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Responsive Kinetics: Not Just For Elite Athletes

By Matt McFall, Founder of FasTwitch Kinetics

I’m excited to introduce responsive kinetics training modality and its efficacy to all of you. We are all on a quest in life and for each the depth of that quest will change, morph as we discover ways to enhance our lives and have a positive effect on our wellbeing and longevity. Sometimes the impact is such that we find we cannot just keep it to ourselves! That’s what Responsive Kinetics is for me and others, but it’s still not well known by the general public. My “why” for bringing this to this forum is simply this, “Increasing the quality of life through increasing mobility”. This is a fundamental component of quality of life. People must be able to move to have access to everything from regular daily activity to high level athletic pursuits. At any level in that spectrum we engage in a variety of physical activities. Exercise or training are activities that give us access to many other activities. Often, this may be seen as applying primarily to athletics, but it is applicable to every level of life. Responsive kinetics training is a performance enhancer that works wonders at every level of the activity/exercise/training range. It is particularly suited for some populations who are missing out or underserved by traditional modes, including but not limited to:

  • The aging population who experience diminishing muscle and bone mass
  • Those with chronic injuries aka wear and tear
  • Those who are on the rehabilitation track from catastrophic injury
  • Those with progressive nerve and muscle disease

There is of course those of every age who are interested in reaching a higher level of fitness and increasing abilities in their recreational pursuits. We are naturally designed to move. It is important and necessary to address movement outside of what is required for our functioning. There is no shortage of evidence as to the effect of forfeiting our options to move. It is difficult and sometimes impossible to return and restore once that capacity is lost.

Introducing you to responsive kinetics will have in mind all of this spectrum of activity and its pursuits and the populations alluded to above. I will endeavor to stay away from technical jargon and the science that defines the topic, but it is impossible to leave it out completely. With that said a bit of groundwork must be laid to paint the picture as clearly as possible.

All training, whether physical or mental, revolves around one universal principle known as the SAID principle.

Spelled out as the Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demand, it points the way to mapping out a training regime to achieve a certain goal. Everyone who has worked with a trainer knows the starting point is to evaluate your:

  • perspective
  • readiness to engage
  • what level (of mobility) currently defines you
  • what your expectations are

It is well documented how any given method of training, be it flexibility, aerobic, anaerobic, resistance and the myriad of “blended” versions will affect the physical body over time.  Changing up the parameters of your training can help you continue to make “gains”.  There are of course limits when it comes to the mode of training and pushing your body, but with consistency you will reach and set new goals over time. This is when it’s important to narrow your focus on modes of resistance training, but it must be pointed out that there is resistance involved in all physical training. This is a systemic resistance that relates to the elasticity of the mechanism as well as to the sensory information that affects system management.

Resistance training has certain limitations that are due to the parameters of training environment. 

An important aspect of this is seen in free weights and, to a lesser extent, in weight machines.  That is that the weight must be controlled back to its resting position.  In the case of free weights, the performer is carrying the full burden of that safe return as well as their safe completion of the movement. If something is amiss, that is, there is some functional miscue via an injury or some weakness that causes form to be compromised, or a distraction that causes a lapse in focus there is opportunity for injury. If we are talking about someone between the ages of 50 – 70 years old, and/or who are experiencing declines in muscle mass and activation, then the occurrence and significance of this type of training set back is a much larger issue. Conditions that promote possible injury are not age-specific though, and some people do not engage in important resistance training as a result. Of course machines help mitigate this problem somewhat but do not completely remove the possibility of injuries taking place.  Likewise, this can hold true for injured athletes, and for individuals with varying degrees of neuromuscular challenges.

Contrasted with these forms of training we consider the training environment of responsive kinetics. In this category there are very few options so far which is something we certainly look to change. There is equipment that is referred to as isokinetic, there are kinetic accelerometers as well. The type of machine discussed here is known properly as a multi-joint iso kinetic dynamometer. These are machines which read performer input force and respond with an output force that remains constant with the preset controls throughout the full range of motion. To paint the picture further, imagine performing a squat where the resistance remains the same through the full movement in both directions. This means the performer is doing work through full range of motion whereas other forms of resistance training the highest percentage of work is only being done through the sticking point. This difference cannot be overstated.

The next parameter of this training environment is that the system is balanced. For the performer this means they are never responsible for management of the “load”. If they stop anywhere in the movement the system neutralizes. The risk of injury is negated. The only weight is their own body weight.

These unique parameters of training environment allow the performer to go significantly farther and achieve entirely different outcomes in a considerably shorter time frame. The unique training conditions allow the performer to move through the multi-joint movements at full effort through the entire range of motion in both directions. Read this again. This is why it is completely different and produces completely different outcomes or performance level. As a researcher at the College at Brockport under the direction of Dr. Christopher Williams, we utilized one of these machines to train and collect data on Rate of Force Development. Over the course of three years that part of the study of responsive kinetics involved several hundred participants. The only common denominator was no one had ever trained on this equipment. Data collection evaluated were from numerous pre and post tests done around a conservative training program of 8 sessions over 4 weeks. These tests included vertical jump, long jump T-test agility test and several balance tests performed on force plates, and Biodex balance platform. Electromyography was also part of pre and post test collection and done on the responsive kinetic machine.

So, what does happen when you train on this equipment? It is no exaggeration to say that you are igniting untapped resources of explosive power! Explosive power means the high use of the muscle fiber type referred to as fast twitch muscles. You may think that fast twitch muscles or “explosive power” are reserved primarily for athletes, but everyone is using them every day. Any movement you make that is deemed automatic is using this musculature. Movement that requires reflex or balance is accessing this musculature and nervous system pathways. It is easy to understand when speaking of athletes, but how many times have you put a foot wrong and had a “recovery” to remain stable? Often, we don’t recognize the availability of resources until they diminish. Training on responsive kinetic equipment places a demand on the neuromuscular chain (central nervous system, spinal cord, peripheral nervous system, skeletal muscles) it has not “seen” before. The response in the central nervous system is to map a solution to keep up with this new demand. That response is to fire fast twitch muscle first and to recruit transitive muscle fiber to respond more like fast witch muscle.  Other adaptations in the chain include changes in myelination, changes to proprioceptive apparatus (sensors in joints and muscle fiber that tell the body where it is) and changes to synaptic gaps and pathways.

What you notice depends on what you do for activities. If you are tracking any measurements of your activities, you will know somethings up quickly. Recall from the earlier peek into the study I had the privilege to work on we normally got feedback by the fourth session about something they sensed in their activities. An example of gains seen in the  study, vertical jump increases of 2 to 6 inches were recorded frequently.

