👋 Hey there pack members,
What’s more important for your health - sleep or exercise? Keep reading to find out, and to catch up on all the other highlights this week in sleep and fitness.
🧠 Insufficient sleep negates benefits of exercise for the brain
Exercise helps prevent chronic disease, lengthen life, ward off dementia, slow cognitive decline and much more. However, a new study found that getting (or not getting) proper sleep can actually have an even greater impact on mental health than exercise does. Researchers discovered people with more frequent, higher-intensity physical activity who slept less than six hours a night on average had faster overall cognitive decline than short sleepers who exercised infrequently - suggesting that sufficient sleep is required to get the full mental benefits of exercise. Researchers followed nearly 9,000 adults for over 10 years and found that highly active people in their 50s and 60s who slept on average less than six hours a night lost the advantage that exercise provided. As lead author Dr. Mikaela Bloomberg, said “It shows how important it is to consider sleep and physical activity together when thinking about cognitive health.”
👟 The 8x8x8 Challenge Announced: The Ultimate Test of Sleep + Fitness
This week, we announced the launch of the 8x8x8 Challenge, set to begin on August 8th. It’s the biggest virtual event in sleep and fitness - inviting participants to run 8 miles each day, be in bed 8 hours each night, for eight days straight. You get a special discount from Lagoon for signing up, and if you complete the challenge and share your journey on social media, you’ll earn exclusive prizes. Sign up for the event here! This is the best way to challenge yourself in August, and show your commitment to a healthy lifestyle.
🍰 New study from Matthew Walker finds ties between deep sleep and blood sugar regulation
Matt Walker continues to pump out amazing information about the science of sleep - most recently diving into how deep sleep affects our blood sugar. “In particular, the combination of two brain waves, called sleep spindles and slow waves, predict an increase in the body’s sensitivity to the hormone called insulin, which consequentially and beneficially lowers blood glucose levels.” said Walker. In other words, when you’re getting proper deep sleep - there’s a soothing effect on your nervous system, which helps reboot your body’s sensitivity to insulin, resulting in a more effective control of blood sugar the next day. This is relevant because sleep is a modifiable lifestyle factor that could now be used to help treat those with high blood sugar or Type 2 diabetes.
⏰ Advice from a Dietitian on How to Eat to Ensure Good Sleep
Anita Mirchandani, a registered dietitian, recently shared with MindBodGreen an in depth look at her unique perspective on sleep. First, she pays great attention to her sleep routine - getting between 7.5 and 8.5 hours of sleep per night with her ideal bedtime being around 10:30 pm. Mirchandani eats dinner before 6:30 p.m. at least 5 or 6 nights out of the week, saying that eating an earlier dinner helps her settle into a sleep routine rather quickly and feel lighter and more relaxed at night. The first thing she does when she wakes up? She uses the bathroom. “My GI system is like clockwork, and I usually have to go to the bathroom when my feet hit the ground! This (btw) took a handful of years of training. My maternal grandfather was a yogi who helped me really develop healthy GI habits in my adolescent and teenage years.” said Mirchandani.
👾 Gamifying Sleep with Pokemon Sleep
Check out Pokemon entering the sleep space! Soon they’ll be launching a new sleep app in which the closer you get to a full eight and a half hours of sleep, the more points you'll receive. After waking up, you'll be greeted with information regarding your latest sleep session and an option to listen to an audio recording of yourself. There’s a whole bunch of Pokemon specific elements wrapped into the app - many of which you might not totally understand if you’re not a Pokemon fan or user of Pokemon Go. However, if you are, you can get all of the details here. If you want to try it out for yourself, you won't have to wait much longer: Pokemon Sleep is expected to launch for Apple and Android devices later this summer. Takeaway - It’s an admirable effort by the game developers to incentive gamers to earn rewards for putting their phones away at night.
That's it for this week's sleep news highlights. Stay tuned for more exciting updates on optimizing your sleep and health, and remember to follow @lagoonsleep on Instagram for your daily dose.