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How to sleep better part 2

How to sleep better part 2

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This is part 2 within a series of blog posts about improving your "sleep quality" with 6 new tips. The first 6 sleep quality tips (Avoid blue light in the evening and at night, Magnesium, Zinc, B vitamins, Taurine and Serotonin precursors) can be found in the following article "How to sleep better part 1".

 

Almost no one sleeps optimally. One reason for the sub-optimal sleep is the bad diet that people are following. Another reason is modern day technology. Neurotransmitters and hormones need to be perfectly balanced in order to achieve an optimal sleep. Too much adrenaline and cortisol will make your thoughts wander and keep you awake at the same time. A shortage of serotonin however, will cause you to have too little relaxation.

Better sleep tip 7: GABA precursors

We’ve read about GABA before! Taurine isn’t the only supplement that influences the GABA receptors. Taurine is a nutrient, but supplements like GABA powder and Bulleproof’s GABAwave are different. They influence the GABA receptors directly within the brain, and thereby improve rest and relaxation.

Recommended dose: For GABA powder, the optimal dose lies between 250 – 500mg a day. GABA powder should be taken before going to sleep.

Better sleep tip 8: The Bulletproof Sleep Induction Mat

The Bulletproof Sleep Induction mat uses a very different mechanism from all the supplements that have been discussed thus far. The mat stimulates the creation of natural painkillers that are called endorphins.

”Accupressure” mats, of which the Bulletproof Sleep Induction mat is just one variation, improve sleep and lower the amounts of sleepiness during the day. [2][3] The mechanism for this improved sleep quality, is influencing the pain stimuli within the body. The Bulletproof Sleep Induction Mat contains hundreds of sharp “spikes” that protrude. For the best results, one has to lie for 15 to 30 minutes on this mat. For the first few minutes, the mat will give the body a lot of input in the form of stress signals. This happens when the “spikes” interact with the skin, and signal the nervous system to create the urge to get off the mat. After the body relaxes and gets used to the stimulus, it will progressively enter a relaxed and calm state and “submit” to the situation of lying on the mat. This is when the body starts producing the endorphins. Endorphins are painkilling and relaxing substances that are released, for example, after an intensive training session, a physical trauma or a long visit of the sauna.

The sleeping mat lowers sleeplessness, gives rest, and causes greater amounts of deep sleep [4][5]
Recommended use: Lie on the Bulletproof Sleep Induction Mat for 15 -30 minutes before bedtime to improve sleep quality. You’ll find the Bulletproof Sleep Induction mat in section accessories.

Better sleep tip 9: Collagen protein

Different kinds of protein, like whey, casein or collagen, all have a different amino acid profile. Amino acids are building blocks of proteins. Amino acid composition even differs in different kinds of animals. Chicken and turkey contain a lot of tryptophan, a previously mentioned supplement. That’s why these give a more relaxing feeling, compared to beef.

Collagen protein is created from the skins, tendons, bones, cartilage and joints, and contains a lot of glycine. Within collagen protein, 20% of the amino acids are glycine. Glycine, just like previously mentioned supplements also influences different receptors within the brain. Glycine influences the glycine and glutamate receptors. [6] One mechanism how glycine increases the sleep quality is by lowering body temperature. Most people sleep in a too warm of an environment for optimal sleep. The best temperature for an optimal sleeping pattern exists at around 18,5 degrees of Celsius. Another advantage of glycine is not just its improvement in sleep quality, but it also improves mental performances during the day, by countering feelings of sleepiness. [7] Hence, it improves wakefulness during the day, even when you might be tired!

Glycine also improves sleep quality by calming the nervous system. Different sorts of endotoxins like aspartame and yeast extracts like MSG cause nervous cells to “fire” uncontrollably and causes them to be overactive. Glycine can counter this effect by calming the nervous cells within the brain.

Besides glycine, collagen contains other amino acids that increase sleep quality, like proline, hydroyproxline and arginine. Collagen is one of the most important nutrients for our body. Next to increasing sleep quality, it causes you to have supple and agile joints, stronger bones and higher bone density, lower amounts of joint pain, improved digestion by improving the stomach and bowel processes and even improved skin! The other improvements of collagen protein will be reviewed within another article.

Recommended dose: 30 grams of collagen protein before bedtime.

