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Member Forum >> General Discussion >> Sleep Tips
 Sleep Tips
Bob Niland

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Posted: 9/26/2017 2:38:22 PM
Edited: 5/6/2019 8:33:42 AM (6)
 

Sleep Tips

Page edition: 2019-04-28


This is not a trivial matter. Its prominence continues to rise in Dr. Davis’ books, earning 4 pages in Undoctored (304-308 of the print edition), and this 2018 blog post. See also my review of Matthew Walker’s 2017 book “Why We Sleep”. Even if you think your sleep is fine, it’s very likely not.

Here’s what I’ve been conjecturing for some time, and these are not in any particular order:

  • For people on standard diets, daytime sleepiness is commonly a result of blood sugar excursions. These recede rapidly when following the Undoctored or 2014+ Wheat Belly programs. If diet isn’t corrected, the remainder of these tips are apt to be of limited value.
     
  • Supplement magnesium to program target. As this is usually balanced across the day, biasing it toward evening may not be necessary.
     
  • Supplement Vitamin D in the AM, which mimics sun exposure, although getting actual sun exposure early is ideal.
     
  • Remediate gut health — add daily prebiotic fiber to diet, avoid gut and microbiome antagonists, and consider a course of a quality high-potency probiotic. This often has a profound effect on both sleep and dream quality.
     
  • Take advantage of the optional L.reuteri yogurt, unless contraindicated (as amended).
     
  • If weight loss is the goal, discard caloric restriction from the tool box, as it disrupts sleep. Sub-seasonal keto is probably OK. Intermittent fasting might not be (until normal sleep is restored), if the fasting interval lasts more than 24 hours.
     
  • If you are working evening or night shift, bid on a day job or apply elsewhere. Shift work is frankly carcinogenic per IARC (Group 2A). Adjusting your personal environment, circadian rhythm and metabolism to compensate for this, ranges from extremely difficult to impossible. The shift premium is no prize.
     
  • If snoring is present, get checked for sleep apnea, which is a serious hazard (esp. if your day job is driving trains). If you have weight to lose, there’s an excellent chance the apnea will vanish with it. Despite what you see in TV adds, no, CPAP may be "normal", but it is not healthy, and is very far from optimal.
     
  • Get adequate hydration (and not all just before bed).
     
  • Avoid alcohol 4 hours before sleep. 6 or more hours would be even less damaging to REM sleep.
     
  • Consider not eating, period, 4 hours before sleep.
     
  • Don’t nap after 3:00 PM. Let the sleep pressure build.
     
  • Design a regular sleep schedule, which is the same every day. You cannot trivially shift your schedule around. You cannot bank sleep ahead, nor back-fill to any material degree.
     
  • If you must arise at a specific time, ideally get to bed early enough that you can get 8 hours in before the alarm clock. This gives you some chance or awakening naturally, after the final REM phase, and before the alarm.
     
  • Obey the sun. Get to bed as soon after sundown as possible. In any event, avoid all bright and blue light after sundown, and continue to avoid them if you need to arise in the night.
     
  • Yes, this means no (zero) electronic devices in the bedroom: no TV, no tablets, no phones, no reading lamps. Ask your routine night-time callers to stop trying to kill you.
     
  • Do not take problems to bed. If you’re married to one, of course, that could be a challenge to remediate.
     
  • Get bright light in the AM. Look at the sky (although not directly into the sun, of course).
     
  • Don’t exercise at night. The problem here is that it raises core temperature, which needs to decline for proper sleep. Otherwise, exercise during the day can enhance sleep.
     
  • On the other hand, a hot bath or shower before bed triggers a peripheral response that can accelerate sleep onset.
     
  • Set thermostat for cool bedroom overnight (well under 75°F/24°C and 65°F/18°C might be ideal).
     
  • Avoid caffeine after 2:00 PM, or even earlier if you are a slow coffee metabolizer. Decaffeination does not fully fix this. Many processed food-like substances have added caffeine.
     
  • Consider having a sleep study done, or invest in a wearable device that tracks aspects of sleep quality.
     
  • Consider melatonin and tryptophan supplementation. Undoctored, page 307 covers dosing.
     
  • Look into physiologic and psychological techniques that can enhance relaxation and sleep. CBT-I is already known to be more effective than all current sleep medications.
     
  • Completely avoid all current OTC and Rx sleep aids. If they even “work”, what they provide is unconsciousness that provides none of the key benefits of sleep. Some of these agents are literally suicidal risks.

If you have daytime sleepiness, and it’s not clearly optional blood sugar excursions, one or more of the above are suspect causes or corrective measures.
___________
Bob Niland [disclosures] [topics] [abbreviations]

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Joe E O

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Posted: 9/28/2017 7:18:16 PM
 
I am trying "doc parsley sleep cocktail" tonight for the first time. Highly recomended by Rob Wolf. 
Interestingly it has Vitamin D in the "cocktail"

Wish me luck!

Joe E O 


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Bob Niland

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Posted: 9/28/2017 8:01:22 PM
 
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Joe E O

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Posted: 9/29/2017 8:33:47 AM
Edited: 9/29/2017 12:47:56 PM (1)
 
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Dr. Davis

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Posted: 9/29/2017 2:31:35 PM
 
An excellent summary, Bob!


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VenSub

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Posted: 7/10/2019 7:24:33 AM
 
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Ian989

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Posted: 7/17/2019 10:22:07 PM
 
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ncochr

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Posted: 7/18/2019 12:16:53 PM
 
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ncochr

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Posted: 7/18/2019 12:17:55 PM
 
P.S.  I’m retired, so have the luxury of arising late... 
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Bob Niland

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Posted: 7/18/2019 12:43:02 PM
 
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cpatr922

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Posted: 7/18/2019 4:19:17 PM
 
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Ian989

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Posted: 7/19/2019 12:55:58 AM
 
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PrimalType1

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Posted: 7/19/2019 8:15:21 AM
Edited: 7/19/2019 8:16:49 AM (1)
 
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Ian989

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Posted: 7/19/2019 3:03:33 PM
 
Ya, I’m not really sure what those devices would accomplish compared to just having a quiet running fan in your room for a lot less money


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GreenEyedWoman

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Posted: 7/25/2019 9:18:48 AM
 
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JenB

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Posted: 7/29/2019 12:18:35 PM
 
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VenSub

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Posted: 7/30/2019 9:28:59 AM
 
After moving to Dallas, I went to a wholistic Doctor, who advised me to take Theanine. For last few nights, I am getting better sleep. She also advised 5HTP to take it along with it. 
Anyone else taking it?
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Posted: 7/30/2019 12:06:12 PM
 
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