Day 30: Sleep is a Superfood
Sleep and Juice Feasting, The Five Stages of Sleep, Beauty Sleep, 29 Secrets to a Good Night’s Sleep, Sleep Technologies
Welcome to Day 30!
At this point in the Feast, we often realize a shift in our sleeping patterns and the quality of sleep. Juice Feasting tends to have an adaptogenic effect on sleep behavior. Those of us who are sleeping too much (due to a greater need to recover or heal) find ourselves sleeping less; conversely, those who are not sleeping enough sleep more, and more deeply with vivid dreams. David did a Coaching Insights session on this topic:
Many Americans do not sleep well because of the toxic nature of their diets, and deficiencies which naturally result over time. We are also – most of us – chronically dehydrated, which is the main reason we have a difficulty getting going in the morning – lethargy due to dehydration.
What does a Juice Feast do for us? We Cleanse, Rebuild, Rehydrate, and Alkalize. All of this contributes in significant ways to the betterment of our rest, and therefore our rejuvenation. Sleeping problems are a sign of underlying health challenges and stress, and as good sleep returns we experience the results of better health and realize an important factor in long-term physical and mental health. If you are having trouble sleeping, these files in combination with your Juice Feast may be the beginning of your improvements in your night life!
Sleep can be divided into five distinct stages
Stages 1-4 consist of non-rapid-eye-movement sleep and account from 66-80% of sleep time; during a normal night of sleep, these are usually followed by the rapid-eye-movement (REM) stage of sleeping (stage 5):
“The gateway to sleep”, this stage can last up to 10 minutes. It is short lived and has theta waves, which are thought to help reduce mental fatigue by restoring sodium/potassium balances in the brain.
Lasting anywhere from 10-20 minutes, or 45-55% of total sleep depending on where you read, in stage two you lose awareness to external stimuli.
The beginning of Slow Wave Sleep (SWS), which includes stage 4; 3-8% of total sleep time. Here we start to see delta waves, with Growth Hormone secretion and deep dreamless sleep.
Slow wave sleep; 10-15% of total sleep time. Delta waves, Growth Hormone secretion and deep dreamless sleep. You have now entered the deepest part of your sleep and this is a close as humans get to becoming a hibernating bear. Experts have found that the body’s recovery processes peak during these stages, metabolic activity is at its lowest and the hormonal system increases the release of growth hormone. After about 30-40 minutes at stage four you will retrace stages three and two, but instead of returning to stage one you will move into rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.
REM sleep, predominant in the final third of a sleep period. Dreaming occurs here. A lot happens during REM sleep. Blood flow, pulse, breathing, temperature and blood pressure all rise and your eyes move rapidly as if scanning the environment (fortunately your eyelids remain closed, as it would look a little strange if your eyes were wide open). During this stage dreams often occur, beta brain waves reappear (reflecting an active brain) but the body remains motionless due to the motor cortex blocking neurological activity at the brain stem. This is a very useful mechanism as it prevents us from acting out our dreams.
The cycle of sleep stages is repeated between 4-6 times a night. As the cycles are repeated, the duration of stages three and four decreases while REM increases.
Non-REM and REM Sleep
Non-REM sleep is an anabolic state marked by physiological processes of growth and rejuvenation of the organism’s immune, nervous, muscular, and skeletal systems.
REM sleep appears to help with the consolidation of spatial (recording information about one’s environment and its spatial orientation) and procedural memory (long-term memory of skills and procedures, e.g. riding a bike), while slow-wave sleep helps with the consolidation of declarative memories, as evidenced by the study excerpted above.
The Optimum Sleep Environment
Dark (see notes below on darkness and melatonin)
Comfortable (you may feel comfortable in bed, but can you be more comfortable? A better pillow, softer sheets, more room to flip around etc.)
Low Lighting Before Bed (see notes below on melatonin)
Cool temperatures: Your body temperature tracks your circadian rhythm, so as night begins, your body temp falls and it reaches a minimum right after you go to bed. If you are in an environment where you can’t lose body heat, for instance if it’s hot and humid, you won’t sleep well.
Melatonin is the hormone in the brain that initiates sleep and it stimulates immune system cells, increasing their function in all areas of the body.
