SLEEP, LIGHT and EVOO - Blog #30
Hello Everyone! Welcome back to another Friday blog. Today I want to look at sleep, what we can do to enhance our sleep, have uninterrupted sleep and be able to reach that beneficial “deep sleep.” Most people don’t get the sleep their bodies require to function optimally, thus negatively affecting their health. Let’s briefly look at the stages of sleep. There are 3 phases of non-REM sleep.
Stage 1= Eyes are closed, easy to rouse, lasts 5-10 min
Stage 2= Light sleep, heart rate slows, body temp drops, lasts 10-25 min
Stage 3= Deep sleep, harder to rouse, disoriented if aroused. During this stage of NREM sleep, the body repairs and regrows tissues, builds bone and muscle, and strengthens the immune system.
REM Sleep: “REM sleep happens 90 minutes after you fall asleep. The first period of REM typically lasts 10 minutes. Each of your later REM stages gets longer, and the final one may last up to an hour. Your heart rate and breathing quickens. You can have intense dreams during REM sleep, since your brain is more active. REM is important because it stimulates the areas of the brain that help with learning and is associated with increased production of proteins. Babies can spend up to 50% of their sleep in the REM stage, compared to only about 20% for adults.”
New studies are demonstrating that the brain has a type of lymphatic cleaning system that removes amyloid and tau protein accumulation in the brain while we sleep, preventing Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia.
Researchers took mice genetically engineered (hTau mice) to develop tauopathy or deposits of abnormal protein causing tangles that block neuronal communications impairing memory and thinking. They were put on a diet of EVOO supplementation from a young age (corresponding to age 30 to 40 years in humans). “At six months of age (corresponding to a human age of 60 years) the mice were found to have a 60% reduction in the tau protein deposits in their brains. These mice were also found to have a 60% reduction in the formation of damaging tau deposits in their brains. The synapse functions were better in these mice and they also had higher levels of a protein called complexin-1. This protein is found to be important for maintaining healthy neural connections or synapses. They tested the mice for memory and learning tests and found that the mice fed on EVOO did well on those tests as well.”
When given EVOO “Our findings demonstrate that EVOO directly improves synaptic activity, short‐term plasticity, and memory while decreasing tau neuropathology in the hTau mice. These results strengthen the healthy benefits of EVOO and further support the therapeutic potential of this natural product not only for AD but also for primary tauopathies.”
Researchers are finding out just how important sleep is for our overall health and wellness. Ever not sleep nearly all night and feel the brain fog the next day? Let’s look at the effect our cell phones, computers, LED lights and TVs have on our sleep.
A study at Harvard looked at blue light and its affect on health, particularly looking at diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Light exposure at night is a huge contributor to why so many people don’t get the sleep they require to stay healthy. They have linked “short sleep” to increased risk for depression, diabetes and even cardiovascular problems. This is scary and can affect all of us.
So, how does this happen? When we are exposed to light at night, the tiny pineal gland (some have called the 3rd eye) in the brain is suppressed, preventing the secretion of melatonin. What is melatonin? It is a serotonin-derived hormone that modulates sleep patterns and circadian and seasonal rhythms. Even a small amount of eight lux, about the level twice that of a night light, has an effect. You think it’s no big deal to go to sleep with the TV on???
“Not all colors of light have the same effect. Blue wavelengths—which are beneficial during daylight hours because they boost attention, reaction times, and mood—seem to be the most disruptive at night. And the proliferation of electronics with screens, as well as energy-efficient lighting, is increasing our exposure to blue wavelengths, especially after sundown.” Researchers gradually modified the schedule of 10 people, changing the timing of their circadian rhythms. In all subjects, “blood sugar levels increased, throwing them into a prediabetic state, and levels of leptin, a hormone that leaves people feeling full after a meal, went down.” WHAT???!!!!!
All light suppresses the secretion of melatonin, but blue light at night suppresses melatonin about twice as long as green light of comparable brightness. They noted the effects of 6.5 hours of exposure and noted blue light shifted circadian rhythms by twice as much (3 hours vs. 1.5 hours).
Further review of the literature indicates “that a two-hour exposure to blue light (460 nm) in the evening suppresses melatonin, the maximum melatonin-suppressing effect being achieved at the shortest wavelengths (424 nm, violet). The melatonin concentration recovered rather rapidly, within 15 min from cessation of the exposure, suggesting a short-term or simultaneous impact of light exposure on the melatonin secretion. Melatonin secretion and suppression were reduced with age, but the light-induced circadian phase advance was not impaired with age. Light exposure in the evening, at night and in the morning affected the circadian phase of melatonin levels. In addition, even the longest wavelengths (631 nm, red) and intermittent light exposures induced circadian resetting responses, and exposure to low light levels (5-10 lux) at night when sleeping with eyes closed induced a circadian response. The review enables further development of an evaluation method of light pollution in LCA regarding the light-induced impacts on human circadian system.”
Okay, so let’s talk about what we can DO about it. Enter EVOO. There is great news for us. EVOO actually stimulates a lipoprotein called Apo A-IV whose job it is to inhibit lipoprotein oxidation!! “... It has been shown that APOA4 expression in the liver and intestine is regulated by nutrition (Hanniman et al., 2006). Navarro et al. (2004a) observed that hepatic apoA-IV expression is dependent on lipid intake and also on the saturation degree of dietary lipids.” We make more of this protein when we are young and don’t produce as much when we get older. Including EVOO, which is mono-unsaturated, in your diet increases production and activation of this protective lipoprotein!!!
While we sleep this lipoprotein goes to work in our liver and intestines. It literally binds harmful substances preventing blood clots, atherosclerosis and cardiovascular events. Not only does EVOO stimulate this protective protein, but EVOO as we well know now decreases inflammation, calms the pace of the heart, balances blood sugar, helps our body to relax and gently fall into a restful sleep. I know this from personal experience. When I began in January 2020 with my EVOO shot in the mornings, I began to get sleepy around 9:00 pm. Not like me. I’m a night owl. Not only that, but I’d wake about 6:00 am fully refreshed and excited to start my day. Before, I’d hit the snooze about 3 times before finally dragging myself out of bed. I couldn’t explain it until I found this new research!!!! So exciting! Some are now recommending to take a small dose of EVOO right before bed. This I think might be harder for me personally. I enjoy the energy it provides me all day, so I prefer the morning shot.
As for addressing the light issue, Harvard researchers recommend doing the following as well, to protect yourself:
- Use dim red lights for night lights. Red light is less likely to shift circadian rhythm and suppress melatonin.
- Avoid looking at bright screens beginning two to three hours before bed.
- If you work a night shift or use a lot of electronic devices at night, consider wearing blue-blocking glasses or installing an app that filters the blue/green wavelength at night.
- Expose yourself to lots of bright light during the day, which will boost your ability to sleep at night, as well as your mood and alertness during daylight.
Okay, TAKE YOUR EVOO SHOT!, turn off your phone a couple of hours before you go to sleep, put some electrical tape over some of those bright blue lights, try to go to bed early, meditate, listen to relaxing music... Take the steps necessary to help you FEEL GOOD and prevent dementia, Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular events and diabetes!!!!!
So, until next time my friends, drink, drizzle, digest high polyphenol EVOO, eat fatty fish, drink lots of water, get plenty of sleep, get a good pre/probiotic, exercise your body and mind and turn off the light!!! #EVOO