The Guide on Optimizing Sleep? The Cheap (And Very Effective) Way!

why cant i sleep gorilla styleSleep is something that is fundamental to all of us and I have of course done a few experiments on the subject in the past few years. From tracking my sleep with a ZEO device or smartphone devices I’ve been able to get a good picture on how to improve sleep quality.

This article will start with things to avoid, and then tricks to help you sleep better which will include natural sleeping pills.

What you MUST avoid

1) Blue Light from electronic devices, destroys your bodies natural melatonin cycle

how to improve sleep quality by removing blue lightsIf you watch TV, work on a computer or simply have normal lights in your room, this is harming your sleep due to the spectrum of blue in the light which prevents your body to start fully going into “sleep mode” until everything is turned off (or you are so exhausted you pass out, with shitty sleep quality). Basically the sun emits blue light, so the lack of blue light entering our skin or eyes is a signal to our body to go sleep, and our body would start to produce a natural sleep hormone, melatonin, to regulate our sleep cycles. Blue light from electronic devices stops this release.

Far Infrared Sauna Benefits – 4 Reasons why you should Detox in a pleasant way

Enjoying the benefits of an infrared sauna!

Me trying to strike a pose for a selfie while melting under heat

You probably have heard of a normal sauna but what about an infrared sauna? While the end result seems very similar (a lot of sweating) the composition of the sweat is different and contains a lot more heavy metals which are removed from your body this way (~15% of your sweat is heavy metals/other toxins), instead of 1%. You basically sweat from the inside –> outside due to the infrared light heating the surface of your skin which makes it more effective at removing toxins stored in your body and at levels of heat more manageable consciously. For a more detailed explanation on the working part, Wikipedia is always there.

Here are some of the benefits, optimal usage guidelines and dangers of infrared saunas:

What are the benefits of far infrared sauna that made me want to try it?

1) Heavy metal detox and a way to remove BPA from the body, while my diet is very clean when I stay in a country over a few weeks and can find local sources of organic vegetables and meats, I still accumulate toxins from restaurant food, the air I breathe and just from days I did not eat a perfect meal. One of the greatest benefits of infrared sauna is that, as I mentioned above, it detoxifies your body of a lot of heavy metals and other toxic stuff. Also if you read my post on finding a plastic free electric kettle, I am very concerned with the dangers of BPA and how to remove BPA from the body (while traveling I drink a lot of water from plastic bottles). Infrared saunas, it turns out, probably is a great way to remove BPA since a pubmed study shows how BPA is found in human sweat. Finally, being in a cabin 30 minutes a day is pleasant to get some reading done. Just make sure to bring a good old paper book, as my phone and kindle seemed like they could overheat and I did not want to risk it.

2) Enhanced endurance/muscular performance. While not entirely a far infrared sauna benefit, I did read on Tim Ferris’ blog a guest post from Rhonda Perciavalle Patrick, Ph.D about how Saunas probably have been underestimated for a long time in how they can benefit performance. One of the coolest benefits is how as she mentions in another study “One study demonstrated that a 30-minute sauna session two times a week for three weeks POST-workout increased the time that it took for study participants to run until exhaustion by 32% compared to baseline.

Post workout is key here, as I tried it PRE WORKOUT a few times and I had a terrible gym performance, the same as the week before or worse, which is unusual since I’ve been using Tim Ferris’ Occam protocol to add on weight each week to all my exercises.

3) Far infrared sauna does help with weight loss not only due to calories burned (perhaps up to 800 calories per 30 minutes) but also due to the toxins removed from your body and fat cells. However this comes with a possible short term danger that I mention below for overweight people.

4) Possibly fights off cancer as you can see a better explanation of in the video below. Personally, I think just the fact that it detoxifies your body of heavy metal probably makes it prevent many cancers in the first place.

How to optimize your “FIS” experience for the most benefits

1) do your infrared sauna session AFTER a workout, for more benefits AND a great detox tool.

2) As for time length and heat, I personally pushed the unit I could test in Bangkok at the maximum of 66 Celsius/150 Fahrenheit starting at my third session, Dr Clement from the Hippocrates institute recommends a “FIS” session of 70-80 Celsius/160-180 degrees Fahrenheit, for 15-30 minutes. I would love to go higher but I definitely feel its still quite an experience so far in the last 5 minutes to hang in there. I can definitely see how this is not only a great detox but a great stress on the system (that will make you stronger, like conventional exercise).

I’ve done it both while eating a meal before and fasting, I did not see a difference in my well being (I was thinking maybe I would be completely drained and exhausted when doing it on an intermittent fasting day which means I did not eat in the last 12 hours at that point). Just in case anyone was wondering.