Melatonin functions as an anti-oxidant in cells and in general is a defender against oxidation (and oxidation is a precursor for cancer).
Optimizing melatonin release: low light (avoid bright light) two hours before bedtime – it is the intensity of light, not the duration of exposure, that has the suppressive effects on melatonin release. This means TURN OFF THE TV and COMPUTER TWO HOURS BEFORE BED. If you are learning, use an e-reader such as a Kindle without an LCD screen, or listen to audio talks and books. Or read a paper book.
Q: Should you take melatonin supplementally?
A: Not unless all your other sleep practices are in check, including using the brain-mind entrainment technology we will talk about below. If they are and you still find your sleep is not satisfying, then perhaps melatonin supplementation is appropriate. It is best to improve melatonin production through healthy and wise sleep practices.
What About PowerNapping?
PowerNapping is excellent. A midday snooze reverses information overload.
Dr. Claudio Stampi’s research has showed that afternoon siestas were chock-full of slow-wave sleep, the type that appears to be most important for recharging the body/mind. The key to napping efficiently, Stampi says, is to get in phase and ride these waves of sleepiness and alertness, so no time is wasted merely trying to get to sleep. In other words, try to PowerNap when you are actually feeling ready for a break or a nap.
A good PowerNap to reduce mental fatigue during the day lasts about 20-23 minutes.
If you can do a longer nap, studies found that longer 1-hour naps contained more than four times as much deep, or slow wave sleep and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep than the half-hour naps.
If you wake up from your naps feeling groggy and are having trouble getting going, you are suffering from sleep inertia, which occurs as a result of waking during Slow Wave Sleep (SWS). Do some exercise or take a shower to get up and running, and next time sleep less (if it’s a short nap) or more (if it’s an SWS nap) to avoid waking up in the middle of SWS.
Develop patterns and nap when you are sleepy. Sleep in the same place, in the same position; try to use a low light location and to be comfortable.
Chris Carmichael has said that “naps were critical in [Lance Armstrong’s] overall training plan.” If it’s good enough for 6-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, it’s good enough for us HyperLearners.
Included in Today’s Sleep File Download:
+ SLEEP NEEDS: Juice Feasting and a Whole Foods Diet Improves Sleep Quality Dramatically
+ BEAUTY SLEEP
+ POLL: MOST AMERICAN ADULTS SLEEP POORLY
+ WHO IS THE NATIONAL SLEEP FOUNDATION
+ THE FIVE STAGES OF SLEEP
+ 29 SECRETS TO A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP!!!
Included in Today’s Insomnia File Download:
This file has a great discussion about the underlying causes of insomnia, and very helpful nutritional suggestions for easing or eliminating this deficiency of sleep, including:
+ B6 – Dream Recall (Nutrition and Mental Illness-An Orthomolecular Approach)
+ Apple/Celery Juice before bed
+ Remain well-hydrated!
+ Refrain from eating solid foods 2-3 hours before bedtime
+ Glass of water with Lemon and MSM upon waking
+ Air filter or purifier
+ Juice Feasting
+ Amino Acid Tryptophan or 5-HTP
+ Before Bed: Mild yoga, hot bath, meditation, deep relaxation
Sleep Technologies and the Delta Brainwave Pattern: Inducing Deep Sleep with Music
Lastly, you will notice some audio listed at right that you can play when you lay down for bed which dramatically induces a deep sleep state. I use these tracks when I want to dive into deep sleep quickly, or am having challenges getting into a deep sleep pattern. They are very pleasant to listen to, and deliciously effective at dropping you into a delta brainwave pattern: the domain of restorative sleep.
See the resources and downloads for more great information! Sleep tight!
And see you in The Green Room on better sleep :)
If you are having trouble getting to sleep on the Juice Feast, make sure that your last juice of the day is a simple Green Vegetable Juice with plenty of celery in it.
A Green Juice will be alkalinizing to your system, which is calming, and will make for an easier time being relaxed in the evening, and then drifting off to sleep. Take a walk in the early evening, and enjoy a warm shower before bed!
