Something pretty exciting happened to me this week, I was named the Best Sleep Doctor in California by Reader’s Digest. If you are like me and grew up reading Reader’s Digest, that’s pretty cool. Thanks for indulging me for a second.
What a week it has been!
I started out flying to NYC on Monday to be on Rachel Ray for her Monday show (she tapes 2 shows a day, so I will get everyone the airdate when it comes up.
Rachael and I talked about sleep issues in your 30’s, lack of a consistent sleep schedule and use of electronic devices at night- Rachel wore my Blue-Light Blocking Glasses (check out which other celebs are wearing them and if you use discount code sleepdr5 – case sensitive, you can enjoy them for 50% off). We discussed that in your 40’s the challenges are awakening in the middle of the night (we highlighted the benefits of guava leaf tea and your 50’s, Menopause and what foods are phytoestrogens. It was a GREAT segment.
Next, I took the train down to Baltimore where I gave a lecture for the YPO, the Young Presidents Organization – Baltimore Chapter at a Rye Distillery. The tour of the factory was very interesting and the Rye was delicious!
After speaking, I ran over to Headline News to talk about sleepy parents (see it here). I made it back to LA but while doing some research on the plane I found two articles I think you may find interesting:
The first article talked about using exercise as a treatment for jetlag.
My old friend Dr. Shawn Youngstedt at ASU was the lead researcher and his work is always excellent. Dr. Youngstedt has always researched the effects of exercise on sleep and this was a really interesting study.
According to Medical News Today, he took 51 “aerobically fit” participants aged 59–75 years and 48 study participants aged 18–30 years. He measured the participants’ circadian rhythms and how exercise affected them for a period of 5.5 days. Specifically, the 99 volunteers all did one hour of moderate treadmill exercise for 3 consecutive days at one of eight different times during the day or night.”
By measuring Melatonin in different amounts and times of the day he was able to determine:
“Exercising at 7 a.m. or between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. shifted the circadian rhythm to an earlier time while engaging in exercise between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. pushed the body clock back. Age or sex did not affect these results. On the other hand, exercising between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. or at 10 a.m. did not affect their melatonin levels.”
The one caveat is that the volunteers were quite fit, so these results may only apply to those who are in shape.
The second article looked at using pulsed electromagnetic frequency (PEMF) as a solution for both pain and insomnia. The article was about a researcher at a medical device company who was trying to create a solution for pain that did not involve pharmaceuticals.
The basic theory is that if you push extremely mild electrical signals into your nervous system, then there is basically no room for pain signals to get to the brain, and therefore the person does not “feel” the pain. Looking into the pain literature this theory may hold up. The interesting part was that while they were developing and testing this device, people also reported sleeping better!
The company is SomniResonance and they produce the SR1 PEMF device aimed specifically at treating sleep disorders.
The device is placed onto your chest over your brachial plexus, just below the middle of your collarbone. Turn it on at bedtime and it will send electric pulses to your nervous system for 22 minutes and then shut off automatically. SR1 emits an electromagnetic frequency designed to shift the brain into sleep mode, says Fraser Lawrie, inventor of the SR1 and CEO of SomniResonance parent company, Delta Sleeper. The device has been cleared by the FDA.
Another company is Oska Wellness, who created a cervicothoracic vagus electromagnetic stimulation (cVES) device from AMO Lab in South Korea (launched in 2016) is a pre-bedtime routine. AMO+ is worn as a necklace for 30 minutes, two hours before bed, and uses low-frequency electromagnetic field signals to balance your autonomic nervous system — the thing that makes it possible to breathe or allows your heart to beat unconsciously.
To be clear, there is no published peer-reviewed research I can find backing these claims, so I am a bit skeptical to say the least, but to be clear I have seen “frequency technology” be effective. So, it’s still hard to say. One thought might be that if someone has insomnia due to pain, and a TENS like unit relieves that pain, and then the person sleeps better, you have a new sleep protocol. I would argue that you actually have a pain protocol and that pain was the major influencer of sleep.
If you have difficulty sleeping giving one of those devices a try may be worth it; if you do and it works well for you, let me know, this is an area I’m going to keep an eye on over the next year.
Here are a couple of other articles you may find interesting where I was interviewed:
10 Serious Conditions Related To Poor Sleep – Reader’s Digest
Keto Diet Improves Sleep – Healthline