There have been many sports stars who have used this equipment which has resulted in great achievements. Michael Jordan, Shaq, Lenny Kryzelburg, Holly McPeak, Jeff Henderson, Tori Bowie, and many others. Tim Grover uses one of these machines as a secret weapon in producing explosive power in short time frames because it is so effective. This is important at the elite level of sports since time equals significant amounts of money. Everyone wants results though and they would like to see results reasonably quickly. Since data is captured for every rep of every set on these machines, (se Fig 2) the practitioner can tailor the progression of work very effectively. Our experience in training athletes and in research has shown that results, that is physiological adaptations begin to be felt by the performer in 3 or 4 sessions. When we set up training blocks, we generally use a 10-session format with two sessions per week. Since there is very little eccentric loading there is very little muscle soreness. Generally, after 2 sessions there is none. In some cases, we have trained athletes in a more compact time span training every other day for a few weeks.  As stated earlier the populations where this is extremely valuable tool is much more far reaching than simply athletic pursuits. I believe that the aging population and those with neuro muscular challenges are the most needing of this technology. Hence our desire to scale our efforts. Significant changes occur in lives where real results in a reasonable time frame make a very big difference in quality of life through increased mobility. This affects the mindset as well and they work together to perpetuate a strengthening of the whole person.

For more information visit fastwitchkinetics.com or write us with your inquiry at ftkinetic@gmail.com. We would love to hear from you!

– Matt Mcfall, Founder of FasTwitch Kinetics

References

Pette, D., & Staron, R. S. (1997). Mammalian Skeletal Muscle Fiber Type Transitions. International Review of Cytology, 170, 143-223. doi:10.1016/s0074-7696(08)61622-8

Enoka, R. (2015). Neuromechanics of human movement. 5th ed. Champaign: Human Kinetics, pp.P255 – 267 Neural Control of movement; P205 – 251 Muscle and Motor Units.

Murray, D., Brown, L., Zinder, S., Noffal, G., Bera, S. and Garrett, N. (2007) Effects of Velocity-Specific Training on Rate of Velocity Development, Peak Torque, and Performance. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 21(3), pp.870-874

 Kawamori, N. and Haff, G. (2004). The Optimal Training Load for the Development of Muscular Power. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 18(3), pp.675-684.

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The Most Important Takeaways From #mbgrevitalize 2019

This past weekend, mindbodygreen held its 6th annual #mbgrevitalize event, and we were there to capture the magic!  This year’s theme was Longevity, Consciousness, and Community – in which hundreds of wellness leaders gathered in Dove Mountain, Arizona, to discuss what it really means to be conscious, to form meaningful connections, and to inspire lasting change in our communities.

Some of this weekend’s conversations were admittedly tough, but undeniably enlightening. And it’s doing the difficult work that helps us be and create the change we wish to see in the world.  Continue reading to learn some of the biggest takeaways from this year’s #mgbrevitalize.

For the first time since World War I, life expectancy in the United States has declined for 3 years in a row.

On average, life expectancy across the globe has been steadily increasing over the past several decades; however, reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that life expectancy in the United States has actually dropped for three consecutive years. This has largely been in part because of the country’s ongoing drug crisis and climbing suicide rates. This is notably the first time that researchers have seen this disturbing result in the U.S. since the 1915-1918 timeframe, during which World War I and a flu pandemic took place.

Here are the CDC’s most recent reports highlighting life expectancy and mortality rates in America:

Mortality in the United States, 2017

Drug Overdose Deaths in the United States, 1999–2017

Suicide Mortality in the United States, 1999–2017

People feel lonely because of social constructs and conditioning.

Loneliness is a universal yet relatively complex human emotion. It is typically associated with anxious feelings due to lack of connection or communication with others, and it has been shown to lead to poorer physical and mental health over time (NCBI).

So, what causes us to feel lonely?

The first time that most people experience loneliness is when their parents leave them alone as infants.  As they age, they may experience temporary loneliness in different contexts, such as going through a divorce, losing someone important in their life, or being outcasted from a social circle. The cause and severity of loneliness really varies from one person to another, as there could be social, mental, emotional, and/or physical factors at play.

Deepak Chopra, co-founder of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing, and a world-renowned pioneer in integrative medicine and personal transformation, argues that people feel lonely because of social constructionism – the theory that much of what we perceive as reality depends on shared assumptions (ThoughtCo).  Examples of social constructs include things like the concept of currency, which people have collectively given importance and value, as well as the self/self-identity (gender, age, sexual orientation, race, social class), which can affect one’s self-esteem.

Chopra insists that reality doesn’t exist; we are all having an individual human-specific experience. For us humans, subjective experiences occur in the form of sensations, images, feelings and thoughts (Deepak Chopra). While we were sitting in the audience listening to Chopra share his wisdom on the mainstage at #mbgrevitalize, we could feel his calm demeanor and see his gentle smile as he spoke. Unlike us humans, Painted Lady Butterflies have 30,000 lenses in each eye; if one of these butterflies were looking at Chopra on stage, they would see a kaleidoscope of moving shapes but would not have the same emotional connection or experience that the people in the audience had. If you put this into the context of a romantic relationship, subjective experiences often contribute to why couples may see a situation or event in their relationship differently.

The mind is an embodied and relational process that regulates the flow and energy of relationships.

Mental Illness is defined as thinking locally and acting as a separate self.

Chopra says that when we are babies, we are filled with curiosity and wonder. But as we age, and we become conditioned by social constructs, we begin to build a separate self—one that can fill us with anxiety, pressure and fear. But this separate self is not who you truly are.

This is the foundation for a science of consciousness, as consciousness is total freedom from conditioning and constructs. By having more awareness of your loneliness when it comes, you can acknowledge it and let it go.

Mind-altering substances may have a place in the wellness space, but it’s still out for debate.

Hallucinogens (drugs that profoundly distort a person’s perceptions of reality) have been studied in the U.S. for their potential healing benefits since the discovery of LSD in the 1940s. However, research has mostly stagnated since psychedelics were outlawed in the late 1960s. (APA)  Given the current state of drug use in America, there is a lot of controversy over whether or not mind-altering substances can actually be harnessed for good.

According to Cristina L. Magalhaes, PhD, and co-chair of a symposium on psychedelics and psychotherapy, “Combined with psychotherapy, some psychedelic drugs like MDMA, psilocybin and ayahuasca may improve symptoms of anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. More research and discussion are needed to understand the possible benefits of these drugs, and psychologists can help navigate the clinical, ethical and cultural issues related to their use.”