ALSO: Turn off your computer or TV waaay ahead of sleep time. Turn off ALL electronic devices with lit screens - even the smallest light wakes the pineal gland and perpetuates the no-sleep cycle. And have a clock where you can darken the face, or place your clock in another room. :)
Herbs and Advice for a Good Night’s Sleep by Brigitte Mars
Blissful sleep is that recharging, rejuvenating repose in which about one third of our lives are be spent. When resting, bone marrow and lymph nodes produce substances that aid the immune systems and much of the body’s repair work is done. Yet for many, sweet sleep can be elusive, leaving one exhausted and lacking clarity the next day. The best way to improve insomnia is to change the cause.
The Joy of Less Sleep by Anthony Anderson, AKA Raw Model
One of the most obvious changes I experienced on my path to a 100% living foods diet was the very apparent reduction in the hours needed for sleep every night.
Snooze, You Win by Chris Carmicheal
Chris Carmicheal is quoted in the article, stating that naps were critical in [Lance Armstrong’s] overall training plan. The article goes on to provide tips on how to get the perfect nap.
If an athlete needs eight hours’ sleep yet only gets six, he/she will accumulate enough sleep debt in 15 days to significantly reduce their cardiovascular performance. This report is an eye opener; not only does it provide a good write-up of the different sleep stages, but it specifically talks about the stages and how they pertain to athletes with respect to cardiovascular fitness, mental performance and emotional stability.
Miles to Go Before I Sleep by Dr. Claudio Stampi
An article featuring Dr. Claudio Stampi, whom sailors often refer to as Dr. Sleep, is the go-to guru when you want to race sailboats alone across the ocean on ridiculously small amounts of shut-eye. It covers his work on polyphasic sleep, and has some interesting quotes:
“His research also showed that afternoon siestas were chock-full of slow-wave sleep, the type that appears to be most important for recharging the body.”
Media, Films, & Documentaries
The New Science of Sleep and Dreams | Professor Matthew Walker
Dr. Mercola Interviews Satchidananda Panda on the Importance of the Circadian Rhythm
Eating Affects Your Sleep (and Vice Versa) - Satchin Panda - Bulletproof Radio
[Audio Interview] Lights Out: Sugar, Sleep, and Survival with T.S. Wiley on Underground Wellness
T.S. Wiley, author of Lights Out, stops by UW Radio to discuss the importance of a good night’s sleep. Topics will include how the invention of the light bulb has contributed to obesity, heart disease, and depression, why you crave carbs after a poor night’s sleep, the importance of sleeping in a pitch-black room, and more! Learn more about T.S. on her website, www.thewileyprotocol.com.
[Audio Inteview] Hack Your Sleep with Dr. Jonathan Wisor, Ph.D. – Podcast
Dr. Wisor is one of the foremost researchers on sleep and nervous system function. His laboratory is funded by both the Department of Defense and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke to apply molecular genetic and biochemical techniques to study sleep.
In this interview by Dave Asprey of Bulletproof Radio, Dr. Wisor talks about how you can use biochemistry and the latest research to improve sleep and your quality of life. Covered in the interview:
What does sleep deprivation do to the body?
What would you say is the most common cause of sleep deprivation?
What are some of the best ways people can improve their sleep?
Is it important to sync your sleep with your circadian rhythm? If so, what happens when you don’t?
Assuming you get enough sleep, does it matter when it occurs? Is there any benefit from waking with the sun and going to be at dusk versus being a night owl?
How can medications or drugs interfere with sleep?
How does chronic or acute stress affect sleep?
What do you think of the Zeo sleep monitor? Have you tried one?
Why is sleep important for athletes or active people? If someone was working out a lot, and restricting sleep (partly to workout), is the exercise doing more harm than good?
What role do genetics play in sleep needs?
How does sleep (and sleep loss) effect growth and development in kids?
Have you done any research or looked at how sleep might be improved with cranial electrostimulation?
How can nutrient deficiencies (like magnesium) impair sleep?
Are there any supplements that help sleep?
How does sleep affect memory and intelligence.
What is dreaming, and why do we do it?
You did a study on the effects of methamphetamine and Modafinil on the sleep/wake cycles of mice. How did these drugs affect the mice, and how might these results be relevant for humans?
Can sleep deprivation cause inflammation in the brain? If so, can this turn into a perpetual cycle where sleep loss = inflammation, and inflammation = sleep loss?
What are your top three recommendations for someone who wants to be as powerful and high performance in all aspects of life?
Where can people learn more about you and your work?