The fascinating world of sleep-related advice, research and weirdness.
Posted by Chris Thomas on March 25, 2015. 1 Comment
I spend quite a lot of time researching lots of things related to sleep.
I look at various products and services, crowdfunding campaigns & read books to see what the latest and greatest ideas are that try and help people sleep better.
Recently I started reading Tim Ferriss' 2nd book, "The 4 Hour Body" which has a whole chapter devoted to sleep entitled, "Engineering the Perfect Sleep". Tim has (or at least did have) chronic "onset insomnia", which is one of three known types of insomnia.
- Onset Insomnia which is where you simply take far too long to fall asleep
- Middle Insomnia where you wake up regularly throughout the night and
- Terminal Insomnia which is when you wake up too early and find it almost impossible to get back to sleep (which happens to me quite often).
As is Tim's style, he used himself as the guinea pig and studied his own sleeping issues using a combination of devices such as the (now defunct Zeo), the Fitbit, heart rate and blood glucose monitors as well as others. While he was recording all his sleep data with all these devices, he described himself as a "comatose Robocop".
Once he had the data, he then began experimenting on various sleep strategies, a couple of key highlights include;
- Taking an ice bath one hour before bed. Mmmm, ok... although he said "it was like getting hit with an elephant tranquilizer."
- Taking melatonin (a low dose, about 1.5 - 3 milligrams) one hour prior to sleep
- Using the SleepCycle App (my favourite - love this app).
- Eating 2 tablespoons of organic almond butter which he says helps gently raise your blood sugar levels while you're asleep and help you wake up feeling much better.
In combination, Tim was able to cure himself of insomnia and leads a much happier and productive life as a result.
Another favourite (and often wacky) place to explore is Fiverr.com. Yep, that amazing marketplace where you can outsource all kinds of weird and wonderful tasks to a community of folks who'll do almost anything for $5 schmackers.
If you search for "sleep" you'll find everything from "sleeping spells" to "Invisible Unicorns".
Bargains in anyone's language.