Newsletter #054: Optimizing Sleep for Athletic Performance, & More 😴 🏃
Welcome to the latest edition of the humanOS newsletter! Here is where we share our work, and the various studies and media that captured our attention this week. 🤓
This Week’s Research Highlights
Researchers examined the time stamps (and time zone) of tweets as a proxy measure of sleep timing and then compared subsequent game performance. They found that athletes who tweeted between 11pm-7am scored fewer points, had fewer rebounds, and showed reduced shooting accuracy. Unsurprisingly, the effects were more pronounced for road games.
Researchers examined the impact of game time on sleep/wake behavior in elite soccer players participating in the UEFA Champions League and French Ligue 1 using objective and subjective measures. They found that 90% of players indicated worse sleep after late matches (after 6:00 pm). Additionally, time in bed was reduced by 1:39 hours, and total sleep time was similarly lowered by 1:32 hours.
Researchers analyzed data on pet ownership from the Enquiring About Tolerance (EAT) study. This study enrolled 1303 three-month-old infants, who were assessed by skin and serum testing for sensitization to foods and air-borne allergies at 3, 12, and 36 months of age. Finally, food allergy status was determined via double-blind placebo-controlled food challenges between one and three years. Living with dogs was found to be associated with a 90% reduction in the odds of infants developing food allergies. Furthermore, none of the infants who lived with at least two dogs developed food allergies, suggesting a potential dose-response relationship in the exposure to animals.
Researchers assessed sleep in 470 preschoolers from Western Massachusetts, using actigraphs and surveys administered to parents/legal guardians. On average, children with TVs in their bedrooms were found to sleep 30 minutes less at night, compared to those without one. Additionally, kids who watched less than one hour of television per day were found to get 22 more minutes of sleep at night compared to those who watch more than an hour daily. That adds up to nearly 2.5 hours per week.
Podcasts We Loved This Week
- Amy Bender: Why sleep is vital to your sports and fitness regime. Via Sleep Junkies.
- Ian Dunican: The impacts of caffeine on sleep and circadian rhythms in athletes. Via Dr. Bubbs' Performance Podcast.
- David Bailey: The science and practice of training elite road cyclists. Via Nourish Balance Thrive.
Products We Are Enjoying
Dan says: Bicarbonate (baking soda) is one of the best ergogenic (exercise enhancing) aids around. It buffers hydrogen ions that are created in higher quantities during intense exercise. Think lactic acid. Lactic acid is lactate, which is a form of fuel, and hydrogen ions, which make the blood more acidic. The free hydrogen ions generated during exercise are what make higher-intensity exercise burn and also contribute to fatiguing you. These ions interfere with the contractile apparatus of muscles and also contribute to central fatigue, which means your brain has a harder time sending a signal to tell muscles to contract. Bicarbonate buffers the hydrogen, which for me, makes high-intensity efforts have less sting and also helps me perform longer at intensities over 80% heart rate max.
A lot of bicarbonate is sold as sodium bicarbonate, which significantly increases your sodium load. So I switched to pHAdjust, which binds the bicarbonate to both sodium and potassium and also adds magnesium carbonate. Try it and see how you feel during exercise. My bet is that you’ll be sold after first use. I’ve also found that helps me think more clearly during the day. Not sure if that’s a real effect but it seems to be true for me.