Helfi.nl sells three different kinds of collagen protein. These are:

  • Bulletproof Upgraded Collagen Protein
  • Flowgrade Collagen Protein
  • Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen Hydrolysate
     

Better sleep tip 10: Bone broth and gelatin

If you don’t want to consume collagen protein, which is usually sold in powder form, you could also opt for bone broth. Bone broth has been consumed since the Neolithic period, but has been forgotten during the last 50 years. This is very sad, because bone broth has many different healthy and unique properties. This article will only treat bone broth’s specific benefits for sleeping quality.

Bone broth contains the same amino acids as collagen protein. The reason for this, is that bone broth is made by pulling all the nutrients from bones, tendons, joints, vertebra and other hard “tissue”. Fish broth, for example, only has to be simmered for 30 minutes, and up to 8 hours. But to maximally extract all nutrients from beef broth, it has to simmer for up to 48 hours. Simmering means that these “hard tissues” like bones are kept at a constant temperature of 80 – 90 degrees Celsius and are simultaneously immersed within water. Vinegar has to be added to the water, in order to extract the most nutrients. When the broth is finally completed, it will have a very calming effect when consumed.

A great advantage of this tip is that it is very cheap to apply, just like the previously mentioned magnesium tip. Even poor students can freely get some bones at the butcher or the fish monger, which can then be used to make bone broth. Bone broth can even be kept in the fridge for up to one week, without spoiling!

Suggested use:
Bone broth is a great food choice to drink before going to sleep.
Gelatin is a component of bone broth. Helfi sells two of the highest quality gelatin powders Great Lakes Gelatin Gelatin and Bulletproof Collagelatin. You’ll find these gelatins in the section protein. Mix it in something liquid and drink it before going to sleep.

Better sleep tip 11: Lowering the amount of EMF’s in the environment

What do electronic devices have to do with our sleep? EMF’s (Electromagnetic Frequencies) impact many brain areas. The biggest change within our human lives in the last 50 years are not changes in our food, but in the exponential growth of electronic devices that cause a different environment within our lives. In this sleeping tip I will tell you how you can “manage” the EMF’s within your environment.

In modern society, we are exposed to large amounts of EMF’s on a daily basis. EMF’s are created for example, by setting up a WIFI connection from a modem, or having a smartphone in your pocket the entire day, but EMF’s are also created by masts and antenna’s (for internet and telephone traffic) within the environment. Even the “smart meter” in your master closet emits an EMF signal that just impacts our health negatively. Some measurements conclude that the amount of EMF’s within the human environment have increased 10.000 fold in the last few decennia. Unfortunately, a similarity can be seen with the anti-smoking campaigns. It took many decades for the anti-smoking campaigns to get started, and the same will probably happen with EMF in your environment. We would advise you to take matters into your own hand! Scientific literature from the 70’s and 80’s already displays the negative effects of EMF’s. [8]

The human brain and heart contain a magnetic field, that is part of the body. Influencing the brain’s and heart’s magnetic field is a simple physical process. The American neurologist Jack Kruse (Bulletproof Podcast 87) argues that we don’t need any medical studies to make inferences about the effects of EMF. The negative effects of EMF can simply be deduced from nature’s physical laws.

Our brain is also influenced by EMF in the environment. EMF has countless of different effects, but within this article only the effects of EMF upon sleeping quality will be treated. People that live near a mast or radar station, create less melatonin in their brains. [9] Melatonin is an essential sleeping hormone, that influences our sleep quality and the time period it takes to actually go to sleep. Melatonin even influences sleep depth. Because EMF influences the levels of melatonin that are created within the brain, this will cause a change and shift within the circadian rhythm. [10] Furthermore, EMF, by itself, also disrupts our sleep quality.

There are countless of underlying processes that are influenced by EMF’s within the environment. An expanded physical explanation cannot be given within this article, as it goes beyond the scope of what we’re trying to achieve here. That’s why a couple of tips are summarized, that can help optimize sleep quality.
Recommended steps:

  • Put all tablets, laptops and smartphones in the bedroom in airplane mode.
  • Don’t use wireless base stations for the telephone, especially in the bedroom
  • When possible, use an old fashioned wired telephone
  • Disable the Wi-Fi signal when you don’t use it, especially before going to sleep. When possible, connect all your computers with an Ethernet cable so the Wi-Fi connection no longer has to be used. 
  • Make sure the entire electricity network within the home is earthed.
  • Use the speaker function as much as possible on mobile phones and smartphones, so they don’t have to be held against the head.

