Weekly Link Love — Edition 102

Research of the Week

Some people can’t smell stinky fish.

If you think you’re about to drink some sugar but drink fake sugar instead, your body reacts as if you drank the real stuff.

Wearing lip balm reduces droplets produced through talking.

Having had the common cold may reduce the chance of severe COVID-19 infections.

Ketones seem to make white adipose tissue act more like brown fat.

New Primal Blueprint Podcasts

Episode 450: Zach Bush MD: Host Elle Russ welcomes Zach Bush MD to the podcast.

Primal Health Coach Radio Episode 79: Laura and Erin chat with Lisa McDonald.

Media, Schmedia

Didn’t we already know this decades ago?

Interesting Blog Posts

What happened to all the Bronze Age cities?

What might a “new morality” look like?

Social Notes

It’s true.

Green Old Deal.

Everything Else

Someone check if Hell froze over.

Things I’m Up to and Interested In

This isn’t good news: People’s balance is worse than ever.

Great content: A compendium of 19th century Italian case studies on using the carnivore diet to treat diabetes.

Insane paper: In which the author proposes we “painlessly” kill off predators in the wild to prevent herbivores from suffering.

Interesting question: Why are North and South India so different on gender?

One of the more relevant pieces I’ve read: Acceptance parenting.

Question I’m Asking

Are you going to celebrate Halloween? If so, how?

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Oct 2 – Oct 8)

Comment of the Week

“LOL you’re on the wrong website Sheida.”

-Actually, TGJ, this might be the website she needs most of all.

About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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68 thoughts on “Weekly Link Love — Edition 102”

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  1. Nope, no Halloween celebration at my house. After passing out candy for a good many years, I started leaving the porch light off 3 years ago. We are adults here, so Halloween is just another day in the week. Truth be told, I never felt good about giving out that junk, and the constant doorbell ringing drove the dog crazy.

    1. Agreeeeed. If I could afford expensive high quality costumes, I’d participate on that front, because I’m obsessed with outfits of various characters from movies and games. (mostly Jedi and Link) But I’d wear them every day, not just for Halloween : D

    2. Same. Although I tried to give out “healthier” options .. (candy w/out dye, small toys etc), it has become apparent that kids are too lazy to walk up our street which has a bit of an incline. So, lights off at this house.

  2. The “new morality” argument is weak. Despite the high-flown language, in essence it is an appeal to subjective judgement based on the individual’s feelings.

    Try making that argument to a historical Viking, whose subjective feeling is that raiding, killing, looting and enslaving “adds life” to himself and his clan…. those most important to him.

    It requires an objective, external values system to say that something like slavery, rape or genocide is ALWAYS wrong, even if it has no direct negative impact on me and mine.

    If we don’t have objective, universal standards, then morality is lost in endless arguments in which we try to “do the maths” on issues like the comparative values of individual liberty and societal cohesion.


    As for the argument about killing predators…. we apply the same reasoning right now and in many different ways. We euthanase injured animals to reduce further suffering. We cull excess populations to ensure that they do not over-consume and destroy their environment. The fallacy in this particular paper is it’s failure to recognise the role of predators in preventing over-consumption and consequent starvation by herbivores…. a failure which leads to increased suffering as the herbivores starve.

    There are no free lunches. Suffering is endemic in nature and it is our responsibility to think through the consequences before be take action – or abstain rom it.

    1. “…it is an appeal to subjective judgement based on the individual’s feelings.”

      Yep. Morality is and always has been based on what society decides it should be and not necessarily what’s right or wrong.

      1. Skeezix.

        If morality is determined by society, then there is no moral imperative to defend or even tolerate the minority.

        Society considered slavery to be morally acceptable for over 10,000 years. Was it?

  3. Re: “painlessly killing predators” – I am normally fairly eloquent, but all I’ve got for this is an extraordinarily hearty “WTF?????!”

  4. Someone check if Hell froze over.

    That is great. I’ve been so angry having grown up fat and eventually close to death before a non-doctor finally told me it was low carb, not low fat. Then I read doctor Atkins who said mind the quality too and the AMA ignored that as well. I wouldn’t be alive if it wasn’t for talking to a friend in a bar. I am a carb addict and I didn’t even know that was possible.

