A contributor to poorer quality sleep?

Eating too often. Not too much (which is also a problem, and may be as relevant to sleep quality, especially in the extremely obese via sleep apnea).

Eating too often. The point is that one can eat the right amount of food, but eating too often will still lead to unexpected problems.

Many Americans eat 3 meals a day and some eat 3 meals plus snacks.

This is too often – it does not allow time for important repair processes, particularly those dependent on autophagy, which is stimulated by glucagon, and inhibited by insulin (and hence by every episode of feeding).

My guess is 1-2 meals per day is optimal for overall health and for optimal repair processing.

There are other problems that arise from eating too often. For example, because those who eat 3 meals plus snacks suffer the inevitable post-prandial slump, they consume more caffeinated beverages than they would if they ate just once per day, and this has the effect of reducing overall quantity and quality of sleep.

The Fast-5 diet format recommended by Dr. Bert Herring suggests having one meal a day of about 5 hour duration just before bedtime, followed by a 19 hour fast. As long as there is no reflux, this seems to me to be the best time for the single meal (and I am trying it out now). Because no caffeinated beverages need be consumed to combat the slump just before retiring, less caffeine is needed during the productive waking hours (I’m trying 100 mg every few hours in the AM – 400 mg MAX), meaning that all other things being equal, sleep will tend to be of better quality and longer in duration.

I wonder if there are data to support this. Probably very little, since the Fast-5 is not a particularly popular diet format – and who would study such a topic? I would – if only I could.


Nature puts low dose poisons to good use

Selective pressures drive this process.

Another example: alcohol.

Yeast is one of the microbial components in our digestive tract. The optimal level of this microbe is debatable.

Yeasts turn some of the abundant sugar in our digestive tract into alcohol.

Even teetotalers have to deal with alcohol – endogenously produced.

Long before man came on the scene, nature found a good use for moderate amounts of this poison.

Thus, it is not surprizing that there is some optimal level of alcohol in the diet – the exact optimum should depend on a lot of factors, including the amount of endogenous production, something scientists pay no mind to.

The fact that additional alcohol in the diet is still net beneficial suggests that the overall level of yeast in the gut may in fact be suboptimal for most people. What if we consumed more raw buttermilk (how much alcohol do these yeasts produce?) and less yogurt?


Causation is a fine one dimensional representation

in which every other important factor is abstracted or filtered out.

Triggers and aggravators are hardly causes, but they are not non-factors.

Ameliorators are not anti-causes, but are hardly irrelevant.

Necessary conditions are always relevant as well.

Put it together and the one causal dimensional representation of the problem becomes a three dimensional realistic representation that does not violate Ockham’s razor – it has no more than sufficient complexity to describe the phenomenon within scientifically accurate bounds.

A six foot line is a perfectly adequate one dimensional representation of my physical being. It is certainly not wrong, but it is utterly inadequate to characterize even my physical being, let alone me.

Defining cancer as being caused by nuclear mutations is a perfectly adequate one dimensional characterization of the disease.

Defining type II diabetes by insulin resistance is a perfectly adequate one dimensional picture of the medical condition/disease.

Defining hypertension as caused by too much salt consumption is a perfectly adequate one dimensional representation of the medical condition/disease.

Defining human longevity in terms of total calories consumed is a perfectly adequate and perfectly quantitative one dimensional representation of a problem that has certain dimensions that are difficult even to quantify.

Etc., etc.

An adjunct cancer therapy?

In addition to limiting the growth rate of tumors by safe mechanisms (limiting glucose, but probably not glutamine, which immune cells need to fight tumors), and killing tumor cells, try to create conditions within the body that make it inhospitable to tumor growth.

Develop a real time method of measuring tumor growth and study every change in internal bodily condition that limits the growth of tumors. By combining a lot of these little nothing internal changes, one can make the environment inside a body a downright rude host to tumor growth, thus aiding and abetting the other methods of fighting cancer.

Analogy: one can make one’s whole body anything from being a good host for the growth of yeast to being an environment downright inimical to the growth of yeast.

The body tells us we are wrong over and over again: when are we going to listen?

The body is telling us we are wrong.

Give the body a squalene supplement and it efficiently absorbs it.

The body makes squalene and puts it to numerous good uses, but it does not make enough to meet its needs; “so” it tries to absorb whatever we give it.

Doctors prescribe statins to those who have high serum cholesterol, regardless of the reasons behind the high cholesterol. Doctors would mistakenly prescribe statins to those eating the traditional Polynesian diet.

Because statins inhibit our CoQ10 synthesis, doctors recommend that those on statins take CoQ10 (another substance the body readily absorbs “because” we do not make enough of it). What about all of the other important products made by the mevalonate pathway?

Including squalene.

Including dolichols. Want to bet the body avidly absorbs these too?

Including isoprenyls.

Including so many other useful compounds.

When are we going to get a clue? Equivalently, when are we going to take our clues from what the body is doing?

How to know when psychological health has declined

The hard way – look for unusual behaviors and try to get the person to admit he is behaving irrationally.

The easy way – the other drivers of health, so visible to everyone, even the person suffering from psychological ills – drop off when psychological ailments lay a person low and a person’s psychological health deteriorates faster and more thoroughly because of these second winds. It is common medical practice to treat mental illness and none of these other factors – naïve to the point of ludicrousness.

As an example, think of Nietzsche’s lifestyle in the decade before he went insane. His “insanity” was an intermittent medical condition, with all kinds of warning signs, long before it was diagnosed as a mental illness. Of course nothing was done about it; medicine does not know what to make of intermittent medical conditions. It was likely that paresis was a driver and the negative lifestyle variables accelerators of the development of outright insanity.

Those drivers of overall health that contribute to psychological health (a driver of overall health as well) and that fall off during the decline in psychological health and accelerate and aggravate the process of mental illness:
1. Quality/quantity of sleep – people with psychological ills are almost all taking drugs to help them sleep and even then the quality is poor, the side effects noxious, and they live in a stupor.
2. Quality/quantity of exercise – people with psychological ills rarely even go for walks. When someone used to enjoy a good stroll and no longer derives enough pleasure to continue to do so, something is wrong.
3. Quality of diet – catch as catch can, virtually no effort made in this area when psychological ills take over. May be accompanied by significant weight loss as well as outright nutrient deficiencies. When the person used to take great joy in preparing and enjoying delicious and nutritious meals, and no longer makes any effort or seeks the same thing in good restaurants, something is wrong.
4. Daily fasting – the vast majority of even psychologically healthy people do not do this; this counts only if the person used to fast or at least calorie restrict. Lack of fasting -lack of effort is the common denominator in mental illness- is easily concealed by the weight loss due to irregular eating habits that may look like an effort is being made to control food intake and weight gain. No – next to no effort is a hallmark of mental illness.