What you didn’t know about SLEEP!

Hey seekers, I’m Luca Nicora, today we ll talk about the importance of sleep, the danger of lacking it, how much you need to get and stay till the end of the video for tips on how to get restful nights!

Okay, first let’s talk a bit about what sleep is and the study around it before getting to the tips to boost your nights!

What is sleep?

Most people think it’s the body resting and doing nothing. 

“Stop sleeping you lazy schnitzel” 

There is nothing further from the truth…well there probably are other things that are further from the truth, that’s a weird expression.

Some parts of sleep are actually as active as wake states… and I am not talking about sleep or moon walking!

The stages of sleep

I won’t go into details but there are four stages of sleep.

1-First, the brain and body starts to slow down and you doze off.

2-Then, there is a Drop in temperature and muscles relax. 

3-In the third stage you are in deep sleep. That’s when it’s the hardest to wake someone up… and also the most painful when the alarm rings.

During these stages the brain cleans itself from toxins linked to mental diseases. So it’s super important. 

4-Finally, the last stage is REM. Not the band it’s for rapid eye movement. That’s when the brain is as active as a wake states but the body is partially paralyzed. Except eyes and breathing… Kinda scary.

It’s an important cycle for memory and cognition. According to Matthew walker, REM sleep is like an overnight therapy. It instrumental in emotional health and memory. That’s when we have all the funky weird dreams.

We all go through these these stages many times a night. For some reason the first half of the night we have mostly non REM stages and it’s the opposite in the second half. That’s why we tend to have more dreams in the mornings. 

All these stages are super-dooper important, here’s why.

Heart attacks 

Did you know that every year, in spring, on a specific day there is a 25% increase of heart attacks? Can you guess why? This blew my mind. In three words: day time saving. 

Every year, there is a substantial increase the day after we jump ahead in time. And study shows that a week later, numbers get back to normal. So, only one hour difference increases risks for people that are vulnerable. 

A study also shows that every year in the fall, there is a 21% drop of heart attacks the day after we get an extra hour of sleep

“Master of time, why do we still do this day time saving thing, why? it’s killing people bruh!”

Because a full cycle of sleep can last between 70 to 120 minutes. missing only one hour of sleep isn’t missing an hour of rest, but we miss out on all the important stages.

Testies

This study‘s gonna interest the boys. Or freak them out depending on how much they sleep.

According to professor M. Walker, men who sleep five hours or less have smaller testies.

Hormone levels 

Did you know that testosterone is an important hormone for well being and health, muscle and bone mass, and prevents osteoporosis? Did you know that testosterone is usually produced while we sleep? 

And did you know that 15 min could save you 15 % with… Wait, what am I doing? Their brain washing works…

Study finds that people who sleep about four hours have testosterone levels of 10 years their seniors! And sperm count drops by 29%.

-1, 2, 3, wait, where are the others? 

-I don’t know Leutenant, no new recruits today 

-Oh no, we are ducked 

-Isn’t it’s ironi-

-Oh, shut up Jeremy!

Immune system 

A four hour night of sleep reduces natural killer cell activity to an average of 72%, compared with cell activity after a full night’s sleep.

Killer cell, sounds like an 80’s arcade video game where you are some kind of hitman in a post apocalyptic LA, right?

No. here we are talking about the immune system. We are 72% more at risk of catching the regular seasonal flu, sensitive to microbs and tumors when we don’t sleep enough. 

Matteo Camminatore as they call him in Italy, even says that sleeping less than 7 hours a night will triple your risk of catching the flue. 

Social interactions

Sleep loss reduces your ability to interact socially

“I already don’t know how to do that, so if I don’t sleep, what is to become of me?

Not only sleep deprivation causes loneliness and withdrawal but also reduces the ability to recognize expressions of anger or happinesses.

Weight loss

If you are working on your beach bod, make sure you get enough sleep because short sleep increases your risks to develop obesity of 55% for adults and 89% for children. Because the body has a harder time responding to insulin and process fats from the blood stream.

Turn off the switch and go to sleep! Luca!

Diabetes 

Since when we are tired we don’t respond to insulin as well, it affects blood sugar levels. A study found that restricted sleep to four hours per night for six nights in a row causes symptoms of pre-diabetes

Good news is, symptoms disappear after juste one week of healthy amount of sleep. 

Alzheimer’s

Now let’s talk about beta-amyloid! Scientists are still unclear as what the real purpose of these peptides is. 

“Peptide like the soap pods that kids swallow for stupid challenges?”

No, a peptide is basically one of the chemicals we have in the brain. Beta-amyloid is a brain chemical related to the activation of kinase enzymes, protection against oxidative stress

Oh,  I see…

In other words, they are like traffic cops in your brain. They help the transfer of information between neurones and they stop stress to hurt  the brain. 

“You have the right to remain silent you oxydator

Now the problem with these chemicals is that once they have served their purpose they are supposed to be washed away or they turn into toxic plaque. 

Study finds that sleep deprivation is associated with higher build up of the toxic plaque in the brain! Instead of a nice flow of traffic orchestrated by the cops, you get piles of dead cops creating traffic jams… what a poetic analogy.

