Are you prone to staying up late at night to catch the 10:00 news broadcast? Maybe you should start getting to bed a bit earlier...just maybe. T.S. Wiley proposes simple but lifestyle-shifting techniques to enhance our lifespan and corresponding health levels. Her theory is that our population is living sub-optimally due to our disdain for seasonal sleep cycles, year-round higher-carb intake, and our refusal to turn off the lights.
Here are a few of my favorite highlights from her timeless book, Lights Out:
"Sleeping controls eating, eating and stress control reproduction. Sleeping, eating, and making love control aging."
"We are seasonal eaters and breeders with a feast-famine metabolism who develop diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and severe depression an anything less than 9.5 hours a night for at least seven months out of the year."
"Light is seductive. The longer we stay up, the more we learn."
"The truth is, all of that exercise is doing more than making you high. It's exacerbating the burnout of your cortisol receptors. Running is a fear response."
"The real truth is that the urgent need to sleep is also the cause of Type II diabetes."
As a result of my reading this book, I took the following action steps:
- I bought a Tempurpedic Sleep Mask for my husband and I, since we could not block the light from our windows adequately.
- I set a rule for myself to turn off my computer 1 hour before bed. If I do not turn off the computer, I wear a pair of these Gunnar blue-blocking glasses.
- I prioritize my sleeping hours as much as I prioritize my working hours.
- I limit my endurance-style cardiovascular activity. (I currently only do a bit of No-Fail Fat Burning HIIT sessions 2-3x/week.)
- I have adapted my diet to eat seasonally and locally, as much as is possible with my bodybuilding lifestyle nutrition requirements.
In conclusion, this book was a technical but fascinating read. Half of the book is dedicated to cited studies to validate her proposals. Quite impressive. If you are intent on maximizing your physical performance and extending your life, read this book. It will challenge you to change your life in ways you may reject as too inconvenient. Be prepared to alter your perceptions of health, nutrition, and sleep.
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