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Saturday, March 2, 2024
HomeBody Building SupplementsThe World's Simplest Sleep Hack, Backed by Science - Off Topic -...

The World’s Simplest Sleep Hack, Backed by Science – Off Topic – COMMUNITY


Two Important Sleep Findings

A simple tool to get more out of your sleep, and a study to reassure the sleep-deprived.


I suspect most of you have never spent much time thinking about sleep masks.

Neither do I.

They were worn by women named Tallulah, or possibly sexually aroused women in general, who tiptoed home at dawn, heels in hand, without a dark cozy coffin to climb Inside, don sleep masks to block out the cursed light while they rest until night falls, then they can wander the Earth again.

But really, who else wears these things other than people who sleep during the day? Unless your bedroom is electronically lit up like the command center of the Artemis mission to the moon, shouldn’t your damn eyelids be turning off the lights?

That’s what I used to think. However, it has been proven that completely blocking ambient light by wearing a sleep mask can improve memory and alertness the next day. At least that’s what two new studies conducted at the same time reveal.

The idea of ​​wearing a sleep mask may seem trivial to you, but I offer ancient wisdom that has been thrown at every naysayer since its inception:

“Hey, I know, but if it works…”

Also, I wouldn’t be sharing this info with you if I hadn’t tried it for a few weeks and found that sleep masks do seem to work. (I like this the best. )

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

The study’s authors, researchers from the United States, Italy and the United Kingdom, set out to explore “how wearing eye masks to block light during nighttime sleep affects memory and alertness, changes that may benefit everyday tasks such as learning or driving.”

The first study included 89 adults aged 18 to 35 and was conducted in the summers of 2018 and 2019. (The summer months were chosen because the researchers suspected that masks would be more useful when the sun was up.) All were required to wear masks at night for a week.

The quality of sleep supplementation the subjects experienced during this mask-wearing phase was then compared to their experience of sleeping without a mask during the subsequent week, or to their sleep quality while wearing a perforated mask (considering whether the mask caused any discomfort will affect the results) a week after wearing a mask for a week.

Subjects were then challenged with a word association task and tests measuring reaction time (the Psychomotor Vigilance Test, or PVT, and the Motor Skills Learning Analysis, or MSL). Testing was conducted on the last two days of each mask/no mask week.

Experiment 2 was conducted in summer 2020 and consisted of four nights (two nights for habituation, i.e. getting used to the mask, and two nights for conducting the experiment). The study involved 33 adults, aged 18 to 35, who were all connected to devices that measured their brain activity while they slept.

So maybe Batman’s mask is a sleep mask?

“Our results suggest that wearing an eye mask during nighttime sleep can promote new learning and alertness the next day,” the researchers concluded.

Specifically, participants performed much better in the PVT, which transfers to real-world activities such as driving, sports performance, or any activity that requires quick reactions. People who wore masks also showed superior memory.

Interestingly, these performance improvements did not appear to be directly related to sleep quality. If anything, wearing a mask was significantly more uncomfortable than not wearing a mask, but this did not affect participants’ self-reported sleep quality or morning alertness assessments.

Instead, the researchers speculate, wearing the blindfold increases the time spent experiencing slow-wave activity (SWA), which is where nature clears the brain’s cache of memes and all kinds of superfluous nonsense, and then reorganizes the “file.” During SWA sleep, saturated synapses are scaled down and their ability to encode new information is restored, resulting in better memory and shorter reaction times.

“Enhancing” sleep, but not necessarily improving sleep quality

Although not explicitly discussed in their paper, the definition of the darkroom is open to interpretation. We may turn off the lights, but in many cases there is still enough light pollution leaking through the curtains, and the light from multiple electronic devices is still enough to affect the time we spend in SWA sleep.

So using a sleep mask seems like a simple trick to ensure enhanced sleep. And, at least from my experience, sleep masks do seem to affect sleep quality, as I find myself waking up less at night.

However, this simple sleep trick may not be of much help to those who normally do not sleep well. For them, face masks likely won’t prove to be a sleep hack at all.Poor sleepers, even though they may not feel terrible all the time, undoubtedly worry about the effects of sleep chronic sleep deprivation Impacts on their health, whether it’s work demands, social desires, or demons keeping them up at night, can affect the quality of their sleep. If this is you, take heart, because the results of another study may offer you some comfort.