According to neuroscientists and sleep expert Matt walker, interruptions of deep sleep is related to the build up of this toxin plaque and development of Alzheimer’s disease

Depression and suicide 

Mental health issues, like depression, are strongly  linked to poor sleep quality. About 90% of people with depression complain about sleep quality.

And poor sleep is even associated with an increased risk of death by suicide. 

https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Understanding-Sleep

AND NOW WHAT?

Okay thanks for all these wonderful news. Now what? How much should I sleep?  What if I can’t go sleep or have terrible nightmares of scary schnitzels attacking me? 

Chillax Max! We re getting to it. Sleep is an important part of living a healthy life, striving and not…dying. 

Fun fact, we are not sure how long humans can survive without sleep because well… it would be inhuman to study that, however the record is 266 hours or 11 days. Now that we know the dangers of lack of sleep the Guinness book of record doesn’t have that as a category anymore. Thank Hypnos! … the Greek god of sleep. 

Amount of sleep

Everyone can function on various amounts of sleeps. Like my dad can sleep 3 hours a night and work for ever… He may be a robot.

Actually the amount of people who can function well on five hours of sleep per night is about 0%

Sleep needed varies with age too

If you are a newborn watching this video congratulations because you are a genius: but go back to sleep you need between 14 to 17 hours of sleep. Toddlers need between 11 to 14 hours, teens need between 8 and 10-11 hours. Adults after 25 because that’s when the brain stops developing, needs 7 plus hours. But the sweet spot  is between 7 to 8 hours. 

Another interesting point Matty Sky-walker talks about is that: 

Teens shift their rythme and need to go to sleep later and wake up later. They go through a lot of changes and we ask them to wake up early in the morning and perform well in school. That’s why they end up sleeping so much during the weekends, or during math class, to catch up the hours they missed. And adults make them feel bad, telling them they re lazy when in fact it’s just how their sleep pattern work. It’s like waking up adults at 3am to go to work and expect of them to be good at their job and polite with their coworkers. Mattheu Walkeur says, school should start at 10am.

Man high school would have been different if I hadn’t had to wake up at six every morning.

Polyphasic sleep 

For people wandering if polyphasic sleep is a good option, or for people who wonder what the hell that is It’s just a fancy word to say chunks of two hours of sleep throughout the day Instead of one night of sleep. 

For high achievers who think they can be more productive, That’s…. Not sustainable.

You know who sleeps by chunks of 2 hours? Babies, and they are not very productive… I think.

Hunter-gatherer 

The hunter-gatherer sleep patterns or as I call it, la vida loca, because that’s what they do in Spain. 6 to 7 hours of sleep at night and a siesta around 2-4pm seems to work well since there is a drop of attention and energy around at that time. I thought it was just food coma, but it’s not. The scientists checked. So maybe we were designed to take a siesta every day. 

“Que Bueno!”

Chrono type 

Or night owl vs morning bird. In my first video I talked about how the way we perceive ourselves affects what we think are capable of. Sayings like “early bird catches the worm” doesn’t apply to everyone. One type isn’t better than an other. All birds are equal. If you know your type, and adjust your life style to it, you’ll get the best sleep. However, because of blue lights and hyper stimulations, you may be confused about what type you are 

Check this link to find out what’s your type. 

How to optimize your sleep? 

1.Sleep trackers 

You know that feeling when the alarm wakes you up right in the middle of deep sleep and you feel like a zombie? 

And then your tired all day? Yep. That’s like totally the worst.

Use a sleep tracker app. There are plenty of free ones. Like Sleep Cycle or Sleep Score. You can use your phone, an Apple Watch, a Fitbit or a smart ring to track your sleep. Some of these also measure your heart beats and so forth. What I like about these apps is that they wake you up when you are in light sleep, so you never have sea a hard time to wake up. 

2. Schedule 

Adopt a regular sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. 

Be a Swiss watch be a swatch. Wait, is that why it’s called swatch?

The more regular your schedule, the easier it’ll be for your body to fall into a restful rhythm.

3. Alcohol and caffein 

Avoid alcohol and caffeine after 12 pm. As well as large meals in the evening. Caffein found in coffee, tea and soft drinks blocks the effects of adenosine, a neurotransmitter thought to promote sleep. And it can take up to eight hours to wear off.  if you have anxiety attacks, you may be sensitive to caffein. 

Drinking alcohol may help falling asleep but tends to interfere with quality of sleep. 

4. Avoid Carbs

Avoid a high carb diet before going to sleep. Study finds that you may fall asleep faster but like alcohol, won’t get quality sleep. 

5.Blue light 

Shut off the (blue) light. Electronics like televisions, computers, and smartphones, can also lessen sleep quality. Avoid them for at least an hour before bedtime. Instead, read a book!

Yep, a study found that reading books helps quality of sleep

Also keep the bed for sleep and intimacy. Don’t work, watch movies or eat in bed or you’ll associate the bed with other things than rest and sexy fun time. 

