The Fitness Scientist: "Even A Little Alcohol Is Hurting Your Health!" Kristen Holmes
- Sleep and recovery are improved when people have sex before sleep.
- Circadian rhythm affects health, and shift workers are at higher risk for various diseases.
Why do you do the work you do?
- Kristen Holmes is passionate about human flourishing and understanding physiology and psychology to help people improve their health.
What your work is and involves
- Kristen Holmes is the vice president of performance science at Woop, a technology company focused on human performance.
- She focuses on understanding markers for tracking health and behaviors for promoting health.
The Importance Of Sleep Wake Timing - circadian rhythm
- Consistent sleep-wake timing leads to higher levels of positive psychological functioning.
- Circadian rhythm is the physical, mental, and behavioral changes that happen in a 24-hour cycle.
- Circadian disruption from irregular sleep-wake patterns increases the risk of cancer, metabolic disease, cardiovascular disease, infertility, and mental health issues.
Humans Haven't Adapted For Artificial Light
- Exposure to blue light after dark has a pro-depressive effect and impacts the dopamine system.
- Modern access to constant light has negative consequences as humans have not adapted to artificial light.
- People have evolved to sleep and wake up in alignment with the natural light-dark cycle.
- Our relationship with light directly influences our health trajectory.
- Circadian rhythm and sleep-wake timing play a vital role in promoting health.
The Myths Around Sleep
- Sleep regularity predicts all-cause mortality independently of sleep duration.
- Variability in sleep onset and offset times can impact markers of recovery and heart rate variability.
- Reduced circulating melatonin due to unstable sleep patterns can lead to inflammation and vulnerability to diseases.
Impact of Lack of Sleep
- Lack of sleep can reduce the release of human growth hormone, impacting physical restoration and regeneration.
- Consistently getting decent sleep and stabilizing sleep wake time is important for recovery and restoration after physical activities.
Preventive Effect of Sleep Pattern
- Stabilizing sleep wake time can predict GPA and other performance metrics, benefiting high performers like athletes.
- Maintaining a consistent sleep wake pattern has prevented sickness for the speaker since 2017.
- Stabilizing wake-up time is crucial, even if going to bed at the same time is not possible, and can help set the circadian rhythm.
Managing Shifts in Sleep Patterns
- Parents and those caring for sick family members may have periods of disrupted sleep patterns.
- Dialing in the feeding window can help mitigate some negative effects of disrupted sleep patterns.
The Best Times To Eat For The Perfect Sleep
- Time restricted feeding and eating refer to the timing of meals in relation to the light-dark cycle.
- Eating within an 8 to 12 hour window can lead to better metabolic outcomes and improved sleep.
- Eating earlier in the day primes the body to utilize nutrients, while consolidating the eating window to 8 to 10 hours can improve metabolic health.
- Stopping eating 2 to 3 hours before sleep improves sleep and recovery, as it allows resources to be allocated to sleep rather than digestion.
- Meal timing significantly impacts sleep, and alcohol and meal timing are the two biggest disruptors of a good night's sleep.
The Positive and Negative Effect Of Exercise On Our Sleep
- Exercising close to bedtime can result in feeling more energized due to adrenaline and cortisol levels, which take time to return to normal.
- Light exposure during exercise, particularly in well-lit gyms, can contribute to feeling more activated, signaling the body to be awake.
The Importance Of Getting Sunlight When We Wake Up
- Getting exposure to natural light, ideally 100,000 lux within 5 to 20 minutes of waking up, signals to the body that it's time to be awake.
- Mimicking daylight and minimizing artificial light exposure before bed helps to protect melatonin release and promote better sleep.
Things To Do For A Perfect Night's Sleep
- Sleep masks are beneficial to block out even minor sources of light, as any artificial light can impair the ability to enter deeper stages of sleep.
- To optimize sleep, the environment should be cold, dark, and quiet, with a stable sleep-wake time and a few hours gap between eating and bedtime.
- Managing stress throughout the day, aligning behaviors with values, and proactively addressing negative stress can contribute to better and more natural sleep.
