Below you can view the video by sleep expert Dr Eric Berg on extending your life span by fixing your sleep patterns and routine.
Extend Lifespan by Fixing Your Sleep (LIVE LONGER)
Below is a complete transcription of the video.
Extend Your Life
Dr. Berg: You realize you can extend your life just by fixing your sleep. If you're getting less than 5 hours of sleep, your risk of dying goes up by like 12 percent. So, sleep is a very powerful predictor of all-cause mortality. And I'm not just talking about the amount of sleep, I'm talking about the quality of sleep. Let's talk about how to increase the quality of your sleep. There's three main problems, either you can't get the sleep, you can't stay asleep, or you wake up too early, okay?
Now, if you get up at 2 that's because your cortisol is too high. I have a separate video for that. But this video in general should help you. Everything is controlled by this extremely tiny little structure in your brain. It's called the Suprachiasmatic nucleus. That's something to say at a party to sound intelligent.
But the Suprachiasmatic nucleus is about 1/4 the size of one millimeter squared. But the size of this little nerve bundle is extremely small, it's like a fourth of one millimeter. It's just like, really, really tiny, you got two of them, and they're like a pair, and they control the clock in the body. They control the circadian rhythms of the body. The main hormone that helps with this is called melatonin.
Melatonin triggers this whole process. The most powerful controlling factor over this structure right here is the light and dark cycles. And so, the real problem with our sleep is that we live in an abundance of artificial light. First of all, our light is artificial fluorescent lights, and also, we have too much light. I mean, light is 24 hours. If you live in the city or in your house, you can keep the lights on, and we pretty much have the lights on all day as well by our computers, right?
We go places. The light's on in these rooms. And then, of course, you might be watching TV with the lights on. All that light inhibits this melatonin, okay? Melatonin is triggered by darkness. That's one thing you need to know. But there's another type of melatonin that is outside the little gland that makes melatonin which is called the pineal.
There's another source of melatonin, it's made by all your cells that are outside of the pineal gland, and that melatonin is triggered by light, but not any light, very specifically, infrared light. It's a certain wavelength of light. And so, you have this whole spectrum of light starting over here with like ultraviolet light, and it goes to the visible spectrum of light, and then we have infrared on the other side. It just so happens that the sun has over 50% infrared, so it's really important to expose yourself to the sun to get more infrared to build up your melatonin.
Melatonin has a lot of other functions that go beyond just sleeping. Melatonin is the most powerful antioxidant. It helps with a lot of other things. It gives you energy, and it helps protect you against diseases and even cancer, but also, it helps you sleep.
To improve your sleep, let's just take a look at what you need to do. Number one, if you want to reset your circadian waves, it's very important to expose your eyes and your body to light in the morning when you wake up. This will greatly start to give communication to that little nuclei to tell it to work correctly. The best thing to do is to get out in the morning when the sun's coming up and expose your eyes and body to that light.
Of course, I'm not saying to stare right into the sun, but just be out there for at least 30 minutes. That's the best thing you can do. If that's not an option, you can get a bright light, it's called Bright light therapy, and expose your eyes and your body to this bright light for about 30 minutes in the morning. You might want to do that in the wintertime. But even if it's a cloudy day, you're still going to get some good rays.
Even in the woods, if you're standing in the woods, you're still getting a significant amount of infrared because infrared penetrates through the canopy of the leaves and the branches and it comes right down and it also penetrates through our bodies through our clothes about a couple inches so it can go right into our body. I'm talking specifically about infrared. That's why people that get more sun exposure actually sleep better. All we're trying to do is align our bodies to nature. You should wake up to the sun and go to bed when it gets dark, right? That's all we're trying to do.
Now in the PM, when the sun's going down, ideally, to expose yourself to this sunset. That would be very, very therapeutic if you could do that, or you can actually expose yourself to a red light, red light therapy, which is infrared, but not necessarily right before you go to bed, like at least two hours before you go to bed or sometime in the day because it can generate a lot of melatonin that can actually give you energy, so that might not be the best thing right before bed, or you can just expose yourself to the sun during the day. Because like I said before, over 50% of the sun's rays are infrared.
If you're getting a good amount of sun, you'll have a lot of melatonin which is going to help you sleep, because that's going to recharge melatonin. And the other thing is towards the evening, let's say seven, eight o'clock, nine o'clock, ten o'clock, don't be sitting in a room with your lights on.
Start turning lights off if you're watching TV to kind of just dim the lights in your room, or just have candles, or if you have a fireplace have that as your light. That'll give you a lot of infrared, candlelight, and a campfire, and your fireplace, all give off infrared. It's that nice yellow-orange flame, and you can feel infrared by heat.
Now, the second most powerful stimulus for that little nucleolus that helps your circadian rhythms, will be exercise. Consistent regular exercise creates significant improvements in your sleep cycles, okay? That's number three.
Number four, keep your room cooler. Because if you're sleeping in a hotter environment, you will not be able to sleep as well. I keep my temperature at about 68.
Number five, magnesium is a really good remedy. There's a lot of remedies but magnesium is really good to take before you go to bed. If you want recommendations have a good one, I'll put a link down below. But magnesium can help relax the entire body.
It relaxes the muscles and it can actually allow you to drift off into a really good sleep. There are other things like vitamin D and zinc, and there are also stress-reducing herbs like Ashwagandha. There are a lot of things. But these five things are the most important things to improve your sleep and extend your life.
Now, if you haven't seen my video on melatonin that would be a very interesting one to watch. I put it up right here. Check it out.
We also have another video by Dr Berg on sleeping like a baby with Kefir.