I had the honor of interviewing Dr. Brues, one of the leading experts in the field of sleep. He has helped countless people get more sleep and optimize the quality of their lives by understanding their sleep patterns, and sleep type. In my interview with him, I learned everything from how sleep affects weight loss, the best time to workout for optimal calorie burn, optimizing or altering your sleep chronotype, melatonin versus magnesium, sleep apnea, and how to make Dr. Brues’s Banana Tea! Yep! I said banana tea. My hope is that this leaves you feeling more motivated about your sleep type. Then, you can structure your day so that you function at your optimal level!
Q: How does sleep deprivation effect our weight?
Sleep deprivation has to do with the amount of sleep you get, as well as the quality of sleep you get.
1. When we are sleep deprived, our metabolism slows down and doesn’t expend the energy we want. The theory is that your body wants to hold on to resources because it doesn’t know why it’s still awake. So basically it goes into idle and doesn’t burn as many calories.
2. When you’re sleep deprived, your fight-or-flight response kicks in and your cortisol levels raise. Cortisol is a stress hormone, and elevated levels can burn out your adrenal glands and increases your appetite.
3. Hormonally there are changes as well! Be aware of Ghrelin, this is the hormone that makes you hungry. You have 20% MORE Ghrelin when you are sleep deprived. Leptin is the hormone that makes you want to stop eating and when you are sleep deprived, you have 15% less Leptin.
4. Lastly, lets address food! The high carbohydrate, high sugar foods release serotonin, the feel good hormone.
All of the above set us up for weight gain!
Dr. Brues’s TOP SLEEP TIPS!
1) Go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time each day, including the weekends
2) Eliminate Caffeine by 2pm- but chocolate is OK
3) Exercise Daily
4) Slow alcohol 3 hours before bed
5) Get sunlight every am for 15 min
6) Consider a massage at night before sleep, for relaxation
7) Cool your bedroom 65-75 degrees
Q: Should I be working out in the morning?
Not necessarily! Your chronotype actually somewhat predetermines the “best” time for you to workout. Your chronotype is your genetic, predetermined sleeping pattern. It can somewhat fluctuate throughout your life. But in general, it stays pretty consistent. So once you know what it is, you can determine the best time to workout for your body. However, with that said, I am a firm believer that the “best” time to workout is the time that you’ll DO it. So if your chronotype determines you should be working out in the late afternoon and that just doesn’t work with your schedule, then workout when it does!
Q: Should I force myself to be more of a morning person?
Dr. Brues says no! Listen to the interview below to hear why!
Q: What instances should you try to alter your chronotype?
Dr. Brues shares how to handle being in a relationship with 2 very different chronotypes. There are very specific things you can do, like matching up your optimal times! However, I learned from Dr. Brues that the majority of people are naturally attracted to someone with a similar sleep type.
Q: Should I be taking Melatonin and/or Magnesium to help me sleep?
Dr. Brues discusses specific brands and dosages for each of this over the counter pills.
Some interesting facts:
– Melatonin takes about 90 mins to have optimal effect. So make sure you take it about 90 minutes before you actually want to fall asleep.
– Melatonin is technically a hormone. So when you take melatonin over the counter, you are taking a hormone!
– Most people are NOT deficient in melatonin. However, once you pass 50 years of age, you start to produce less. However, a healthy bodied individual under 50 should probably not take melatonin on a regular basis to help them sleep.
– There are high risks and potential side effects for children who take melatonin. Dr. Brues explains why it is so dangerous.
– Dr. Brues supports Magnesium for sleep! If taken in pill form, it should be taken with calcium to help the absorption. It can be taken on its own as a liquid or sublingually under the tongue, since in those scenarios it goes right into the blood stream.
If you don’t like taking pills, try making Dr. Brues’s Banana tea!
Banana Tea: Did you know the banana peel has about 3 times the amount of magnesium as the banana itself! So, Dr. Brues recommends making banana tea. Take an organic banana, cut the stem and the bottom off, cut it in half, and put it into 3 cups of boiling water. Boil for about 3 to 4 minutes.
When should you exercise for optimal calorie burn? Don’t think this is related to sleep? Well, it is! Dr. Brues explains exactly how to figure out when you should work out for optimal results!
Additional topics covered in this amazing interview!
– How to handle sleeping in the same bed as someone with sleep apnea. Did you know that people who sleep next to someone with sleep apnea lose approximately 1 hour of sleep a night?
– Indicators of sleep apnea: waking up exhausted, a bed partner noticing you stop breathing, and/or waking up choking. Interesting fact… if you have over a 17 inch neck, you have over an 80% chance of having sleep apnea. This includes men and women.
– And Dr. Brues also addresses a ton of rapid fire questions, from you the listener!
– What to use to track your sleep.
Listen to Part 1 of my interview:
Listen to Part 2 of my interview: