Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Magnesium helps me sleep (Potassium may help even more)

After 20 days of taking a bath in Epsom Salts (MgSO4), I definitely went into deeper sleep than I have.  This has been one of the more clear results.

Column1 nothing mask/earplugs/magnesium pills magnesium bath magnesium bath And Potassium
z score 75.6 71 67.2 69.3
deep 37.4 32.5 30.2 32
awake 17.4 20 13.5 10.8
awoken 3.6 4 2.8 2.5

Clear reductions in # of times awoken and time awake.  It includes a recent night that had 0 wake ups.  Unprecendented.

You can also see that when I started adding potassium to my diet the time awake and times woken were even better.  I have been high potassium for 13 of the 20 bath taking days.  I don't know if the addition of Potassium was truly a help or whether that was just a result of taking the bath consistently.  I am planning on doing both for the time being.  I figure pretty soon there will be a time where I can't do both and I can see then if the effect is synergistic or not.  Not going to do an experiment just for this.

What is also interesting is the lack of improvement in deep sleep.  The two (awake time and deep time) are clearly not perfectly correllated.  A subjective analysis shows that sometimes I would go into deep more than once (Something I rarely did before) and rarely woke up in the middle of the big initial deep sleep (Something I did often before).

This makes some sense since deep sleep is the physical recuperation portion of sleep and I haven't really increased my physical exertions.  Perhaps it would increase if I exercised more.  Staying asleep certainly isn't enough.

I plan to continue with Magnesium and Potassium.  The next big sleep thing will be using the emWave2 that arrived today.  I am skeptical on this one for sleep.  I generally have no problem falling asleep.  If my theory on deep sleep is correct it seems like it wouldn't affect that either.

I may expand to starting Dual N-Back training as well,  I have enough cognitive performance data now and there are reports it increases REM sleep.  Starting emWave and N-Back Training at the same time may be a bit too much right now.

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