A Message For People That Aren’t Taking This Information Seriously (00:39:20)
- Seeking to convey a compelling message to individuals struggling to make healthy choices
- Emphasizing the importance of understanding personal values and aligning behaviors with them
- Suggesting the need to identify desired outcomes and make necessary changes, including shedding unsupportive relationships
Growing Up With Addiction (00:45:14)
- Sharing personal experiences of growing up with a parent battling addiction
- Describing feelings of deprioritization and the need for independence
- Reflecting on the impact of a lack of emotional attachments and the importance of addressing related issues as an adult
What Alcohol Is REALLY Doing To Our Sleep
- Alcohol can disrupt sleep onset and lead to sleep fragmentation.
- It reduces melatonin production, impacting sleep quality and circadian rhythms.
- Even small amounts of alcohol can decrease heart rate variability and next-day recovery.
- Moderate alcohol consumption can have negative health implications.
The Effects Of Coffee On Our Sleep
- Caffeine, especially when consumed within 8-12 hours of bedtime, can disrupt sleep onset and quality.
Shift Workers Have A Lower Life Expectancy
- Shift workers, such as healthcare professionals, face a significant reduction in life expectancy and health risks.
- Strategies like time-restricted eating, controlled light exposure, and managing stress may help mitigate the negative effects of shift work.
- Social jet lag, characterized by variability in weekday and weekend sleep schedules, is linked to increased non-suicidal ideation.
- Shift workers, with random sleep-wake times, may be more vulnerable to mental health issues due to circadian disruption and stress management.
How To Reduce Stress In The Moment
- Taking 30 seconds to do the physiological sigh helps reduce anxiety and stress in the moment.
- Physiological sigh involves a double inhale followed by an extended exhale.
Sleep Deprivation & How It Affects Our Actions
- Every 45 minutes of sleep deprivation results in a 5 to 10% decrease in next day mental control and executive function.
- The relationship between sleep debt and performance metrics like executive function and psychological safety, especially for business executives, is significant.
- Sleep debt leads to a decrease in psychological safety among direct reports of leaders, impacting team performance.
- Greater sleep debt leads to an increased risk of accidents, injuries, and a decline in decision-making abilities.
The Relationship Between Sex & Sleep
- Sex with a partner before bed leads to better markers of sleep and recovery.
- Masturbation does not have significant effects on markers of sleep and recovery.
- Ejaculation releases oxytocin, which can have a calming effect and aid in falling asleep.
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What Is HRV & Why Is It So Important?
- HRV stands for heart rate variability
- It is a measure of the time interval between heartbeats and indicates the body's ability to adapt to environmental stress
- A higher heart rate variability indicates better adaptation to stress
- Heart rate variability is variable and impacted by genetics, gender, biological sex, and age
- Higher heart rate variability is generally better and correlates with better overall health
Why The Relationship We Have With Ourselves Is So Important To Our Sleep - The Psychological Effects
- HRV is linked to immunity and psychological well-being
- Expressing gratitude and maintaining a growth mindset can positively impact psychological functioning and overall well-being
- Believing in the potential for growth and feeling optimistic about the future is associated with a more positive impact on one's health and physiological markers
The Importance Of A Growth Mindset & Positivity
- The idea of a growth mindset can counteract stress and enhance productivity
- Factors such as physiological health, stress management, and purpose can influence mindset
- There is a two-way link between actions and feelings, and focusing on actions can influence feelings
What To Do If You Have A Motivation Problem
- Understanding how to produce energy is crucial for motivation
- Appraisal and perception influence energy production and motivation
- Helping individuals understand their personal reasons for showing up every day can increase motivation
- Creating a challenging environment can make individuals excited about their work
- Breaking out of a downward reinforcing spiral starts with making one different decision
Writing Down Your Values
- Regularly revisiting and writing down personal values is important
- Values such as growth, impact, tolerance, compassion, and presence can guide decision-making
- Understanding how values look in action helps in practicing these behaviors
- Living one's values is more important than achieving specific goals
- Focusing on living values leads to consistent performance and personal growth
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