Can training lessen the negative health effects of poor sleep?

Yes, you know that lack of sleep can lead to heart disease and cancer, and so can lack of physical activity if it goes on long enough. Both topics have been extensively studied, but little has been done to examine the synergistic effects of these individual mortality factors.

The good news is that someone has finally compared the two head-to-head, and it turns out to be right. The new long-term study of 380,000 men and women in the UK directly compared sleep quality (using a complex classification of sleep characteristics) with complex categories of physical activity.

The good news is that physical activity may be able to counteract the negative health effects of sleep deprivation, which I find reassuring. In other words, you may be damned by your poor ability to sleep, but as long as you’re exercising, those effects are counteracted—that is, you exercising may save you from the dire health effects of sleep deprivation.

“Metabolic Equivalent Task Minutes” and Sleep Quality

Participants were interviewed and completed questionnaires, while taking various body measurements to determine their baseline health status, physical activity level and sleep behavior.

Their physical activity was assessed using “metabolic equivalent task minutes (MET),” which roughly equals the number of calories burned per minute of physical activity. These figures were determined by multiplying the active MET value by the number of hours of physical activity per week¶ hours. The categories are broken down as follows:

  • High (1200 or more MET minutes per week)
  • Moderate (600 to less than 1200 MET minutes per week)
  • Low (0 to less than 600 MET minutes per week)

Then they came up with a new scale to determine sleep quality. The sleep “score” is made up of five sleep characteristics: sleep type (night owl versus annoying morning person tendencies), sleep duration, presence or absence of insomnia, daytime sleepiness, and snoring. Participants are assigned a value between 0 and 5.

Poor sleepers are those who score 0 or 1; intermediate sleepers score between 2-3; and healthy sleepers score 4 or higher.

The researchers then used these scores, combined with information from questionnaires and interviews, to come up with a dozen physical activity/sleep combinations.

Then came the morbid part: The scientists tracked the health of the participants until May 2020 and, of course, until their death. They are interested in death from any cause, but death from cardiovascular disease (coronary heart disease and stroke) or cancer particularly attracts their analytical attention.

some reassuring discoveries

Approximately 15,500 participants died during the study period: 4095 from cardiovascular disease, 9064 from cancer, 1932 from coronary heart disease, 359 from hemorrhagic stroke, 450 from ischemic stroke, 1595 from Died of lung cancer.

We appreciate their service.

As you might guess, the lower the participants’ sleep scores, the higher their risk of death from any cause, poor sleep combined with little or no physical activity? A dead man, or a dead woman, is walking.

But yes, no surprise. Sure, you’d think that regular physical activity would help lessen the adverse effects of poor sleep, but it’s surprisingly helpful. Here, I’ll let the researchers speak for themselves:

“Physical activity levels at or above the lower WHO-recommended threshold (600 MET minutes/week) appeared to eliminate sleep deprivation and death compared with no MVPA (moderate to vigorous physical activity).”

Do you understand it? They suggest that moderate physical activity can counteract the harmful effects of poor sleep. That means all lifters/exercises, assuming you spend the least energy/time in the gym, are helping you ward off the ill effects of sleep deprivation.

Yes, this is just an observational study, but it’s a large study, and it’s a safe bet that if the dreaded sleep persists for years, all bets may be off, regardless of exercise habits.

Still, the study gave me some comfort, because a bad night’s sleep often leaves me with the painful feeling I’d feel if I knew my car was half a quart short of gas. Oh, I know it won’t do any harm in the short term, but it’s definitely not good for the engine in the long run.

pressure relief valve

Sleep is a funny thing — the more you want it, the more elusive it gets. However, this study of physical activity and sleep relieved some of the stress. If I can’t fall asleep right away, it’s less of a problem.I know my morning workouts are going to be a Band-Aid, and if I wear my sleeping maskI’ll increase any sleep time I manage to get into.

For more tips, check out the 26 Sleep Hacks: What Works, What Doesn’t.

refer to

refer to

  1. Viviana Greco et al., Wearing an eye patch during nighttime sleep improves situational learning and alertness, Sleep Research Association, 15 December 2022.

  2. Bo-Huei Huang et al. Association of sleep and physical activity with all-cause, cardiovascular disease, and cancer mortality. BMJ, 2022;56:718-724.

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