  5. I think you are onto something with the increased vivid dreams Mark. Another point that I’m sure Prof. W would raise (Hi Matt) is that REM dreaming, whilst broken into discrete chunks, tends to be concentrated towards the end of the sleep period, with deep sleep being prioritised earlier in the sleep cycle. Like many, I am occasionally guilty of ‘undersleeping’ by 1-2 hours – but when I am able to naturally awake (without alarm) after 8 hours of sleep then I am usually just coming out of a vivid dream (this morning for instance…) Thank goodness for your 3g pre-bed glycine tip for the other nights which allows me to function fine the next morning if slightly underslept…

  6. I’ve done a lot of dreaming. I have some sort of chronic neurological condition I can’t get diagnosed. It get worse slowly overtime. As a result I dream of dying on a regular basis and I certainly remember them. Everyday I’m more and more certain my time grows short. The way I feel us unbelievable. I’m not going to be able to Primal my way out of this one. I have sleep apnea to top it off.

    1. Are you on any medications? If so, carefully read through any side effects on each. I had similarly violent, vivid, recurring dreams of my own death that eventually were traced to Singulair. Once I discontinued it they stopped completely.

  7. Wild, active and vivid dreams are reported from COVID patients. Perhaps you Mark, and many others have been exposed to COVID and are asymptomatic, but are experiencing some of the non physical symptoms? Some believe that many more people have been exposed than reported, especially here in our state of Florida, and if that is true, well, be glad you did the work to be healthy and strong and are enjoying some active dreams.

  8. Thank you for sharing this, Mark. I normally don’t remember dreams at all; I don’t even know if I did dream. But this week I have had extremely vivid, memorable dreams about people and activities I miss. Soccer games. Snow. Students. Like you, I’m okay and will get through this. But I think my subconscious is working through a kind of grief.

  9. According to my Oura ring, I am getting around 3 hours a night on REM sleep. I know I dream, but rarely recall more than snippets. I am the caregiver for my sick husband so in addition to everything you mentioned in. Your article, Mark, there is that big worry, stressor.

  10. Love the article “What Destroyed all the Bronze Age Cities?” As a bit of a history buff I find mysteries like this so intriguing. Makes me want to dig deeper about this fascinating period of time.

    One other thought. In the blog post “New Morality”, I’m struck by how nice and pleasant it sounds. After all, who doesn’t value the kind of fulfilling experience the author describes. Unfortunately, I have a hard time redefining morality as a subjectively good feeling or a fulfilling experience. In my mind, this re-definition of morality away from right and wrong (call me a child for thinking this) can lead right to “insane papers” about killing off predators painlessly. Ben Bramble may find his new morality fulfilling, but the wild predators and the rest our ecosystem may feel otherwise.

    Always enjoy your weekly link love. Thanks for diligently posting

  11. My wife and I have a circle of friends we’ve spent considerable professional and social time with in the past- 4 families, each with 2 kids who are now all grown adults. Every 2 years we would all go on vacation together, all 16 of us. With a lot of life changes, we haven’t done it in a few years, and had one zoom call together as a check in back in March. Last week, one woman told me she dreamed about being at a convention with my wife and another woman in our group. The same week, I had a dream that included a different woman in our group, and when I told her about it she mentioned that she’d had one with me in it, and her husband had one with the first woman I mentioned in it. Perhaps we are all feeling the need to reconnect the group and our dreams are expressing that need?

  12. About vivid dreams lately – yes! Actually I’ve always tended to have vivid dreams but rarely bad ones until lately. And when I wake it is unusually hard to shake the bad feelings they bring. I am not a worrier by nature, at least consciously, but there must be something unpleasant going on deep in my brain! Weird.

  13. As an ardent follower of Sigmund Freud, I muse that the conditions you mentioned occurring in our society are similar to what Freud himself faced when he wrote his famous book on Dreams. People tend to dismiss the importance of dreams but I am convinced that they serve a purpose. Matthew Walker’s explanation has merit. Freud would, of course, think that “working through” the dream in psychoanalysis would be the way to get the most healing benefit from the dream. Thanks for the post – interesting to consider. I have been having dreams and working them through with my analyst who helps pick apart the various possible meanings. My memoir, Fear, Folly & Freud: A Pschotherapist in Psychoanalysis mentions dreams if you are interested in a 21st century look at Freud.

  14. I’m dreaming every night. Sometimes it feels like all night and I wake still feeling tired. I do remember most of the dreams but maybe not all the details. There are times I wake up around 3AM and I feel like I never got back to sleep but time has gone by faster than it feels it should have.