The “Mind-Altering Substances and Wellness” session at this year’s #mbgreviatlize discussed what role psychedelic drugs should play in wellness. The panel included Holistic Psychiatrist, Ellen Vora, M.D., Physician, Molly Aloof, M.D., Whole30 Co-Founder and CEO, Melissa Hartwig Urban, and Wellness Advocate, Rich Roll.  It’s worth nothing that both Urban and Roll have had their own downfalls at the hand of drugs and alcohol, which ultimately served as the catalysts for each of their health journeys. They have successfully used their experiences to find their purpose in life: to help others live healthier and sober.

From a psychological perspective, there are both potential pros and cons when it comes to the use of hallucinogens for healing. Some people may experience breakthroughs while using these drugs that allow them to get un-stuck, overcome depression, and/or come to powerful realizations.  On the flip side, all it takes is one bad trip (frightening hallucinations or delusions that can lead to accidents) to put a person in serious danger.  If someone is predisposed to mental health issues, they are more likely to experience bad trips.

Keeping the current drug-use problem in mind, many people are getting hallucinogenic drugs off of the street because of the ease of accessibility.  It’s nearly impossible to know the quality of these drugs and where they originally came from.  “These [hallucinogenic] drugs are essentially medicines, and they need to be approached with the same gravity as pharmaceuticals,” said Vora.  If you are thinking of experimenting with mind-altering substances like LSD, PCP, or ketamine, it is vital that you consult with a doctor.  Remember: this is your brain that we are talking about, and you only get one. So, you need to be mindful of the possible side effects of hallucinogens, and how they can affect your life after using them. These drugs are not meant to be taken in isolation; it’s recommended that you have someone you trust by your side so that they can monitor you and keep you safe while you’re using the drugs.

From an economic standpoint, there’s high interest in commercializing drugs – especially if they are considered illegal and in high demand. Fun fact: In today’s pharmaceutical market, it often takes more than a decade and an estimated $2.6 billion to bring a new drug to market (Booz Allen). So, between now and the time that hallucinogens are officially launched to the public, more research needs to be done on how different types of halogens affect the brain, overall health, and decision making.  We also need a better understanding of how different dosages can impact people that have varying biomarkers (e.g. PTSD, bipolar disorder, depression, etc).

The bottom line: there is so standard or single solution when it comes to using psychedelic drugs for healing. There is room for experimentation, but it needs to be done in controlled, safe settings so that researchers can continue to evaluate what dosages are appropriate for whom, and under what circumstances. Regulation that puts peoples’ health first, above simply making profit, will be of utmost importance. It will take conscious leadership of medical practitioners, as well as state and local governments to help make this happen.

Research shows that there are 9 key factors that affect one’s ability to heal from cancer.

There have been thousands of documented cases of “incurable diseases”, in which people have fully recovered from their diagnosis and reclaimed their lives.  Most of these case studies have revolved around people that have stage 4 cancer, but there have also been documented cases of healing from heart failure, autoimmune diseases, and HIV.

Were these people just lucky? Or did they play some kind of active role in their own recovery?

Kelly A. Turner, PhD, studies people who have experienced what she calls “radical remissions.” She’s written a book about them, and is currently working on a docuseries. What Kelly discovered is that the people who have achieved radical remissions don’t just sit in misery or wait for a miracle to cure them. During their healing process, they proactively made nine distinct conscious changes in their lives – only two of which are considered physical while the remaining seven are classified as emotional changes.

Here are the 9 key factors that Turner has identified as aiding forces behind radical remissions:

  1. Radically changing your diet.
  2. Taking control of your health.
  3. Following your intuition.
  4. Using herbs and supplements.
  5. Releasing suppressed emotions.
  6. Increasing positive emotions.
  7. Embracing social support.
  8. Deepening your spiritual connection.
  9. Having strong reasons for living.

Though there are no promises that following these tips will absolutely cure cancers or other illnesses, there is very interesting research that indicates cancer treatments may have better outcomes if they take a more holistic approach rather than just relying on surgery, chemotherapy, and/or radiation.

While recovery is important, prevention is also key to living a life of longevity.  Did you know: people on average go into a stressful state as much as 50 times a day?  This causes us to miss out on dopamine (an important brain chemical that influences your mood and feelings), and increases our cortisol levels. Often called the “stress hormone,” cortisol triggers the natural “flight or fight” response that has kept humans alive for thousands of years. The danger of having high levels of cortisol too often is that it means you are constantly in high-stress mode. If your body experiences chronic stress, then it will begin to break down over time (Premier Health).

“Chi” is a Chinese word meaning “life force energy”.  Some alternative medical practitioners believe that having low chi means that you’re too low on your life force, and that you’re more susceptible to being affected by illness and disease.  Turner says that having a strong sense of purpose in life can help draw more chi into the body. This may also help you prevent your body from becoming more susceptible to disease.

To live a long life, you should be like a gorilla that eats in Italy.

Ok, not literally, but eating lots and lots of plants is really good for you, and nutrition is directly related to longevity. Here are the top myths about longevity that you should be aware of:

Myth: The Mediterranean Diet is 100% healthy for you.

Fact:  More research needs to be done, but here’s what we know. This particular diet is based on the habits of people from Italy, Greece, and Spain. This part of the world is considered a blue zone area — blue zones are regions of the world where people appear to live much longer than average.  It includes the consumption of things like legumes, fish, fruit, vegetables, and olive oil. It’s that last ingredient that researchers think may be the key health-promoting part of the diet.

Steven Gundry, M.D. argues that the Mediterranean Diet is pretty healthy for most people to adopt, except that it includes foods that have lectins.  Lectins are a type of plant protein that can be found in almost all foods, but the foods that are believed to be highest in lectins include whole grains and legumes, and nightshade vegetables, like tomatoes, peppers and potatoes (Genuine Health). The problem is that our bodies have not adapted to the lectins found in these foods. They can be difficult to digest, toxic even (if not cooked properly), which negatively affects the microbiome and puts you at greater risk of disease.  Gundry says that you should focus on consuming plants that don’t have these lectins, as well as foods with high omegas, and olive oil. Lots and lots of olive oil! (People in Italy, Greece and Spain regularly consume an average of 1 liter of olive oil per week (12-14 tablespoons per day).

Myth: Animal protein is essential for strength and longevity.

Fact: Simply put, gorillas and horses disprove this. They only eat plants, and they are both strong and HUGE!

