- The free treatment that makes you live longer
- This might surprise you about caffeine
- Which of these four chronotypes are you? Take this quick quiz and it might change your life!
This will blow your mind…
Because I’m about to show you an amazing natural health treatment that helps you live longer.
It improves your memory, makes you feel happier, keeps you slim and reduces your craving for food.
Not only that, it protects you from colds, flu, cancer and dementia.
And it lowers your risk of heart attacks, stroke and diabetes.
I wouldn’t be surprised.
Just imagine a commercial drug which could do all that – and how much obscene profit it could make for big pharmaceutical companies.
Yet these benefits are within our power to achieve at home, for free.
And all you need to do is sleep.
This is the striking point made by Matt Walker, a neuroscientist at the University of California, Berkley, in his book Why We Sleep.
He claims that most of us are not getting nearly enough sleep and that the sleep we do get is poor quality.
This has a massive impact on our heart health, brain health, mental health, emotional well-being, immune system, and even our life spans.
Walker even suggests that poor sleep may be a key factor in the development of Alzheimer’s disease, arteriosclerosis, stroke, heart failure, depression, anxiety, suicide and obesity.
“The decimation of sleep throughout industrialized nations is having a catastrophic impact,” Walker says. “The shorter you sleep, the shorter your lifespan.”
As Walker points out, when we sleep we make complex neurochemicals that “restocks the armoury of our immune system, helping fight malignancy, preventing infection, and warding off all manner of sickness.”
So when this doesn’t happen, we become vulnerable.
Now, there are a number of reasons why we are suffering from sleep problems, from light and noise pollution to stress, overwork, medications and pain problems.
But I was interested to see in a recent newspaper interview that Matt Walker singles out caffeine.
This might surprise you about coffee
As you know, I’m a staunch advocate of coffee’s health benefits.
Drinking it regularly (in moderation) has been linked with a decreased risk of several cancers, cardiovascular disease, type-2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and dementia.
However, when I enthuse about coffee, and my love for it, I occasionally get complaints from readers who don’t think I emphasis the downside enough.
Well, perhaps today’s email can address this.
Because too much caffeine – especially if it’s drunk after the morning – is certainly not a good idea if you struggle with anxiety or sleep problems.
Matt Walker explains that caffeine can circulate in your system for 12 hours after you drink it, which means that if you drink it at 11am and go to bed at 11pm, it will still be swimming around in your brain.
A lot of people don’t realise that it can have an effect that long after drinking it and therefore assume there’s another cause of their sleep trouble.
So I’d stick to one or two cups in the morning and don’t drink it for 12 hours before you intend to go to bed that night.
Is decaf a healthier option?
If you have sleep issues you could, of course, consider decaffeinated coffee. While it doesn’t quite have all the benefits of regular coffee, it’s not without its merits.
Samantha Cassetty, co-author of a booked called Sugar Shock says:
“Regular and decaf coffee are natural plant foods that contain polyphenols. These antioxidants have anti-inflammatory properties and may help lower your risk for a number of diseases, including type-2 diabetes and cancer.”
She adds: “These compounds also serve as fuel for the beneficial bugs in our gut, so consuming polyphenols in coffee, tea, fruits and vegetables can promote a healthy mind and body by creating a healthy gut environment.”
However, be aware that decaffeinated coffee still contains some caffeine – so if you are super-sensitive to the drug, then don’t overdo it.
It’s also worth knowing that in 2005, researchers found that decaffeinated coffee can increase the levels of non-esterified fatty acids (NEFAs) and a specific cholesterol in the blood, known as apolipoprotein B.
Both of these are bad for the heart.
The reason for this side effect could be that caffeine-free coffee is often made from a type of bean that has a higher fat content.
However, don’t panic if you are a decaf drinker. It’s only a very slightly raised risk and one that would come about if you were chugging back four or more cups a day.
Again, moderation is key – even with decaf!
Finally, on the subject of sleep, here’s a quick quiz.
Which of these four chronotypes are you?
We usually think of people as either night owls (evening people) or larks (morning people). These are known as ‘chronotypes’.
Night owls will usually save up tasks they need to do for the evening, such as reading, studying, learning new skills or running home business projects.
The larks do better when they get up early and focus on important projects in the morning.
But turns out that it’s a little more complex than that…
According to research by Dr Michael Breus, from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, there are actually FOUR chronotypes:
- Lions – (15-20% of the population). These early risers tend to be focussed on their goals in the morning but suffer a slump in the late afternoon.
- Wolves – (15-20% of the population). They struggle in the mornings and feel most energetic after sundown.
- Dolphins – (10% of the population). These light sleepers are prone to insomnia. They often wake up tired and never feel quite alert, although they can get bursts of energy throughout the day.
- Bears – (50% of the population). They get the advised 7-8 hours sleep each night. They feel alert during the day, but are usually tired in the evening.
Which one of these best suits you?
Working it out could change your life, because you’ll be better able to fit your daily schedule around your own physical strengths and weaknesses.
You can then begin to predict your ‘slumps’ and ‘peaks’ of energy and plan accordingly.
For instance, ask yourself…
- What times of day do you feel most alert?
- When do you tend to feel tired, irritable or sad?
- What times of day have you found you get more focus on what you are doing?
When you better understand your chronotype you are more likely to be more productive in the good times and less hard on yourself in the bad times of day.
I hope this helps!