    1. I too suffer from the lost sleep time experience – eg, wake up 3am, doze back off, wake up thinking its 3:30ish when in reality it’s 7:30.
      Also many vivid dreams, non pleasant

  15. Yes – more dreams. Yes – more vivid. Yes – remembering them more clearly. “The times, they are a-changing.”

  16. Definitely. So weird you sent this out today. I’ve been having more crazy dreams lately than I ever have before and I remember them in great detail when I wake up. I hate it.

  17. I couldn’t believe it when I opened your newsletter this morning. My wife and I were literally just talking about how much we’ve been lucidly dreaming these past few weeks. For me, it feels as if it’s affecting my sleep: dream, come out of REM, think about the dream, back to REM, think about the last dream; lather, rinse, repeat.

    1. Same sentiment here! We were just discussing this as well. Sometimes we are feeling rested after a night of dreams and sometimes tired and very unrested.

  18. Hi Mark,
    I’m having the same experience! Our family is doing a new med regimen including melatonin and think that may be contributing to my dreams I can remember. Also, I feel I’m sleeping better.
    P.S. thanks for writing Primal Blueprint. It changed my life!
    Take care, Keith

  19. Mr Bramble knows precious little about the wild. We’ve all seen a nature show where a wildebeest is taken by lion, and it does seem like a horrible death. The alternative, which 98% of wildebeest suffer, is to starve to death. It seems to me that the “Victims” of predators are actually lucky in that respect.

  20. Thanks for the post on dreaming during Covid. It’s so unusual-during the beginning (March-Mayish) I was amazed how well I was sleeping. Then I started having full length dreams that were so vivid. It’s still happening, but not so vivid and I don’t alway remember them. Crazy times!

  21. Dreaming way more. Sometimes I get up at my scheduled time and then I go back to sleep ( when I can get away with it ) just so I can dream more. Most of my dreams are pleasant, some are neutral, rarely some are unpleasant.
    I like having more dreams and your explanation seems very probable.

  22. Yes, I definitely am remembering a lot of unsettling, vivid dreams. Quite a change from the random dream remembrances of the past. I like your assessment of the situation. It was helpful to read. Thank you.

  23. Have you heard of the Schumann Resonance? It is the earth’s magnetic field and it has been very active. Some say it shows the battle between good and evil that is going on right now. You can see the waves interacting, and many say this is what keeps them awake.

  24. Yes i am dreaming more some i cant understand and some can’t remember

  25. Absolutely! And I don’t like it. I feel like I’m dreaming the entire night. I can wake up and pick the dream up where it left off. I’m aware that I’m dreaming even though I’m asleep. The worst part is I don’t feel as though I’m getting a good sleep. Sucks!

  26. Thanks for your thoughts on dreams Mark. I find it very reassuring because I thought all these vivid dreams I’ve been having were a consequence of getting older. Nice to think that perhaps there may be another reason.

  27. Nothing different for me or that I’ve heard from anyone else where I live, in rural central Utah (Sanpete Valley) –

    But then again we’re less affected by Covid restrictions, political turmoil, etc than almost everywhere else in the USA. My wife and I still have jobs, only a few stores around require masks – such as Walmart.

    So less stress here, if stress is a factor in more vivid dreams.

  28. Absolutely! I have been experiencing what I like To call soap opera dreams. Very vivid and often include people I haven’t seen for years!

  29. Wow me too!! Having lots of dreams I remember Interesting I didn’t consider it might be happening to others.

  30. I am a trauma therapist, and one of many trends I’ve noticed since March is peoples vivid dreams, including my own. People, like you say, who don’t normally report dreams, are reporting feeling tons of vivid dreams on a regular basis. And yes, even when we met individually look and feel fine in our lives, the subtle and low-grade, chronic traumatic situations surrounding us absolutely affects each and every one of us, from the pandemic itself to the racial and civil unrest, to the upcoming election and all the hatred in the air and vitriol, to the fires and urgency around the climate… each and everyone of us feels that in our own way, either compounding personal situations already going on or as a background thread of dis-ease, even if our lives personally are going swimmingly. We are always a part of the collective, and our body- minds notice and feel this..

  31. Yes I am dreaming more now. I have an extra stressor of going in hospital, in 10 days, to receive treatment for a blood cancer. The treatment could cure, leave me with long term health problems or kill me. Yes, many dreams focused on life in 2020.

    1. Wow, I can’t imagine the stress you are under. My prayers are with you.

  32. Dreams past several months have been many and vivid
    I don’t typically remember dreams much but these are still with me when I wake up

  33. Hi Mark, I was so grateful to read about crazy dreams today! It’s so refreshing to know it’s happening to others as well and there is a potential reason behind them.
    Thank you!

