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episode #259

Tips to Optimize Your Sleep/Wake Cycles

June 12, 2023 in Podcast


This week I discuss some simple habits to help optimize your circadian rhythm in order to have the best night's rest possible!

As you age, your circadian rhythm may change, and you may experience more sleep problems. For example, you may have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. This is because the natural levels and timing of melatonin production, a hormone that regulates sleep, alters. Additionally, older adults may produce less melatonin. This can affect your ability to sleep well at night, which in turn can reduce concentration and productivity during the day.

Here are a few tips to help optimize your sleep - wake cycles:

  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time everyday (even weekends)
  • Get natural light early in the day and avoid blue light later in the evening (check out bluelight blocking glasses)
  • Finish eating at least 2-3 hours before bedtime
and lastly weekly exercise can help relieve stress and improve the quality of your sleep!

Brian (1s):

Hello and welcome to the Get Lean and Eat Clean podcast. My name is Brian Grn. I'm a certified health coach, trainer and author, and this podcast is for middle-aged men and women looking to optimize their health and get their bodies back to what it once was 10 to 15 years ago. I will give you simple, actionable items to get long-term sustainable results. Thanks for listening and enjoy the show. All right, welcome to the Get Lean e Clean podcast. My name is Brian Grn. I hope you had a great weekend and happy Tuesday. If you're listening to this on Tuesday. Hopefully you listen to my interview with Dr.

Brian (43s):

Don Vega. We touched on all about the importance of sleep mindset and circadian rhythm when it comes to losing weight. And yeah, interesting perspective on a gentleman who's written some books. One of them's called The Science of Losing Weight, so check that one out. I put links in the show notes and yeah, we just all talked about his brand philosophy, which he established in Costa Rica and has been growing ever since. So, really enjoyed my interview with Dr. Don Vega and I definitely recommend checking out episode 2 58. So yes. Now on today's micro podcast, I wanted to piggyback off something we talked about during the interview.

Brian (1m 31s):

And I'm gonna do this from time to time from the micro episodes because I mean you to something once and it's like, okay, that was great, whatever. But it doesn't really prompt you a lot to take action or to implement it to your life. I think I, I think you need to hear things. I don't think I know you need to hear things more than once, at least I do. A lot of times I say you need to hear things seven times from seven different people to actually comprehend it. And I believe that cuz a lot of times you'll hear stuff and then it's tough to either, you know, teach it to someone else, which is another great way to learn things or just to interpret it and, and take action for yourself. So one of 'em was obviously the importance of sleep.

Brian (2m 13s):

We touched on that quite a bit and we also talked about circadian rhythm. And so I figure today's episode, I would just piggyback off that talk about what circadian rhythm is, how we can help you, especially individuals over 40 years old. I feel like that is a, a common question slash complaint I get from individuals is how sleep quality, just not getting quality sleep, either getting up too much or having trouble falling asleep. So if that's your issue or problem, which is very common, definitely you'll wanna listen to this cause I'm gonna give you some good tips today, stuff that we've talked about before.

Brian (2m 58s):

But again, I, you know, like I said here, it's seven times from seven different people. We all know that sleep quality can decline as we get older. A lot of this has to do with perhaps some bad habits that we've acquired, but it also has to do with our melatonin levels have could potentially decrease as we age. And then alterations in what's called our circadian rhythm. So how can we optimize our daily sort of habits in order to make sure our circadian rhythm is in, is in line with, you know, nighttime and daytime Well, things that we can do in our daily lives such as, you know, watching for emitting blue light at an evening is one of the big ones and we'll touch on that.

Brian (3m 46s):

But if you're probably thinking to yourself, what is circadian rhythm? So it's mainly, it's just your body's internal clock that regulates your sleep. Wake cycles, and I've touched on this before, it not only regulates your sleep wake cycles, but also your hormone production and other like physiological processes, it's con controlled with something called by something called the C S N. It's the, I won't even try pronouncing it, but it's the small nucleus in the part of your brain, the hypothalamus of their brain and your CSN receives signals from the environment, especially light and dark cues to align your circadian rhythm to the 24 hour day night cycle.

Brian (4m 28s):

And so, you know, individuals, I have friends who not now but for a while would trade overnight and so they'd have to be up during the middle of the night and then try to sleep during the day. Not an easy lifestyle to adhere to and something that really took a toll on their health. And you see this for a lot of people who are, who have night shifts. So I give those individuals a lot of credit. Sometimes it's not a choice and they have to do it, but for most people who are working during the day and sleeping at night following certain routines and habits can really help optimize your circ your, your sleep weight cycles or your circadian rhythms to help be in line.