Myth: Growth hormones produce youthfulness and vitality.

Fact: Being smaller in size may actually help promote vitality, not being bigger. Gundry points out that most of the people who live in the Blue Zones are far shorter than average height. Women are also typically shorter than men. Research shows that they have lower rates of coronary heart disease than men and on average live about seven years longer (MindBodyGreen).

Myth: It’s important to consume iron as you age.

Fact: Iron is an essential metal for the body, but excessive iron consumption is dangerous for mitochondrial function and causes organ dysfunction through the production of reactive oxygen species (NCBI).

Myth: Milk does the body good.

Fact: Milk has huge amounts of insulin growth factor in it, which mother cows give to their babies to help them grow. Humans are the only species that consumes other animals’ milk, and humans on average are much bigger than they were decades ago. But humans are not baby cows!

Aging can’t be stopped, but the process can be slowed.

For the average person, genes account for 25% of longevity, and environment accounts for 75%.  As we age, we experience more “wear and tear”. Examples of wear and tear include, but are not limited to: exposure to and consumption of toxins, injuries, and sun exposure – all of which lead to instability of the genome (the genetic material present in a cell or organism) and DNA damage.  The problem is that our body’s repair mechanisms slow down over time.

Anti-aging facts you should be aware of:

  • The insulin-signaling pathways are responsible for blood sugar regulation, which is at the core of anti-aging.
  • Autophagy is like your body’s garbage disposal, it allows the cells in your body to cleanse themselves by removing unnecessary or dysfunctional components.
  • There are pathways that stimulate growth and other pathways that stimulate autophagy.
  • As you age, there should be a shift in habits from growth to preservation. In other words, it might be more important to focus on your diet as you get older, whereas working out the way you used to could be excessive strain on your body that adds more wear and tear.
  • NAD+ is crucial for cellular repair and mitochondrial maintenance.
  • According to Frank Lipman, “There isn’t really a magic bullet for anti-aging, but if there were one, it would be sleep.”

When it comes to preserving the body, remember this: our daily habits have the opportunity to have extraordinary effects on our health and longevity.

 

“Get more sleep, eat less, and love more.” – Robert Roundtree

Humanity is evolving.

A pessimistic view of the world narrowly focuses on the problems that exist, but despite what the news may say, the world isn’t all bad.  In fact, history shows that humans have taken great strides to improve social and economic conditions over the past couple of centuries, as well as access to greater technology, people, and experiences. For reference, check out this timeline of U.S. history:

  • 200 years ago (early 1800s), 90% of people lived on $2/day.
  • In 1865, slavery was abolished.
  • Nearly 100 years ago (1920), women could finally vote.
  • In 1964, Jim Crow Laws were abolished.
  • In 1983, the internet was invented. The World Wide Web was later developed in 1990. This meant that people now had access to information from all over the globe.
  • Smartphones were created in 1992, which resulted an entirely new and fast way to help people stay connected.
  • Since the early 2000’s, many businesses with a shared-economy model (such as Uber and Airbnb) have empowered more people to travel and share experiences with others on their own terms.

Here’s the now. Though there have been times of war and corruption, history shows that humankind has collectively been moving toward greater connection. There is undoubtedly a greater sense of what is morally right and wrong, and what defines conscious leadership.

According to John Mackey, Cofounder and CEO of Whole Foods Market, and coauthor of Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business, conscious leaders:

  • Are passionate
  • Are service oriented
  • Are authentic
  • Have integrity
  • Hold themselves accountable
  • Have a high level of emotional intelligence
  • Inspire people
  • Mobilize energy
  • Cultivate self-awareness
  • Encourage growth in others and build confidence

Business is about people working together to create value for others.  In order to be a conscious leader, one must create a shared purpose (Whole Food Market’s is to nourish people on the planet), and always strive to find the win-win-win solution in any given business situation.

“Can you build a business based on love?” – John Mackey

Business clichés are notably often centered around sports, battle, or the ego – all of which reinforce the idea of focusing on the competition and contracting oneself instead of leading with an open heart and consciousness. When we lead with fear, we are at greater risk of destroying opportunities, relationships, sales, product launches, and employee morale.  That’s why it is essential to eliminate fear in business – in order to minimize the risk of short-circuiting love. The many faces of love include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Gratitude
  • Care
  • Compassion
  • Appreciation
  • Forgiveness
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In Case You Were Wondering, This Is The Best Sleeping Position

By Julie Westervelt, Founder of Sleep Crown

“If you’re not sleeping, you’re not healing.” -Shawn Stevenson

Sleep is a vital component of having good physical, mental and emotional health. Without it, you’re at a greater risk for experiencing a wide range of medical conditions including, but not limited to: heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke (NIH).  The way you sleep is also directly connected to how your body eliminates waste and pain.  One way to set yourself up for success in the bedroom and get the sleep you need is to make sure that you’re assuming a resting position that is both comfortable, conducive for deep breathing, and supportive of your body.

So, what is the best sleeping position?

In my line of work, this question comes up frequently because many people either aren’t sleeping well, or they aren’t sleeping enough.  A poor sleeping position can also be the root cause of aches and pains. After consulting with several medical professional biohacker buddies of mine, I’ve found that the answer is… [DRUMROLL]…it really depends on who you ask!

When it comes to heart health, digestion, snoring-prevention or pregnancy, side-sleeping is probably the most common recommendation. According to a 2017 study, side-sleeping is favored by most people too.

Physicians and Internists tend to root for side sleeping because it’s been shown to have the most science-backed health benefits, such as helping aid digestion, processing waste, reducing heartburn, and promoting brain health.  Although our bodies are generally symmetrical, the placement of the organs inside of our bodies are not. Side sleeping, particularly on the left side – allows gravity to do its job, encouraging the body to properly digest food and process waste. It’s also been theorized that sleeping on the left side helps keep the gastric fluids lower than the esophagus as compared to sleeping on the right side of the body.

Dentists seem to generally concur that the side-sleeping position is best too – because it helps promote more open airways and better breathing.

“I’m interested in how our ancestors lived, where they would sleep on the ground by digging a hole out for their hips, and curl into a fetal position.  This concept of back-sleeping is a much newer phenomenon because we have the modern luxury to use a soft mattress that makes it comfortable enough to sleep on your back.  Also, side-sleeping prevents the tongue and jaw from falling back, which otherwise contributes to sleep apnea and snoring.  When you sleep on your side, your airways are more open, allowing for more oxygen to pass through, which encourages deeper sleep.” – Dr. Mark Burhenne of AskTheDentist

“My advice is to focus on breathing because breathing trumps everything. If you’re not breathing, spinal alignment doesn’t really matter. So do whatever best supports your airway.” – Dr. Gene Sambataro (aka the Biohacking Dentist)

Chiropractors favor back-sleeping to support the structures of the head, neck and spine.  Makes sense given their specialization in musculoskeletal care to help the body heal!