  34. My dreams have been more vivid lately too. But, I think it’s because I am becoming more metabolically flexible and I am eating a highly nutritious diet. I am sleeping a lot better. My dreams are not dreams about problems. They are weird dreams or silly dreams, but they are vivid! I remember them when I wake up. For me, I think it’s because I am healthier than ever. I have just reached a BMI of 22.6. I have just entered the BMI “Ideal Zone” according to Dr. Joel Fuhrman, author of Eat For Life.

  35. Same here. More dreams, better memory of them. I enjoy them though for what its worth.

  36. Hi Mark,
    Glad to read this article! I too am experiencing vivid dreams lately and honestly thought to look at the foods, supplements I take…however, they have been consistent for-years! So not the source. I am also not anxious or nervous about present problems, I believe this too shall pass. So bit of a phenomena right now with vivid dreams! Electromagnetic fields, 5G who knows!

  37. Many more dreams, all vivid, and 99% unpleasant. When I wake out a dream I have to lie for a moment to assess if what I’m thinking can logically be reality .
    I am wondering if any correlation with use of cbd oil as a sleep aid? It seems possible in my case. My employer no longer takes meletonin for same reason

  38. Does the effect of fake sugar happen with glycine? (as in glycine powder alone, used to sweeten things–not in gelatin, etc.)

  39. I have been having such stark and bizarre dreams that I remember clearly in the morning that I started journaling them. Wow!! I was just sharing this very phenomenon with a friend yesterday. Good to know I am not the only one:)

  40. I wonder if increased dreaming happened at other stressful historical times? We’ve had them about every 80 years; the Revolution, the Civil War, WW2, and now (right on time). Strauss-Howe generational theory would suggest we are in a Fourth Turning, with an unknown large event still coming. Regardless what you think of that, historically we have not returned to an Era of Good Feeling without going through a massive calamity, larger than the last Fourth Turning was. Stay tuned, it might get worse.

  41. Yes, I am dreaming…I usually am just envious of people who have dreams, now it’s me. I think it’s trauma. So much and not enough time to process as I go.

  42. I have read a couple of dream books in my life that explain what you are dreaming about. As an example: I use to dream I was swimming up stream & that means you are trying to stay afloat of your problems. I have not been able to get the deep REM sleep since the virus hit & all the horrible things that Trump says. I was thinking of getting some Melatonin.

  43. I often experience vivid, long & complex dreams. When I consider the ones I remember, they are extremely irrational, but 99% are pleasant and entertaining. If I could control my dreams, then I would want to sleep more. I do embrace “supernatural ideas” ( belief in God) but my dreams seem almost exclusively about emotional struggles and social connections, not other-dimensonal guidance (although I think I have had some of those). Personally, I feel healthier when I’ve had high quality dreams, and I mean by that, dreams without violence.

  44. Absolutely recalling more vivid dreams in the past month or two. I assumed it was just me. I thought it was a change of venue as we spent the last month at the beach in North Carolina. Thought it might have been better sleep hygiene. Many of the dreams have involved friends and family members. A few were scary but most were just dreams with some mild conflict. It makes sense that it would be from the chaotic nature of the pandemic and political environment. Going to try and disengage from the politics a little and see what that does.

  45. My dream life is often a balance for my daily activity level. If I am very busy during waking hours, my dreams will contain few actors and be more subdued. Now that my daily life is quiet, my dream life is full of activity, complex plots and color.

  46. I can’t believe it! I have not dreamed in years, and I have been lately. Not bad dreams just repeating my day. I thought I was the only one!

  47. You are spot on with the subconscious working on things. I’m taking a butt load of melatonin at night to sleep and as an antioxidant for a medical condition I have. Many people I know that also take a lot of melatonin have reported, as have I, that dreaming vivid, and strange dreams is common among us.
    My hypothesis is this: With shifts in circadian eating, and sleeping time, shifts in endogenous melatonin production increase, giving us more, and more vivid dreams. Just a thought.

  48. Vivid dreaming! Yes, it’s been quite the experience, especially for the last several nights. I was thinking to myself…”Is everyone else experiencing this” and then I saw your Sunday with Sisson newsletter. I feel normalized when I hear other people experiencing the same things – makes me not wonder so much if something is necessarily wrong with me.

