Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sleep updates - Sleep Mask/Earplugs = good, caffeine = bad

So wearing a sleep mask and earplugs definitely reduces the number of times I wake up (3.6 to 2.5) and the amount of time awake (17.4 to 12.8).  However, it didn't seem to do much for the amount of deep sleep I got (37.4 to 38.3).  I rarely felt tired during this time (didn't really want to take a nap), but I also didn't feel particularly energetic.  I don't have a better way of describing it.  There was also no real increase in productivity during the time of this improved sleep.

These results are confounded a bit by the fact that I also cut out caffeine for all but one day of this trial.  I don't think the results are largely due to that though.  One day, I intentionally drank an above average amount of caffeine and that was the night I only woke up once for two minutes and had the second highest amount of deep sleep ever.

I did notice that I had a headache for three days after quitting.  Which seems like withdrawal...that isn't cool.  I also noticed I didn't have the afternoon dip after I got through the headaches.  So I probably will continue to avoid caffeine even though it doesn't appear to directly affect sleep.

Bottom line....a lot of waking/wake time is bad for deep sleep, but there is clearly more to increasing deep sleep than just sleeping through the night.

I am going to try experimenting with 800mg of Magnesium now.  There is a lot of anecdotal evidence in forums and from Tim Ferriss that it improves sleep.

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