The spine is primarily made up of a string of bones, but also has elastic ligaments and spinal discs that allow for flexibility. The discs in your spine are essentially “shock absorbers” for the body. They help absorb stress so that your spine can carry the weight of your head, torso and arms, and allow your body to move in every direction (NCBI).

Because of this intricate interweaving of bone and nerve tissue, it’s important to maintain proper alignment at all times.  Poor sleeping positions can notably put harmful pressure on the spinal nerves or the spinal cord.

A ‘neutral spine’ should include the natural curves of your spine. If you are unable to get comfortable on your back, try placing a pillow or rolling a large towel or blanket and place under the backs of the lower thighs or the backs of the knees.

Explore the specific placement under your legs that feels the best in your body and de-tensions the lumbar spine. This can help reduce stress on your spine and support the natural curve in your lower back (University of Rochester).  This trick may also help you maintain the back-sleeping position through the night.

You should also have a pillow for your head that supports the natural curvature of your neck, as well as your shoulders.  Surprisingly, this may actually be a thinner pillow than most people believe to be necessary. You may also roll a towel or a pillow and wedge around the top of the head to help draw the chin down toward the chest. Especially if your chin tends to jut upward toward the ceiling.

Dr. Peter Martone, owner and director of Atlantis Chiropractic Wellness Centers, has developed a pillow called the Neck Nest which supports the cervical spine and encourages the body to sleep comfortably on the back.  See how the Neck Nest can be paired with the Sleep Crown Pillow to help you get the most comfortable sleep ever!

Most yogis also recommend back-sleeping. My background is actually in Restorative Yoga, and I believe that the body should be ‘propped’ to allow the spine to be in a neutral position. Every human body is unique and wise. We all have different needs for support (or lack of) and your needs should be honored.

Me Sleep Journey

I discovered a very effective sleep hack when I was young – sleeping with a pillow over my head in addition to having a pillow under my head – like a pillow sandwich. It was always so comforting for me to sleep this way when I was young. It shielded me from ambient disruptions and felt great. It wasn’t until I started studying the principles of Restorative Yoga and weighting the body for relaxation purposes that it all made sense. My personal desire to share this special sleep technique and help others achieve proper sleep is what led me to create Sleep Crown and the Sleep Crown.

Even though Sleep Crown works beautifully in all sleeping positions, I have received great feedback that, when used over the face in the back-sleeping position, Sleep Crown helps encourage stillness in this position throughout the night. The gentle weight of the Sleep Crown over the muscles in the the forehead triggers the body’s relaxation response. The corrugator supercilii are the muscles over the eyebrows that are regarded as the principal muscles in the expression of suffering. Gently compressing these muscles is very soothing and relaxing for the whole body. The Sleep Crown contours and drapes on the sides of the head acting as ‘speed bumps’ to prevent the head from falling to either side, and obviously the placement of the pillow over the eyes and ears helps to block out light and sound.

In the past, I would fall asleep on my back and tend to shift to either side of my body throughout the night.  I’d even use a body pillow that offered support between the knees in order to keep my sacrum aligned and stable. However, I have found that the side-sleeping position can put massive pressure on the cervical spine, shoulder and hip.

After listening to an interview with Dr. Peter Martone, I have committed to do everything possible to maintain the back-sleeping position for a month to observe any changes. In this new back-sleeping-through-the-night endeavor, I’ve added more props to barricade myself on my back. Surprisingly, I now place my heavy body pillow on top of myself! It extends from my ankles to my collar bones and I find the pressure to be grounding and keeps me right in place.

I’m happy to report that I’ve successfully made it through the entire night on my back with the help of:

Yes, this can be tricky (and perhaps a little over the top) when you share a bed with another person — especially if they require this extreme amount of pillowing too.  And it can be costly. However, this natural solution costs a lot less than pharmaceuticals over time!  And look at how peaceful it looks…

Stomach-Sleeping Is Not Recommended

You may have noticed that I have not even acknowledged the belly-down position. This is intentional because this particular sleeping position can wreak havoc on your spinal alignment and cause neck and back pain. As the pressure of your body increases, the pressure on your muscles, joints, and organs also increases.  Your neck begs you – and I beg you – please just don’t do it! Please try to retrain your body to find an alternate position. Your neck will thank you later. 🙂

One Final Thought

Please don’t allow the positioning of your body while sleeping to be a source of distress. You can have all of the best intentions in the world – and who knows what happens after you fall asleep!? Remember, our ancestors slept on rocks, and the most important thing is that you actually sleep! The body knows how to optimize itself when you achieve the proper number of hours for you. Approach any adjustments with an easy-going, curious attitude and observe how you feel when you awaken.

Sending nurturing vibes out to the whole Biohacked Community.  If you’re interested in purchasing a Sleep Crown Pillow, enter promo code: “BIOHACKED” for a $10 Savings + free US Shipping!

 

Sweet Dreams,
Julie

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From Trend to Medical Paradigm: Biohacking for Answers

Written by Chloe Weber L.Ac, MSOM, Co-Founder and CEO of Radical Roots and more importantly, Remy’s Mom.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

More Than A Movement

I’ve been biohacking my son since before I knew “biohacking” was more than Bulletproof coffee and silly glasses.  As an acupuncturist and herbalist, I didn’t bat an eye when the geneticist told me that my child had a neurotransmitter disorder that only occurs in one out of every 20 million people.  I stared at the doctor as he told me that my son would likely have intractable seizures, intellectual disability, Parkinson’s-like tremors, ataxia and apraxia . . . As he told me, “There’s not much research, I printed two studies—but I didn’t get to read them yet.”  I looked him in the eye as he annihilated a lifetime of dreams of soccer games and sharing books, of surfing adventures and herb talks. I glared at the doctor, terrified and defiant, because no one will ever tell me what my son is capable of, because Remy’s tale is just beginning to unfold.

What most families don’t know is that there is a whole world of medicine that exists outside of the current medical paradigm; that there is help and hope.