  49. Hi Mark, amazingpolly.com recently put up a video that we are all suffering from “Stockholm Syndrome” and this has us all on edge. Also check out mercola.com today for the article with Sheriff Mack and also about the movie “1986 the Act” for some of the things we are dealing with.

  50. Totally feel like I’m dreaming more these days! I don’t “feel” particularly stressed, but my upper back is locked up so I must be (that’s where I usually carry it). So interesting that many people are dreaming more now (or remembering them at least)

  51. It’s so interesting you’d talk about more dreaming these days! I am definitely dreaming more than normal, and remembering them. I’ve been keeping a log. Whether the dreams are good, neutral, or decidedly difficult, I am always glad I have them, and usually feel better for some reason.

  52. YES! Dreaming has always been pretty vivid for me but recently they have been really weird and vivid. It could be related to the situation we find ourselves in, I agree, and anything else that pops up in our lives seems exaggerated, so maybe we’re all a bit overloaded.

  53. At one time I didn’t “subscribe” to the idea that my dietary or lifestyle choices had all that much to do with the way I felt. Bread, rice, and sugar were all just a normal part of living, right? Then I started paying attention to a guy named Mark Sisson and others that changed the way I thought. Today I am a fit and healthy 60 year old that just had a nice hot cup of Primal Collagen Fuel for breakfast because I realized that truth always trumps pre-conceived ideas.

    Enter dreams…Instruction, revelation, warnings; they are a primary way that God has communicated with man throughout time. The book of Joel and also Acts speak of dreams and that they will increase during this time period. (No, this isn’t the end of the world. LOL) So even if you don’t subscribe to the idea of a spiritual reason…maybe you could at least consider it.

    Thank you for the Sunday’s with Sisson…they challenge me to think outside the box.

  54. I too have been dreaming vivid dreams much more this year than in a looong time. I’m 73. I attribute the dreams to melatonin and amitryptiline usage. I am biohacking myself with those two. I don’t use either of them every night. Last night I slept naturally. I used nothing. When I sleep naturally I barely remember dreams. With the two sleep aids I experience more vivid dreams that I can remeber for a short while. Amitryp. leaves me a bit groggy in the a.m. Melatonin does not. I sleep deepest with Amitryp. I get the most vivid dreams with Melat. Amitryp. makes me sleep the longest. I’m trying to see which of the 3 choices makes me feel the best, eg., less stiffness upon waking. There are so many variables regarding stiffness, achiness, etc.. And, there are so many variables regarding decent sleep. I find WHAT I watch or read close to bedtime very influential in that regard. I find that listening to my very favorite instrumental music to be the best for calming my mind before bedtime. So to sum up MY input: As I sit on the edge of my bed I ask myself what am I going to need to sleep. To take liquid melatonin (1 gram equivalency) (better than pill) or to take amitriptyline (I cut a 10mg pill in 4ths, and only take 2.5mg to sleep approx. 7-8 hours). Or, I ask, can I skip taking anything tonight? Regarding what you wrote, I do agree that the tensions in this Country are at an all time high, and are influencing everyone whether they acknowledge them or not. Being 73 I’ve seen this Country go through lots of trauma which over the decades influenced my thinking about politics, in particular, very much. But at the same time it’s given me lots of perspective. You did not mention faith as a prescriptive for a good night’s sleep. It is for me. I pray in bed whenever I need to: to fall asleep naturally, to fall back to sleep upon waking at 2 or 3 am, or, upon waking at dawn to set the tone for the day. It helps immensely. And, finally I am reading the book you referenced. I’m in the beginning of it. You wrote about biphasic or polyphasic sleeping. That gave me understanding about what is happening, and why I shouldn’t fuss with it, and go with the flow. Thanks for your intelligence and excellent communication skills through your writing and your interviews. I’ve recommended you over and over to so many people. Blessings upon you.

  55. I have had sleep issues and weird dreams since Covid started. I feel exhausted no matter how much I sleep.

  56. Interesting article on If Hell Froze Over. I thought it might be about the Bee Gees. Just kidding. One of my favorite groups. I have recently been diagnosed with Leaky Gut so this sheds more light on weight gain.
    The weekly link love are so informative. I read it every week. Thank you Mark.

  57. Yes I’ve been dreaming and remembering my dreams much more. I’m back to work almost full-time now after being laid off due to Covid restrictions. I feel like I’m not stressing too much about things right now and generally feel good and safe as we’re being careful. Not sure why the dreams are sticking with me as normally I don’t remember them but lately I remember so many details its very odd.