Sleepy Sunday Newsletter - Chapter 3 (March 2023): Daylight Saving Time; Melatonin; A Note by Theresa (Sleep Better NYC)

Sleepy Sunday Newsletter - Chapter 3 (March 2023): Daylight Saving Time; Melatonin; A Note by Theresa (Sleep Better NYC)

Sleepy Sunday Newsletter

by 8hrS
 Chapter 3 - March

Selfcare Tip of the Month.

👆 Set yourself a 'feeding window'. Sounds like something for zoo-animals? Actually the science behind it is rock-solid. We know intermittent fasting is all the buzz, but you don't need to go that drastic. But there's something to be said for restricting all your meals to a 10 hour window (f.e. 9AM - 7PM or 10AM - 8PM). It's a great tool for longevity (and anecdotally for many on the 8hrS team, it increases focus in the morning). Avoid huge meals right before bed if you want that deep restorative Sleep (although carbs can make you fall asleep faster). 
But just pick something that works for you, there's no golden rule!
Want to dive deep? Check out the work by Dr. Satchin Panda.

Sleep Tip of the Month

😴 We've mentioned the importance of light on your circadian rhythm about a 1000x by now. You've heard us preach to get sunlight immediately after waking up, but it also works vice versa. Bright light suppresses melatonin, (one of) the hormone(s) that makes you sleepy. Try dimming all the lights (or just avoid light exposure) as much as 80% the hour before you want to sleep. You'll be amazed at how sleepy you get. 

Media tips of the Month.

👂 Listen: Imagine you could reverse aging. Bryan Johnson didn't only imagine it, with his 'Project Blueprint', he took action to make it happen. The tech billionaire (duh...) actually managed to reverse his epigenetic age by 5 years in 7 months and he's currently (epigenetically) aging at a rate of 0.71. Nuts? Maybe. Interesting human lab rat? For sure. Hear him out on the Danny Miranda Podcast.

📚 Read: No book as a reading tip this month. And if you would've told us we'd take health care tips from McKinsey, well... But this article all about why health is MORE than the absence of disease is very powerful. Definitely worth the read. 

👀 Watch: Did we already say we love science? We also love data and accuracy. And if there's one thing The Quantified Scientist does well, it's all of those. In a recent video, he tested the accuracy of one of the most popular sleep trackers (Oura ring) with a accuracy you can only expect from a PhD in Data Analytics. Check out his entertaining yet extremely thorough review here.


What we want to tell you.

If you've woken up somewhere in Europe today, you've been part of one of the biggest global experiments (sample size = >3 billion people) on forced Sleep deprivation and circadian shifting. The infamous Daylight Savings Time or 'Summer time'. It might sound trivial, after all, what is one hour? But we can assure you it is actually not and here are some (shocking) datapoints on what happens globally the week after DST kicks in:
- 24% higher risk on heart attacks
- 6% spike in fatal car accidents
- 8% increase in strokes 
- 11% increase in depressive episodes
- 7% increase in suicides. 

Now that we've gotten your attention with a wee bit of the shock therapy, what can you do to prepare for the shit?
Shift your wake-up and sleep time 10 minutes every day in the week before DST hits. Exercise and light exposure are your best friends to facilitate the rhythm shift.

But 8hrS team, it's too late to prepare... We know, don't stress it too much. Try and get in a light workout before 2PM, it will kickstart your energy levels and will make sure you'll fall asleep soundly tonight (preferably a little earlier than normal so you can rise and shine with your new circadian rhythm tomorrow). Talking about rising and shining, that would also be our last tip: get some natural light as soon as you wake up tomorrow to set your circadian clock right.

8hrS January update in 8 Short lines.

We want to share updates on what's happening, what we're working on or what's going on in the 8hrS' team minds in 8 short snippets per month. See it as a teaser for you and an accountability tracker for us.
  • There are SO many things happening behind the scenes right now. It's hard to describe it in 8 lines. 2023 will be the year of the leap of faith for 8hrS. We're putting a lot on the line to bring you next level products that will have the biggest impact on your 8hrS of Sleep and subsequently your 16 hours of wakefulness. It's hard not to get too excited and spill the beans, yet at the same time we are terrified. But rather a good terrified (if that makes sense?), the kind of terrified before you're about to take a risk that you know might be a game-changer. We're about to enter a new era.  
Why Melatonin is for your brain what switching to nightmode is for your phone...
We all know melatonin as the 'sleep hormone', but actually it doesn't really help your Sleep at all. It's what is called a 'endogenous synchronizer of the circadian system'. In human language: it reinforces the wakefulness/sleep cycle and signals to your brain that it might be time to sleep and switch off. This diagram shows what can impact your wakefulness/sleep cycle and the role of hormones such as melatonin (sleepiness = spikes at night) and cortisol (wakefulness = spikes in morning).
The Pineal Gland (where melatonin is made) and SCN (suprachiasmatic nucleus = your internal clock) are two of the most important Sleep organs in your brain.  
Pretty interesting if you ask us...
A note from our Expert Guest Writer, Teresa from Sleep Better NYC.
Teresa's Tips for the Morning After 
There are countless tips and tricks for sleeping better, but you need help to feel better and make it through the day.  After a rough night of sleep, there's one phrase that I want you to remember - get up, get light, and get moving. 
Get up-  I know this seems like a big ask of someone who only got a few winks of sleep, but hear me out. Your body works hard to maintain its natural circadian rhythm. Admit it- you've never felt any better after pressing SNOOZE 5 times, and studies show it only increases brain fog and irritability by further disrupting your sleep pattern. Even though you feel totally off, getting into your normal routine can be helpful for your natural clock and your mindset. 
Get light & Get Moving- Bright, natural light is a free and scientifically proven way to make you feel more alert. Light reduces our natural melatonin production and signals our mind and body to know that it is daytime. You can also ward off that grumpy feeling you get from being sleep deprived- bright light helps to increases mood-positive neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, in the parts of the brain that regulate mood. Bonus points here if you can get the light outside during exercise or on a morning walk.  Healthy activity in the morning can improve your focus and energy levels during the day.  You can count on better sleep when you align your circadian rhythm and care for your body by getting the light and movement you need each day.  
Last- but certainly not least-  hacks and supplements will not cure or treat a sleep disorder. If you're snoring and/or have sleep apnea, if you have long-term insomnia, or have symptoms of any other medical condition, please seek attention from a professional.  At Sleep Better NYC, we provide self-paced resources, live coaching, and referral for medical testing and treatment. You have options! 
Teresa Power DeNike BS CCSH
Founder, Sleep Better NYC 

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