Health Fundamentals: How to Get Great Sleep

April 19, 2022

We’ve decided to do a series of episodes on the fundamentals of good health - each containing the best practical information we’ve come across for improving the quality of your life and achieving your goals. We’re focusing on the most commonly asked-about areas, such as stress and hormesis, movement and exercise, and diet and nutrition. Today we’re kicking it off with a discussion about one of the most important, often the most frustrating, and easily the most overlooked pillar of health: sleep.

On this podcast, Megan Hall and Clay Higgins draw from their years of combined health coaching experience to bring you their best advice for getting great sleep. They explain why you should care about the quality of your nighttime routine, and they discuss the impact of light, food and exercise on your ability to sleep well. They also share their opinions on supplements and technology designed to enhance sleep and talk about some of the more common behaviours that can lead to insomnia.

Be sure to follow along with Megan’s outline to get the most out of this episode.

Here’s the outline of this episode with Megan Hall and Clay Higgins:

[00:01:30] Why we should care about sleep.

[00:02:36] Quality vs quantity of sleep.

[00:02:49] Mike T. Nelson's podcast: Why telling your clients to sleep more is horrible advice.

[00:05:23] Circadian rhythm.

[00:09:12] Strategies for reducing caffeine intake.

[00:13:35] Daytime; chrononutrition and meal timing.

[00:14:23] Higher and longer postprandial triglyceride elevation with the same high fat meal at night compared to during the daytime. Study: Sopowski, M. J., et al. "Postprandial triacylglycerol responses in simulated night and day shift: gender differences." Journal of Biological Rhythms 16.3 (2001): 272-276.

[00:14:33] Better glucose sensitivity in the AM and during the day compared to at night; Study: Johnston, Jonathan D. "Physiological responses to food intake throughout the day." Nutrition research reviews 27.1 (2014): 107-118.

[00:14:58] NBT Podcast with Bill Lagakos: Why You Should Eat Breakfast (and Other Secrets of Circadian Biology).

[00:16:13] NBT Podcast with Ted Naiman: Protein vs. Energy for Improved Body Composition and Healthspan.

[00:18:40] Book: Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones, by James Clear.

[00:19:43] Consistency in meal timing.

[00:24:14] Timing of exercise.

[00:27:13] Cognitive work; Brain activity during the day may increase the need for sleep at night; Study: Reichert, Sabine, Oriol Pavón Arocas, and Jason Rihel. "The neuropeptide galanin is required for homeostatic rebound sleep following increased neuronal activity." Neuron 104.2 (2019): 370-384.

[00:27:52] Bright light during the daytime hours makes you resilient to light-induced melatonin suppression at night; Study: Kozaki, Tomoaki, et al. "Effects of day-time exposure to different light intensities on light-induced melatonin suppression at night." Journal of physiological anthropology 34.1 (2015): 1-5.

[00:30:12] Evening/nighttime strategies and solutions.

[00:30:23] An early dinner is ideal; take a walk after.

[00:31:43] Alcohol as disruptive to sleep.

[00:34:34] Avoiding stress.

[00:34:45] Dim/orange lights; Philips hue light bulbs; Blue blocking glasses.

[00:37:40] f.lux and Iris.

[00:38:32] Evening routines. T-WE tea, Cougar Tranquilizer.

[00:39:53] Glycine; Chris Masterjohn on Why You Need Glycine.

[00:44:22] Bedroom environment: temperature, darkness, quiet.

[00:46:16] Eight Sleep.

[00:49:44] Mouth taping; NBT Podcast with James Nester: How to Fix Your Breathing to Improve Your Health

[00:54:12] Greg Potter’s articles on sleep onset insomnia and sleep maintenance insomnia.

[00:54:28] NBT Podcast with Ashley Mason: How to Use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia.

[00:54:37] Go camping to retrain the circadian clock; Study: Wright Jr, Kenneth P., et al. "Entrainment of the human circadian clock to the natural light-dark cycle." Current Biology 23.16 (2013): 1554-1558.

[00:56:33] Schedule a free 15-min call with Megan or Clay.

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