My wife makes fun of me.
She calls me a “sleep princess”.
This is probably because I've been really geeking out on how to sleep better. After all, it's during sleep that we experience a significant amount of repair, recovery, immune system enhancement, cognition, learning and memory capability, gene regulation, appetite regulation, hormone production and cellular turnover.
And that means lack of sleep can leave you sore, unsexy and stupid. So I've been prioritizing sleep (and especially deep sleep) quite a bit.
At this point in the night, I've also been ensuring I don't shut down melatonin release from artificial light exposure by wearing blue light blocking Gunnar glasses for any afternoon or early evening computer use, and when I actually do get into bed, I slip into my Dream Essentials contoured face mask and fitted ear plugs.
Next, I turn on the White Noise app on my iPhone to block out the sound of the train that goes by our house and the dogs barking in the morning (although I use the PZizz iPhone app for quick afternoon naps).
Finally, underneath the mattress is a new toy I've been using – a Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PEMF) device for enhancing deep sleep cycles – the EarthPulse Sleep Machine.
How exactly does PEMF work to get me to sleep better?
If you read my recent article about brain waves, and how you can use sound and music to change your brain waves, you learned about a specific brain wave frequency called “Delta”. Here's the graphic from that post, in case you need a reminder:
The human brain, and the brain waves described above, are very sensitive to the Earth’s magnetic fields, which is one of the reasons that trends toward a decrease in sleep duration and suppression of the deepest stages of sleep have been observed in space shuttle missions.
Electroencephalograph measurements (EEG) have shown that small, low strength magnetic fields can cause brain wave frequencies to resonate with the frequencies of the magnetic field, and can cause other responses in the brain including:
-vascular dilation of brain blood vessels
-enhanced melatonin release
-electrical stimulation of the hypothalamus for sleep facilitation
-enhanced dream recall (and incidentally, what I have personally found, much more lucid dreams)
In today's audio interview with Paul Becker, who is the inventor of the EarthPulse, you not only learn more about how a magnetic field device enhances Delta brain wave production, but also learn how this thing can actually help with cellular respiration, and recovery from workouts.
Paul doesn't mention this during the interview, but from the studying that I've been doing, I've learned that a very important part of using PEMF to sleep better is regular use, since this is literally a form of brain entrainment.
Here are some of the resources that Paul references during our discussion – and I'll also include a comment below this post that throws more references in for you geeks out there.
-Chronic stimulation of rat skeletal muscle induces coordinate increases in mitochondrial and nuclear mRNAs of cytochrome-c-oxidase subunits: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2537205
Fast-twitch tibialis anterior muscle of the rat was subjected to chronic low-frequency (10 Hz, 10 h daily) nerve stimulation in order to investigate the time course of changes in cytochrome-c-oxidase activity, as well as in tissue levels of specific mitochondrially and nuclear-encoded, cytochrome-c-oxidase-subunit mRNAs. Chronic stimulation induced a progressive increase in cytochrome-c-oxidase activity which was threefold elevated after 35 days. A similar increase was recorded for citrate-synthase activity. Glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, which was studied as a glycolytic reference enzyme, moderately decreased, as did the tissue level of its corresponding mRNA. There was a parallel increase in the tissue levels of the two cytochrome-c-oxidase-subunit mRNAs over the entire stimulation time course. The extent of increase (stimulated/control) was 2.4 +/- 0.3 and 1.8 +/- 0.2 (means +/- SEM) for the mitochondrial and nuclear subunit mRNAs, respectively. This parallel increase suggested a coordinate regulation of the two subunits. The increase in cytochrome-c-oxidase activity initially corresponded to the changes at the mRNA level. However, with longer stimulation times (beyond 14 days), the increase in cytochrome-c-oxidase activity clearly exceeded that of the two mRNAs. This divergence was progressive and was interpreted to indicate that the increase in cytochrome-c-oxidase content was brought about not only by changes in the levels of the specific mRNAs, but also by alterations at the level of translation.
-Physiological and molecular genetics of time-varying electromagnetic fields on human neuronal cells – http://ston.jsc.nasa.gov/collections/TRS/_techrep/TP-2003-212054.pdf
10 Hz pulsed electromagnetic field caused neural tissue regeneration @ 4x baseline w/ improved 3-D orientation (pg 17); while causing DNA to revert from maturation to developmental! we didn't even touch on anti-aging or loss of performance as one ages (more than 175 maturation genes switched OFF and 150 developmental genes switched ON pgs. 15-18) The implications on longevity are staggering! Developmental gene signature delays appoptosis / mitosis perhaps indefinitely. See Goodwin's subsequent patents here.
–http://www.biolbull.org/cgi/content-nw/full/212/2/169/F2 (shows the chart of mitochondrial density and ATP levels at synapse under 1/2 hz and then at 10 hz) – and this is the link to the entire study: http://www.biolbull.org/cgi/content-nw/full/212/2/169/
-Mitochondrial delivery is essential for synaptic potentiation, Tong JJ.
Mitochondria, as portable generators that power synaptic function, regulate the ATP supply and calcium homeostasis in the neuron. As molecular interactions within the synapses before and after the potentiation are beginning to be elucidated, the deciding moment during the tetanic stimulation that gives rise to the strengthening of the synapse remains a mystery. Here, I recorded electrically from an intact Drosophila nervous system, while simultaneously using time-lapse confocal microscopy to visualize mitochondria labeled with green fluorescent protein. I show that tetanic stimulation triggers a fast delivery of mitochondria to the synapse, which facilitates synaptic potentiation. Rotenone, an inhibitor of mitochondrial electron transport chain complex I, suppresses mitochondrial transport and abolishes the potentiation of the synapse. Expression of neurofibromin, which improves mitochondrial ATP synthesis in the neuron, enhances the movements of mitochondria to the synapse and promotes post-tetanic potentiation. These findings provide unprecedented evidence that the mitochondrial delivery to the synapse is critical for cellular learning.
If you want to geek out on more supplements, tools and gear that I recommend for getting better sleep, go to my recommendations page and check out the sleep section.