For more information, the following recommendation can be given: http://www.emfwise.com/

Better sleep tip 12: Whey protein

Just like collagen has some unique properties to stimulate sleep quality, the same is true for whey protein. In a previous article we have discussed the general benefits of whey protein. This tip will treat the benefits of whey in the area of improving your sleep quality.

The reason for choosing whey (and not casein), is because a lot of people are casein intolerant, while almost nobody is intolerant for whey protein. Collagen proteins have been treated within a previous tip. Whey doesn’t only have a better a better amino acid profile, but also has other substances that can stimulate and improve our sleep. [11]

For example, one of the important substances in whey protein are “bioactive milk peptides”. These milk peptides increase feelings of sleepiness, but also improve sleeping patterns. Furthermore, the milk peptides also lower stress! [12]

A possible mechanism for the effects of bioactive milk peptides is that they decrease the amounts of cortisol within the body. [13] Cortisol is a necessary stress hormone, but nowadays a lot of people have too much cortisol in their bodies. Too much cortisol can lead to some specific pathologies, like Cushings disease. Even for healthy people it is important to manage the amount of stress. Stress is good, when it is present at the right time, but it is very unhealthy to be stressful for an entire week, month or even year on end. The bottom line advantage of whey: It can help you manage stress, and lowers stress levels.

Recommended dose: 30 gram of whey protein before going to sleep. The bioactive milk peptides will be maximally present in the premium Bulletproof Whey Protein of Flowgrade Whey Protein. Natural Stacks Protein is a great alternative. You’ll find these proteins in section protein.

More sleeping tips

The third article with six tips for better sleep can be read in the blog post Best tips how to sleep better part 3. The last sleeping tips can be read in Sleep better part 4. In the fifth article How to apply the sleeping tips all tips will be ordered, and a strategy that is based upon individual costs and circumstances will be given.

References

[1] Phenibut (beta-phenyl-GABA): a tranquilizer and nootropic drug.
Lapin I.
[2] The effectiveness of valerian acupressure on the sleep of ICU patients: a randomized clinical trial.
Chen JH, Chao YH, Lu SF, Shiung TF, Chao YF.
[3] Effect of self-acupressure for symptom management: A systematic review.
Song HJ, Seo HJ, Lee H, Son H, Choi SM, Lee S.
[4] The effect of acupressure on quality of sleep in Iranian elderly nursing home residents.
Reza H, Kian N, Pouresmail Z, Masood K, Sadat Seyed Bagher M, Cheraghi MA.
[5] Effectiveness of acupressure for residents of long-term care facilities with insomnia: a randomized controlled trial.
Sun JL, Sung MS, Huang MY, Cheng GC, Lin CC.
[6] New therapeutic strategy for amino acid medicine: glycine improves the quality of sleep.
Bannai M, Kawai N.
[7] The effects of glycine on subjective daytime performance in partially sleep-restricted healthy volunteers.
Bannai M, Kawai N, Ono K, Nakahara K, Murakami N.
[8] http://www.amazon.com/Body-Electric-Electromagnetism-Foundation-Life/dp/0688069711/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1424802681&sr=8-1&keywords=robert+becker
[9] Effect of occupational EMF exposure from radar at two different frequency bands on plasma melatonin and serotonin levels.
Singh S, Mani KV, Kapoor N.
[10] Critical time delay of the pineal melatonin rhythm in humans due to weak electromagnetic exposure. Halgamuge MN.
[11] Bioactive milk peptides: a prospectus.
Clare DA, Swaisgood HE.
[12] Efficacy of alphas1-casein hydrolysate on stress-related symptoms in women.
Kim JH, Desor D, Kim YT, Yoon WJ, Kim KS, Jun JS, Pyun KH, Shim I.
[13] Effects of a tryptic hydrolysate from bovine milk alphaS1-casein on hemodynamic responses in healthy human volunteers facing successive mental and physical stress situations.
Messaoudi M, Lefranc-Millot C, Desor D, Demagny B, Bourdon L.
 

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