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4 Things Astronauts Can Teach You About A Good Night's Sleep

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This was the eye opener for me:

3) You’re not very good at judging sleep quality

You may think sleeping with the lights on doesn’t affect you, but it does. And you won’t necessarily notice your reduced performance the next day, either.

Via Bold Endeavors: Lessons from Polar and Space Exploration:

…it is a folklore belief that all people adapt to regular sounds and are not affected by noises perceived during their sleep. In fact, the sleep of most people is disturbed by even the most regular sounds; for some individuals, the quality of sleep can be reduced without conscious recognition or complete awakening.

This info is more valuable than you think. Why?

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I love the section that says we're all astronauts now:

As John Durant points out in his fascinating new book, The Paleo Manifesto: Ancient Wisdom for Lifelong Healthdue to modern technology, we’re all living more like astronauts now.

Via The Paleo Manifesto: Ancient Wisdom for Lifelong Health:

Today our bodies have become thoroughly confused by the artificial signals of modern life. Light is no longer a cyclical function of the sun, but of always-on indoor lights, TV screens, and computer monitors. Temperature no longer follows a dynamic cycle of cooling at night and warming during the day but sits at a static level set by the thermostat. Human chatter and social interaction used to follow a natural ebb and flow, but now we are more likely to live and sleep in isolation from real people, even while we have 24/7 access to artificial people (faces on TV, voices on the radio). Then, after utterly confusing our circadian rhythm, we try to take back control with stimulants (caffeine, nicotine) and depressants (alcohol, sleeping pills). Is it any wonder that a third of Americans are chronically sleep-deprived?

Maybe you think this doesn’t affect you — or at least not much.

You’re wrong. Remember #3 above.

Research done on non-astronauts has shown the same thing. After 2 weeks of 6 hours of sleep a night, you’re legally drunk:

…by the end of two weeks, the six-hour sleepers were as impaired as those who, in another Dinges study, had been sleep-deprived for 24 hours straight — the cognitive equivalent of being legally drunk.

But what did the chronically sleep deprived say when asked how they felt? “It’s not affecting me.

Even 14 days into the study, they said sleepiness was not affecting them. In fact, their performance had tanked. In other words, the sleep-deprived among us are lousy judges of our own sleep needs. We are not nearly as sharp as we think we are.

So if you are having reduced performance due to sleep issues, you may not be aware. This is a problem.

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Hey Barker, it's cool that you're into Paleo, or at least reading Durant's new book.  I've been uber omnivore raw and mostly Paleo for over a decade.  Works like a charm and gets me to sleep like a lazy college student: luxuriously long and with monotonous regularity.

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