Portable far infrared sauna can be used in your homeFar Infrared saunas are portable and can be built in your home

Nowadays infrared saunas are affordable to anyone (under $100 if you google a way to make it yourself at home), as long as you have the room in your home. Sadly a (rare I guess…) disadvantage of being in my 20s and traveling the world is I do not have a “permanent” home so I usually go to clinics and get it done there. When I’m in a city like Bangkok where I can walk there, its no problem and I get a few sessions a week done with a solid 30 minute reading experience. I bring books in paperback, as I feel like my kindle or phone might burst into flames, but more seriously I worry on the lifespan of the conductors inside.

Some people have “near”/portable infrared saunas by using blankets they wear on their body and such, but I wont comment as I never used it.

Finally, there are a few obvious and less obvious infrared sauna dangers that I will mention:

  • Overheating (heat exhaustion and heat stroke)

Unknowingly Poisoning Myself – Finding the Best Plastic Free Stainless Steel Electric Kettle

reviews on plastic free electric kettlesThe dangers of plastic, BPA and certain cookware has been known for quite a while now. Plastic especially causes your body to absorb substances that mimic estrogen for your body which is bad for both guys and girls since it unbalances the natural ratio with other hormones like progesterone/Testosterone. BPA and other substances in plastic might explain partially why sperm count for males on average dropped 30% or so from 20 years ago. Wi-fi/cellphones are probably also to blame, and many other things.

From making sure all my pans (skillets) were in stainless steel (or ideally ceramic) to only using glass containers to store leftover foods or my homemade ice cream I thought I had removed all poisonous stuff in my house… But I forgot the most important one! My PLASTIC electric kettle. What an idiot, not only does the inside look rusty but this thing in plastic is being in contact with HOT WATER constantly. The only thing that could be worse I think would be if I put some fat or acid in there which would make it leech even more harmful components…

3 Reasons Chia Seeds and Flaxseeds are NOT the “superfoods” you think they are.

what are the chia seeds and flax seeds side effectsA lot of media outlets like to sell the idea of “superfoods”. Some of these like kale and spinach are definitely very good to eat on an almost daily basis but for a while I was also eating daily Chia seeds and flax seeds until I found out they are pretty much a waste of time if you eat very little processed foods. Not only are the health benefits a lot weaker than you might expect due to a few reasons (shared below) but also some studies have shown potential side effects. Similarly to my post on are multivitamins good for you, I will try to sum up why some of these “superfoods” under a closer look are actually not that amazing and not worth too much time thinking about or forcing in your diet. Its true they do have a lot of nutrients, but your body cannot take advantage of them as well as you might expect.

Ultimate Guide on How to Avoid a Hangover – The Light And The “Hardcore” Approach

how to Avoid a Hangover articleIn this post you will find out how to Avoid a hangover & cure it if it’s too late to prevent it with almost 100% efficiency by:

  • Choosing the proper alcohols to get drunk with
  • Using cheap supplements that will 100% enable you to avoid hangovers so you can go out during the week and still feel good for work!
  • Learning how to cure it by choosing the proper foods & extras the next day

For the past year I probably have drank an average of 2 liters of vodka a week. I was going out a lot, traveling etc and it became a massive habit to always drink to get myself social and to stop working (since I work from my computer usually as my “day” job, including in hostels/hotels when out of town). Most people will not drink this much but I wanted to mention this because I tried a LOT of ways to avoid a hangover and tested many different ways before getting my ideal methods described below which enabled me to wake up the next day productive, get a lot of work done and… party again 😛

Extreme Cold Tenacity – My Ongoing Experiments And Observation On The Benefits of Cold Showers

Weather is not a problem thanks to cold showers!Something I’ve been trying out during 2012 to reduce my body fat % to under 10 to get a 6 pack is cold showers and baths. This is an idea I got from the 4 hour body book by Tim Ferris.

The two main reason you can lose a lot of weight with cold shower/baths

1) Water “steals” a lot of your body heat at a much faster rate than air, what this means is that your body works harder to increase it’s temperature and maintain it at the normal level when in water. Think about it, calorie is actually “energy”. Your body needs this energy to heat itself up and stay at a consistent healthy body temperature.

2) There is what they call “brown fat cells” or the actual name of brown adipose tissue (BAT) around your neck and surrounding area on top of your back as the picture below shows. These brown fat cells are apparently responsible NOT for fat storage like the well known “white” fat cells but actually for the maintenance of your body’s temperature and they burn a lot of calories to do so. There’s some research all over the place about this but this NYtimes article sums it up.