Brian (5m 14s):

And so one of the things is, well, optimizing our sleep quality is so important. And, and like I said to you before, exposing yourself to natural light is really important. And I talked about this with Dr. Vega and, you know, exposure to light first thing in the morning, going for a walk. We, I, I've probably said that to, and you probably are just sick of me saying that, but exposure to natural sunlight is such a great way to get your circadian rhythm going and regulate it along with circadian rhythm and hormone production.

Brian (5m 55s):

In contrast, exposure to like artificial light, especially blue light in the evening can disrupt your sleep wake cycles. So you sort of have these natural lights that you want to attend to and then these blue lights that you want to, you know, having blue light in the middle of the day is not, you know, if you look at me right now, if you're watching on YouTube, I'm wearing just like daytime blue light blocking glasses and I will say something like this helps, like just from eye fatigue if I'm staring at a screen all day. So this would be a great place to start. If you're watching on YouTube, they're clear and you know, I think they look all right. I've never been one to wear glasses, so these are the only glasses I wear.

Brian (6m 36s):

Luckily, I, I haven't had to wear prescription any type of prescription glasses. But either way having something like this and then wearing a darker one, which I'm, I don't have with me right now, but they're, they're usually orange tint to them. Putting those on perhaps once it gets dark, I typically put those on at eight o'clock and later. So that one sort of, I guess health hack can, can help, might help your sleep right there. Just wearing these during the day and blue light blocking glasses at night. I don't have any affiliates with them, so there's a ton of them. You can go on Amazon and you know, sort of shop and see, see what works for you.

Brian (7m 18s):

Another way to optimize your sleep quality is to maintain a regular sleep schedule. This one I feel like I've, I've really worked hard on my own good. I've, I've always been pretty good at intuitively going to bed around the same time, but now as I feel like I've gotten into my forties and beyond that it's that much more important. So try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, no matter the day, including weekends. And this will sort of help your body create this sleep wake routine and establish ideal circadian rhythm. So additionally a big one. Another big one is exercise.

Brian (7m 59s):

Obviously exercise is something that can, you know, help you use energy in the right manner and sort of stress relief as well. So this'll obviously if we can reduce our stress levels, this will help with sleep, you know, sleep as well. I mean I, you know, you could meditate 15 minutes before bed. This is a big one also. Two is circadian rhythm is actually fairly tied closely to your digestive system. Your digestive system is one way that can regulate your circadian rhythm. So if you're having trouble sleeping and you're having your meals too late at night, this can disrupt.

Brian (8m 42s):

So make sure that you make an effort to have your meals, you know, at least two to three hours before you go to bed. Okay, so I think those are great places to start. I'm not gonna sit here and give you 80 tips. I am gonna start sending out a newsletter with different topics that I'm talking about. One of 'em will be this. So if you haven't signed up for my newsletter, you can go to brian grn.com and sign up for that. Also, check out my step ladder system book if this one I've worked very hard on for the last eight months and really excited for it. And so put a lot of great knowledge into that book and, and hopefully you can get some value out of that.

Brian (9m 22s):

So check out that, that's step ladder system.com or you can go through my website brian grin.com to check that out. So quick plug there. But either way those I would say would be good places to start. One, optimizing sort of light in natural light in the morning and then trying to avoid blue lights as much as possible late in the day. So getting yourself a pair of blue blocking glasses and wearing those eight o'clock after eight o'clock is a great place to start. And if you wanna get ones for during the day, these are great if you're stirring at a screen all day. Secondly, making sure that you don't eat too close to bedtime, because if you're having trouble sleeping, having your meals earlier in the day could actually help a lot.

Brian (10m 11s):

Like I said, eating too close to bedtime can disrupt your dis your digestive system and disrupt your circadian rhythm. And you know, lastly, I would just say that making sure that you have same time going to bed as you're going to sleep, excuse me, same time you're going to bed each night and then waking up around the same time and and making that a priority. Okay? So I would start with those and you can get your circadian rhythm aligned with your sleep wake cycles. I think it'll go a long way. If you have any questions, feel free to email me, Brian and brian green.com, and you know, take these small little steps, they can go a long way.

Brian (10m 53s):

And if you have any questions, let me know. Check out brian green.com for any other tips and I will talk to you next time for a great interview on Friday. Thanks for listening to the Get Lean EAN podcast. I understand there are millions of other podcasts out there and you've chosen to listen to mine and I appreciate that. Check out the show notes@briangrin.com for everything that was mentioned in this episode. Feel free to subscribe to the podcast and share it with a friend or family member who's looking to get their body back to what it once was. Thanks again and have a great day.

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