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Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar and Survival

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  • Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar and Survival

    Let's Discuss this book.

    Cliff notes: Humans are seasonal animals who only consumed carbs during the summer, when they ate like mad. They put on some fat for insulation during winter. Secondly, humans used to get up with the sun and go to bed with the sun. So all our artificial lighting makes us think its summer all year round and we eat carbs like crazy and we don't sleep enough and this is screwing up all our hormones.

    Thoughts? Opinions?
    A steak a day keeps the doctor away

  • #2
    I just got this book from the library today, on the recommendation of Underground Wellness. It makes sense, doesn't it? I will comment more after I read it. I am interested in hearing from others who have already digested the book ...

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    • #3
      I JUST finished this book today.
      I thought it was great. The writing wasn’t amazing like Michael Pollan or Lierre Keith, but the content was outstanding.
      I’ve been Primal for over a year and have read quite a bit since starting, so i’m always worried when I buy a new book that I won’t learn anything new.
      Fortunately it went into depth/detail enough for me to learn a lot from it. But wasn’t too technical or “science-y” to where I got lost.
      Everything they talked about pretty much backs up and supports a Primal Lifestyle.
      semper ad meliora

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      • #4
        The lighting thing is *huge*.

        Huge huge huge. We need more sleep and we need it every. single. night.



        iherb referral code CIL457- $5 off first order

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        • #5
          Originally posted by cillakat View Post
          The lighting thing is *huge*.

          Huge huge huge. We need more sleep and we need it every. single. night.
          This makes me sad about still being awake. :P
          Start weight: 250 - 06/2009
          Current weight: 199
          Goal: 145

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          • #6
            Originally posted by PrimalMike View Post
            The writing wasn’t amazing like [...] Lierre Keith[...]
            Please somebody tell me that the writing isn't possibly worse that Keith's. I read her book despite her writing.

            The book at hand sounds awesome.
            Because if you didn't know, of that is life made: only of moments; Don't lose the now.
            ~Borges

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            • #7
              Glad to see I am getting reponses. The most important thing I learned from her book was the effect ruining your sleep patterns has on your immune system (which is a major concern for me).

              I am going to try and match my sleep patterns to the sun. I started trying it when I first bought the book and its kind of hard to get used to. There is so much temptation to use artificial light. I plan to eat VLC to ZC up until the trees start bearing fruit than I am going to up my fruit intake for a few months and not worry about sleeping, and then when autumn kicks in I will cut out the fruit (maybe gradually) and start going to bed with the sun again.

              Its only a few months until summer now so thats not enough time for a major test but by summer next year hopefully I'll be in better shape than ever.

              Does anyone have any tips for trying to follow the advice about avoiding artificial light whilst living in the modern world?
              A steak a day keeps the doctor away

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              • #8
                But you'll miss so many football games on the box!
                Four years Primal with influences from Jaminet & Shanahan and a focus on being anti-inflammatory. Using Primal to treat CVD and prevent stents from blocking free of drugs.

                Eat creatures nose-to-tail (animal, fowl, fish, crustacea, molluscs), a large variety of vegetables (raw, cooked and fermented, including safe starches), dairy (cheese & yoghurt), occasional fruit, cocoa, turmeric & red wine

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by peril View Post
                  But you'll miss so many football games on the box!
                  I'll have more time to watch cricket though.
                  A steak a day keeps the doctor away

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                  • #10
                    The only problem I had with this book is that I do NOT have an increased appetite in the summer, I do not crave more carbs, I have tended to lose a little weight in the summer and gain it in the winter. I live in Seattle, 47 latitude, where we have extremes of light and dark with the seasons. In the summer we have so much light (4:30 am to 10 pm) and it feels like the light itself is energizing, don't need as much food. In the winter we have 16 hrs of darkness and that is when I have craved carbs the most. I can attest to the fact that eating carbs is stimulating and maybe I crave them more in the winter to help me stay awake. When I worked nights, I ate to stay awake.

                    I do know that staying up all night with artificial lights on is terrible for the digestive system. I used to suffer from awful stomach aches on nlight shift. So the part in the book about how darkness is essential for down regulating the gut bacteria and keeping them in balance rings true. Working nights wreaked havoc on my brain and I developed narcolepsy. As much as I enjoyed it in many ways, I had to give it up because I could not function on my days off.

                    I found the hypothesis that we intentionally become a "little" diabetic at the end of summer a fascinating theory. If we have higher blood sugar, it acts like antifreeze in the blood stream, preventing us from freezing. Only problem with this is that by the time the seriously freezing weather comes around, we don't have those fruits and berries around to keep our blood sugar high and you have to be eating them daily to maintain high blood sugars. When they are available in the summer is when you least need that effect. But, it could explain to me why I crave carbs more in winter....

                    Anybody else have thoughts on this?

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                    • #11
                      I agree that I am more likely to consume carbs in the winter. Check out this post at primal muse that talks about the serotonin receptors and sunlight, carb cravings and tryptophan:

                      http://primalmuse.blogspot.com/2010/...ter-blues.html

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                      • #12
                        What do you think of the supplements she recommends?

                        In particular:
                        400 micrograms of selenium for bed, which supposedly rejuvenates T cells?

                        Take lots of the "keep refrigerated" kind of acidophilus?

                        Take 2000-3000 milligrams of L-glutamine to reline your gut with bacteria?
                        A steak a day keeps the doctor away

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                        • #13
                          Since we humans haven't evolved fur for warmth, and are about as ill equipped for cold in our natural state as a critter can get, I assume that the bulk of our evolutionary ancestry was spent somewhere fairly equatorial and with little seasonal variation in terms of sun exposure. I assume that only technology, such as fire and tanning of hides for clothing and bedding allowed us to venture into colder zones, and then relatively late in the game. Too late for the evolution of nice natural fur coats.

                          This being said, I've little doubt that we function best following natural lighting rhythms of dawn and dusk and night. Professor Michael Holick PhD MD mentions in his book, The Vitamin D Solution, studies showing that nurses who consistently worked night shifts had breast cancer rates that were 36% to 48% higher than their day shift counterparts. Blind women, on the other hand, had a 50% reduction in breast cancer compared to their seeing counterparts. One wonders what the rates would be for just following natural light, perhaps more on the order of blind women.

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                          • #14
                            Haven't read the book but the points you make sound far fetched and more than likely based on flawed logic, but I have no way of proving that other than I eat less carbs in the summer and our circadian rhythm is based on the earths rotation and not artifical light or dark, imo.
                            Whether you think you can..... or you think you can't..... your 100 % correct.

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                            • #15
                              I don't know. I eat more fruit in summer, but I eat more root vegetables in winter. In prior to eating primal, I ate more grains in winter than summer. I crave fresh salads all summer.

                              I definitely think following the sun to rise and go to bed is good for our health. I feel just fantastic when camping, both mentally and physically - it feels great and rested to get up early with the sun, and it feels just delicious and right to go to bed early when it gets dark.

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