The popular story of how low-carb diets work goes something like this: Reducing your carbohydrate...
Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...Tell Me More
“Today, instead of experiencing a mellow and graceful transition to sleepiness during the evening hours, our exposure to artificial light after sunset kicks off a chain reaction of adverse hormonal events. Artificial light and digital stimulation after dark suppress the release of melatonin, the hormone that makes us feel sleepy in the evening (a process known as dim light melatonin onset, or DLMO). In tandem, we experience a spike in the primary stress hormone cortisol. Initially, cortisol floods the bloodstream with glucose, giving us a ‘second wind’ to stay awake and finish our emails or Netflix series binge.”
For anyone who’s experienced it, the frustration can be miserable. The countless tossing and turning, the minutes that tick by (turning into hours), and you STILL haven’t gotten a modicum of decent sleep. No matter how hard you try to ignore it, that urge to constantly move or stretch your legs just won’t let up.
Restless legs syndrome (RLS), aka Willis-Ekbom disease, affects a decent chunk of the population: thought estimates vary wildly, this 2017 representative survey places its prevalence between 5.7 and 12.3% of the population. That’s up to around 40 million people in the U.S. alone who go to bed every night knowing they’ll likely be kept awake for hours with that unrelenting, restless sensation.
Last week’s Q&A about cultivating wildness was a lot of fun, but there were some questions I didn’t get to in the original post. Today, I’m going to answer some more. From stirring stories of a father and son pursuing and living their dream after experiencing extreme tragedy to how to go barefoot more safely to the balance between creativity, progress, and Primal values to accepting the reality (and beauty) of having work to do to the value of sun exposure in winter to circadian entrainment. In short, we’re covering a ton of ground today.
Today’s article is a guest post by Dr. Mark Burhenne, the #1 bestselling author of The 8-Hour Sleep Paradox. As an authority on dental health, he is also on a mission to help shift the conversation about sleep from quantity to quality as the foundation for primal living. As a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, Dr. Burhenne blogs about the mouth-body connection on his website, AsktheDentist.com.
As followers of the Primal Blueprint, we talk a lot about blocking blue light, for example, to mimic the sleep of our ancestors. But there’s another big thing that we’re missing when it comes to sleep that is drastically different from our ancestors—and that’s how we breathe during sleep. Our sleep breathing faces many modern challenges that Grok never faced. In this article, we’ll cover what those are and how to overcome them for the best sleep of your life.
“Apps aren’t paleo, Sisson. Grok waited for days for aurochs to wander within spear-chucking range, not overnight for the release of the iPhone X.” True. But this is the world we live in. These are the tools we have.
If you’re going to lug around an addictive piece of tech in your pocket all day, it might as well contain some apps that make living healthy and living Primal easier, rather than harder. What follows are some of the best paleo/Primal apps I’ve found. Some I use, some I don’t. They’re not all explicitly “paleo,” but they’re all at least tangentially related to this thing we call the pursuit of optimal health and happiness.
For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering questions from last week’s hormone normalization post. First I discuss a lack of purpose in the mornings affecting sleep and what to do about it. Next, I explore the prospect of sun and fasting as hormone modulators. After that, I explain the meaning of max aerobic heart rate and correct a mistake I made. And finally, I suggest to one reader that she may need to eat more calories to normalize her sleep and thus her hormones.