How Much Sleep Do You Really Need?!

How Much Sleep Do You Really Need?!

Warning: This email contains honest and real content and may offend some people. It is instructive, scientific and is “steak not sizzle”! There are no “reels” ridiculous music and requires an attention span and mental engagement somewhat higher than a gold fish! So if you were hoping for an InstaG like dopamine hit pass on this one!

I am going to be honest with you…. There are certain questions that no one can really answer.

The simple answer to the “sleep” question is: As much as it takes!

If you think that is vague you are 100% correct, but it is an honest answer and one that is ultimately much more satisfying than, “ No one really Knows!”

That is also a correct answer.

Before we get too deep into snooze land let me offer you a few more unanswerables and their true answers/explanations.

  1. Can you really make me live longer?!  Ah yes, this is a personal favorite.  My answer after over 2 decades of listening to that question is usually perceived as snide.  It goes like this”

“Hold very very still. Now lift your hair up your hairline (if you have one!) and pull it back because I need to look very very closely at your upper forehead!  Ah, yes yes I see it. You have an expiration date stamped up there.  Now that I know I I can answer your question honestly. How could I tell you you’ll live “longer” if I don’t know how long you’ll live without intervention!!!

About half the time people take me seriously and look at me quizzically.  The other half either laugh or call me something not repeatable here.  Honestly I think it should be obvious that that is an unanswerable question since neither you or I know what our expirations dates are-only that we have one. I can only answer with 2 things: The first is “Yes I think so at least statistically!” and “ Is that really what you want?” Most people say I don’t want to live longer. I just want to be healthy as long as possible. My answer to that is “I can definitely help you with that!”

  • What is the BEST DIET?  Answer: The one that is the primary agenda of whomever is trying to sell you on a certain agenda. My favorite is “Plant Based”. This is based on a small poorly done study with faulty measurements done by Dean Ornish on the Mediterranean Diet and then extrapolated to a 3 day visit to Chinese market with cherry picked data that became a best selling book.  There is a far less famous but far more scientific book called “Food and Western Disease” by Steffan Lindeberg I highly recommend that will point out where the agendas originate.  Just remember the current pandemic of obesity and diabetes was brought about by half a century of faulty recommendations by the same people who recommend a “plant based” diet.  Speaking of “Plant Based” it’s now a label on all kinds of foods even Stevia!  Did we really need to be told that something from a leaf is plant based.  And, finally what the hell does that mean anyway!  Pretty vague and much like “all natural” it can mean a ton of different things and tells you pretty much nothing!

The best diet is an individual experiment. When you find it and. you may have to try a lot of different ones, you will look great, feel great, and your objective (measurable) lab values including homocysteine, CRP and telomere length will be better than average.

Finally I usually lump in “ What is Best Exercise Question” here but I’ve covered that ad nauseum so I’ll skip it and get to the meat of the matter.

The average amount of sleep recorded by questionnaire (hint you should already be suspect of this methodology) is 7 hours.

Is that right for you?

Maybe, maybe not!  It could be 6 hours or 8 hours!

One thing I guarantee is it varies because of all kinds of things; stress-physical and mental, depression or not, diet, nutrition status (vitamins and food) general health (are you sick acutely or chronically) and of course age. We all tend to sleep less because we produce less melatonin and more cortisol (stress hormone) as we age.

In my opinion both are a cause and a consequence of aging, much like the vicious cycle of inflammation as we age- and quite possibly directly related to it!

Finally the actual amount of sleep is less important at least short rum than the sleep cycles and time spent in them. We now recognize 4 distinct sleep cycles including REM sleep. If you go through a complete 4 stage cycle which usually happens in about 6 hours and you wake up exactly at the end of it, you will feel refreshed.  The problem is its unpredictable because each cycle can vary considerably.

One famous “biohacker” who made a killing telling people that could short cut all kinds of things including your work week and your sleep cycle even recommended some questionable devices to help you wake up at exactly the right moment. Same dude also recommended you sit in a snow pile for a while.  I don’t know how many people are doing that but ice baths have never really gone out of vogue and this was just a “new” way of doing an old thing. I’ve been known to do a few myself after some really strenuous workouts and ultra runs!  W are still sorting out ultra cold cryo therapy as well.

The answer to the sleep question is NO ONE REALLY KNOWS, but you can do a decent job of optimizing it by following the usual boring advice, sleep in a cool room, minimize distractions including light from the outside and noise.  Give Fido his or her own bed. And finally go to be at the same time and wake up at the same time.

Pretty soon you won’t need a clock or an alarm for either.

Be sensitive to how well rested you feel and let that be your guide in terms of adjusting the length of time for your sleep.

Now again, the problem.   All of that is akin to quitting caffeine if you have a big habit! You are likely to spend weeks or months getting there, have some miserable days and nights in the process, be far less productive for an intolerable amount of time, and NOT address the problem of melatonin lack or poor oxidative damage.

This is why I make Sweet Sleep Z, the only purpose built non prescription supplement to include sleep inducers, sleep keepers (you won’t wake up as much and have no trouble falling back asleep) and the only one to have zeanthin a potent anti-oxidant to help your body repair during this critical time. Zeaxanthin is only one of two carotenoids that cross the blood brain barrier so it can help your brain recover (there are studies on cognitive function) and of course it can help with the pigment in your eyes!!!

Currently I am resetting from a trip abroad and am taking 3 Sweet Sleep Z a night.  You can do this as a reset or if age has dropped your melatonin levels, you can use it to help with melanopause of aging.

There is nothing else like it on the market.

So, if you aren’t sleeping well, don’t want to take a drug and want to address the sleep related issues of aging you need Sweet Sleep Z.

I love this creation for sooooooo many reasons including its potential role in helping you age well.

Sweet Dreams!

Dr Dave

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