Biohacking has turned from a trend to a movement, and now we need to use that movement to help the most vulnerable and desperate population of our society.  Neuro-developmental disorders are crippling our families, disabling our children and putting incredible stress on our medical and education systems. With the incidence of autism increasing at exponential rates and other developmental and neurological disorders becoming more and more prevalent, it is essential that we find help for these families immediately.  We need to protect further generations from the harm and help address the terrifying fertility issues at hand.

Western medicine, Western lifestyle, and diet are hurting our children.  EMFs, toxins, horrific nutrition, genetic mutations, poor digestion, disrupted microbiomes, disrupted hormones, food allergies—our children are the canaries in the coal mine and they are suffering.  Families of children with special needs are desperate for help, while the medicine and the support systems are epically failing them. Isolated and scared, parents are left studying day and night hoping to find help, hoping for answers; while fighting for support and services during the day.  

What these parents don’t realize is that most of the therapies their children receive are highly outdated and ineffective.  For an entire year I spent 40 hours a week doing “typical” therapy with my son with negligible results.  What most parents do not realize is that the most important changes they can make are in their own kitchen. Even fewer consider the ramifications of EMF on a developing brain, or glyphosate on the mitochondria.  Parents are so scared and overwhelmed that they become paralyzed.

From tiger mom to the mother-f*cking warrior of all warrior moms.  

I didn’t bat an eye when the doctor broke the news.  I turned toward his assistant and told her to print out every-single-study she could find while I went to call Remy’s acupuncturist. I didn’t break down.  I didn’t give up. I have been able to push forward because I know what so many families don’t—that the brain is plastic.  That given the right support and the right therapies, the brain can and WILL change.

I don’t know what lies ahead for Remy, I don’t know what he will achieve, but I will always love him for exactly who he is, while I fight to push him further.

I take Remy to a neurologist in Ecuador for a month twice a year.  The doctor treats him with hyperbaric oxygen, ozone therapy, alpha brainwave stimulation, low-level lasers and other bioenergetic medical techniques.  He’s a Cuban doctor who studied in Russia. He’s brilliant and he does things Western doctors couldn’t imagine let alone comprehend. His practice is based on balancing brainwaves.  During our first trip, Remy’s brain map showed that is brain was at 76% delta—76% delta!! My child was in transcendental meditation; he was not even in this realm.

I also take Remy to The Family Hope Center in Philadelphia.  Their program empowers parents to become their child’s therapist, to become their child’s greatest advocate, to support their biology, and challenge their neurology so that they can create new neural pathways.  They use diet, supplements, functional movement (crawling and creeping), smells, reflex integration (and more) to challenge a child’s prognosis. They are phenomenal, and they are changing the lives of children struggling with all sorts of neurological challenges.

Where to Start

The heart of every comprehensive program for neurological health includes: nutrition, detoxification, oxygen, movement and supplementation (and nutrigenomics).  These are all the fundamentals of biohacking as well.

The gut and the diet are the first place to start for any neurological disorder.  Decades of research show how effective the keto diet is for mitigating seizures.  Now research is beginning to explain some of the biomechanics that makes that possible.  In fact, current studies are showing that a particular strain of bacteria that is propagated by the keto diet is also enhanced by CBD supplementation.  This bacteria has been proposed to positively affect not only epilepsy but multiple sclerosis.  Other research clearly shows how a simple elimination diet can be used to alleviate the symptoms of ADHD.  What if all children with special needs were offered a gut test like Viome so they can optimize their health?  What could the brains behind BiOptomizers do with the research from those tests?

Environmental and electromagnetic toxicity is impacting all of us, but our children are by far the most affected.  Many children get their first iPad before they are 3, and classrooms are filled with cell phones and WiFi.  Water is often tainted with lead and glyphosate, and one of the first foods that children typically eat is arsenic-tainted rice cereal.  The impact of these toxins on developing brains and bodies is now being seen and slowly understood—but the evidence is clear—we have an epidemic on our hands.

Oxygen For Brain Health

Oxygen is tricky to administer, but essential for neurological health.  Hyperbarics have been studied for numerous neurological disorders and many people have found incredible success using them.  Family Hope Center also uses Carbogen and reflex bags in their treatment protocols. (The “bags” are specially made for you to breathe into for 30 seconds until the carbon dioxide signals for the brain to uptake more oxygen.  Remy loves them, but obviously this needs to be done with supervision and know-how.) Finding out how to use oxygen therapy for developmental disorders is essential. The doctor we see insists on using the chamber before doing neurofeedback, but there are so many variables.  Photobiomodulation is another interesting option. I just ordered Remy a VieLight 810 this morning. If the brain develops from the bottom up, and the most injured children have problems in their midbrain and pons, then intranasal photobiomodulation seems like a very reasonable method of stimulation and healing to try.  

When you have poor proprioceptive awareness, it’s so hard to know where your body ends and where the world begins. Mind/body awareness therapies such as the Anat Baniel Method and the Feldenkrais Method are remarkable for children with developmental disorders.  Yoga and tai chi have been shown to help with balance and awareness, support motor planning, and promote calmness. What else can we do to stimulate the body to change the brain? What tools do we have to help the children learn to be more aware, to gain more strength and independence?  

And Last, Supplementation.

So much research is coming out on nutrigenomics — information on how our genetics and our lifestyle affect our ability to function.  Children with special needs have notoriously bad GI tracts, difficulty absorbing and processing nutrients, and often have improperly functioning detoxification pathways. Why aren’t doctors looking at their labs tests and testing for nutritional deficiencies, for hormonal fluctuations?  Surely every child with special needs should have their genes run for maladaptive SNPs and mutations?

As a community, we have some of the most curious and progressive minds in medicine, and we have innovative thinkers who are pushing themselves to be better in every way in order to make a greater impact and find more joy.  You all inspire me with your brilliance and drive. I beg of you, help me help these children. Help me help these parents — these parents who give all that they have to care for their children; who give up their own health to work extra jobs; who give up their sleep to nervously watch their seizing children; who give any time they have to fight for appropriate support for their kids.  I can tell you first-hand how exhausting, terrifying and lonely it is. The bureaucracy is never-ending and the daily struggle to manage your pain and fears is exhausting.

It breaks my heart to see these parents, locked in fear and misery.  So many special needs parents suffer with PTSD. So many are not able to make the right food choices, or find space for meditation and gratitude let alone exercise and play.

But What If They Could?

I am an independent mama to a child with multiple disabilities. I run a private practice and a CBD/Chinese herb company. I am actively fighting to improve the lives of others.  I have two cats and one dog. I love my life and I am so grateful for all I have and even more grateful for my perfect son. I could not do what I do without biohacking.  

