TN50 #48, Sleep Basics For the Holidays, 29 November 2021

Hi Team,

Happy Monday and welcome to The Next 50 #48, I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving Holiday.

If you are like me, Thanksgiving through the New Year is a more festive time of the calendar than the rest of the year – more parties!  As Americans we absolutely should take some extra time to celebrate how blessed we are to live in the most amazing country in the world as well as taking time to celebrate the birth of Jesus.  Bottom Line, this season of celebration takes a toll on our sleep and it is totally worth it!  With that in mind I thought I would remind everyone of some Sleep Basics that will be useful over the next few weeks, or anytime you aren’t operating on your normal routine.

  1. If you have a regular bed time and regular wake up time do your best to stay on schedule, and remember blowing through these times by an hour is not the same as blowing through them by 4 hours, the closer you can stay on schedule the better.
  2. Waking up after the sun comes up? Remember, we set our master sleep clock, the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), first thing in the morning by getting exposure to sunlight, when possible, as little as 10 minutes of direct exposure to our eyes will help us be ready for sleep around 16 later.  So get out there and get a good reset after a night out.
  3. Do what you can maintain your normal Food Clock (the total hours you consume calories in a day), stop all calories 2 to 3 hours before bed. Ya, ya, ya I know that probably isn’t possible so if you find yourself eating and drinking later than normal fight the urge to go right to bed after you have your last bite of cake and glass of champaign.  Going for a late-night walk, or even a light spin on your Peloton or Elliptical helps with digestion and blood glucose utilization and will improve your sleep after the party.
  4. Once the party’s over you should minimize your exposure to blue light from overhead LEDs, phones, iPads, computers and tv’s. Red and yellow spectrum light is much better for producing melatonin and helping your systems down regulate into sleep.

If you don’t manage your food and drink very well at least manage your sleep environment

This may include things like:

  1. Getting ready for bed like normal, don’t sleep in your party cloths – you filthy animal.
  2. Room is dark and cool, or whatever your optimal set up is.
  3. Room is quiet, no media left on.
  4. Pets and kids are in their beds, not yours.

That’s it for this one, keep your light management and sleep hygiene as dialed in as possible during this holiday season, your body and brain will thank you.

As always please share your thoughts or questions and share this with your team or anyone who might find it useful.

Have a good one, Alex

2022 Murph Count: 20

PS. Let me know if you are fasting or plan to fast between now and Christmas, I am on day 1 of a 5-Day Prolon Fast Mimicking Diet.