

We all know the use of ice helps with inflammation, but could this “deep freeze” help with sleep. We will know soon enough.

A little history on Cryotherapy, as reported in Sleep Review:

Whole-body cryotherapy was developed in Japan by Dr Toshiro Yamauchi in the 1970s to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Cryotherapy has been used to alleviate inflammation, arthritic pain, and fibromyalgia-related pain.

According to the abstract for her discussion, which will be published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, Volume 51:5 Supplement, only a single patient—one who had self-reported sleep issues—saw improvement in her sleep patterns. The others saw improvements in their level of pain. Two patients who reported no sleep, pain, or anxiety issues, saw no changes in their health.

Unfortunately, the sample size was too small to make any real conclusions, however, the researchers are working on recruiting more people, and those with sleep disorders, to try to answer this potentially interesting question.

So what should we all do with this new info? My suggestions:

  • Stay off your back when you are sleeping.
  • If you are a night owl (aka Wolf) like me, stick to your guns and work when you will perform your best.
  • Keep the temp cool, check out Cryotherapy, and get some rest!

Here are a couple of cool articles I was included in this week:

Why You Wake Up At Night To Go To The Bathroom –

7 Signs You Have A Caffeine Hangover – Bustle