6. Natural light 

Make sure you go outside for at least 30 minutes a day and get in some natural light.

Irregular light exposure can lead to the disruption of circadian rhythms and the production of melatonin, making it harder to fall asleep and stay awake

7. Exercise

Regular exercise promotes sleep quality, but whenever possible, do your workout earlier in the day.  Exercise close to bedtime may be stimulating, making it harder to fall asleep.

Does that mean no honky pinky?

Actually no, apparently it helps falling asleep at 66 % of the time. So you gooooood

8. Smoking or chewing tobacco

If you smoke, quit. It’s not only bad for you because cancer but also because nicotine is a central nervous system stimulant that can cause insomnia. it speeds your heart rate, raises blood pressure, and stimulates fast brainwave activity that indicates wakefulness. 

9. Create a restful environment. 

You sleep better in rooms that are cool, dark, and quiet. Think of your bedroom as the batcave!

Creating a relaxed atmosphere can really help falling asleep for people like me that when the lights are off, the Brain is in party mode: Party time jaaaa!

My brain starts wondering about all sorts of useless stuff: 

“Who came up with the idea of the spork, and why didn’t they make a spknife? It would be more useful, cut and scoop, you can pick and scoop. That doesn’t make sense!”

10. Ritual

An evening ritual can help. Study finds that the of use oils like lavender or peppermint help relax. And oils are fun way to use on yourself as a Pavlovian dog. Falling asleep with the same essential oils every night may help you fall asleep on the night you ain’t in the mood. 

Keep the lights low, and play some soft music like Norah Jones while reading a book in a hot bath. 

“Sing to me Norah!”

11. Water

People who took baths or showers measuring between 104°F–108.5°F (40.0°C–42.5°C) 1 to 2 hours before bedtime experienced positive results. 

12. Cool beans

Keep your room cool. The body naturally cools down to sleep, so keeping the room at 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit. Or 15 to 19 degrees is the best. 

Some special mattresses and pillows can help. 

Like Birch uses organic materials and wool to  create a natural insulator which regulates temperature. Get 225$ off with this link.

If you have hot flashes, sleep apnea, which is a deadly disease untreated,  or if you take medication that keeps you awake, or have insomnia or you tried all  these things and you still have a hard time sleeping, ask your Doctor for advise and treatments. Because these tips are to optimize your sleep and not to cure sleep disorders. 

13. Treat insomnia

If you have insomnia, your therapist won’t give you sleeping pill right away. CBT is a cognitive behavioral therapy that have lasting benefits vs sleeping pills where you get rebound insomnia “, you go back to bad sleep once you stop the pills.

14. Deal with anxiety 

The main cause of insomnia seems to be anxiety. And great way to deal with that is Meditation or breathing exercices before sleep. 

Find on my channels evening and sleep aid guided meditations. Study shows meditation and yoga helps with sleep. Breathing exercices can help too. Like the “4-7-8” method that Dr. Andrew Weil developed is a simple but powerful breathing method that promotes calmness and relaxation.

  1. First, place the tip of your tongue behind your upper front teeth.
  2. Exhale completely through your mouth and make a “whoosh” sound.
  3. Close your mouth, and inhale through your nose while mentally counting to 4.
  4. Hold your breath, and mentally count to 7.
  5. Open your mouth and exhale completely, making a “whoosh” sound and mentally counting to 8.
  6. Repeat this cycle at least three more times.

15. Clock watching. 

Nothing to do with going to a Watch store with binoculars….Waking during the night is normal and if you do, don’t look at the time or it may increase your anxiety about needing to catch the Zs and it’ll be harder to fall asleep. 

16. Supplements

Use sleep enhancement supplements.

-500mg of Magnesium per day helps activate neurotransmitters responsible for sleep. Buy some here.
-600mg of the amino acid 5-HTP per day boosts the production of serotonin, which is linked to the regulation of sleep. Buy some here.
-GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). GABA is a compound produced in the brain. It inhibits certain transmitters and may help the central nervous system relax. Doses of 250–500 mg and no more than 1,000 mg are recommended. Buy some here.

The body naturally produces the hormone melatonin, but it can also be taken as a supplement to help regulate your sleep. Doses of 0.5–5 mg taken 2 hours might improve sleep quality. Get some here.

Melatonin can help if your are jet lagged but it isn’t involved in length or quality of sleep. So it probably won’t help much for most Poeple younger than 50 years old. But if you do take it, don’t take too much for a long period of time or your body may stop producing it which it even harder to sleep.

Avoid sleeping pills as much as possible because they stops the symptoms but not the cause of sleep issues. 

17. Bonus tip

Last tip, did you know that counting sheep’s is actually not that great to fall asleep. Study shows that visualizing positive things before going to sleep helps falling asleep faster and is more effective than other kind of distractions. I have great evening meditation on my channel that I use all the time, that can help you with that. Check it out

Conclusion

Taking care of your sleep is really important, not only for your physical but also your mental health. So make sure you try some or all the tips I mentioned in this article.

Which tool are you going to try first?

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