I cannot tell you how much this community needs us.  Needs the very best that biohacking has to offer. I have seen what is possible for these children.  I have seen kids who had hundreds of seizures a day stop seizing altogether. Speechless children start talking.  I have seen my son, now almost five, take his first independent steps just two months ago. Every inch is a mile, and every single one helps these children gain more independence, find more joy and find more connectivity with this (sick and twisted) beautiful world. 

Please, help me help them.  Help us.

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Father’s Day Biohacking Gift Essentials That Dad Will Love!

Looking for a different way to express your thanks and love to Dad this year? This Father’s Day, get him a gift that shows him how much you care about his health and well-being.  Whether you’re looking for something high-end, or a gift that’s a little more budget conscious, we’ve put together a list of some our favorite biohacks that we think the superhero in your life will truly appreciate.

For Better Skin

Alitura Naturals

“Alitura” is Latin for “Feeding and Nourishing”.  Alitura Naturals uses natural, non-GMO and chemical free ingredients that come directly from the Earth to help your skin glow and radiate health. Whatever dad’s hobbies are – in the toolshed, in adult sports leagues, in the garden — help him keep his skin clear and healthy!

Use coupon code “biohacked20” at checkout to save 20% off of your order.

TrueLight Light Therapy Devices

The TrueLight product line uses a patent-pending combination of photobiomodulation (including deep red, red, near-infrared and yellow light) to promote deeper healing and faster recovery of the skin and body. It does this by stimulating the mitochondira in your cells and promoting greater production of ATP (energy).  This essentially helps you heal and recover faster. The TrueLight Energy Square is great for targeted healing,  whereas the TrueLight Energy Mat and Pillow provide a full-body solution.

This week only, save 15% off on all TrueLight light therapy devices with coupon code “FathersDay15”!

For More Energy and Better Performance

ENERGYbits

If your Dad is the on-the-go type, then he needs a healthy way to maintain his energy and focus without a cycle of sugar rushes and crashes. ENERGYbits offers tablets that are made out of chlorella and spirulina (algae and a type of bacteria, respectively); these superfoods are high in protein and micronutrients, and they won’t leave your dad feeling wiped out. Even if he is on-the-go, ENERGYbits can fit right in his pocket and go with him!

Use coupon code “biohacked” at checkout to save 20% off of your order.

Bulletproof MCT Oil Packs

“Bad” fats may affect memory and cognitive function, but “good” facts can actually help protect the brain. And even though the brain accounts only accounts for 2% of our bodyweight, it utilizes 20 percent of the body’s metabolic energy. So it’s important to preserve brain health for better energy and cognitive ability.

Bulletproof’s MCT oils basically supercharge your brain by rapidly and efficiently converting healthy fats into ketone energy. Though they do contain parts of coconuts and coconut oil for health benefits, rest-assured there is no excessive coconut flavor when consumed.  If you’re looking for a simple yet versatile gift that Dad can easily make a part of his lifestyle, and help preserve his brain health, give Bulletproof MCT Oils a go!

#BiohackedBox

The #BiohackedBox is a quarterly subscription box that is hand-curated by Dave Asprey and delivered right to your doorstep! It features some of the latest and greatest products from health and wellness brands, and the theme of the box changes each quarter.

The latest box to launch is the Energy and Performance Box, which includes:

The Muse Headband
BIOptimizers Enzymes and Supplements
Paleovalley Grass-Fed Beef Sticks
A High Performance Planner
A Primate Posture Brace
Bulletproof Protein Collagen Bars
+ more!

As the name suggests, this box was designed with energy and performance in mind. Dad won’t just enjoy the snacks; he’ll actually find the tools inside to be useful. Since the Energy and Performance #BiohackedBox was just released, please contact Customer Support to purchase the box a la carte.

For Better Sleep

TrueDark Sleep-Hacking Glasses

Help Dad keep his circadian rhythm in check with the ultimate blue light-blocking glasses for night time. These glasses come with bold red lenses and patented technology that blocks the “junk” light at night time from all artificial light sources (including LEDs, fluorescents, computers, tvs, tablets, and smartphones).  As soon as your Dad puts them on, his mind will go into an alpha (or meditative) state, so that he can fall asleep faster and rest more deeply. These are great for inducing naps during the day and beating jet lag while traveling too!

This week only, save 15% on all TrueDark blue light-blocking eyewear! Use coupon code “FathersDay15” at checkout to save.

Sleep Crown Over-The-Head Pillow

It’s as simple as it sounds, but believe us when we say that it will have Dad out like a rock! This pillow is designed to block out all ambient light and noise while resting. Other fun facts: it’s hypoallergenic, vegan and bird friendly, and handmade in the USA. It’s about time that Dad got a good night sleep, so make sure that his pillows are up to par.

Enter promo code: “BIOHACKED” for $10 off + free US Shipping!

Biostrap

It’s one thing to ask yourself if you think you slept well last night; it’s another to have the data to prove it – or not. Biostrap is for the Dads that love to geek out over tech and data!

The Biostrap platform utilizes a wristband and shoepod that work in harmony to help you understand your body and take your training to the next level. Specific metrics that can be measured include: blood oxygen saturation, heart rate variability (HRV), heart rate (HR), and respiratory rate.  The sleep tracker also  provides sleep analysis, personal insights, and can capture your body movement and activities throughout the day (and night). Your dad can use Biostrap to help measurably improve his sleep, recovery, and performance.

Enter promo code: “BIOHACKED10” for 10% off of your order.

For a Healthier Gut

Viome

One man’s food is another man’s poison, literally. Everyone is different, and how one person’s gut micro-biome responds to food may vary greatly from another person’s. Why is this important? Because the gut directly affects one’s digestion, mood, weight, sleep, and more.  You can think of Viome as the high-end poop test that offers insights to help Dad to make healthier choices for himself every single day.  It may seem a little silly, but this at-home test is potentially very empowering.

For Father’s Day only, grab a Viome kit for Dad for just $149 ($250 off!).

For Better Dental Care

Primal Life Organics

We’re not insinuating that Dad has a bad smile; however, it doesn’t hurt to give some special attention to oral health. Like poor gut health, poor oral health can lead to disease. Primal Life Organics is on a mission to help people understand the link between overall health and oral health in the prevention of systemic disease.  Using a holistic approach, their all-natural products help free the body from toxins and function in a holistic state.  This allows the body to re-establish its natural micro-biome inside your mouth (which directly feeds the gut micro-biome).

Primal Life Organics is currently offering special deals on their LED Teeth Whitening System!

