Sleep sabotage

Welcome to the positive corner of the internet. Here’s a daily digest designed to make you healthier in less than 5 minutes....

Welcome to the positive corner of the internet. Here’s a daily digest designed to make you healthier in less than 5 minutes. If you were forwarded this message, you can get the free daily email here.

Today’s Health Upgrade

  • Sleep sabotage

  • Oh crap

  • Be Useful giveaway

  • Want to be featured in Arnold's Pump Club?

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Sleep Sabotage

You might know many tips to improve sleep, such as limiting late-night technology, not eating too late, and keeping your room cooler. But did you know that aging affects how well you sleep and might be why you're not getting high-quality rest?

Some surveys suggest that approximately 80 percent of people have trouble sleeping at least once per week, or they wake up feeling exhausted. As you get into your thirties and forties, you have more difficulty falling asleep, waking up more often at night, and — in general — not necessarily spending as much time in restorative sleep. And that only intensifies with each passing decade.

Part of the issue is that your body doesn’t handle your lifestyle decisions as well as it used to. Bouncing back from nights where you get less than 5 hours of sleep is harder. And, your body isn’t as good at metabolizing alcohol, meaning those drinks might wake you up more often or lead to lower-quality sleep.

As you age, you’ll typically experience a decline in deep non-rapid eye movement (NREM) or “slow wave sleep.” And it’s these slow waves that can help keep your brain young and preserve cognitive processing and memory.

If you wake to sleep a little better, the tips at the top will help. But your secret weapon for deeper sleep might be exercise. When you exercise, you break down your muscle tissue. Your body goes into repair mode, specifically during your slow-wave sleep. So the more you exercise, the more your body compensates by spending more time in the slow-wave rest — which is precisely what decreases as you get older. It's the perfect way to force your body to do more of what it needs.

And the benefits are worth it, too. Sleep deprivation as you age is linked to many health problems and diseases. So by exercising, not only are you getting the movement benefits, but you’re also improving your quality of sleep.

Oh, Crap

If you want to thoroughly “optimize” your training sessions, treat yourself like a child and go to the bathroom before you hit the gym.

Research suggests defecating (pooping for the non-science fans) before a workout can boost your performance.

I’ve been analyzing studies for nearly 20 years, and I can’t say I’ve seen research like this. But the findings were too compelling to ignore. And it's another reminder of how seemingly unrelated things are connected. Focusing on gut health is popular, but rather than hacking your microbiome, start by just making sure you're "regular" so you feel better and because it could be tied to your ability to train effectively.

The researchers focused on 15 committed triathletes. When people went to the bathroom before their workout, they increased their time to exhaustion by nearly 10 minutes! (Those who didn’t go were exhausted at 50 minutes, and those who went made it to 60 minutes.) Other measures also indicate that defecation before exercise improves your body’s ability to deliver oxygen to your brain, which is an important part of performance. (There’s a joke in here somewhere.)

Be Useful Giveaway

Arnold’s new book Be Useful doesn’t come out until October. But that doesn’t mean you must wait until then to get your copy.

As members of the village, we’re selecting 25 people to receive an advanced copy of the book. Simply sign up here, and you can win!

Note: For this giveaway, it’s only available for people living in the United States.

Sleep sabotage

Want to Be Featured? (Calling All Recipes)

A note from Daniel: We share a lot of recipes. But the fact is, I rotate a lot of the salads and pasta and tacos and everything else you’ve seen. I’ve told you guys that I eat my healthy salad a few times weekly. As I make more exciting things, I’ll continue to share.

One thing we haven’t done is ask you for your healthy recipes. We want to include the village more and more in the daily newsletter because it’s a community, not just a microphone for me to tell you about how I love kimchi.

We would love to hear your favorites. Respond to this email and share your healthy and quick recipes with the subject line RECIPE. If you have a social media account you want us to highlight, include that as well.

We can’t wait to see what you’re cooking!