Dental care isn’t all that Primal Life Organics does by the way. They also have all-natural skincare products and deodorants!

Pre-Packaged Bundles Just for Dad!

Beekeeper’s Naturals Superdad Essentials

This awesome bundle includes:

  • B.LXR Brain Fuel for a caffeine-free boost to help him get in the zone and focus no matter what he’s working on—spreadsheets, bike racing, or making a soufflé!
  • B. Powered Superfood Honey combines all the hive superfoods to help active dads stay energized, healthy, and crushing all day long.
  • B.Chill Honey Sticks. Even super dads need to kick back, relax, and soak up some bliss once in a while.
  • POLLINATOR Hat… because supporting the bees is cool (and so is dad humor).
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How to Increase Your Deep Sleep by 15%

Written by Siim Land

You may already be aware that blue light in the evening disrupts your body’s circadian rhythms and can reduce the quality of your sleep, but it can still be pretty hard to escape it.  Between computers, TVs, smart phones and tablets, we’re surrounded and accustomed to the constant illumination of modern life. So, how bad is blue light at night for you really?

Blue Light 101

Blue light influences hormone secretion, heart rate, alertness, sleep, body temperature, and gene expression (1).

Sources of blue light include the Sun, artificial light sources like digital screens, smartphones, TVs, lamps, traffic signs, computers, fluorescent and LED lighting.

Blue light exposure has a very important role in regulating your circadian rhythms and biological processes.

Unfortunately, because of technology and new gadgets, we’re getting exposed to more and bluer light for longer periods of time, which can promote obesity, depression, diabetes, cancer, neurological disorders and poor sleep.

Cover Your Eyes

Most of the circadian signaling is transmitted through the retinas through which blue light travels into the brain and stimulates the inner biological clock. However, it’s been shown how even shining some blue light on the back of your elbows or knees suppresses melatonin the sleep hormone.

In fact, one study used a fMRI analysis to look at how exposure to dim light at night while sleeping affected the brain activity of 20 healthy men (2).

They found that:

  • Exposure to 10-lux light for one night significantly decreased brain activity in the right hemisphere, which lowered their working memory performance as well.
  • Exposure to 5-lux light didn’t have a significant effect but it still may have an indirect effect on cognition.

That’s some scary stuff to think about because sleep is such a crucial thing for your overall health and brain’s development.  Suppressing melatonin because of blue light sneaking into your bedroom prevents your brain from repairing itself and can cause missing out on the most vital components of sleep.

Protect Your Sleep With Your Life

The invasion of artificial light into the darkness of night can be a big threat to human health and sleep and it’s not something you’d want to overlook.

Imagine how many people are suffering from suppressed melatonin by staying up late and exposing them to blue light in the evening. Their brain literally thinks its at the equator with the sun blazing on their head even though it’s 10 PM at night. My eyes…It takes several hours before melatonin can begin to rise again and by that time it may be too late…

Just to be clear: not ALL blue light is bad.  Getting enough blue light during the morning parts of the day is also important for boosting your alertness. At night, however, exposure to blue light will suppress your body’s natural melatonin production and make you sleep worse. I’ve been using some blue blocking glasses for over a year and I noticed a significant improvement in my sleep quality if I wear them.

How I Increased My REM Sleep by as Much as 15%

A few weeks ago I bought theses night time Truedark glasses (with red lenses), and they block out absolutely all artificial light. They’re like these serious superhero goggles, and even though they look a little silly, they’re really amazing. I looked at the sleep data from my Oura ring and I gained about 10-15% more deep sleep every single night that I opted to wear the TrueDark Twilight Classic sleep-hacking glasses. That’s like quite crazy to think about because I was already using glasses that blocked out most of the blue light, but apparently, it wasn’t enough.

Now imagine someone who’s not using any protective eye-wear, and they’re likely looking at computer screens or some other kind of digital device up until they go to bed. Their melatonin levels will be severely suppressed throughout the day (and night), causing their circadian rhythm to get all out of wack and make them feel completely fatigued the next day.

Beforehand, I was using some regular blue blocking glasses you can get from any online store. I was aware that they weren’t the highest of quality and I was fine with that. However, after wanting to take my sleep optimization to the next level, I was looking for the best protective eye-wear.

TrueDark Glasses Review

Like I mentioned earlier, most circadian signaling gets transmitted through the eyes, which is why you’d want to protect them against artificial light in the evening. Unfortunately, most glasses don’t really filter out all of the junk light frequencies, which makes it more difficult for your body to produce melatonin naturally at night time.

  • Common blue blocking glasses don’t cover the wavelengths that affect the production of melanopsin — not just blue light, but also green and violet light (3).
  • TrueDark Twilight Classic  glasses use patent-pending technology that filters out the wavelengths that stimulate melanopsin sensors — maximizing your sleep quality, performance, and health.

The TrueDark Twilight glasses are a class of their own because they block out 98-100% of blue, green and violet light, depending on which Twilight style you choose. When I first wore them, I literally almost walked into walls like a blind bat. Be careful that you don’t trip over your dog when you wear them!

Overall, I’m very satisfied with the TrueDark Twilight glasses and they’re definitely the best ones out on the market. The regular yellow-lensed blue blocking glasses can be worn during the earlier parts of the night or when you’re going out but the Twilight glasses are best worn about 30-90 minutes before bedtime — all depending on your individual biology and what stimulants you may have had earlier in the day.

Tips for Deep Sleep

Here are some additional tips for getting more deep sleep:

  • Daylight Exposure – You want to set off a proper circadian rhythm in the morning by spending time outside for 10-15 minutes. Even if it’s cloudy, you’ll activate the circadian clock in your brain and get a better night’s sleep.
  • Be Physically Active – If you’re exercising consistently, you’re going to make yourself more tired and yearn for better sleep.
  • Eat Some Fat and Protein at Dinner – Foods high in tryptophan like turkey, eggs, salmon, pumpkin seeds help to produce serotonin the relaxation hormone.
  • Stop Eating at Night – You want to stop food consumption at least 2-4 hours before going to bed. This is a pretty big one. Too much food sitting in your stomach prevents the body from repairing itself and falling into deep sleep.
  • Red Light Therapy – Using a red light therapy device in the evening mimics the natural sunset and will promote melatonin the sleep hormone. I turn down all the blue lights in my house and immerse myself in red light for about 10-15 minutes.
  • Wear Blue Blockers – I start wearing my blue blockers about 2 hours before bed, especially if I’m still watching screens or TV.

When I do stick to this routine, I sleep like a log, and I have the sleep data to prove it.

References